Hurricane Michael Leaves Trail of Destruction as It Slams Florida’s Panhandle

Residents and emergency workers spent most of the day hunkered down, only emerging after nightfall to begin assessing the Category 4 storm’s toll.

Comments: 150

  1. Tropical cyclones derive their strength from warm water and much of the resulting damage is due to storm surge. Add heat to the system and a higher base sea level and you get more destructive storms.

    I don’t think one can say that global warming caused Hurricane Sandy, but ocean temperatures were several degrees above normal for both Sandy and typhoon Haiyan and sea levels were higher than before the Industrial Revolution, so global warming exacerbated the storms.

    The extra foot or so of sea level rise on the US East Coast caused Hurricane Sandy to flood an additional 25 square miles. (one foot of sea level rise, averaged globally moves the shoreline inland 300 feet, it’s worse in places like S Florida and Bangladesh).

    Another interesting thing about Sandy. Changes in the jet stream, perhaps due to Arctic ice decline, allowed Sandy to follow an unusual, and unusually damaging course; directly into land with the dangerous semi-circle of the storm piling water ashore.

    As if that weren’t enough, these systems are slowing down and holding more moisture so we’re seeing unusually large amounts of rain in storms like Harvey last year in Houston and Florence this year in the Carolinas.

    Katrina and Sandy didn’t spur us to action and Katrina killed 1,836 people. If we wait to act until a category 6 hurricane plows through NYC or Miami on top of 1-2m of sea level rise it will be a little late.

  2. @Erik Frederiksen Might be better to have a Cat 4 or 5 hit Washington DC. Those are the ones not listening.

  3. @Erik Frederiksen Good point(s). So, if we don't wait to act, what is the act ?

  4. It is clear that no one can stop a hurricane Global warming is no hoax it is happening and when the people in charge today are gone generations to come will remember who failed and betrayed America. stop global warming now prayers willing not be sufficient.

  5. The worst thing wouldn't be a major city being wiped out by a strong tropical cyclone. The worst would be if we spent billions of dollars on a coastal defense, then built a lot of expensive infrastructure behind that defense under the mistaken impression that we can hold back the ocean.

    “Today, we’re struggling with 3 millimeters [0.1 inch] per year [of sea level rise],” says Robert DeConto at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, co-author of one of the more sobering new studies. “We’re talking about centimeters per year. That’s really tough. At that point your engineering can’t keep up; you’re down to demolition and rebuilding.”

    With around 6m of sea level rise already in the pipeline, a large fraction of which could arrive within 100 years, we need to start thinking about an efficient retreat, and not a rout, from vulnerable coastal areas.

  6. @Erik Frederiksen

    Hold on to that thought when a devastating Earthquake hits Oakland., Will you say:"The worst thing wouldn't be
    if a major city in California is wiped out by an Earthquake "?! The worst thing would be if we spent billions rebuilding the infrastructure, following devastating destruction caused by an earthquake ?!!"

  7. The incredible strengthening of the storm over a very short period of time was most likely due to the extremely warm Gulf water, even in early October. Global warming has resulted in a rise in sea water temperatures, particularly in the Gulf. Those that continue to deny the proven factual basis of human-caused global warming will continue to experience these types of catastrophes, which will only get worse according to the poignant recent data and warnings set forth this week. Will we ever learn?

  8. Years ago hurricanes crossed the Atlantic and then either hit land or veered north and went out to sea. This hurricane gathered much of its strength in the Gulf of Mexico before devastating Florida. Is this a new climate change weather event? How much pounding and devastation can we take? Our homeowners insurance premiums will "go through the roof" because everyone is going to share in this burden. Let's work to combat global warming. At least it will give us something to do.

  9. People live by the millions in places where nature is not hospitable, not even amenable to their existence there. In our arrogance many of us think that because we can put up some concrete monstrosity at water's edge, a building completely devoid of aesthetic value built only to make its owners richer, that it's ok to live there. Until a catastrophe like this one. And then all these greedy people will line up for yuuuuuge amounts of money--to rebuild. Because the president knows all about the value of real estate. And he'll pander to potential supporters in the 2020 election with our tax dollars. Many of us will live entire lives without even a glimpse of the Florida gulf coast but we'll pay for its rebuilding this time. And every time...

  10. @Tournachonadar. In many respects, what you say is true. But this particular area of the gulf coast is a land of small fishing villages and humble beach communities and many humble people who, if they can only afford to live in, say, a mobile home, are at least living where there is great natural beauty in the sea and sky around them. Many were born there and their families are there; it’s the life they know to live.

  11. “Illiana” I presume is the region where Indiana meets Illinois? I may have never seen the fields and farms there but I’m sure my tax dollars would be used to help you rebuild after a tornado...

    Try to keep your judgement in check, a lot of hard working people just had their lives ruined.

  12. Many of the residents will pay with the extremely high cost of windstorm insurance, which increases in cost every year. For those Floridians who choose to own homes within ten miles of the coast, windstorm insurance can cost more than a mortgage. Windstorm insurance is a separate form of insurance than flood insurance and traditional home owners insurance. In order to be able to buy windstorm insurance, your home must meet certain requirements, such as all doors and windows must have shutters that meet local building codes. Recently, in most coastal communities most insurers have started requiring that all single family homes must have a roof no older than twenty years and the roof must also meet hurricane resistance requirements; and all garage doors on a single family home must have been fabricated to be sufficiently hurricane resistant.
    If you don’t have a mortgage and choose to not meet the insurers’ windstorm requirements, you will not be able to sell your home to anyone who needs to take out a mortgage to buy your home, because carrying windstorm insurance on your home is a requirement in order to secure a mortgage.

  13. Looking at the images of the people whose lives have been devastated by Hurricane Michael, I'm thinking "Well, this storm won't get Trump's attention." These look like people who may vote for Trump, but for whom he has nothing but contempt, if he can see them at all. I fear that they'll share the same fate as the people of Puerto Rico when it comes to relief. Sad.

    Now, the current plunge in the stock market... that may get some real attention. Though it may seem counter-intuitive, Trump knows that in the reality show he's spinning, buy-in is all that matters. Even the people who buy at Family Dollar--especially them--must believe in the magic of the Golden One and the possibility, however remote, that they, too, can beat the odds and have it all.

