Search and Rescue Begins Amid Ruins of Florida Coast

A vast operation took shape across the Florida Panhandle and beyond, with at least six deaths linked to the storm.

Comments: 219

  1. Kudos to the interpreter! She interpreted for my son when we lived in Tallahassee. She has been doing it for over 20 years and she is the best! Go Stevie!

  2. Vote Republican and vote with climate change deniers. Gulf waters were over 3 degrees above normal for this time of year. Now deal with the consequences.

    I feel sorry for the destruction and feel sorry for the loss of human life. I don’t feel sorry for human stupidity, and I am angry to know that all Americans will foot the bill to rebuild in the same vulnerable areas. It should be “build at your own peril” with no insurance and no gov assistance to rebuild should (when, not if) it happen again.

  3. @BWCA I'm reminded of a NewsHour feature this week on south Florida flooding as the world grows warmer, and showing a new house build on one of the islands in Biscayne Bay for "eight figures," a house nine-feet above the waterline with storm-resistant construction. It would be above water for only 30 years as things stand now.

    It's as stupid as spending those "eight figures" on a heroin habit.

  4. If build-at-your-own-peril becomes federal policy, will that also not deprive some tradtionally Democratic areas of government assistant when they are struck by natural disasters? That would include not only the folks in New York and New Jersey whose property was damaged during Hurricane Sandy, but also the damage to be wrought in California when the long-anticipated and overdue big earthquake finally arrives.

  5. @BWCA The kinder way to do that would be to provide assistance for people to move away and start over further inland, but no help for those who want to rebuild again in the same area.

  6. There needs to be more discussion about planning how people will have to retreat to less weather-vulnerable areas and where that is not possible, strengthening critical structures like hospitals, other emergency services, schools and roads, etc. And this is over and above the concept of rebuilding the nation's crumbling infrastructure due to old age.

    Devastating consequences of climate change during a Trump presidency - talk about a perfect storm.

  7. Nero fiddled while Rome burned. As Michael smashed into our country uprooting and devastating the lives of our citizens, Trump was in Pennsylvania telling his peeps how wonderful he is. What a continual embarrassment. Will the line never be crossed in terms of his behavior?!?

  8. @RSM Were you expecting the president to magically redirect the hurricane?

  9. The devastation is horrific. The most powerful storm in decades is rapidly becoming a frequent occurrence. Hurricane prediction is now inaccurate because the models can’t account for warmer ocean surface temperatures. We are all standing on the train tracks with an oncoming train, only some of us don’t believe in trains. I guess the coal miners can’t see the destruction from their house. Meanwhile the entire planet received this week’s dire news about intensifying climate woes with horror. The republicans want to continue their high-stakes game of let’s pretend.

    Vote. Your children’s and grandchildren’s lives depend on it.

  10. @Ellie- where to you get your "Facts" from? The models are taking into account warmer waters.. geez, I thought Trump was bad with his "facts".

  11. @Ellie

    I visit the NHC site almost daily since I travel to the tropics frequently. The models are incredibly accurate and satellite imagery is readily available. If you read any Caribbean histories, like I do, you will know that not long ago we had no predictive models at all. But we definitely had hurricanes. We know about them from records of destruction, not from records of advance notice.

  12. @Ellie
    Climate Change and the environment is an issue Democrats can rally voters around successfully... but ONLY if they effectively REMIND voters how Trump and the Republican Congress have conducted themselves in the last two years.

  13. The day is coming when this type of storm and story won't make the front page.

    Remember this, and take comfort from it: There is no global warming (and if there is, man has had nothing to do with it). Climate change happens all the time. There is nothing we can do about it.

    The preceding message brought to you by your dedicated Republican representatives, senators and president.

  14. Fortunately, sarcasm and irony are not lost in the NYT. I remember when many Republicans were worried about climate change before they started denying it. Guess they decided carbon free didn't work well within their capitalist profit margin forecasts. Just not cost effective to save the planet.

  15. We should label all relief sent to help out "GLOBAL WARMING RELIEF" so the people in Florida will know the rest of us understand the problems they are and will be having with ocean storms.

  16. Michael is teaching us some tough lessons. Coastal areas need to set high standards for building codes, especially in emergency services. Unless America becomes a "pay-as-you-go" society, we have to make the coasts safer for people and property, just as earthquake zones have building codes there. Rebuilding is what humans do. Improving the structures is what government must oversee.

  17. The President and Republicans continue to deny climate change while the New York Times is about the only paper trying to educate the public. Unfortunately, it is oft preaching to the choir and few people read anymore. The TV media (CNN and MSNBC) have almost ignored it, worrying more about ratings. The Democrats have not lead on this issue. While Rome Burns, the Dems and TV media nervously await Nero's next tweet.

  18. Most of the lives lost in Puerto Rico due to hurricane Maria occured to elderly people with chronic illnesses. These decompensated due to the abrupt change in their daily routine. Mainly, they suffered due to prolonged loss of power, change in their diet to high calorie, fat and salt food and lack of access to insulin and refrigeration. The dire situation led to high levels of stress and loss of family support. Immediate attention should be taken to assist the elderly and the sick. Reconstruction can wait.

  19. The damage due to Hurricane Michael seems unimaginable but considering a lot of the structures were built with card board and flimsy materials one can only hope that all future structures will be brick and concrete and able to withstand severest storms.

    Climate change seen today is the result of decades of environmental pollution and hopefully we all as individuals will do our part to reduce chances of catastrophic climate change but it may also be a good idea to not keep building and populating areas devastated by storms.

  20. Better idea, stop voting GOP they think climate change is a hoax.

  21. We have reached the point in our country where both once-in-a-lifetime storms and mass shootings are now expected as the new normal. So very sad

  22. Ho-hum: a perfunctory "thoughts and prayers, etc., etc." Trump was too busy campaigning to tweet this, so I'll do it for him.

    I do hope Floridians aren't expecting any useful help from FEMA, or any federal tax dollars to mitigate this obvious effect of climate change!

    You've gotten the government you voted for, and the FL panhandle painted itself bright red in 2016....

  23. And in 2000.

  24. @Lifelong Democrat

    Along with the "perfunctory 'thoughts and prayers, etc., etc." will be a slow rebuilding of the same shoddy structures, a re-erecting of ugly utility poles and re-stringing of wires, low-areas and wetlands built over with structures and/or asphalt, under-sized retention ponds, glass-faced high rises where no building or road should be, bulldozing of mangroves -- natural coastal protection -- if any are left, deregulation of sensible land use, and on and on, ad infinitum.

    We Americans are a money-obsessed and ignorant bunch.

  25. @Lifelong Democrat

    I have come to hate that phrase “thoughts and prayers.” Whether it’s in reference to school shootings, massacres, wildfires, hurricanes and tornadoes, it’s overuse has come to mean: “ I don’t really care.”

  26. Did DJT mention Hurricane Michael at his rally last night, the devastation wrought on the people of Florida, Georgia, Alabama and the Carolinas or take up a collection among his followers to help those affected?
    Were there words of support, empathy, kindness or concern?
    Would his " followers" really have been devastated if he hadn't shown up or was this statement a decoy for the $250,000 raised beforehand by his more influential contributors?
    Just wondering.

  27. i don't think so. All he cared about was himself and getting the Republican to vote for the Florida candicate his endorsing.

  28. The building pictured is obviously poorly built. The neighboring building is well built. The difference in damage is striking. The only damage to the neighboring building is from the pieces of poorly constructed buildings flying into it.

  29. Driving through parts of Florida in the months after a hurricane I've made the same observation.

  30. @Jim
    The neighboring building has serious roof damage and may have benefitted from protection by the one in front that was destroyed as it deflected some of the winds.

