This year’s hurricane season is well under way in the North Atlantic. Hurricane Irma – a category 5 storm – is causing havoc in the Caribbean islands and expected to make landfall in Florida at the weekend. Statisticians and economists are just starting to estimate the cost of the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey in August. Let’s take a look at some of the figures.
Saffir Simpson Scale
Tropical storms are divided into 5 categories on the Saffir Simpson scale. Category 1 storms are the least damaging with wind speeds of between 74-95mph. The most severe storms are classed as category 5 – featuring wind speeds of over 157mph. Hurricane Harvey was a category 4 storm when it made landfall in Texas around 3am on August 26. Its peak wind intensity was measured at over 130mph in Rockport, Texas.
Torrential Downpour Causes Catastrophic Flooding
In some areas, Hurricane Harvey dumped 52 inches (130 centimetres) of rain – causing catastrophic flooding in Houston, the United States’ fourth largest city. Hurricane Harvey is the largest ever US rainfall event. The 52-inch figure grabs the headlines, but the more shocking figure is that Harris county – an area the size of South Wales, with a population of over 4.5 million people – had an average rainfall of 23.7 inches over 48 hours. Early estimates suggest that Harvey may have dumped some 125 billion tonnes of water on Texas.
Lives Lost and People Displaced
Despite ample warning and evacuation orders, the death toll from Hurricane Harvey in the United States is at least 60 and that figure is expected to rise. In addition to this tragedy, The Texas Department of Public Safety announced that 185,000 homes were damaged and 9000 destroyed. Rivers and reservoirs unable to cope with the influx of water have overflowed and an estimated 42,000 people have been displaced – many of them camping in State Parks which have been declared free to hurricane evacuees. Economists estimate that the devastation has cost the economy $190 billion.
Flood Ark Flood Barriers
Our flood barriers have undergone extensive hurricane resistance testing by the American Test Lab Inc – an independent firm that tests the suitability of products for deployment in a High Velocity Hurricane Zone. Our bespoke flood barriers are compliant with FBC TAS 201, 202, 203 (Florida Building Code – Testing Application Standards) qualifying Miami-Dade County and ASTM E 1886, E 1996-97 / 02, 330-02 (American Society for Testing Materials).
Following Hurricane Sandy, we worked to restore the flood resilience of a Brooklyn factory. If any home or business owners in the United States want to improve the flood resilience of their properties with a proven method of defence, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can call our office on +44 1603 879977 or email any questions you may have to email@example.com.
For regular articles on floods and the flood barrier industry, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.