  14. I'm disgusted that the article refrains from even a one-liner on climate change. If I were a Republican living anywhere near the ocean, I would be calling my republican member of congress and telling him or her to read some science and tell the truth in public before a microphone or get the heck out of the congress. This weeks IPCC update would be a good place to start.

  15. And some people who don’t smoke get lung cancer—so I suppose that means smoking has nothing to do with lung cancer?

    Look, it’s not the sole cause, but can’t you see that when global warming adds heat to ocean water, that certainly does not help us where hurricanes are concerned?

  16. You just listed two dates in the 90's well after the industrial revolution start in 1800's when carbon in our atmosphere started exponentially increasing. Global warming is as debatable as is the theory of gravity. Enough evidence to point to disaster with people dedicating their lives to understanding and modeling it, and here people stand before their fellow man and claim to be omniscient on this subject without an ounce of work.

  17. In fact, this is simply not true. In this Gulf region there has not been a storm of the same intensity, and one reason is the increasing water temperatures in the Gulf, likely due to — you guessed it — climate change. All other arguments aside for the moment, your info is comparing apples and oranges. The trend is clear as daylight, even if you wish to remain in the shade.

  18. While Republicans and Trump will offer thoughts and prayers what hurricane Michaels victims want and need is money to repair the damage. We are lucky that it came ashore in a sparsely populated area compared to other areas it could have hit. While that is of little comfort to those that took the direct hit I'm sure the major insurers and FEMA are breathing a little easier than they were a few days ago.

    As a resident of Florida myself we need to admit we are living on borrowed time. As the atmosphere and oceans continue to warm it will simply become cost prohibitive to insure costal property in the state. Capitalism will win out when no bank will loan money for costal property and the insurers run for the hills, it's not a matter of if but when. Meanwhile Trump declares his undying love for coal and fossil fuels.

  19. My home is Mexico Beach, FL...I evacuated to GA and the house here is severely damaged...I have no information on our MB home...A disaster in our lives.

  20. Who will pay for your home to be rebuilt? How will Florida - a state that has no income tax - help pay for the devastation? Do you support the President's "wall". Do you believe that warmer waters intensify the storms? My tax dollars will be used to clean up and rebuild Florida. You will definitely get more assistance than the people In Puerto Rico because Republicans want your vote. So I suspect you might get more than a role of paper towels.

  21. @David Kane Be strong. Facile advice, I'm sure, but there are some here rooting for you. Ignore the sadists who use your plight to stoke their political fires.

    I hope you and yours stay safe and support one another. You have all survived. Structures can be rebuilt.

    Gary M.

  22. @David Kane

    I am so sorry. My heart goes out to you, hurricane victim to hurricane victim. I am a Superstorm Sandy Survivor, so I have some idea of what you are experiencing. I am glad that you are safe. Please know that there are empathetic ,caring people who care about you and your fellow Hurricane Michael victims, unlike some of the commenters who post cruel comments, just as they have underneath every article that has ever been written about Superstorm Sandy. I hope that your MB home is intact, and that you will get all the help that you need.

  23. There is enough statistical evidence to show that the frequency and intensity of hurricanes and typhoons have not increased.

    What has increased is the amount of civilization along coastal areas thus causing increased economic damage and loss of life.

    Federal flood insurance program doesnt help. It perpetuates rebuilding of flood damaged properties in those hurricane prone areas and the cycle of destruction continues.

    Global climate change is a long term effect and to compare recent hurricanes on intensity scale is unhelpful.

    Stop rebuilding in danger zones and all this hue and hoopla will go away.

  24. Climate scientists themselves will tell you that we are not seeing an increase in their number. But there is an effect—think of Harvey, for example. It does seem there is more potential for storms that move slow and bring devastating amounts of rainfall. Also, storm surge is worse when sea level is already higher due to climate change.

    I think you and I agree that a rational response here is to not build so much right on the coast. Long-term, we’re going to have to pull back from the coastlines.

  25. You’re mistaken. I think you are sourcing your information from a place that is deceiving you.

    The severity of the storm has nothing to do with total damage or population. The population has gone up, yes. But damage and dollars are economic indicators, not scientific ones about the storm itself.

    The circumstances leading to the storm include much warmer Gulf water than average, leading to this high intensity storm. This is now one of the most intense storms to hit the US, ever — not in terms of damage, but in terms of strength. Does that make sense?

    Climate change models predict fewer hurricanes, but stronger ones that are “outliers”, and — Irma, Florence, Michael — that’s what we are now seeing.

  26. So people still not convinced about the affects of climate change??? Seems like recently we often see the tagline ‘Once in a lifetime...’ in hurricane articles around the world. Well, looks like these major storms are going to be a regular occurence so hopefully citizens in states like texas, louisana, florida, south and north carolina will wake up and take charge in tackling climate change and demand change w/ their govt officials like senators, who care more about policies that benefit corporations (ie., someone is making tons of money rebuilding infrastructure with us small folk paying the price w/ higher property insurance rates). Or get use to seeing the tagline ‘Once in a lifetime’ on an annual basis!!!

  27. Hurricanes have been around for millennia, to think that we are causing them is pure hubris.....

  28. @There...No one is saying we're causing them. But anyone who understands the dynamics of tropical cyclones will inform you that they are much wetter and more intense than ever before. Why? because the Gulf and Atlantic are warmer than ever (unless you believe thermometers are a liberal plot). Why is the Gulf warmer? because of global warming. Why is global warming happening? Because humans are releasing fossil carbon (trillions of tons of it) into the atmosphere. It's hubris to deny reality.

  29. @There
    YGood observation. You called that correcty, but you forgot the rest of the sentence. That we are making them worse due to our inaction is definitely true.

  30. @There: We aren't causing them but we are making them worse with human-caused climate change.

    BTW: What planet is "Here" on?

  31. I’m betting that Trump will do much better in Florida this week than the cheap paper towels he tossed at the victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

    This time, along with the paper towels, there’ll be batteries, candy and gum.

    Puerto Rico was brown people and there’s an election coming you know.

  32. The president's declaration of support was incomplete in that he forgot to rule out any help for Democrats, immigrants and other citizens he deems his enemies. He also forgets this distinction when he praises the military in general. He only really means military people who fit his idea of true Americans, not any who might criticize him.

  33. @Horsepower
    How will Trump see that only his supporters get aid?