  31. As awful as Michael was, let's hope the Republican state and federal government controlled by climate deniers is a lot better than the awful spectacle of tossing paper towels to Puerto Ricans. We are facing the new environmental normal that hurricane-prone coastal areas are no longer safe for human habitation. It's time to help our citizens rebuild in areas away from the coasts and not on flood plains with state-of-the-art storm proof construction. Instead, these areas should be rededicated as national parks and recreation areas. It's time to face the grim reality that Mother Nature coupled with our political unwillingness to move away from global warming fossil fuels is bringing to the entire southeast from the Gulf of Mexico to the Carolinas and to California and the Northwest with drought and equally destructive fires. These storms are only going to get worse both in terms of frequency and destructiveness until we decide to rollback the climate change that's causing them and that an entire political party denies.

  32. It's long past time to force some common sense about prevention.

  33. The coverage of these events over the past two years - the affected areas of Houston, Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands, the Carolinas and now Florida/Georgia - lays bare a disturbing condition in the United States. You see images of peoples lives in ruins, but there is also an overwhelming sense there are millions of people that get by on a day-by-day basis and live with barely a roof over their heads. Many of the structures that are called homes, and neighboring businesses, strip malls and even public buildings, are shoddily made and maintained, with a vulnerable infrastructure supporting them. It takes nothing to wipe them out. Then people have even less, and you wonder how they can recover just to get back to where they were before. The policies and "values" of this country have been trending further and further away from caring about basic community needs, leaving the individual in tatters after events like these, probably never able to get back on their feet.

  34. @MichaelS
    The neglect of the poor, and the hollowing out of the middle class can have no other result than chaos, instability and widespread suffering. In November 2016, we had a choice. We made the wrong one. The future does not look bright.

  35. @MichaelS

    The devastation you have listed only begins to cover the results of the hurricanes. In the past two years, there have been horrendous fires, floods and mudslides in California, AZ and other states in the Northwest. How many people died, were injured and/or lost everything they owned?

    Every autumn tends to showcase the absolute worst side of Mother Nature. I an no longer astonished by her devastation or destruction and that alone frightens the heck out of me. Have these horrible situations become so commonplace that they are now the new norm and have lost their shock reaction of the human race? If that is indeed true, then mankind is in deeper trouble and denial than imaginable.

  36. The argument over the cause of more unpredictable and threatening weather can continue but it is a moot point. It is here and not going away.
    Make plans and make changes for what the weather throws at you because it will be fierce.

  37. Florida has always been in the path of some of nature's angriest storms, yet the construction standards don't reflect an accounting for this known vulnerability.

    We shouldn't be hearing about 11 nursing facilities and four hospitals closed. Not after the last storm that came through Florida.

    Climate denial aside, there has to be agreement that preparedness is of the utmost importance in a state in which large-scale storms are the norm every year.

    What has become of the residents of the nursing facilities? Where were the hospital patients transferred to? What about residential buildings? How much damage?

    A lot of questions need to be answered. Many questions need to be asked of Florida officials. Telling people to evacuate or go to shelters isn't preparedness.

    Things Trump did while you weren't looking

  38. @Rima Regas good luck with that: This particular part of the panhandle is more rural and folks are poorer. They’re nobody’s priority.

  39. The state officials and county officials have more direct responsibility on building standards and I'm sure not all of these were erected in the past 24 months. To blame that on the current president is ludicrous.
    That said, FEMA should get some muscle in the game and force standards for construction in high risk areas so we don't have to repeatedly pay for cheap construction in high risk areas. Not to say abandon efforts, but limit repeated benefits.

  40. @Rima Regas As a former long time resident of Key West, and having see the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew, I can't imagine why anyone in their right mind would willing live in Florida these days.

  41. Prayers goes out to the communities of Florida.

  42. Where is Donald Trump and where is the federal help! Trump does not care. If you're not rich, and if you don't have a membership at Mar-a-Lago, Trump doesn't care. What a disgrace! Thoughts & prayers to the people of the Panhandle.

  43. @TSE Just let us know what the appropriate timing for this help should be - by daybreak? What?

  44. We’re just getting started. In the not so distant future, a Cat 4 or 5 will roll across Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or/and Jacksonville. Aircraft carriers and Joint Strike Fighters won’t provide any defense.

    It’s time to declare war on the causes of climate change.

  45. @Gimme Shelter Certainly we need to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions, but war implies that we can do something violent and "win". It's more complicated than that. You actually hint at that in your 1st paragraph.

    We need to work together to solve problems instead of finding victims to blame and assume that geopolitical boundaries affect the earth's dynamics.

  46. @Gimme Shelter -- the most vulnerable area of Florida is Tampa/St.Pete and its inland basin.

  47. The destruction in Florida is horrific and I have great sympathy for the people in those areas.

    However, once again President Trump is either lying or forgetful when he says "we've not seen destruction like that for a long time". A category 5 hurricane hit Puerto Rico just over a year ago causing equal, if not worse, destruction.

    To date electricity and water are still in trouble - sometimes available, sometimes not. Rebuilding aid is basically non-existent. Close to 4000 people died because of Hurricane Maria.

    Someone should tell Mr. Trump that Puerto Rico is part of the United States, that its people are U.S. Citizens and they got next to no help from the U.S. government.

  48. @Natalie Zuckerman "Rebuilding aid is basically non-existent"? Even the NYT has reported on rebuilding aid.

  49. Despite the growing severity of weather events, Trump is killing regulations that will reduce carbon pollution, and the GOP leadership is still denying the effects of climate change. Why? So that they can continue to get dirty oil and coal money from the Koch’s and others to fund their campaigns. GOP leaders care more about power than they do about people and the planet.

  50. After hurricane Andrew ravaged South Florida in 1992, we enacted some of the most stringent building codes in the country. The rest of Florida, including the panhandle did not follow suit. Hopefully in the future all structures in Florida will be built to withstand major hurricanes. That being said, even though my house has impact windows and other hurricane protection I would not stay in my house for a hurricane. Even if you survive the storm you were stuck in a house with no electricity, no AC, no food, no water for weeks. I learned a 1992 that you were crazy to stay for a storm

  51. @Ira Loewy
    Almost as crazy as living there if you don't have to! I'll shovel snow anyway rather than go through a hurricane. Lived through one in the fall of 1947 in Savannah, GA and fortunately was out of town when Matthew hit Hilton Head where I used to live. When Matthew hit, we were one of the few houses on the street that didn't have a tree through the roof or water drowning a garaged car.

  52. Not true. After Hurricane Ivan in 2002 devastated the Pensacola area, new construction has to be up to code. Look, I’ll be the first one to rag on the right wingers of the panhandle but better to look before scolding.

  53. I just submitted a letter. I said "nearly 4000 people have died from Maria. The correct figure is "nearly 3000".

  54. @Natalie Zuckerman We really don't know. Given the complete lack of communications and roads, and the shameful lack of power over many months, along with poisoned water etc., there are studies that say the number may actually be higher.

  55. And when it happened, Donald was further dividing America at one of his hate rallies. He couldn’t stop his hatred and division, even as Americans died.

  56. @CD USA

    Amazing that he gives a platform to Kanye West of all people to spew whatever. Meanwhile, people hurt and are perishing ... so sad.

  57. This hurricane reminds me of Camille in 1969. There is something about that quiet, shallow and warm Mississippi/Alabama and Panhandle gulf coast that when a storm slips in there it gains force unexpectedly. This was within a few MPH of a category 5 at landfall. As with Camille wind speed was still Hurricane strength well inland.

  58. Yes. I saw the devastation of Hurricane Camille. Horrifying.

  59. Maybe Koch's CO2 Cartel members would stop destroying the planet if they were forced to actually paid taxes to help clean up their messes. Billionaires buy elections so they don't have to pay taxes, and the rest of us shoulder the burdens. Rinse and Repeat.

