Gifted and Talented Language Arts 6A
Cause and Effect Essay: Hurricanes
Can you imagine being in 175 mile an hour wind? What about getting 25 inches of rain in two days, plus another 25 inches expected? There have been many hurricanes in the past 25 years that have impacted the United States such as Hurricane Harvey, Andrew, Katrina, and Sandy, not to mention the most recent, Hurricane Irma. Many more effect other countries all over the world in similar ways. For example, they cause damage to homes, buildings and roadways. People are injured, develop illnesses, lose their homes, and some even lose their lives. Prices of necessities tend to increase because of a hurricane. All different types of travel around the world can be disrupted as well. Hurricanes can cause major damage and not only effect the people and the area where they hit, they can affect things globally.
As a matter of fact, the number one thing that hurricanes cause is damage to homes, buildings, and roadways. On Friday, August 25 Hurricane Harvey made it to Houston, Texas as a Category 4 hurricane. Houston received 4 inches of rain per hour for a total of 35 inches, and winds up to 100 miles per hour. Because of this massive rainfall, a sinkhole opened halfway through a two-lane road near Roseburg, Texas. Additionally, people who lived along Huntington Road were forced to evacuate because the bridge, that was the community’s only access, was at risk for collapsing due to rising water levels. It was also warned that water levels could surpass the levees, causing them to fail and bring about more massive flooding. In 1992, the rainfall total from the Hurricane Andrew was 13.98 inches in the Miami area, with winds reaching up to 175 miles per hour. Andrew destroyed 25,524 homes, damaged another 101,241, and caused significant damage to boats. When Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey with winds of 80 miles per hour, it arrived just in time for the full moon and high tide, making the surge even worse than it would have been with the hurricane alone. The surge peaked at 14 feet above the average low tide. These two things combined caused damage to nearly 72,000 homes and businesses. 500 of these homes were destroyed, leaving behind piles of rubble. New York City was most severely impacted due to the additional damage to subways and roadway tunnels.
In addition to the above, another important thing hurricanes bring about is the effects the damage has on the people. For those who live in the path of a hurricane, injuries, sickness, homelessness, and deaths are the main concerns. The severe flooding and high humidity after Hurricane Katrina caused the growth of black mold in areas where it flooded. These circumstances led to people developing severe lung infections, and permanent breathing difficulties. In addition to the lung infections, 1,833 people died because of Hurricane Katrina. The flooding from Hurricane Harvey, has reported a death toll of at least 70 people as of Sept 6th, and officials are estimating that as many as 30,000 people will be evacuated from homes flooded in Houston, and other cities in the state. People react in different ways when disaster strikes. Consequently, some panic and act in ways they normally wouldn’t when put in these horrific situations. As Harvey continued to bring heavy rainfall to Texas people started to panic, and for this reason the scared victims of the hurricane started rushing rescue boats and even shooting at them to get them to stop.
After a hurricane hits, the effects of it can cause prices of things to go up. For example, gas prices all over the United States increased as much as 40 cents a gallon due to Hurricane Katrina causing the oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico to shut down. Due to Hurricane Harvey, in Houston, gas was selling for $20 per gallon at a convenience store, a hotel was charging twice the normal rate for a hotel room, and one business was selling bottles of water for $8.50 each, and $99 per case. These types of price increases happen when people take advantage of the limited resources, and the large number of people who need those resources.
Whenever hurricanes hit air travel get disrupted worldwide. There is also the obvious disruption in roadway travel due to damaged and flooded roads mentioned above. American Airlines had to cancel 110 flights on August 27th due to Hurricane Harvey. American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and JetBlue Airways were among the companies affected by the storm, cancelling all flights into and out of the Houston area. This included domestic as well as international flights. It was too dangerous to fly because of the high winds and torrential rainfall caused by the hurricane. A problem with travel also came about with the most recent hurricane, Hurricane Irma. In the days before Irma hit, gas stations from the north all the way down to the south of Florida saw an increase in “panic buying”, causing a major gas shortage. Therefore, many people were unable to evacuate by car, and those that could evacuate will have a hard time returning due to stations being unable to restock.
As shown above, it is obvious that hurricanes can be extremely dangerous and cause tremendous damage. They can cause damage to buildings, homes and roadways. People lose their homes, get injured, develop illnesses, and even lose their lives. Prices of things can increase, and travel will be disrupted. Several hurricanes have caused an unbelievable amount of damage to the United States, cost billions of dollars, and affected many lives all over the world. If you are ever in an area in the path of a hurricane, take the warnings seriously, and get yourself and your loved ones to safety so you do not have to experience the worst of these effects.
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