  34. Would it be fair to consider these evacuations to that of migration and refugee status? No? Why?
    Hundreds of thousands were displaced from New Orleans. Same in Houston (as well they should be with the chemical fallout) and Puerto Rico.
    This coupled with the wildfires coupled with mudslides we will soon be adding the factors of antiquated nuclear plant closings.
    The fact of the matter is, 4,1-Dioxin and lead in our water, constant oil pipeline leaking that occurs every minute and every second of our days, cracked bedrock from fracking and earthquakes make it obvious migration due to inhabitable conditions all over the world are going to create famine, cholera and airborne disease all over the world, but in the U.S. it won't look like Africa, it will look more like a toxic dump.

  35. What happened in Florida I feel deeply sorry for it. The people have to discover that where should they live on this earth? When they go to live in a land where there is no storm or hurricane, but they have there actue shortage of sweet water. On the contrary there are other land which have the sweet water, but they have plenty of storm, hurricane and tornados. May be almighty God is punishing us for something which we never know.

  36. @Haider Ali:

    "Almighty God" has absolutely NOTHING to do with the phenomenon of Global Warming --- that is, tragically, a wholly man-made condition. God would need not punish us -- we're unwittingly doing an excellent job of punishing the entire planet by the inane, utterly ignorant insistence by those who run the show that coal-spewing factories, waste dumps into the oceans, over cultivating lands which can't sustain such growth, and, first and foremost, the pursuit and accumulation of MONEY is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing to have.

    They are deliberately ignorant of the fact that "you can't take it with you." Nonetheless, the Titans of Business will pursue the almighty dollar until the environmental toxicity passes the point of no return.

    Mankind: far and away the most dangerous living thing on this fragile planet. Tragic: we are also the only entities which can actually save ourselves . . .

    If only.


    Bigly sad.

  37. Trump may deny scientists’ report on climate change. Will he still deny what is witnessed as ‘hellish storm’ in Florida?

  38. @Mohammad Azeemullah I think Donald trump need just money and financial strong position. They have no time to think about climate changes effect. Not he realize it was unless decision against climate change offers.

  39. On TV I kept seeing Gov Scott with a group of military types standing stoically behind him. This went on all day. These guys should be "on the job" not standing around. Great setup shot!

  40. @Ben Daniele And did you notice that their uniforms were not perfectly pressed? Unacceptable!

  41. “We will spare no effort, no expense, no resource...” says Trump. Would that include getting serious about climate change? And to the people in Texas, Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas, it is with great sadness I tell you that, in the best case scenario, this is your future. Like the rest of us, you will experience weather events that are bigger, more frequent and more devastating than what recent history has told us to expect. And if you continue to elect politicians who claim that climate change is a hoax or that mankind’s impact on climate has not been proved, you (and the rest of us) will suffer for it. It’s not difficult to get educated on this issue. And if you do, your politicians will come around. But they better come around quick, because according to the latest science, we’re almost out of time before the truly cataclysmic changes and events become an inevitable outcome of our indifference to the amounts of heat-trapping gases we put into the atmosphere.

  42. @It’s News Here. Exactly! What is the expense for a photo shoot to throw some rolls of paper towels at the crowd?

  43. There was a storm in 2005 made me say "Something different is happening." I had never before experienced rainfall like it...the raindrops were massive and the sheer volume of water was overwhelming. And the seasons ever since have gyrated and wobbled out of the norm.

    My evidence is anecdotal, not scientific, but I think we have to to notice things like that that then set us on a course of scientific discovery.

  44. @It’s News Here Overshadowed by hurricane Michael, Oklahoma experienced multiple tornadoes and small earthquakes the day before.

    "Oklahoma is the most earthquake prone state in the continental US. What's more astonishing is that nearly all of Oklahoma's earthquakes are man-made. They are being triggered by the biggest and most important industry in the state: oil and gas production. Before 2009, there were, on average, two earthquakes a year in Oklahoma that were magnitude 3 or greater. Last year, there were 907. "

  45. In coming years, we will see considerably more storms for the record books. Not every few decades, but every couple years.

    While I feel for those who lost so much, my sympathy is tempered by those who vote for climate change deniers like Scott and Trump, or who intend to rebuild in the same location.

  46. I don’t seem to recall a lot of hurricanes in October while growing up.

  47. Sailboat masts snapped in half with no sails on them. That was a powerful storm.

  48. Could we start naming these storms after the (mainly republican) climate change deniers in our government? Hurricane mitch? Hurricane donald?

  49. While a hurricane was battering Florida killing people and destroying homes and lives, Trump was campaigning in Pennsylvania.

    Remember in November!

  50. I wonder what King Trump would think of climate science if Mar A Lago took a direct hit. If only!!!

  51. @Griffin If Mar-A-Lago was hit, Trump would soak the federal government for all the money he could get. He even got money from the government for Trump Tower after 9-11 after claiming on a radio show that the building wasn't damaged.

  52. As Alfred E. Newman might have said:: "Climate control? Global warming? What, me worry?" Al is a fondly remembered icon coming back from early issues of Mad Magazine to haunt us today. Indeed ever since November 2016 the reality in 2018 and for two years more is that now, every day, we read about a President who is mad and I don't mean the alternate definition - angry.

  53. This storm seemed to come out of nowhere, beginning as a tropical storm and then:

    "A stronger hurricane had not hit the Panhandle in 167 years of record-keeping."

    Seems like we're hearing that an awful lot in recent years - the worst storm in decades. My heart goes out to the 1,000's of people who's lives have been devastated.

    If there is even a serious chance that we're causing the ferocity of weather conditions to increase - wouldn't it make sense to do all we can to join the world - lead the world in slowing down the cause & impact of global warming. Da - up. Nah.... build a wall - let's play 18.

  54. @Jimi - One of my nephews recently said "even if you don't believe in climate change, wouldn't you want cleaner air and more fuel efficient cars?" He's right.

  55. It defies common sense to pay for a storm after it happens instead of paying at least that much to prevent or mitigate the storm before it happens. Fight climate change now. An ounce of prevention is worth a habitable earth

  56. The photo says it all: It's the human Armageddon we're all facing from climate change. It's not red state deniers and blue state believers, but all of us who need to work not just to help our fellow citizens repair their lives, but the nation to repair the damage we're causing the environment that has led to Hurricane Michael and all others in the past year and the terrible years ahead we face if we don't move to a fossil-fuel free future. It's time to vote out the climate deniers this November, as a first political step, to putting us on the path of preventing future Hurricane Michaels.