  60. There's nothing 'beautiful' about 'clean' filthy coal and Gas Oil Pollution profits that cook the earth's atmosphere into a warped game of Russian-Republican Roulette that will destroy lives and property at an alarming rate.

    Solar, wind, geothermal, hydro, tidal and other evolving non-polluting forms of energy technology are the answers to this manmade global catastrophe.

    The answer resides in science, technology, education, awareness and the political will of the people to demand solutions.

    Tell the Grand Old Polluters to drop dead on November 6 2018 before they kill you with more 'free-DUMB !'.

  61. @Socrates

    I agree with all you said mate, but the greatest polluter of them all is meat related. If we could cut down on it (with all of its industrial production means, transport, pollution and the like), then not only would we have a greener planet, we would be a whole lot healthier.

    Just a thought...

  62. Exactly.

    The Other shunned and denied all important contributor to this unhealthy planet.

  63. @Socrates It would be nice if the collabo-GOP tried one of the "malign neglect" solutions they have for the "47%"--a large dose of opioids. Indeed, their radio cheerleader Rush has a history of such addiction. Maybe they can all OD.

  64. For anyone voting in any of these areas, please please please note that Rick Scott denies the logic and vast evidence that climate change/global warming is real and is here making things just that much worse. Trump and his political appointees are doing their best to replace knowledge with ignorance.

    And while you're at it, stop rebuilding in dangerous areas. Help people move rather than denying funds to the less expensive option.

    Developers and wealthy interests should not be taking funds that are desperately need to help people who actually need help, not those blind to the consequences of their short-term profit-driven actions.

  65. @Susan (allo luv)

    There seems to be a vast, vast industry that relies on FEMA, government tax dollars and the like to ''rebuild'' again, again, and again in the exact same spots that keep getting devastated. (as you point out)

    In some cases, (more and more) they are not even finished rebuilding from the last storm, when a new one blows or washes through.

    It would be comical if it weren't so sad and frustrating. Sigh...

  66. @Susan Anderson and nelson has done anything to help ? No.. Scott has been a good Governor, great economy, and now we have money to spend on environmental issues. You guys dont realise that if the economy tanks under poor leadership, there wont be any money or interest in fixing the environment. It isnt any wonder why the poorest countries are the worst polluters. It takes money to fight these battles.. Money that comes from a thriving economy.. In 2010, what was everyone talking about ? damn sure wasnt an algae bloom.. It was how im paying my mortgage and feeding my kids..

  67. Kinda ironic that the areas being devastated by hurricanes are mostly populated by people who vote for candidates who deny the existence of global warming.

  68. And they will line up shamelessly for FEMA handouts as they rail against the government and the rich blue states that support them, Matt.'s okay as long as rural, red state, religious, Republican hypocrites receive it: GOP 2018

    Whited Sepulchers R Us

    Nice GOPeople

  69. @Matt kinda ironic california burns every year and will eventually fall into the ocean.. Will you guys be looking for fema help when it happens ?

  70. @Socrates So right. I saw this with my own eyes after Hurricane Katrina. They grabbed all that federal money without a trace of irony.

  71. ''We are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right. Intellectually, it is possible to carry on this process for an indefinite time: the only check on it is that sooner or later a false belief bumps up against solid reality, usually on a battlefield.''

    That's from George Orwell's 1946 essay ''In Front of Your Nose.'' It seems especially relevant right now, as we survey the wreckage Hurricane Michael is the strongest hurricane ever to come ashore along the Florida Panhandle in records dating back to 1851.

    It was George Bush mush against the wide public knowledge claimed “portrayed a virtuous circle of nation-building, one that could eventually lead to a democratic Iraq, allied with the U.S”.

    Now it's Trump’s climate comments so ridiculously misinformed, we feel breathless.

    Americans clearly made a terrible mistake in electing Trump. However, they will have the opportunity to remedy that mistake this November.

    It’s is matter of existential threat not merely for Americans but for the entire humanity.

  72. My heart aches for the grandmother and family of that little girl that was killed. I fear there will be way too many stories such as this.

    I am not a religious person. I cannot offer prayers. But my thoughts are with these people. My heart goes out to them. Their grief must be unimaginable.

  73. Loving thoughts are prayers :)

  74. By now it must be clear to all that something is amiss. I suggest we heed the warnings of the real scientists of the world, and take immediate action: Get an electric car. You will love it, and the lack of maintenance and the very low cost of operation. Then, put up a solar system to run your house and the car as well. We do it for the household and two electric cars.

    It will happen anyway, but do it now, the benefits are immediate.

  75. @George Kamburoff
    And if you're in an area where it's easy and inexpensive to drill a couple of deep holes, add geothermal. If you're in a warm climate, you'll need only modest heating, and you'll have cheap AC without electricity-gulping and heat-producing compressors. I retrofitted a 1980s house that sits on a hundreds of feet of granite in coastal Maine, and after I added solar panels to provide most of the electricity needed for heating, am happy as a clam, as we say up there.

  76. @George Kamburoff
    An electric car:
    1. has a larger carbon footprint for production, lifetime use, and disposal (i.e. what do you do with the enormous dead battery?) than a standard car
    2. the electricity comes from natural gas, oil, or coal in most instances
    3. most of the country's housing stock cannot put in solar panels because of latitude or roof orientation

  77. And CNN reports Trump meets Kanye West in a surreal scene. Hurricane victims..........?? Is this Trump’s Bush moment?

  78. @BBBear: For Trump a Bush moment is when he does something right. We should call it what it is, a Trump moment. Then again, when he does something right, he is usually reading from a script and promptly corrects himself in a tweet the next day.

  79. @BBBear

    No, that will involve bringing paper towels to the affected, as he did for Puerto Rico

  80. At a time when so many are suffering and so much destruction is evident , it is not appropriate to discuss climate change .It has to be obvious to everyone that storms are becoming more fierce and that we have to be better prepared.As first responders are doing an inventory of damage it would be a good time to note which buildings survived, which roads were still usable and where hospitals and schools should be located to maximize safety of people.Much has to be rebuilt-it makes no sense to rebuild the same buildings in the same way in the same places.Some serious city planning needs to be in place before the next weather event.

  81. Just like mass shootings are not an appropriate time to discuss gun control.

  82. @JanetMichael -- gee, "it's not appropriate to discuss climate change" ... and then you discuss climate change!

  83. JanetMichael wrote 'At a time when so many are suffering and so much destruction is evident , it is not appropriate to discuss climate change.."

    Janet, that's like saying 'who cares who pulled the trigger' after a mass murder. It's also the recurring chant of the GOP climate deniers.

  84. Governor Rick Scott is a climate change denier

  85. We need to be mindful that the entire state of Florida is low-lying jungle, at most only a few dozen feet above sea level. That sea level is going to continue to rise due to the uncontrollable and accelerating melting of Greenland's and Antarctica's glaciers. And then what will we do? Did anyone in the USA stop and ask why we don't consult with the Dutch, whose hydrological engineering is unsurpassed, to preserve some of Florida's and the rest of America's seaboard lands while an intervention may yet be made? Or are we going to forget about this because of a stupid official government policy that pretends these things cannot exist?

  86. @Tournachonadar don't worry. Guns and Jesus will take care of everything!

  87. @Tournachonadar -- there's a big problem: Florida is mostly karst limestone -- southern Florida also has a lot of coquina -- the remnant of a great coral/bivalve reef.

    It's all really porous -- you cannot dike it, the water just comes through and up underneath.

    The ugly fact is that most of Southern Florida must be abandoned "sometime" in the next 100 years. The land will need to be abandoned for building long before it truly goes underwater -- if you flood a few feet deep every year it becomes senseless to build on it.

    Almost nobody in Florida has the honesty to face up to this.

    Florida is headed the way of the Maldives ... but the Maldives at least are honest about it.

