In early September 1999, the name, Floyd would soon be remembered for years and years. Hurricane Floyd struck the eastern coast of the United States in during the mid-month of September of 1999. This storm originated over the Atlantic off of the western region of Africa. Although Floyd only began as a tropical wave, it became a storm the United States thought could be the biggest and strongest they had ever seen. In preparation for this storm from Weather Forecast Offices and different Prediction Centers began to warn the public. Although the strange path of the hurricane, it was believed that it could directly hit Florida and wreak havoc up the coastline of the United States. As Floyd raised its power as it survived, it had almost become a Category 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale which is the highest category there is. Floyd became responsible for the largest evacuation in United States history. The articles used in this paper will identify the beginning of Floyd and how its path affected the outcome of Florida’s evacuation evaluation. They will show how it was prepared, and who played their roles. In conclusion to this study will show contrast to previous hurricane emergencies and contribute to possible methodologies to mitigate for a future evacuation demand.
Hurricane Floyd can originally be traced to Western Africa from a Tropical Wave that emerged on September 2nd, 1999. As the storm moved across the Atlantic in eyes of Weather Forecasters, they upgraded the system to Tropical Storm Floyd on September 8th. As the storm loomed closer to the United States’ worries, it became as what is known now as Hurricane Floyd at 8 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time on September 10th. By September 12th, Floyd turned more westward and began a large strengthening installment right above the Bahamas Islands heading straight for the Southeast tip of Florida. James Lee Witt spoke “Floyd had potential to be the worst hurricane to ever strike the East Coast. This is the first time we have ever had an evacuation that involved so many states at one time. It was my worst fear.” (Reed, J 2000). James Lee Witt at the time was the Director of Federal Emergency Management Agency and Cabinet Adviser to the President Bill Clinton. His emphasis in this storm was that of Floyd being one mile per hour less than a Category 5 Hurricane. Floyd topped at 155 miles per hour and a 27.20 inches surface pressure on September 13th. Floyd showed no signs of slowing down or stopping headed straight for the coast of Florida. Floyd’s direct path that led forecasters and prediction centers believing everyone in those regions were going to be demolished by this menacing storm. Sirens were sounded, TVs’ volumes rose to higher volumes and emergency responders warned. Schools and courts were closed and naval ships headed to sea. Soldiers demanded island populations leave immediately for a clear out due to Floyd’s wrath. Many National Weather Service offices forecasted and delivered warnings for threats from Floyd. National Centers that played major roles in warnings and tracking were the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center (HPC) and the Tropical Prediction Center (TPC) of the National Centers for Environmental Protection (NCEP). Weather Forecast Offices issued a total of 300 flood warnings and statements. All impacted were given either a “Special Weather Statement,” or a “Flood Potential Statement” 30 to 48 hours before any flooding began. All Weather Forecast Offices gave numerous advanced heads up calls to emergency officials 2 to 5 days before Floyd caused any sort of rainfall. (Daly, W , Baker, J ,Kelly, 2000). As all the warnings and sirens were sounded Floyd kept its pace of strength but took sudden sharp turn heading north up the coast. Floyd began to parallel Florida’s coastline 110 miles off of Cape Canaveral, Florida. Floyd increased its travel speed and showed its path leading into northern region of South Carolina and straight shot to...
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