Yesterday, Astronaut Chris Cassidy captured this image of Hurricane Laura from the International Space Station as its headed towards Louisiana and Texas. Today, Category 4 Hurricane Laura is making landfall along coastal Louisiana and Texas; just two days after tropical storm Marco caused major flooding events along the Gulf Coast and into the mouth of the Mississippi River.
According to Phil Klotzbach, a meteorologist at Colorado State University, this is the second time in history that there have been two storms to make landfall in the Gulf of Mexico at once. Below, I used NASA World View to image the precipitation from both storms using IMERG data (a NASA algorithm that uses multiple satellites to deliver precipitation data).
This rare event of two storms will have never before seen consequences. Marco elevated the water level and gorged the Mississippi, Hurricane Laura will create storm surges that will be elevated due to the high amount of water already on the ground. Residents that are already dealing with flooding events due to Marco, won’t be able to recover or fully prepare for a Category 4 hurricane.
Communities that will be most affected will be coastal communities in Louisiana and Texas. With a mandatory evacuation in place, many people will be displaced from homes that they cannot return to. As I’m writing this, my prayers go out to anyone along the coast surviving Laura, as news agencies describe the storm as “unsurvivable”. This storm will be survived, and life along the Gulf Coast will continue.
I would like to turn our attention towards the grassroots organizations along the Gulf Coast who are developing climate solutions for their communities. One group I would like to highlight is the Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy. For communities that will be displaced during the storm, GCCLP offers legal services for re-integration, aid for families, and helps communities plan for a sustainable future. For my readers that will not be affected by these storms, I hope you will donate to GCCLP here.
Rare events like these will be more common and more damaging in the Gulf Coast as global temperatures increase past pre-industrial levels due to Climate Change. Warmer water combined with higher sea levels creates a breeding ground for intense storms, especially in places like the Gulf Coast which already experiences a major hurricane season. Mitigation efforts that prepare for this future have to be taken seriously. Last year, Louisiana’s office of Community Development and the non-profit Foundation for Louisiana rolled out the LA SAFE plan (Louisiana’s Strategic Adaptations for Future Environments).
The three main goals of the LA SAFE plan are:
LA SAFE is community driven, with the goal of local change driving state change. States should continue to support plans like these. Plans like LA SAFE could ensure people experiencing the effects of climate change are in control of their own future, enacting plans like these ensures that the damaging effects caused by storms like Laura won’t happen again…
From Earth With Love