  57. Having lived devastation recently I am moved to tears for our neighbors to the South. Soon to be on the receiving end of what is left of Michael, we wait and wonder what is next. And to those who doubt climate change, as a Southerner, I have lived a lifetime of hurricanes and these new storms are ferociously scary. We used to have a few days, maybe a week of cleanup and discomfort. Now, we hunker down fearing we will be forced out into the howling wind and pelting rain suffering for months if not years in recovery. No one. No one is exempt. Yes, we are climate refugees. And yes, every single, last American is responsible.

  58. @G-unit: Climate change may not be political, but doing something about it is. The deniers and subverters can be found in the Republican Party, and the ones promoting measures to mitigate the effects are Democrats. Vote Democratic, if you value a sustainable future for you and your children and grandchildren! The alternative is what you see in California wildfires and the recent hurricanes in the Gulf and East coasts.

  59. This is a terrible tragedy and all of our hearts go out to the victims, with best wishes for lots of assistance and a speedy recovery.

    Nobody at a time like this wants to be an "I told you so", but in the interest of our futures, it remains vital to associate cause and effect. Storms have been with us forever. But the newer element is their frequency and intensity. The climate scientists have been warning us for decades that one impact of global warming will be increased frequency and severity of violent storms and unpredictability of unusual changes in weather patterns. Yet, politicians have chosen to disbelieve them, or sweep all this under the carpet.

    Donald Trump, a notorious denier of human impacts on the climate and overtly hostile to science (it's evidence-based), is now worsening the situation by deregulating polluting industries and trying to bring back more fossil fuel, the major contributor to the carbon loading of the atmosphere that causes global warming.

    The USA is the second largest atmospheric polluter from CO2 emissions in the world, and the largest in per capita terms. The USA is the single largest contributor to accumulated CO2 pollution between 1970 and 2013. CO2 knows no national boundaries , so while this is an international problem, the impacts are very local and very severe.

    Voters need to perceive the need for arresting man-made global warming and electing people who believe it and will act on it.

  60. @Mark: It had been my intention to write a comment of exactly the same nature; but Mark has beaten me to it. Well said sir. It is heartbreaking to see the devastation created by Hurricane Michael. One hopes and prays for the many victims of such a monster. At the same time WHEN are the fools and morons who deny climate change going to wake up and realize the folly of not listening to scientists who have been warning of this for years. How many Florence and Michael`s is it going to take?! Not wanting to be a "told you so" either; we as a species cannot keep sleep walking over the cliff of ignorance much longer. The WAKE UP call is here. Michael is a direct result of record warm water in October in the Gulf of Mexico. How many lives must be lost before we learn the sad lessons that a school child would grasp easily. No more excuses; the time to act is NOW!

  61. @Mark the rest of the world needs to start punishing the US for their inaction by every means possible. Perhaps the only way to reduce US CO2 emissions is by forcing its economy to slow down or collapse.

  62. My heart goes out to those suffering this devastation. And I sincerely hope that they remember this when they go to the polls next month. Don't vote for politicians who deny climate change.

  63. @Jacqueline Gauvin
    Despite volumes and volumes of scientific evidence by experts all over the world, Republicans continue to deny that man has any impact on climate change.

    When something does not make sense, follow the money $$$.

    The GOP is in the pocket of the fo$$il fuel industries, completely bought and paid for.

    The GOP are not allowed to even consider the possibility that we may be contributing to the demise of our own planet.

  64. My first thought upon seeing this photo is that this is exactly how I feel every minute since The Con Don and his Robber Baron brethren inhabited OUR white house and OUR governments. I especially feel that way today as the global stock markets drop like rocks. They are doing everything in their power to plunder and destroy governments around the world.

    Florida could have prevented this devastation but good old boy Ric Scott would rather have destruction so he and his Robber Baron brethren can get OUR hard-earned taxpayer dollars to rebuild. Florida is a great tax haven. Let them claw back all the un-taxed wealth they have allowed for decades and rebuild it themselves.

    I no longer feel bad for the people who live there and are too "busy", greedy or disinterested to vote for Socially Conscious Women and men who will plan for and help protect them from these yearly hurricanes.

  65. @njglea
    "My first thought upon seeing this photo is that this is exactly how I feel every minute since The Con Don and his Robber Baron brethren inhabited OUR white house and OUR governments. "

    No, that is NOT "exactly how you feel..." unless YOU have been a natural disaster victim, whose home and possessions have been destroyed.

    I am a Superstorm Sandy victim residing in New York State, who has been a lifelong Democrat, who have voted straight Democratic my entire life. I voted for President Obama. ,feel as you do about Trump, and his cronies, and I can tell you from experience, that that feeling is NOTHING compared to having one's home and possessions destroyed, being displaced, & struggling for years to to rebuild one's home and life.

    "I no longer feel bad for the people who live there and are too "busy", greedy or disinterested to vote for Socially Conscious Women and men who will plan for and help protect them from these yearly hurricanes."

    If you can not feel bad for traumatized natural disaster victims, then you are a cruel and cold-hearted individual.

    Did you have any compassion for Sandy victims who live in New York State ,who despise Trump and his cronies as much as you do, who are socially conscious , who are staunch Democrats ,whose electoral votes went to Hillary Clinton and President Obama, or did you post those "OUR tax dollars shouldn't go to those (TAXPAYERS!!!!) who live near the coast....." as so cold hearted commenters did ?

  66. First I would like to say as an American how sad I am for those who once again on the east coast are going thru another devastating hurricane. The loss of life and property is tragic. But its so heart warming to know that trump still found time to attend one of his "all about him rallies" while the eye of the storm was going across several states as he spoke. He slammed Obama for playing golf and attending a rally after a hurricane. trump has already played more golf in less than 2 years than Obama played in 8. trump is and has always been the biggest hypocrite when it comes to what he says and what he actually does. It will always puzzle me and the majority of Americans how saying the economy numbers are good, unemployment is down, so they put up with his sad behavior. I say the numbers will continue to go up and down but they are not worth sacrificing common decency. The economy was already in a good state before trump , so he still gets no credit. Vote blue in November if you agree!

  67. Maybe this will convince hurricane victims in Trumpland that climate change is not "a giant hoax." Maybe not. But if Republicans in Congress still refuse to acknowledge what scientists around the world are warning them of, they'd better be prepared to allocate a lot more funding for FEMA.