  88. Look at the picture -- the building in shreds, if you were inside it would you have lived through it? Likely not.

    Look at the other building farther behind it -- structurally sound, even apparently undamaged as far as we can see (but it probably is).

    What was the difference?

  89. We know exactly where the lowlands are. We also know how to build far more durable buildings and infrastructure. We know the frequency and cost of natural disasters is accelerating at an unsustainable rate. Lastly, we also know several well-proven ways to radically cut carbon emissions over the next twenty to thirty years. Yet, half of us still choose to remain as blissfully ignorant as were our ancient ancestors. Unfortunately, the human race still only learns its most important lessons after far too many lives are sacrificed to its hubris.

  90. @AndyW: Only when people understand that they are going to lose more money by inaction than by action, will they wake up from their comma.

  91. Why did hospitals in the direct path of the storm not evacuate ICU and other vulnerable patients immediately when the warnings began? Better safe than sorry, a lesson one would think every hospital in the country learned from the horrors of Katrina. And why would a hospital in a region where severe storms are common place its ICU on high floors with large windows? Why does such a hospital have generators only for partial electricity? Why doesn't such a hospital "harden" its infrastructure? Did the hospital's insurer ask questions about preparations related to climate change-enhanced storms when the new glass tower was built? Did the architects and contractors consider these issues? Did anyone consider solar panels and storage batteries? It's time for all buildings that provide critical care and services to incorporate these issues into new construction and to retrofit existing facilities. The cost will be high but it must be paid.

  92. @Martha
    Agree - thinking about what happened in Katrina - and the horror of the deaths during Irma just last year in Broward County, this seems foolhardy - and an indicator of how unprepared the state and region are to deal with the realities of a powerful storm.

  93. With all of the talk of "America first" it might be prudent to remember that other countries' expertise is now vital. I learned about the Dutch government’s water management efforts in the US just yesterday and I can only hope we haven't completely alienated the people in other countries who are in a position to help us the most.

  94. @Claudia U. tell them to bring their high-speed rail expertise with them too!

  95. I Have noticed that even in Minnesota, that higher straight line winds take off so many roofs, etc. only because the quality of building materials used is becoming cheaper, and less substantial the last 40 years. Plywood houses, basically, and cheap metal. In Switzerland, they build for a 1000 years, concrete, solid steel, etc. The government, and insurance companies should require a certain standard of building materials, as it is in the long term interest in both flood plains, and hurricane areas, to do so.

  96. @MaryKayKlassen
    The only thing I have seen that would withstand these winds and the surge is that reinforced concrete dome shaped house in Carolina - -

    But there can be much better building codes, and instead of paying insurance to rebuild what was, federal money could be directed only for safer buildings that don't at minimum lie in known high danger zones, including flood plains and barrier island
    and unstable beaches (leave the identification to experts).

    There should be funds to meet low to middle income housing needs. In the very long run this would not just be safer , but less costly than repeated cleanup; and less horrible than simply pretending that loss of life and destruction of residences is all a matter of luck. Hurricanes happen in this region. They are highly likely to become worse and more frequent.

  97. @MaryKayKlassen

    Yeah, but where's the recurring profit? It's much more profitable to rebuild every 50 years. The profit motive, it's all that drives our country.

  98. Maybe these people will start to finally think about global warming and the effects it has on the earth. Probably not. If you choose to live in an area that can get by large violent storms you have to deal with the consequences. Unfortunate.

  99. @Jeff
    You have earthquakes in LA! Hard for you to question where others live

  100. @Jeff Yeah, deal with the consequences of irresponsible corporate and industrial practices as they destroy the planet and ecosystem as they also change our laws to make it impossible to hold them accountable. Keep voting Republican.

  101. Also, please note that the vast majority of California residents do not have earthquake insurance. Are they expecting the rest of the country to bail them out when their homes slide into the ocean?

  102. "A surprise?" "A horrible accident?"
    Not quite. This is exactly what climate scientists for decades have predicted would happen. Wake up Gov. Scott., GOP, TRUMP. Your refusal to accept the science of climate change is a crime against the earth and its inhabitants.

  103. @conglo

    Wake up? So you believe they think climate change is fake news? No, they are deliberately negligent and protecting their largest donors from litigation or economic loss. They are despicable. A mouse has more empathy and humanity.

  104. “The big problem with this hurricane was the tremendous power,” President Trump said on Thursday, adding that “we’ve not seen destruction like that for a long time.”

    Uh, we just saw it last month. And 2-3 times last year. Storms like these are going to get bigger and more tremendous.

    Please learn to be an effective communicator. Please stop using superlatives to describe everything.

  105. @KH Lying is lying and that's what this leader of white nationalists does, each and every day.

  106. @KH
    Until it hits Mar-a-Lago, Trump won't care and when one does he will expect taxpayers to rebuild his playground for him!

  107. Again we call this a wake up call. However, when the people who need to listen and act are on a drug induced comma, with the drug being immediate profits, I doubt anything will be done.

  108. I was reminded, watching the horrific Hurricane Michael devastation, of the nursery rhryme TTLP.
    "Little pig, little pig, let me come in."
    "No, no, by the hair on my chiny chin chin."
    "Then I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in.".

    The straw and stick homes in hurricane prone, fire hazard areas, flood prone, all the vulnerable areas that can now be forecast as danger zones may need proactive rebuild planning. Bricks and steel, using sustainable materials and energy. But for steel tariffs. Also, because we hate building and community planning regulations now.

    Preemptive measures need to be implemented. We need to do better. We have work to do. Vote better.

  109. So much pain and suffering --cant we set aside laments of global warming and see to the injured?!...


    Warming ocean waters give rise to ever more lethal hurricanes, record winds and destruction. This has a name and there is overwhelming scientific consensus on its causes: Climate Change. The UN told us this week we have 10 years to make drastic changes in industry and living styles to prevent catastrophic harm befalling planet earth.

    America is not listening. GoP Climate Change deniers orchestrated by trump and vested interests drown out science in a cacaphony of gibberish and misgovernance.

    Ironic the GoP tells us "it's not guns but people that kill". But when it comes to Climate Change it proclaims that ''s wind, storm surge and flooding not people that destroy and kill'.

    The ten years will pass in a storm of GoP dissembling and science denial. Not enough will be done. Hurricanes will c grow more lethal. And at the eye of these hurricanes will be greed of the few and cognitive dissonance of the many. Fox News will stoke this maelstrom of dissonance, submerging legitimate concerns in a toxic menu justifying the Kavanaughs, Russia hoaxes, social safety net cuts -- whatever it takes to make its wealthy patrons better off.

    An American cacaphony drowns out Climate Change. Americans hear what they want to hear until they can no longer disregard the rest. Much to late...

  110. After seeing the destructive flooding caused by the Mississippi River in the Midwest over the years, the state and federal governments stopped paying residents to rebuild their homes in areas that flooded easily. (I’m specifically referring to land in southern illinois and St. Louis.)

    Some residents were forced to rebuild in safer areas, and costs have gone down substantially. I know that tourism is hugely important to Florida’s economy and there is also much poverty in the state. But, can’t something similar happen in areas that are the most suspectble to these devastating problems?

  111. Meanwhile Trump prioritizes having lunch with Kayne West....

  112. When people are urged to evacuate an area of impending weather disaster it should come with this warning authorities. If you choose not to evacuate there will be no one coming to rescue you until the weather emergency has passed. The lives of first responders should not be risked to rescue folks who are to foolish or to stupid to leave.

  113. @Bruce Northwood A lot of the people in that area of Florida are very poor. They ride bicycles or golf carts. Many do not own cars and could not afford to evacuate. More should have been done by Red Tide Rick to help them.

