50 Million Americans Under Flash Flood Warnings As Tropical Storm Elsa Moves Up East Coast

Tropical Storm Elsa is currently heading north along the East Coast of the US, and is expected to impact all major cities along the way. More than 50 million Americans woke up to flash flood warnings as severe weather conditions have already begun to impact a majority of the coast. 

The center of the storm is projected to go over Dover, Delaware early Friday morning and will make its way towards Boston by the afternoon, according to meteorologist Robert Shackelford. The storm has already caused tornados, multiple injuries, and at least one death in Florida and Georgia this week. 

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In New York, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) was pre-positioning crews and equipment yesterday all throughout Long Island, where the storm is forecast to be the most intense. 

The MTA will also be banning all empty tractor-trailers and tandem trucks from its seven bridges and two tunnels until at least noon on Friday. This ban is due to heavy wind gusts and rain which could cause larger vehicles to be more susceptible to tipping over. 

The National Hurricane Center announced that the storm is currently moving at a rate of 25 mph and has hit a maximum sustained wind speed of 50 mph. Much of the Northeast is expected to see 2 to 4 inches of rainfall by the weekend. 

Once Elsa’s center passes by a given area, residents can still expect to see heavy rainfall and high wind speeds on the outskirts. 

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Some tornadoes were also reported across northern Florida and southeastern Georgia on Wednesday. An EF-2 tornado caused multiple injuries and damage at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in Kings Bay, Georgia. 

“Thankfully, there was no loss of life here last night. This tornado that came through could have been a lot worse,” base commanding officer Capt. Chester Parks told local media outlets. 

Parks said that a tornado impacted by the southside of the navy base ended up moving north, hitting the base of an RV park on the way. Twelve recreational vehicles were damaged and nine people were transported to the navy base for medical treatment. 

Elsa initially hit Florida earlier this week, and caused the most damage in both the sunshine state and Georgia. The entire storm system touched down this Wednesday along the Gulf Coast in Taylor County, Florida. 

“Winds starting howling in the middle of the night, and rain starting pounding the windows. Never seen anything like this before in my life,” said Johnathan Riches who was staying at a motel in Cedar Key, Florida when the storm hit.


Typhoon Hagibis Leaves Japan Devastated With One of The Biggest Storms They’ve Ever Seen

The tropical storm known as ‘Typhoon Hagibis’ touched down in Japan this past Saturday, and left behind a path of total destruction. The death toll has reached 72 so far, and thousands are still left without any heat, power, or running water. According to CNN, the storm is one of the strongest the country has seen in years, so much so that over 110,000 individuals from the fire department, police, military, etc. have been sent to Japan strictly for search and rescue purposes.

Videos from the horrific scenes near Tokyo, where the Typhoon first hit land, have been shared all around social media showing the devastation. One video shows a family of four clinging to each other while being swept away in a flash flood, another of a massive bridge collapsing, killing many. Typhoons in general aren’t completely uncommon for Japan, however, ones of this magnitude are, hence the name Typhoon Hagibis; Hagibis translates to speed. 

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230,000 individuals were originally evacuated before the Typhoon hit, 5,500 of those people currently still remain in storm shelters, and may have to be there indefinitely. CNN reported almost 10,000 homes were completely flooded, 133,000 were left without running clean water and 34,000 homes currently remain without power. That number is extremely low compared to the original 520,000 households that lost power this past weekend. Government officials made a statement claiming citizens should expect to remain without power for at least a week as search and rescue efforts continue to take priority, but restoring power, water, and heat to homes that can handle it and hold multiple people is also high up on the list. 

The intense rains caused over 45 rivers to burst from their structures, inducing over 130 landslides to wipe out hundreds of homes, killing four. According to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s office who spoke to CNN, “the typhoon brought record-setting heavy rains and windstorms. Hakone, southwest of Tokyo, received almost 1 meter (3.3 feet) of rain within 24 hours. Many areas received up to 40% of their annual rainfall over two days.” 

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“Typhoon Hagibis is on course to be one of the costliest natural disasters to have hit Japan, with insured losses of more than $9 billion. On Tuesday, at a session of the Upper House Budget Committee the government stated they were planning to designate Hagibis a ‘severe natural disaster,’ in order to make municipalities in affected regions eligible for increased state subsidies for reconstruction work,” according to analysts from investment firm Keefe, Bruyette & Woods quoted by industry publication Reinsurance News.

Many industries and businesses are already suffering from the extensive and expensive damage Hagibis has inflicted on the archipelago. The typhoon has blocked or destroyed almost all means of public transportation, which sets back thousands of businesses, all which are already closed anyway due to the damage. About a third of bullet trains, one of the biggest means of transportation throughout Japan, are submerged in flood waters, (CNN). 

When past typhoons have caused billions in damage to Japan, insurance luckily normally covers half to three quarters of all projected costs. The people of Japan are hoping that’s the case this time around as well. Three Rugby world championship matches have been cancelled, making all aspects of life and culture in Japan hit a full stand still.