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Harvey: The Destroyer                           Blake Boettcher 6th Team Smith Science Essay Nature can carry devastating tolls on people and their possessions. Imagine a huge wall of wind coming straight for your house or a giant wave that is going to engulf you. Well, a hurricanes are at the top of the chart for natural disasters because of the fear they cause and the damage they produce. Just this year, we have had three powerful hurricanes that left us with our jaws open wide. Maria absolutely destroyed Puerto Rico’s power grid and homes. Hurricane Irma was so strong, it would have been a category 6 if there was such a category. Out of all of them, Hurricane Harvey left the most destruction, with unimaginable amounts of precipitation. Many people lost their homes in the storm and had to start from scratch to get back on track. Hurricanes are a huge threat. It is a head-scratcher to think how they are created. Dust, warm water, convection and winds are key to their formation. The redistribution of wind velocities, pressure and temperature can result from the reorganization of the dissipative structure. Key parameters are the moist air lifting velocity and the temperature of the surrounding atmosphere. This reorganization can lead to the formation of the hurricane eye and inner ring of convection.The Gulf of Mexico is where many deadly storms have strengthened, including Hurricane Katrina in 2005. With the warm waters, a hurricane can form and grow within a couple of days. All of this is very scary. Depending on where the disturbance is, you could know weeks or days in advance. Deciding how to respond to a hurricane threat is difficult. Do you stay if it is small, and you can prepare in advance? Or if the storm threatens a day or two before landfall, should you evacuate and get out out of the path of destruction?  The picture(above) shows the parts of a hurricane. The other consideration when it comes to hurricane watches and warnings is where you live. Living on a coast is very risky. You could lose everything. Hurricane season is the period when hurricanes are most likely to form. It is typically between April and November. This is the time when people are vulnerable to the possibility of a storm hitting. The picture(above) shows the stages of a hurricane. It starts as a thunderstorm. Then there is a tropical disturbance or tropical depression. During the disturbance, thunderstorms start to connect with one another, and the winds and precipitation start to build up. After that, it becomes a tropical storm. This is when the threat starts to build and the storm gains strength. At that point, it can become destructive. Then, there is the biggest of them all, the hurricane. They are huge, and can cause a lot of damage. They can even be deadly. Depending on how big they are, they are separated into categories based on how big they are. Wind speed is also a key factor. The Eastern Pacific Ocean typically has about 14 hurricanes per year. History shows the U.S is hit by a hurricane seven times every four years. China receives the most hurricanes. They are called typhoons. The typhoon season lasts all year. Every country has a different hurricane season based on where they are located. The picture(below) shows hurricane season in the Atlantic over the past 100 years. It looks like Sept. 10 is cursed with all the tropical storms and hurricanes that occur that day. What about the specifics of Harvey? Well, Harvey hit on August 25, 2017 in Houston, Texas, and 51.88 inches of rain accumulated, setting a new continental U.S record.             The hurricane also caused $150 billion in damage.There was $700 million worth of damage to schools, and they were not able to reopen until September 11. This was a shock to the science world because of the insane amount of precipitation that flooded most of Houston. The rain produced nine trillion gallons of water! Another problem with the flooding was that only 20% of homeowners were protected with flood insurance. That made the rebuilding process very pricey for families. The U.S government provided some emergency relief money. Celebrities and athletes donated money, as well. President Donald Trump joined in, donating $1 million dollars to Harvey relief charities.· Susan Braiden, Chief Justice of the U.S Court of Federal                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Claims Court flew to Houston to listen to more than 100 lawyers give their thoughts on how to handle the disaster. By that time, water was being released at 13,000 cubic feet per second. Harvey hit home for me. My Aunt Kelly and her family live in West Houston. I asked her what it was like to experience Harvey first-hand. “It was really scary,” Kelly Funderburk told me. “We’ve never had so much rain. It just wouldn’t stop. The heaviest rain fell at night. It was so dark outside that we couldn’t see what was happening, which made us very nervous.” Kelly said they didn’t sleep much during the first night of the storm. The next day, they watched the water begin to build up in the street outside their home near Rice University. Thankfully, the water never reached their home. But some of their neighbors just a few streets away weren’t so lucky. They lived closer to the bayous, and the water there rose more quickly, damaging home after home.My cousin missed at least a week of school and spent some of the off-time helping storm victims. Their church mobilized groups of volunteers to target the hardest-hit neighborhoods. The recovery in Houston is well underway, but Harvey changed the city and the people who live there. They emerged from the storm “Houston Strong.” Hurricanes are downright scary. They can kill people and take valuable possessions from people. A total of 70 people died during Harvey. When it made landfall, Harvey was a whopping category 3 storm. It was weaker than it had been over the Gulf of Mexico, but it was still devastating. I chose this event because it was very interesting, and I had previous knowledge, such as the destruction and devastating tolls. This relates to Earth science because it is about hurricanes, and they are environmental disasters created by science. Many people are still recovering, and after you read this, remember these three words, Pray For Texas and keep them safe.

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