2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season Recap

Posted by Kyle Brookings on Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season has been a hyperactive and extremely destructive season, featuring 17 named storms, tying it with 1936 as the fifth-most active season since records began in 1851, and the most since 2012.

There was six major hurricanes. The first system formed on April 19, 2017. There were 18 total depressions.

Most Destructive Storms:

Harvey was the first major hurricane to strike the United States since Hurricane Wilma in 2005, ending the record-length 4,323-day span in which no tropical cyclones made landfall as major hurricanes. It is the most intense tropical cyclone to move ashore the US mainland since Hurricane Charley in 2004, and the first Category 4 hurricane to make landfall in Texas since Hurricane Carla in 1961.

With peak winds of 295 km/h, Irma is the strongest Atlantic storm outside of the Gulf of Mexico or Caribbean Sea on record, and is the 11th most intense hurricane on record in the Atlantic basin.

The government of Antigua and Barbuda began efforts on September 8 to evacuate the entire island of Barbuda prior to Jose's anticipated arrival, as most structures on the island had been heavily damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Irma.

In preparation for Katia, over 4,000 residents were evacuated from the states of Veracruz and Puebla. Tourists left coastal towns, emergency shelters were opened, and storm drains were cleared before the onset of heavy rainfall. Two fatalities were reported in Xalapa from mudslides, while a third man was swept away by floodwaters in Jalcomulco. States of emergency were declared for 40 out of a total 53 municipalities that reported minor damage from mudslides and flooding. About 77,000 residents were left without power at the height of the storm.

Dominica sustained catastrophic damage from Maria, with nearly every structure on the island damaged or destroyed. Surrounding islands were also dealt a devastating blow, with reports of flooding, downed trees, and damaged buildings. Puerto Rico also suffered catastrophic damage. The island's electric grid was devastated, leaving all 3.4 million residents  without power. Many structures were leveled, while floodwaters trapped thousands of citizens. The United States National Guard, Coast Guard, Army Corps of Engineers, and other like units worked to administer aid and assist in search and rescue operations. However, the U.S. federal government response was criticized for its delay in waiving the Jones Act, a statute which prevented Puerto Rico from receiving aid on ships from non-U.S. flagged vessels. Along the coastline of the United States, tropical storm-force gusts cut power to hundreds of citizens; rip currents offshore led to three deaths and numerous water rescues. Estimates of damage from Maria range from $15.9 billion by Estudios Técnicos to $95 billion by Moody's Analytics. Most of the damage occurred in Puerto Rico; Ricardo Rosselló, the governor of Puerto Rico, believes the storm caused $90 billion in damages. The death toll currently stands at 103, with: 62 killed in the United States, consisting of 55 in Puerto Rico, 4 in the contiguous United States, and 3 in the United States Virgin Islands; 31 in Dominica; 5 in the Dominican Republic; 3 in Haiti; and 2 in Guadeloupe. The civilians in Puerto Rico reported that 583 people had died on the island since Hurricane Maria, and San Juan Mayor Yulín Cruz said that the actual number of storm-related fatalities may be as high as 500, which indicates an unofficial death toll of 583.

The Team

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