  114. I'm sure if i was looking at photos of Florida or that of Indonesia. amazing. Knowing Trump, he'd say it was fake news and the photos were from Indonesia. People, it's long ovedue to be safe than sorry, put away your arrogance and listen to the evacuation orders. I wonder how that minister fared? Haven't heard from im yet, maybe washe dout to sea to visit Jonah?

  115. @lou andrews Jesus saved him.

  116. Meanwhile, back in the Whitehouse, Kanye and trump stroke each other’s egos in a love fest. Trump has the empathy and common sense of a garden slug.

  117. Rick Scott managed to allow nursing home residents to die in a previous hurricane. Trump allowed thousands to die in a Puerto Rican hurricane. Do we allow Republicans to continue to deny climate change and make profits off of peoples suffering? Ray Sipe

  118. @Ray Sipe

    Elections have GOP and this is what you get.

  119. @Ray Sipe

    Don't live where hurricanes level entire states and territories that ought have remained in the hands Spain.

  120. When I look at this it reminds me of the destruction the United States leashed in Iraq, esp in the cities of Baghdad, Basra etc. I regret seeing this destruction, but it is from natural causes!

    I would just like to say that there is a mausoleum in Basra of the likes of a "saint" who is said to have powers over wind and water. Perhaps, this is just karma hitting US... something to think about.

  121. Horrifying. I don't remember it being like this when I was a kid. When are we going to wake up and do something about the warming oceans?

    Showing a UBS ad before playing the video is tasteless. I expect better from the nytimes. As a subscriber, it makes me ashamed to think that the nytimes profits from this.

  122. North Carolina and now the Florida panhandle.
    Maybe it’s God’s way of telling the Republican Christian right to ease off their worship when yelling politics in his name!
    Maybe, just maybe...

  123. @Welcome Canada

    Same as wildfires leveling swaths of California annually? Same as tornadoes flying across Oklahoma annually? Same as hurricanes and snowstorms incapacitating all of the NE?

  124. These voters are more worried about immigration.

  125. "Bay Medical Center Sacred Heart, a 300-bed hospital in the heart of Panama City, Fla., was a tumultuous mess on Thursday morning. Hurricane Michael had strafed the center, breaking windows, damaging roofs and stripping off the outsides of some buildings. Signage was strewn in the streets. Doctors, nurses and staff members wandered outside, some crying, some looking for cell service.
    Bay Medical was one of two hospitals in Panama City — the other being Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center — that was damaged in the storm. Both were evacuating patients.
    Some states just can't take the scientists seriously and evacuate before the storm. Shame on them.

  126. Terrible devastation to be sure but it also shows just how much we have junked up our coastlines by unattractive and poorly planned development. Our future in a globally warming world can be seen in these pictures.

  127. I am amused by people who live along earthquake fault lines, in tornado alley and in places susceptible to forest fires or spring floods who think it's foolish for people to live along the coast because once in a lifetime they'll get hit by a devastating hurricane. A wise man one said consider the log that's in your own eye before you comment on the splinter in someone else's. Or something to that effect.

  128. @UncleEddie - Earthquakes don't have a season and it's possible to build dwellings that can withstand them.

  129. @UncleEddie
    And no storm has ever hit Tennessee, ever, in history? Just a quick google reveals major storms in February 2017. And this quote from Justyn Jackson, an NWS meteorologist based in Nashville: “It ended up being tied for the second-warmest February here in Nashville.”
    Still amused?

  130. Looks more like the result of a tornado than a hurricane!

  131. @jeff

    what is difference?

    the zone which is eye of the Hurricane is megascale tornado...

  132. That hurricane just wiped Panama City Florida clean. They are coming faster and more furious, just as the scientists have been saying they would. The UN painted an even grimmer picture just this week. Meanwhile our Republican leadership declines to even admit global warming exists. They all need to be frogmarched to the exit, from dog catcher all the way up the chain, for the sake of humanity. Our survival as a species is actually at stake.

  133. @Douglas Evans vote for every Democrat you can find. They are not perfect but the republicans are perfect evil.

  134. Maybe Trump/GOP can divert 10% of the new defense budget for increased US natural disaster relief needs.

  135. @Word: Or task the army with disaster relief as its primary duty and claw back that 10% from the 1%.

  136. The disasters keep coming as a public
    slowly and surely tunes out. I wonder
    why that is?

  137. The saddest fact of these super hurricanes is that they could eventually destroy the South. It is not the best time to look for blame. However, in the face of crises, one must act. The South is the heart of Trump country. Trump who is probably, yes, the GREATEST climate change denier in the world. Trump who will accelerate the damage to his heartland without ever being held responsible. He believes that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue. Well, apparently, he is going to shoot a whole region of the country and not be held responsible. We must act unless one believes that what is happening is okay!!!

  138. @Common cause

    It's the coastal areas everywhere that are hit with extreme weather disruptions, genius.

    The 95% of the south, just as 95% of the west, midwest, and north are fine when to be expected weather rolls in.

  139. How much longer do communities have to look at broken power lines and outages? When one looks up or down, you are viewing Civil War technology. The telegraph pole became the telephone poll, became the power pole, became the cable pole.

  140. Thank god climate change is fake news, otherwise rich people might have to feel a twinge of guilt.

  141. @Devin Greco The Koch Brothers who are a major force of climate change denials do not know what the words shame or guilt mean. Of course they will be dead before the major effects of climate change will be felt by 2040 as the UN predicts.

  142. Would very much like to do some studies open to the public on results. We are having plenty of bad weather events. So someone needs to store some data. I would like to know per neighborhood; the difference between restoration of the African american community and whites for example. Break it down by stages. Say the various groups in each neighborhood; who starts cleanup first and then who completes cleanup. Who starts to rebuilt and who was insured and who was not. We can glean important data sets based off of these hurricanes. Maybe one group needs more help for some reason or the other. Maybe we need to send in teams in the future to act as mentors; before political groups are using such as a football; and no one knows which side to believe because they state opposing facts. Lets get the information first and open it up to the public to analyze... without distorting it in some way. Just raw data.

  143. The business and political leaders in these communities lied about the geo-physical reality of climate change - more frequent and stronger hurricanes. And they did so for money and power.

    Now the real cost of these lies and lack of planning is borne by their citizens, especially the poorest ones.

    And all this, in the worlds richest country!

  144. @pm More frequent??? The most active season was 2005, during which 28 tropical cyclones formed, of which a record 15 became hurricanes.

    If that was true each year when climate was worse we would expect more, yet we have gotten less in the past three years.

  145. Question: If President Obama had taken an unnecessary political campaign trip on the first night of a hurricane as massive as the one yesterday. What would the Republicans have said?

  146. These small Panhandle towns aren't retreats for big city fat cats with vacation homes. Hardly. They are populated by what we call "original Floridians," working people who harvest the fruits from the Gulf of Mexico and otherwise maintain a civilization that is rooted in rich cultural heritage. Lose this and you lose a big chunk of vital Americana. As a writer, I've found these to be among the finest people I've met. Even in the best of times they've stayed in their communities. Come with me sometime for a visit. After a breakfast of Mayhaw jelly with hushpuppies and salt mullet, lunch featuring raw Apalachicola oysters and dinner entrees like seared scallops, swamp cabbage and real key lime pie, you'll begin to understand why the denizens of places called Sopchoppy, Blountstown, Carabelle and St. Marks love their life here.

  147. @Doc. Of course there are hardworking "Original Floridians" who love their communities and land and neighbors and celebrate their way of life. No one should celebrate their pain and loss now, but they do. Just as, for instance, there should have been no celebration when wild-fires and landslides decimated small Californias working-class neighborhoods. But there was. Americans must pull together and stop hating and hurting each other before our country disintegrates.

  148. What is it that deniers of climate change don't understand? When will Trump and his administration who continue to mock climate change as a "hoax" admit that this is real. Why is it that so many Trump supporters refute the scientific evidence of climate change that is creating these disasters? I just don't get it...