  68. @Christy Dems would be smart to run campaign ads on a split screen with Trump mocking the latest climate change report juxtaposed to footage from hurricane Michael.

  69. @Christy you can't reason with quantitatively-challenged people who can't grasp the concept of rate of change let alone cause and effect. "A hurricane has happened before"is all it takes to feed their disbelief in climate change.

  70. Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, elections have consequences. Just keep telling yourselves global warming is a hoax and sending its deniers to Washington.

  71. I so wish we would commit, as a nation, to figuring out how to free ourselves of fossil fuels and lead the world to a new era. The chance to be proud again of this great nation and join in a common goal, would be inspiring thing and the best possible legacy to leave our children.

  72. @Patrick
    Love it but a few million Americans stand in the way. And our election financing laws.

  73. Horrible devastation as the second major Hurricane hits the UIS this year. Why did the storm gain power so rapidly and why are Hurricanes becoming more frequent and more severe? Why are we seeing more wildfires and droughts across the nation and the world? Climate Change.

    Global warming is not a hoax, or a theory, it is reality. The evidence is overwhelming and yet Trump wants to burn more coal and feels that a political rally is more important than addressing a national disaster.

  74. Will this hurricane make climate change part of the political discussion now till November 6? If not, it will be another missed opportunity to connect the dots and act accordingly.

  75. @Judy -- Sadly no. he Kochs/Adelson/Mercer gangs and Bible Science proponents will ensure that it is not.

  76. Sure, like school shootings get American politicians to do something.

  77. This is all Trump's fault. Why isn't he preventing global warming?

  78. @No Trump is doing the opposite. He pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement. He wants to burn more coal. He wants to release more methane. He is doing nothing to advocate for conservation, and he says he's a conservative! He's doing nothing to preserve the planet or to preserve oil, coal and gas for future generations. He's a walking joke.

  79. Vote Blue. For the people who believe in science and climate change

  80. Hey Republican governor Rick Scott, how's that climate change denial working out for Florida, where your biggest city will under water in a few decades?

    We in the "high tax" Blue States will look forward to paying to rebuild your "small government" state. Again.

    Full sympathy towards the victims of this devastating storm. Zero sympathy for those who don't want to face reality and pay the costs of preparation and climate change mitigation.

  81. @David I'm sure its working out for him just fine. I'm not sure how many Miami residents voted for Scott anyway.

    Climate change - making Florida redder.

    Maybe it's all part of his plan.

  82. @David "Full sympathy towards the victims of this devastating storm. Zero sympathy for those who don't want to face reality and pay the costs of preparation and climate change mitigation." They are the same people. Florida voters, any coastal voters, whether dirt poor Fox fools or filthy rich I-got-mine types, are likely to be voting Republican.

  83. Blaming Donald Trump in any manner or degree for Hurricane Michael may make Democrats feel good but it’s silly.

    In fact, it’s just as silly as Trump claiming that if his proposed border wall had been built, the storm would have been stopped at Mexico Beach before it had a chance to wreak havoc throughout the South.

  84. @Jay Orchard

    Trump will earn his credit for future devastating storms. Not only is he doing nothing to slow climate change, he is trying to accelerate it with his promotion of coal and lowering of emissions controls on cars and other pollutants. The UN report released on Monday makes it clear that storms will worsen and devastation along the coasts will be unavoidable because of warming and rising oceans. Trump's outrageous lack of leadership in dealing with this massive global problem will literally kill many Americans and others in the future.

  85. Nothing in this article blames Donald Trump for anything, but many of these comments do make an attempt to blame him for his tin ear and lack of empathy. Worst of all is his utter denial of reality. This is only going to get much worse while he and his Koch puppet-masters are all in for more of the same.

  86. @Jay Orchard

    I blame each of Trump's POTUS predecessors, and the entire US congress, throughout the 30 years it's been since James Hansen warned us our fossil fuel emissions were warming the globe. If rational economic policies, e.g. a US national carbon fee and dividend, had been enacted then, the warming would have stopped by now, and global climate begun to stabilize, with global economic growth powered by carbon-neutral energy supplies and infrastructure.

    By now, we know about the long-term disinformation campaign, funded by fossil fuel producers and investors, to ensure official denial of anthropogenic climate change in the ensuing decades. Americans are now paying, in money and tragedy, for the deferred costs of our addiction to fossil fuels as a result. Increasing numbers of our fellow citizens are directly affected, and we all pay taxes to relieve their losses. The longer we wait to decarbonize the US economy, the higher the costs will mount.

    It's still not too late to limit the damage before it overwhelms us. Collective action is required, however, and that makes global warming a political problem. In our country, collective decisions are ultimately made by vote. It's possible our style of democracy isn't up to the challenge of anthropogenic climate change, but I, for one, am not ready to give up yet. Please see for more information on Carbon Fee and Dividend with Border Adjustment Tariff, then contact your elected representatives.

  87. [[“All of America sends its unwavering love and support,” Trump said at the rally. “We will spare no effort, no expense, no resource to help these great fellow citizens of ours who are going through a tough time right now.”]]

    But Puerto Rico, they can eat a bag of dirt.

  88. @Third.coast: It was not Trump that made Puerto Ricans reject statehood. It was their own greed. They did not want to pay federal income taxes, so they voted no. Why should American taxpayers reward that decision, and why should we pay for the corruption and dilapidated infrastructure that contributed greatly to the destruction of the hurricane? I prefer to help American citizens who do pay taxes, and who do maintain their roads, bridges, and electrical grid in preparation for storms like this.

  89. *The survivors can eat a bag of dirt

  90. A disgusting despicable “president”.

  91. Trump said he'd spare no expense in helping the victims of Hurricane Michael while he held a pep rally for himself. Every time Trump holds one of these pep rallies for himself (which seem to be happening more and more) it costs the US taxpayers 3 million dollars. Maybe we'd have more money for victims and for climate control if Trump wasn't spending 3 million every few days to throw big parties around the country for himself. Maybe if Trump stayed at the White House and actually did some work...

  92. @Linda Well this president gets more official work done in a day that say Obama or Hillary could in a week or more. What "work" does he personally do? Read some briefing books like Obama? Say we can't be civil like Hillary? And his work goes with him as well.

  93. As a trump supporter can you please write him and tell him to start making policies to combat climate change? It’s so important to address this and he might listen to you. He won’t listen to science.

