Catastrophic US Hurricanes
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
Hurricane Irma, downgraded to category 4, is expected to make landfall in southern Florida late Saturday or early Sunday morning, its wind strength expected to remain around 150 MPH.
Its life-threatening winds, storm surge and heavy rain got Florida Governor Rick Scott to say "(a)ll Floridians should be prepared to evacuate."
FEMA administrator Brock Long said "it's a question of how bad Florida's going to be impacted and where the storm ends up. (Irma poses) a threat that is going to devastate the United States, either Florida or some of the southeastern states."
Trailing Irma is Hurricane Jose, elevated to category 4 with winds at around 150 MPH, moving at about 18 MPH. It's threatening Caribbean states devastated by Irma, expected to pass near the Leeward Islands on Saturday.
It's the 3rd major hurricane of the current Atlantic season. A hurricane watch is in effect for all potentially affected areas.
Jose's hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles from its core, tropical-force winds up to 115 miles.
Irma and Jose are the first category 4 or greater Atlantic hurricanes happening at the same time, according to meteorologist Philip Klotzbach.
It's unclear where Jose will make landfall at this time or at what strength, perhaps along the US east coast or hitting Gulf coast states.
Separately, Hurricane Katia winds in the Gulf of Mexico increased to 125 MPH, category 3 strength - a hurricane warning in effect from Cabo Rojo to Laguna Verde Mexico.
Earlier today, the nation rocked by a magnitude 8.1 earthquake off its southern coast, its most powerful in the past century.
Its epicenter was in the Pacific Ocean about 74 miles offshore, tremors felt in Mexico City 600 miles away.
Hurricane Harvey devastated thousands of square miles in Houston and surrounding areas. Irma battered Caribbean states. Floridians await its arrival, Jose to follow in the coming days, perhaps more before the current hurricane season ends.
Rebuilding costs will be enormous, hundreds of thousands of home owners without flood insurance hard-pressed to afford them.
House members approved $8 billion in Harvey aid, the Senate $15 billion for disaster relief, likely more for Irma reconstruction.
Expect most, maybe all, going for infrastructure rebuilding, help for affected industries, and the Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Program - affected home owners without flood insurance on their own.
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