  149. @MEM You mean scientific consensus? Models that don't predict accurately? Measurement systems in global temps and CO2 that are poor? Ignoring other human effects other than CO2, like say methane, particles, deforestation, over population? Those things???

  150. I feel for all these people who go through disasters. What surprises me are the negative comments in the Times section basically saying these people deserved it because they voted for Trump.

    I don’t understand the difference between Hurricane Katrina, hurricane Sandy and this one. The US has rebuilt those areas. No one suggests abandoning New Orleans because below sea level or Miami Beach that floods when it rains. I find it amazing how much our fellow countrymen write disparaging remarks about people because they are white and poor. I cannot believe we have become this hateful towards one another. I recently watched a bio of Bobby Kennedy who had the moral compass to care about all poor people regardless of color or where they were from. I grew up in Oregon, lived in New York City for 16 years. Now make my home in Florida. I am telling you the readers of the N.Y. Times. We have great people all over this country.

    If the Democrats really want to win they will need to speak and create policies for everyone, including the “flyover” states.

  151. @Stephanie Cabrera You do realize that the GOP voted down aid for Sandy? I say let Florida crumble to the ground!!

  152. A few years ago, I would have agreed. Now I am reluctant to send my tax money to that part of Florida.

  153. @Stephanie Cabrera As an NYC resident and liberal, and who's more or less surrounded by others who'd label themselves the same way, I agree that extremes on both sides are most problematic. Is anyone capable of critical thinking anymore?...of considering that there may be multiple sides to any one issue... that there's this thing called 'nuance'? Do extremes on either side not realize that just because their own camp purports something to be true, that that doesn't necessarily mean it is? Do extremes on either side not understand basic psychology, and that the powers that be will use whatever tactics they can, to forward their own Personal agendas? Just because politicians tell us that something they are doing or putting forth is in our own personal interest, does not make it so. This applies to both Repub and Dem politicians. How is it that so many people don't understand this?

    More people need to allow themselves to get their news from a wide range of sources. More people need to allow themselves to Consider....just Consider...viewpoints from the other side. Give them the benefit of the doubt, for just a moment, and try to put yourself in their shoes. Assume that their motives are not self-serving, are not based in bitterness, or 'revenge' against the other side. And then, after considering ALL viewpoints, only then should you arrive at your own personal opinion. We would all be better served to NOT believe 100%, in everything our own 'camps' feed to us.

  154. For those whonactually want data in place of Ecofreak dogma, please google the NOAA Hurricane study which shows that hurricanes have been on a slight downward trend for both number and intensity since 1900

    Quote... so see for yourself

    In short, the historical Atlantic hurricane record does not provide compelling evidence for a substantial greenhouse warming-induced long-term increase.

    Go Ahead... I dare you.. read it.

  155. @obummer - You might also want to read about the data that shows the storms are lingering longer and are much wetter than in the past, thanks to (wait for it) warmer temperatures.

    Before you comment on the news try reading it.

  156. @obummer so I did as you suggested and googled NOAA data, and they said that greenhouse gas increases and temperature changes are most likely human caused. So what point are you making exactly, or are you just trying to mislead the readers of the NYT comments section? See for yourself below:

  157. @obummer: I did read that NOAA report, and even the quotation that you cite from the report does not support your claim of a “downward trend.” The report does state that it cannot conclusively conclude the role played by climate change in hurricane trends. Moreover, the report states that estimates were made about data that are missing from the report because such data were not yet being gathered for the time period under consideration. Finally, the older data used in the report were largely gathered by commercial vessels at sea, and do not necessarily account for the effects of storms that make landfall.

    The report that you cite does indeed appear to be valuable, but I don’t think it supports the entirety of your claim. And, again, the report does not touch at all on the damages caused by storm landfall, nor does it go near the exacerbating consequences of coastal erosion, loss of wetlands and buffer zones, water table levels, and other suchlike damage caused by human activity.

  158. Good thing climate change doesn't exist down there in Florida or else this would be concerning.

    I also don't want you Floridians to worry - we'll not bog you down with our BIG GOVERNMENT federal dollars to rebuild your waterfront homes and businesses again and again.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  159. No home there should be made out of wood so that it could be turned to splinters. Use concrete only for your home and don't live where flooding can destroy your home either. Don't rebuild where your home is almost sure to be destroyed in the future.

  160. @vulcanalex
    I never agree with you --except for now. There are prototypes of structures that could survive without any major damage - -

  161. @vulcanalex - Thanks to climate change we're seeing flooding in areas that have not flooded before.

    As for not building with wood, that sounds like some of those pesky regulations Republicans are so against.

  162. Also the video shows clearly: Houses standing virtually untouched in the middle of block after block of wooden piles. Also: How can trailors still be allowed down there? It's pure negligence. And now federal disaster relief will pay for new ones. This country is so badly run. It's embarrassing!

  163. On a human level, this devastation is hard to see, but I am also comforted by the fact that the American people will come together, help one another out, and eventually rebuild.

    On a political level, elected officials in the south and elsewhere have sold their citizens out by promising economic development and expansion instead of addressing climate change in tangible ways. These states and municipalities will continue to pay the price of similar of disasters which will actually drag on their local economies overall while discouraging investment—at some point it stops making financial sense to risk continued devastation for your business, family or both. Why believe scientists who predict hurricanes while simultaneously ignoring their predictions about global climate change?

  164. The contribution of volunteers to the rescue effort is extraordinary, and should receive more attention. Not to take anything away from the first responders and public safety officials, but when life or death is on the line and there is no time to spare every bit counts. In an age when everyone seems to want to call themselves "survivors" of something regardless of whether their lives were at risk, this is a stark reminder of what that term really comes down to, life or death.

  165. Looks like the hoax has arrived at the GOP door step in the panhandle of FLA.
    Well well.
    Send them some paper towels, that should help fix things nicely, and don’t count the dead, it isn’t important after the fact.

  166. 6 dead; Trump in Pa raising money and chanting "lock her up". Disgraceful. Vote out GOP. Ray sipe

  167. Since there is no such of a thing as man-made global warming, it must be an Act of God. And, since God often speaks to us through natural events, I bet he is mighty ticked off at the Red state Trump voters. After all, it is not a coincidence that He sent the Hurricane (Archangel) Michael to do this destruction. It is a Revelation.

  168. @Kam Dog

    "God" clearly does not want man constructing ticky tacky structures that destroy natural coastal areas.

  169. The view of the damage above looks like one giant tornado swept through. It reminds me of the destruction caused by Hurricane Andrew in 1992

  170. It's simple , make all the shore lines state parks , say a mike in ,
    Refuse to let any of these businesses and or individuals o rebuild .
    Give them fair market value to live a mile from the coast lines .
    Why does the MSM news cartel , the mouth piece of the Democratic Party make this political?
    All of the US coast lines, with a few exceptions should band development.

  171. @Independent Voter: Because Climate Change IS political. Democrats believe the 97% of climate scientists who say it’s real, Republicans including Scott, believe the few quacks who are in firm denial. So Republicans don’t plan for worse and worse disasters, like the Dutch did when they built the Delta Works after the flood of 1953, whereas Democrats will if they have any power.

  172. I can send thoughts and prayers to the impacted. No money or donations, however. Climate Change is a Hoax.

  173. @MoneyRules
    Do you also feel that evolution is a hoax?
    Why are thoughts and prayers acceptable but donations not? Floridians need help, no?

  174. @MoneyRules

    No, climate change is not a hoax. Money and donations are what the victims of hurricane Michael (and all climate-change fueled disasters) ARE praying for, along with their lives and those of friends and family impacted by this tragic storm.

