Why Hurricane Matthew Was Not Just Another Hurricane


Hurricanes. The biggest drawback of having that pristine beach house. If hurricanes in Florida are anything like tornadoes in Nebraska, then they are so ingrained in our culture that the sirens don’t even bother us anymore. People never think that these natural disasters will ever do any serious damage…until they do. Every time we hear of a Category 4 or 5 hurricane we see image after image of damage, destruction, and heartbreak. Hurricane Matthew was yet another example of this. So I asked myself, what made this one so different compared to the other hurricanes we hear about. Here a few takeaways about what made Matthew so unique.

First, Hurricane Matthew had unbelievably high stamina for a tropical storm during this time of year. Hurricane Matthew was the longest running Category 4 or 5 hurricane in the month of October since record keeping began over 50 years ago. Hurricane Matthew had winds of over 130 mph for four days straight. This is so unusual because of the cooler water temperatures that we get during the month of October. The biggest factor in this is the fact that it went from Africa to the Caribbean Islands with very little land resistance. Land will kill hurricane intensity and low elevations allow hurricanes to start big and get even bigger.

Second, Hurricane Matthew ended a lot of lives, particularly in the country of Haiti. Haiti was still recovering from the 2010 earthquake that had killed over 200,000 people. 60,000 citizens were living in make-shift homes after that natural disaster. This Hurricane killed anywhere from 300 to 800 people while it touched Haitian land. It also killed numerous people in the United States. It killed seven in North Carolina, four in Florida, three in Georgia, and one in South Carolina. It had also killed four in the Dominican Republic and one in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Finally, Hurricane Matthew had both a slow travelling time and a fast intensity rate, a deadly combination. In just 24 hours, Hurricane Matthew went from a Category 1 hurricane to a Category 5. This is the third quickest time from a Cat. 1 to Cat. 5 in recorded hurricane history. After intensifying, Hurricane Matthew stayed a Category 4 or 5 longer than all the hurricanes since 2008 combined. For the stretch of its nine and a half day journey, Hurricane Matthew traveled between three and fourteen mph. This meant that it was over people for longer and created more victims.

In conclusion, it makes me unbelievably said to see people lose their lives over problems such as this. We need to make sure people take hurricanes more seriously and evacuate when they hear news of a storm approaching. If they are unable to leave, I think we should focus more on making sure that have a place to go to or that they have more protected shelter. I hope to see these death tolls go down in the coming years and I continue to pray for the recovery of the homes, cities, and lives of those who were affected by this lethal storm.