  94. Too emotional headline on the main page, a more accurate on on the actual article. Just not journalism. Now the damage is bad, but most of the panhandle is not badly effected, and since it is a place with plans and help improvements will be fast.

  95. @vulcanalex

    It seems to me the article was accurate in describing the damage to the Panhandle region. While the locals certainly will rebuild, articles like this will spur support and donations from charities and congregations across the country as well as help from the Federal government (through our taxes). Maybe in the future, the journalists should consult with you first for more relevant information and perhaps pick up some writing pointers from your third grade grammar and syntax.

  96. Miami-Dade County level building code requirements are needed in the FL Panhandle and coastal south for this new post-climate-change world. They have lagged in every way and failed to require stronger building codes. 155 mph winds would devastate south Florida too, but the stronger building code requirements put into place after Andrew would help somewhat.

  97. The Florida panhandle is as red as it gets and a bastion of Trump supporters (read “climate change deniers”). I want to feel sorry for what these people are going through, but i just can’t. They are voting for ignorance about what we’re doing to this planet and will no doubt continue to do so this fall. And now, we’re all going to pay to rebuild and reward this ignorance of FACTS.

  98. Given the trend in how these storms are appearing and given the knowledge we have about global warming, including the recent terrifying U.N. report, storms like Michael would be just the beginning of the worst, not the end. This doesn't get better and go away. And considering the present White House occupant's lack of understanding or even a willingness to understand global warming, nothing is also being done to ameliorate this disaster. Therefor we have no choice, get used to it.

  99. Here’s a few small and big steps each of us can take to improve our situation:

    1. Donate to or volunteer for the Red Cross or other emergency response organizations.

    2. Switch to an electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle. There are large federal and state incentives available now.

    3. Recycle, compost or reuse what you can.

    4. Use LED light bulbs where possible.

    5. Improve your home’s energy efficiency. Check your local utility for rebates.

    6. Adjust your thermostat by a couple degrees in summer and winter if you can.

    7. Vote November 6 for candidates who embrace education, science and environmental protection; candidates who accept that humans are disrupting the climate and who have the political spine to seek solutions.

  100. Despite the frustration I expressed yesterday, I am very sorry for the people and creatures enduring this.

  101. It’s time for some midterm candidates to bring climate change front and center—

    Like Bernie Sanders did for single-payer universal coverage.

  102. Only two dead from this storm. And that could have been avoided by not being under a tree. This wasn’t that bad. Hurricanes of the past killed so many more. That is because the hurricanes of the past were stronger and more frequent.

  103. No, it’s because we have more advance warning these days, even for a storm that came as quickly as Michael. Courtesy of those pesky scientists you ignore whenever they tell you something you don’t want to hear.

  104. Forgive me. Why is it that I never feel that this President is ever talking to me? Even on times of despair and grief for many of our citizens, he always seems to be obtusely talking to someone else, not me.

    I know that the president said: “We will spare no effort, no expense, no resource to help these great fellow citizens of ours who are going through a tough time right now.”

    However, this is what I heard: “We will spare no effort, no expense, no resource to help these great fellow citizens, of the Greatest Southern Confederacy, who are going through a tough time right now.”

  105. @Truth Is True - That's easy to answer. Trump doesn't care if every single American citizen dies a slow painful death. He's gleefully poisoning our air and water and damaging our environment.

  106. This is heartbreaking for anyone who has experienced loss and devastation from a big storm like Michael. Two takeaways are, as many commenters have noted, that first, global climate change is real. These storms are not going away. The second is the rebuild aspect. Why do we keep making the same mistakes over and over again in hurricane-prone areas? The aftermath of a hurricane is where the real challenge is; to rebuild living and working spaces more thoughtfully and better suited to an area's topography, ecology, and climate. Look what happened to Houston, which is in a low-lying flood plain. Do we have to keep banging our heads against the wall, when we have the capabilities and resources to better plan for the future, especially where human lives are concerned?

  107. I don't want to think that there is any pattern here because that doesn't benefit me. Each hurricane is just the normal course of events or God's will or fate, so why make inconvenient changes? I don't want to be deprived of my SUV that no one rides in but me. I don't want my house to be the slightest bit warm in the summer or cool in the winter. I'm rich enough to afford anything I want including wasting things I bought and no longer want. I refuse to pay taxes for any benefit to my country or the earth; it's my money I earned by myself for my pleasure, even if I only "earned" it by having inherited money to gamble with in the Wall St casino. Sure, I have kids, but their future is their problem, not mine. Anyway, I can leave my heirs enough money that they'll always come out on top, even if hordes of distant wretches in poor countries just die, or make futile attempts to migrate. So it's all good. /s

  108. Having just lived through Florence, I am horrified to see the damage in Florida and hope that Floridians get every bit of help that they need regardless of party, race, gender or religion. I could never wish something like this on another human being.

  109. @Sally - I hope so as well and I hope Floridians will go to the polls in November and vote for the candidates who truly want to help them now and in the future.

  110. Republican Climate Policy at work... intriguing approach to creating new jobs in construction.

  111. While there has been scathing criticism by a number of commenters of those who did not evacuate, many of whom did not evacuate because they could not, due to illness, disability, lack of means to do so, to protect their homes from looters, and so forth, where is the criticism of the New York Times, which sent reporters and crews towards into a path of a Category Hurricane, endangering the lives of it's reporters and crew members, and those of first responders who should not be placed in a position to rescue reporters who rush into town, when residents who live there are urged to evacuate ?!!

    Where is the criticism of the foolish reporters and camera crews who stand outside during a Category Four Hurricane, imperiling their own lives, while those same reporters interview local residents who did not evacuate, and inquire as to the reason why the residents did not evacuate ?!!

    I live in Long Beach, New York. While residents were evacuating prior to Superstorm Sandy, and prior to Hurricane Irene, reporters were standing near the ocean, out in the howling winds, filming the storm surge, staying in the top floors of hotels where RESIDENTS who could not evacuate could have stayed ?!!!

  112. Mother Nature is getting her revenge by showing the climate change deniers (and unfortunately all the rest of us as well) how bad it can be for Humanity to ignore the warnings that we have already heard about how Humans, (Yes Donald, Humans) by burning coal and oil and raising CO2 levels in the atmosphere, are destroying the balance of Nature. Everybody will suffer in the end. Even those who don't drive gas guzzling cars or fly in airplanes. We can fix the problem immediately by replacing fossil fuels with non-carbon energy sources. But instead we vote for ignorant fat-cats like Trump who help their cronies get rich by selling pollutants to the detriment of the entire planet. How sad for our grandchildren and future generations not yet born.