  175. That’s what’s happens when you build on marsh land

  176. I hope that those of you that chastise the people who live in
    Florida for living there are lucky enough to live where there will never be fires, floods, volcanos, earthquakes, tornados, ice
    storms, blizzards or any threat to their lives or property. Anything can happen anytime or anywhere you may be. Hope you get
    timely help should you need it and will be glad someone on the
    other side of the country cares.

  177. @Linda
    Insurers can easily provide you with risk maps for the entire United States so that you can decide what risk to tolerate in each area. One of the safest places to live in terms of natural disasters is actually where many insurance companies base themselves: the Hartford, CT area. Strange but true.

  178. Are victims & their loved ones who don't believe in Science telling Ambulance Drivers / First Responders to take them to Church instead of the Hospital?

    Or do they insist on being taken to the closest 'Manifestation of Science' - The Hospital where Scientifically trained & skilled Doctors & Nurses and centuries of Medical Research Science / Chemistry & Engineering wait to repair their bodies or even save their lives?


  179. As a Floridian, it sickens me to see Rick Scott on the news talking about these storms and the devastation they cause.

    For 8 years Scott has done everything in his power to weaken environmental protections in Florida, the gulf and even parts of the east coast of Florida have been awash in dead fish and dead manatees and dead dolphins and sea turtles because of red tide which is made worse and more deadly due to nutrient run off from big Ag. Scott has done everything he can do to align himself with big oil and prevented his administration from even using the term climate change. Now he's running for Senate and he wants to bring his plan to destroy the environment to DC.

    Do not vote for #redtiderick

  180. Many comments cite global warming or climate change, but much of this damage stems from greed on community and individual levels.
    1. In a state (FL) with no income tax, property tax generates a fair amount of revenue. How does the local town hall increase tax revenue? Let people build as much as they want in subpar areas, thus increasing the tax base. Watch in the next year as cities and towns let people rebuild BIGGER structures in the same high-risk areas. No one cares about climate change when it comes to the tax base and funding local schools.
    2. Individual greed is simply self-interest. Individuals will rebuild with bigger structures in risky waterfront areas because it benefits them (who doesn't like the beach?) while spreading the risk to others via federal and state flood insurance programs. The cost is high, but subsidized so as not to represent the true individual risk. NO ONE should build on barrier islands, yet from New York all the way to Florida, the islands are built out to maximize the tax base. I guarantee that homes that were formerly 2-3 bedrooms in waterfront areas will be rebuilt to FEMA standards at 4-5 bedrooms. This happened in all communities affected by Sandy in the Northeast.
    Hence, the next storm will cost even more from a construction replacement basis, not an increase in the rate of climate change.

  181. Believe in Climate Change now?

    Sorry to sound callous, but for the people who don't, and actively don't believe in climate change; for the people whose ideologies are owned by the fossil fuel industry, I have this to say: your obstruction to progress kills you, and will kill the rest of us.

    I am thankful for all of those selfless people who make it their jobs to rescue others. I wish we all had more of that in mind when we consider what we do as individuals and as a nation.

  182. @DP

    For those of us that grew up in the Caribbean, these kind of storms are nothing knew. My mother was born during one of the hurricanes of the horrific hurricane season of 1926.

    To those that live in Florida and the Caribbean, this is nothing new.

  183. I viewed the video on your website with the aerial view of the destruction at Mexico Beach. What I found truly amazing was that apparently there was an orchestra in Mexico Beach that was playing background music which accompanied the video.

    Seriously, readers do not need to have a somber soundtrack added to the video to understand and appreciate the devastation and loss depicted in the video. We are not FOX TV viewers.

  184. This is an entirely man made tragedy. People insist on building on the ocean and bay shore lines all over the US, believing the govenment will bail them out, or their insurance will move their risk to people who live inland. At some point the government at the US and state level, has to tell these people they have to rebuild on their own. When that ecnomic reality becomes clear, they will will to a safer location. Then we won’t have to watch these scenes of devastation.

  185. One thing all these photos cannot capture is the smell.

    In the days and weeks following my dig-out after Hurricane Andrew I could not get past the stench - a weird combination of mud, salt water, rotten food, soaked building materials and household goods, my own sweat and who knows what else. It was like breathing through a dirty wet moldy bath towel 24/7.

  186. Maybe Kanye West has some deep thoughts on how to reverse climate change? Why else would the president be meeting with him when there was an emergency of this scale happening? Oh... maybe Kanye had some deep thoughts about the stock market? People need better leadership at all levels. There should not be any year round development in hurricane and flood zones. This is not going to get any better going forward because we have been ignorant for decades and, apparently, choose to be ignorant for the future. I am confident that the military (not FEMA) will do all it can in this disaster. But we need (and likely will not get) better leadership and planning to avoid, rather than keep responding to, these ever-more-frequent disasters.

  187. Don't worry, everyone. Everything will be rebuilt exactly where it is, and nobody will change their behavior, and that way we can go through the exact same situation the next time a "100 year storm" hits, in about 7-10 years.

  188. Compassion for the suffering SHOULD take the form of making sure there are fewer of them in the future - rather than promoting Coal and ignoring how science deniers are causing global warming.

  189. I live more minimally than most, but I can't imagine losing everything I own. Love from the west central coast, to the folks in the Panhandle. "Rally round the family "

  190. Maybe Kanye West has some deep thoughts on how to reverse climate change? Why else would the president be meeting with him when there was an emergency of this scale happening? Oh... maybe Kanye had some deep thoughts about the stock market? People need better leadership at all levels. There should not be any year round development in hurricane and flood zones. This is not going to get any better going forward because we have been ignorant for decades and, apparently, choose to be ignorant for the future. I am confident that the military (not FEMA) will do all it can in this disaster. But we need (and likely will not get) better leadership and planning to avoid, rather than keep responding to, these ever-more-frequent disasters.

  191. I would like to read a story about where the money comes from to repair or build new homes and businesses. Does insurance cover it all, if you have it? What about clean-up costs, tree removal, disposal of damaged household goods? Can local governments afford the price of clean-up and repairing infrastructure. Can state governments?

  192. Mother Nature is literally crying out for our attention. How many more chances will we have, to effect meaningful change in our destructive habits, and before it's too late? For those who buy into the notion that climate change is not real...that it's all 'propaganda' by the Left, I ask you to consider for a moment.... Is it not entirely possible that Republicans are trying to turn this into an 'us vs them' scenario...purposefully trying to pit Right against that instead of your questioning what may or may not be true...that instead of your considering that maybe, just maybe, climate change is real...that you will just automatically dismiss the climate change argument as 'hogwash propaganda by the Left'? Have you considered that maybe Republicans want you to avoid the topic altogether? They want to shut down any conversation on the possibility of climate change, because in doing so it enables them to maintain the status quo. It helps increase the bottom line of the industries that support them...coal, airlines, car makers, agrabusiness (Monsanto, Dupont), etc. There's no reason we can't use greener forms of energy. Folks don't 'need' street-hogging gas-guzzling SUVs. Lawns mustn't be 'perfectly green' with nary a dandelion in sight. We don't 'have to' fly everywhere, all to avoid the 'inconvenience' of 5 hours in a train/bus/car. Why have we become so incredibly myopic??

  193. The stories of the lack of power and viability of the local hospitals sounds eerily like that witnessed in Puerto Rico. Trump and his FEMA "nice job brownies" learned precious little from the Puerto Rico mismanagement which he continues to grade as an A+. Hospitals turning away the injured when there should be make shift, generator powered, tent facilities to treat the injured leads to further suffering. A President who leaves the White House to provide entertainment to his followers while not seeing that enough is done for the homeless and injured is a disgrace.

  194. Unfortunately many, if not most human beings, have a hard time believing that they will be the victims of a natural disaster of any kind (e.g. the milliions of people who live in earthquake zones in "liberal" California) until the disaster is staring them in the face. Consequently they will rely on any flimsy reason to dismiss alarms about natural disasters including disasters resulting from global warming. Those who raise warning flags are dismissed as alarmists or as having a political or financial agenda that they are promoting. There may not a whole lot we can do about this fundamental problem of human nature and it may ultimately result in our demise. Oh well, better luck next time.

