Mayor's Choice! Force them out or let them decide?. Time to Decide!
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Force them out or let them decide?
Time to Decide!
It is time to put out a press release announcing your decision. This will be read by your residents--the people who elected you. It will be poured over by the press. It will be evaluated by your staff members.Hey, you're the mayor...you expected pressure.The press release format follows. Write your press release thoroughly being careful to supply all of the required information.
Sentence #1: Hurricane Olivia is rapidly approaching our area. I have been reviewing the situation and have come to a decision regarding forced vs. voluntary evacuations. My decision is: _______________________
Sentence #2: The "Storm Surge" is a major worry for us. In case you do not know, a storm surge is _________________________________________
Sentence #3:One reason the storm surge is a problem is that we are on a "barrier island." Barrier islands are hit hardest by the storm because
Sentence #4: Factors I took into consideration in making my decision are ______________________________________ (list 3 reasons you will or will not evacuate)
Sentence #5: This has been a difficult choice. I wish everyone the best of luck. We can only hope that the storm spares our city.
Sincerely, Mayor (Your Name)
H1 = Category Hurricane
TS = Tropical Storm
TD = Tropical Depression
40 – 73 mph
Now the cleanup begins!
SURPRISE! You have been testing your skills against a real hurricane!
This was hurricane Opal, which crashed ashore in Pensacola Beach on October 4, 1995. We renamed Opal to "Olivia" and changed the dates so that you could test your skills without running into information about Opal before you were done.
Your town is a mess, Mayor. Opal did a lot of damage.
In the real hurricane, towns up and down the coast evacuated residents. All of the barrier island towns in the possible strike zone evacuated. Most evacuations were mandatory, a few were voluntary.
Now the cleanup begins!
Remember, only the small area right around the center of the storm gets severe damage. In every hurricane, many island and coastal towns evacuate... only to have very little damage in their cities.
But storms are difficult to predict... and the photos you are about to see will show you why towns evacuate--and what people who stay have to endure.
Hurricane Opal thrashed Pensacola Beach. Responsible for over $2 billion in damage, Hurricane Opal hit land at Pensacola Beach and Navarre Beach on the Florida panhandle on October 4, 1995. The strongest portion of the storm moved right over this section of the coast.
Look closely at the photo. The lower portion of the building has been washed away by the waves. Remember your mayor's briefing on the storm surge? Hurricanes do most of their damage with water--either with the storm surge or by flooding rains as the storm moves inland.
In Opal, the wind gusts topped 140 miles per hour. Notice, however, that the roof of the above building stayed on! This building would have survived, if it hadn't been for the pounding waves of Opal's twenty-foot storm surge.
Here is a closer look at what waves can do to a building. Since the storm surge was twenty feet, you know that the water rose 20 feet above where it would normally be! That took the water high enough that the sea covered the beaches and moved right up into the beachfront homes--the sea was inside the homes! It was the force of the waves that knocked down these walls. And once the walls fell, the high winds were trapped inside the building, doing even more damage.
This hotel, the Dunes, lost its east annex. It happened because Opal washed out the sand from underneath this and many other structures. If you look at the picture, you will see what remains of the hotel's in-ground swimming pool. When the sand washed away, the pool broke apart.
Other damage included the destruction of a well-known fishing pier, which was completely washed away except for a handful of pilings. A popular local restaurant also burned down just before the hurricane hit. Because the water supply to the island had already been turned off, there was no way to save the building.
The storm surge swept away the lower portions of houses, leaving the roof to collapse. Winds tore off roofs, ripped apart walls and turned loose objects into projectiles. Families choose to build on barrier islands so they can be near the beauty of the sea. But the sea and its storms charge a terrible price for the view.
Remember your mayor's briefing on barrier islands? The shifting sands of these islands take the full hit of the storm surge. Despite this danger, some families still choose to live on these islands. These people feel living near the sea is worth the risk.
Many people lost everything. Take a close look at this photo. This is the inside of a condo. Notice how the waves and wind have swept the beach right up into the home. It is almost as if the sea is trying to reclaim its beachfront. Look at the cabinets in the home. Storm surge knocked down walls in the pictured condominium and destroyed much of the contents, but glasses remain neatly stacked in a cabinet.
Many residents have rebuilt despite the dangers. The natural beauty of the beach and Gulf of Mexico and the relaxed lifestyle of beach living, overpower the fear of natural disaster and the threat of losing everything that can't be carried out.
Marinas and docks were washed away. The boat on the left was partially sunk and its dock destroyed. Some boats were completely lost, others were thrown onto shore. Many times boat owners cannot get their vessels out of the way, since hurricanes generally do not give enough warning for a complete evacuation. Most people must settle for grabbing what they can and leaving as quickly as possible. This was especially true of Hurricane Opal, which gathered strength overnight. When Florida residents went to sleep on Oct 3, Opal was a minor hurricane which could hit anywhere along the Gulf Coast. When they woke up the next morning Opal was a Category Four hurricane heading straight for the Pensacola area.
Sand dunes are the barrier island's first line of protection against storms. The rolling dunes keep the water from moving farther inward across the islands. They are also a part of the natural splendor of Pensacola Beach. Hurricane Opal spread them flat. Look at the roads in the photo. (right) Many roads were covered with a foot of sand and even washed out in some places. Residents found their vehicles or homes with a layer of sand around them.
LIST 3 THINGS YOU HAVE LEARNED ABOUT HURRICANES