  113. Florida, Georgia, the Carolina's. These are Trump states. You voted for him so you must not mind getting torn apart once or twice per year. And those of us in Wisconsin will continue to foot your rebuilding bill. Well done.

  114. Trump and Red State America may bash California for its wildfires, but the cost of fire fighting and recovery there is nowhere near as high as the tens of billions the country is now spending to replace infrastructure and houses on the Atlantic Coast. Fine, let the Red States deny global warming, but let's cut off disaster relief money from these areas and see how long they continue to deny it. If we are in a period of "new federalism", maybe it is time for the West Coast and other more progressively-thinking areas to take their tax money and go home.

  115. The Trump administration has proposed to decrease the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s budget by 20 percent in fiscal year 2019.....would cut hundreds of weather forecasting positions....
    -News Feb, 2018

    That says it all. Floridians and other coastal States need to take notice. This will only make things worse. Less forecasting equals less notice, which equals more deaths and destruction.

  116. The world has been on this path to global climate change for many decades. While some leaders have made small changes to try to mitigate overall temperature rise (and other leaders have later undid those changes for short-term political gains) the fact is that we are well beyond the "small changes" stage. What is needed is a sudden and drastic decrease in carbon consumption worldwide, but governments don't deal in "sudden" and "drastic" changes so little, if anything, is being done. The time to act was 30 years ago.

    Unfortunately, as the seas continue to warm storms like this will be the new normal, not a once in a century event.

  117. Photos Please - more effective and time effective than videos!

  118. These comments are disgusting. Almost every comment is about Trump and republicans.

    How about commenting on the actual news at hand rather than constantly bringing in Trump and the republicans. It is nauseating.

    A hurricane hit and the damage is great. Let's mourn for the victims.

    Moving forward, after mourning and giving condolences do we discuss politics. Have some decency people

  119. @Hunter After watching the trump rally that took place during this destruction, I am filled with hate. Isn't that the purpose of these rallies - remove decency and fill the void with hate? Hate Hate Hate Hate Hate Hate

  120. @Hunter - Pay attention. The people commenting here are the ones who are footing the bill for the recovery.

    We're the ones who have been demanding responsible energy policy, proper FEMA funding etc.

    Disgusting is voting for hateful bigots and liars like Trump and company who will make suffering worse for all of us.

  121. This reminds me of Trump and the GOP’s reaction after recent mass shootings (Vegas and Parkland): now is not the time to discuss about firearms regulations, now is the time to mourn and pray. According to your reasoning, there is never a good time to work about serious decisions and prevention. Before, nothing is happening so why bother? Now is the time to mourn. Later, everything will be forgotten so there’ no hurry. Is that how politics are supposed to work?

  122. Al Gore was right.

  123. I feel this is a warning from God to the Catholics and evangelicals in N and S Carolinas you keep supporting the evil Trump / GOP and their culture of corruption you will be underwater permanently. God asked us to save his planet for the next generations and Pope Francis pleas also . That does not mean support a political party bringing back toxic deadly coal and keep using and looking for more fossil fuels. It is all on you at the end of the day theater you meet Jesus at the end of your life or the other guy. I say you will see the other guy.

  124. It's nice to know our President, Donald J. Trump, was sensitive enough to stay at the Whitehouse to monitor what's going on with the storm, but not Donald Trump.

    While peoples lives were being torn apart and changed forever, this Clown saw fit to hold a fundraiser and 2016 Campaign rally in 2018, as the storm was ravaging Florida and Georgia, really good decision.

    This is the idiot who tweeted out criticizing President Obama for having a fund raiser a week after hurricane Sandy hit; I guess figured that during the storm with people dying, their homes and businesses being destroyed at that moment, no one would notice or care that he saw fit to travel to Pennsylvania to hold a campaign event...….a really compassionate man...NOT!

  125. Of course Mr. Compassion chose to attend another Nuremberg-style rally in Erie, PA, rather than monitor the storm and offer comfort to the millions impacted by Hurricane Michael. Predictable behavior from the psychotic-in-chief.

  126. While the hurricane hit and trump rallied in Erie, PA did he continue to boast about the record stock market level?

  127. Wish the Koch Brothers CO2 Cartel would fund FEMA instead of buying elections.

  128. Thoughts and Prayers to Rick Scott, Climate Change Denier.

  129. And paper towels too.

  130. Lets talk about the elephant in the room - These rallies are shameful. Just imagine if anyone in the previous administration held a political rally on the eve of a natural disaster so as 'not to disappoint his fans'.
    NYT - please explain to your readers how unethical, unprofessional, unpresidential, hypocritical and I could go on and on. Every time, point it out. Compare it to what his job description actually is. Be clear. He does not represent us.

  131. Next time Floridians start to punch their ballots for Republicans, they might pause and think, "gee, maybe there is something to this global warming."

  132. Trump fundraises and rallies while Florida gets trashed. Trump only cares about Trump. Vote out GOP. Ray Sipe

  133. Floridians: remember that when Florida sinks beneath the waves the wealthy who preach God and coal and ignorance can just move away. You (and other taxpayers) will be facing fate alone. That’s why it’s important to choose the right friends.

  134. Politicians, be careful what you say about the contribution of global warming to the strength and devastation of recent hurricanes. The Koch brothers will primary you if you’re a Republican and slime you with millions in false advertising if you’re a Democrat. The political winds will be every bit as fierce as the storm winds if you cross them in any meaningful way.

  135. Some commenters here need psychiatric help. The hate expressed toward residents of the coast is like religious fanaticism. You don’t know how they voted or what they believe.

    Yes it’s good to be concerned with global warming, even though personally I think it’s too late, but let’s not wish death on those we imagine to disagree with us.

  136. @M Davis - Religious fanaticism is what Trump followers are engaging in. Blindly following a liar who is busy poisoning their air and water.

    If you want to talk about hatred let's talk about the hate crimes towards gay people and people of color. Let's talk about the horrible language used towards women. Let's talk about the small children being taken from their parents and locked in cages.

    Liberals hate greed, dishonesty, injustice and hypocrisy and Trump and his supporters are engaging in all of those things.