  195. Be fair: at least in “Liberal” California, there’s been a steady improvement of zoning and building codes to mitigate earthquake impacts, and most everyone I know there has a plan for “the big one”. CA is still having a lot of trouble adjusting to the threat of fires, however - a legacy of land use policies that, in unincorporated areas at least, Grant tremendous latitude to the landowner!

  196. Jay, Please don’t muck up your commentary with an attack on “liberal” California (not sure what that has to do with disaster preparedness), but I digress. Make no mistake, almost every Californian I know has an earthquake preparedness kit, we bolt bookcases and other heavy furniture to walls, and we listen carefully at each large rumble to anticipate a shaker, or just a large truck going by. Having been through a 7.1 earthquake in 1989, I can tell you I’m very aware of the power of nature and respect her immensely. Let’s not make this partisan, let’s just do what we all can to raise more awareness of climate change and science.

  197. As we recover from another severe hurricane we must ask ourselves who do we believe, those who say we urgently need to address climate change or those who say climate change is a hoax? Vote your answer on November 6th.

  198. @Pete sorry yours is simply an appeal to emotion, and a lame one at that, using science as cover. No individual events should be used as evidence for or against the existence of climate change, that is a question rightly left to analysis of many data points over lengthy periods of time. Please don't coopt very serious topics of investigation, and tragedies like those, for political points.

  199. It's going to cost billions upon billions of dollars to prepare the eastern coast and the five Gulf of Mexico states for a future of coming hurricane chaos. We all know that the members of the Republican Party don't have the courage to make any changes or to begin the work to make funds available for seawalls and hardened infrastructure. So, what's the solution? For starters, millions of people have to be moved inland. Charles Koch has to stop worrying about drilling for more oil and start thinking like an American who actually loves the people of the country. And the current President of the United States has to awaken from his stupor and start leading everybody, not just his greedy cronies and sheepish followers.

  200. Lets just build a wall instead!

  201. Meanwhile, as the storm was wrecking the Florida panhandle, Trump was hard at work belching out another hate speech in Pennsylvania to his adoring electorate. What a sorry spectacle.

  202. I am so sorry for the suffering caused here. I intend to make a donation to a faith-based organization to give assistance, knowing that such organizations are efficient in targeting relief. How ironic that the majority of the beneficiaries will undoubtedly side with the congress (House and Senate) that eschews a role for the government, until it comes time for them to claim their hides. To the Florida Panhandle residents: we are with you. Just be aware of with whom you are with.

  203. Half of America that pays taxes will be forced to fork $billions over to rebuild everything just as it was - ready to be flattened by next year's hurricane(s). AND everyone else's homeowners insurance will go up all across the nation.

  204. @Margot Florida pays the same federal income tax as every other state.

  205. Why are the houses in FL not build from bricks? It seems that non-wooden structures were able to much better withstand the storm.

  206. Anyone who builds at the water's edge or within walking distance of the ocean should expect the worst. To be sure, the destruction to property and people's lives is horrible. But given our climate and location, it's inevitable. No doubt building will resume in the same places -- and everyone will pay the higher insurance premiums.

  207. There is no question climate change is a culprit here. But to simply pawn off the level and degree of destruction on climate change is to overlook other critical factors. Hurricanes and the Florida coastline are well-acquainted through the ages. Florida is now the third most populous state in the country. When I was born in Miami nearly sixty years ago, Florida wasn't in the top ten. You want "a trail of destruction" - cram ten times more people in the same land mass and throw in a hurricane. To be sure climate change will eventually put most of Florida underwater but the hurricanes will still come through the area. But for the time being - the level of destruction is mostly observed because where once a single-family home stood, there now resides a 30-story 300-unit condo.

  208. I live in central North Carolina. The damage here from Florence was trivial compared to areas south and east of here, but for many local homeowners the repairs were not insignificant. The damage here from Michael was trivial compared to the catastrophe along Florida’s big bend coast, but 70% of the clients (including myself) of the electric company that serves this area are currently without power and aren’t likely to see it restored for days. Both storms were no longer hurricanes when they reached the NC piedmont. However, the cost for folks who suffer property damage far from the site of landfall will be substantial as well. If the pattern continues that these storms are more than just coastal events, the cost to the American taxpayer for ridiculing the science supporting global warming will undermine the economy. Sooner rather than later.

  209. Maybe it's time to talk about "pre-existing conditions" for property insurance. How are property and casualty insurance companies pricing coverage in coastal areas that have been hit repeatedly by hurricanes and flooding? Are they excluding wind and rain damage outright? If not, are they raising premiums and deductibles for all property owners in the state to cover their claims for hurricane damage to coastal properties?

  210. I just read about the scope of the damages, I didn't realize it'd gotten that bad, but then again a Cat4 hurricane is such a monstrous weather phenomenon. I'll never forget the sounds the wind made overhead as my family huddled in the basement the night Irene hit in Connecticut and that was merely a tropical storm by that time. I'm just saddened and disappointed, shocked really, to read that some folks opted to remain behind in their homes near the beaches. The reports are that homes, some even 100's of yards inland, were completely anhilated, scoured clean off the concrete slab. Nothing is irreblacable save human life.

  211. It's very disturbing to look at the pictures of the damage. I thought I was looking at Indonesia. People are building the least safe kinds of structures in the most dangerous of places. Adults, it might be argued, ought to know better. For them, it's a choice. What haunts me is that the children are there too and they don't have a choice. As minors, they have to be with their parents. They have to be with them for legal, biological, and social reasons. They can't just up and leave their parents, even if they want to and even if it's the right thing to do. They are forced to live there. What can we do to provide these innocent beings with either the support they need to run away from their bad-decision-making parents, or, to get better structures in these coastal areas for the parents and their children? It's not fair that kids have to abide by the foolishness of their parents.

  212. This is going to happen EVERY YEAR. It is going to cost billions EVERY YEAR. If you build a million dollar home, you need to pay a million dollars in insurance EVERY YEAR. It’s time to leave Florida. And it’s the third most populous state. And over half the population are climate change deniers who support coal. And the US taxpayer is paying for this. What a nightmare.

  213. Reporters need to stop asking Republican politicians if they believe in the science of global warming. Instead, they need to start asking what they're going to do to counter the effects of global warming? Or better yet, when will they work with Democrats to protect Americans from the catastrophic consequences of global warming?

  214. We, who live in the original Panama City, send our condolences to the families of those who lost their lives to the hurricane and our best wishes for a speedy recovery to all in the storm's path.

  215. These comments are a waste of time. Climate deniers are not going to change their minds in substantial numbers. Republican voters are not going to stop putting party before all else. And we're never going to stop using government funds to rebuild these areas. If there is one thing Americans hold dear it's an entitlement to stay and live comfortably wherever they are, regardless of the presence of storms and fire or lack of water and jobs.

  216. Storm of the Century in Florida this October! Or was the storm of the Century in Texas last year? Or in Puerto Rico last year? Or in South Carolina this year. Well, the good news is that this one is already dying out and we won’t have to worry about the next storm of the Century for another 10-11 months.

  217. Such horrific devastation and I pray that any sense of normality returns soon. Two guesses what the president of our country, who believes climate change is a hoax was doing today? If you don't know , trust me in this case "ignorance is bliss."

  218. With our technological savvy in this country there has to be a better way to deal with hurricanes than just the destruction-rebuild cycle. I hate insurance companies but can you blame them for pulling out of Florida?

  219. It seems that Mother Nature is taking her revenge out on we humans who have not sought fit to take care of the Earth as we should have. We are now beginning to pay the price, are we not?