  137. There is no weather that can't be controlled by Trump. This is why most of the GOP denies that global warming is occurring.

    Trump gave a massive tax cut to himself and his friends in order to ensure that there is no money for cleanups on the scale required here. Why?

    Because the point of this administration is to finally and completely cut off all government funds in order to bankrupt the country and force the US to sell its federal lands to people like Trump and his friends for pennies on the dollar. This is already happening.

    Trump's best business "ability" is to abuse the bankruptcy system which he has done extensively throughout his supposedly glorious business career-in which he has lost a great deal of dear old dad's money. If government funds are used to clean up in Florida, their use will become a justification for terminating all medical care and Social Security for the rest of us.

    It is time for people to think about their positions on our contribution to destructive weather, government, financial abuse, community, greed, and taxes.

    Using your brain is not an elitist idea (no matter what Fox and friends says) THINK.

  138. Astonishing amount of destruction, and the sheer force of the winds and tidal surge, just remarkable. I hope that not many Floridians perished because of this monumental storm, but the commercial and residential losses are unbelievable.

    That being said, enough with climate change deniers. Governors like Rick Scott, who have refused to believe in climate change because it is politically inconvenient, and thus has made no zoning or building plans, should be sued for criminal neglect in class action suits by affected citizens. They can easily prove that Scott and other government officials and agencies, state and local, have criminally neglected their duties to serve the public, and protect, and have willfully neglected information on the environment that should be shaping policy. And if people have died because of this woeful lack of responsible government, then let the charges reflect that.

  139. My deepest heart felt condolences to the victims and survivors. My neighborhood was four feet under water and the city of New Orleans was devastated. We came back after years of hard work and help from our government and fellow citizens. We must as a country continue to support ALL of our fellow Americans in time of crisis.

    And to Mr. Trump... climate change is real! Among all of your egregious denials about global warming, you must STOP promising your buddies like Robert Murray, who owns Murray Energy (a coal mining co.), a big favor to subsidize his coal, for donating millions to your campaign. Burning coal is taking us backwards to the 1800's in energy efficiency and to a cleaner environment! That's making America great again!? We should be subsidizing new energy source development, re-train and put those coal miners to work in a clean energy industry. But NO, you use your denials of global warming to pay off polluters! Superstorms cost big money too! Take your pick...

  140. When tornadoes hit far inland such as tornado alley, and you live in a normal structure home or even if you live in a mobile home, it is best to also create an underground shelter. In this area you can expect destruction.

    Devastation in Houston by Harvey happened. Houston is only 50 miles from the coast Galveston. In 1900 Galveston storm killed over 8,000 people. When warned of impending doom, be quick and get out of Dodge.

    By a river or by the sea has to be the most dangerous places to live. If you must live there because of your job, leave as soon as you are warned of incoming danger. If you just like the water, fishing, the ocean, etc., leave as soon as you are warned. Expect to lose your property but save your life and your family.

    New Orleans and New York are by the ocean and under sea level?

  141. Trump, once he gets past his red meat bromides to his most ardent supporters about how fragile men are these days or oldy-but-goody Lock Her Up chant, perhaps then he will give a shout out to all those suffering along our Gulf Coast. I wouldn't bet on it though.

  142. So I am an ardent environmentalist who lives in a very red state and owns a vacation home a mere 25 miles from Panama City beach. I am disgusted by the tone-deaf climate warming commenters. You haven’t been through a catastrophe. Help us fight climate change! Donate smart thermostats to Habitat for Humanity because they will be presumably rebuilding in Mexico Beach.
    Correct me if I’m wrong but I haven’t been in any blue states that are running on decentralized power, have rethought monoculture ag, or provide free birth control for all women? Every day you and I make consumer choices that matter. “Drawdown The Most Comprehensive Plan to Reverse Global Warming” is a guide. Reduce food waste by 50% = 26.2 gigatons CO2 saved. Eat plants. Educate girls #6. Install a smart thermostat by 2050 saves 2.62 gigatons CO2. Oh and if we do get a blue wave in a month, force those politicians into major changes like ag insurance only for regenerative agriculture or subsidies for silvopasture. Resources for composting. Regulations requiring plastic reduction. BLM no longer allowed to deforest standing forests for commercial use. Replanting forest programs. Major reduction of ag runoff. Yes see if you can get Dems or any politician to do this. Take the fight into your town councils and state houses because that is where big scale change starts. Make changes in your own life. Help other Americans in need.

  143. @Change Happens - You make some good points but it's wrong to say blue states haven't been hit by climate disasters.

    California, Oregon etc. have dealt with drought and fire. Here in Vermont we've dealt with flooding (from Irene) as well as this year's drought and problems caused by record heat.

  144. Finally we will loose all together Nature doesn’t care about red or blue voters What a silly idea

  145. Michael makes it 27 hundred-year storms in the past 20 years. Yet, our current administration says climate change is minimal.

  146. Will the next storm surge be in a few weeks when voters are finally fed up enough to drown climate change deniers like Rick Scott?

  147. The commentariat is just being silly and showing off their ignorance and hate.

    There is no evidence that there has been in increase in the frequency or intensity of hurricanes. So there is no link to global warming -- and the evidence that the globe is warming is pretty weak.

    But, this gives all the lefties a chance to blame Trump. That's idiotic. IF you don't like Trump, fine. But even the most alarmed of alarmists you can't make a case that Trump has anything to do with global warming.

  148. Trump left the Paris agreement called global warming a hoax from China but has nothing to do with it strange....

  149. @Ralphie

    From the MIT tropical cyclone expert Kerry Emanuel:

    "Here I define an index of the potential destructiveness of hurricanes based on the total dissipation of power, integrated over the lifetime of the cyclone, and show
    that this index has increased markedly since the mid-1970s.

    This trend is due to both longer storm lifetimes and greater storm intensities. I find that the record of net hurricane power dissipation is highly correlated with tropical sea surface temperature,reflecting well-documented climate signals, including multi-decadal oscillations in the North Atlantic and North Pacific, and global warming.

    My results suggest that future warming may lead to an upward trend in tropical cyclone destructive potential,
    and taking into account an increasing coastal population,
    a substantial increase in hurricane-related losses in the twenty-first century."

  150. My sympathy to those affected.

    As usual: American Red Cross and others will welcome cash donations. I have sent one.