Hurricane Hanna Strikes

This article was originally published on August 6, 2020.

Hurricane Hanna is a Category 1 hurricane that first hit the coast of Texas on Padre Island at 5 pm on July 25. It formed over Hispaniola, resulting in rough weather in that area as well. The tropical storm mainly affected the areas of the Rio Grande Valley, Corpus Christi, and Mexico.

Tropical storms, such as hurricanes, are usually given names to give respect to the people who suffered through it. The first storm is given a name that starts with A, the second is given a name that starts with B, and so on, so forth. Therefore Hurricane Hanna was the eighth tropical storm and the first hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

One big takeaway from this hurricane is that it was the first hurricane in the season, even though it was the eighth tropical storm. Normally, hurricanes are the third or fourth storm of the season. The fact that 7 tropical storms preceded Hurricane Hanna could signal a big hurricane season.

It included over 15 inches of rain, overflowing rivers, raging winds, and flash flooding. Rainfall totaled 15 inches in some areas. Strong winds of up to 90 mph and torrential rain led to flooding and destruction of buildings.

The storm first made landfall in Corpus Christi. It then hit the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. Heavy rain and damaging winds led to the supposed collapsing of a privately funded border wall. Along with that, 194,000 people in Texas lost power due to the storm. Hurricane Hanna then moved on to Mexico. By the time the hurricane hit Mexico, it had already downgraded to a tropical storm. However, there was still a lot of rain, as well as wind. After it made landfall in Mexico, it quickly dissipated on July 27. Overall, there were a total of 5 casualties and damages costing around $500 million.

Certain conditions have to be met for a tropical storm to form into a hurricane. Hurricanes form when there is warm water combined with humid air. When humid air flows in an area of low pressure in the water, water releases from the air, creating clouds of a storm. As it rises, the air in a hurricane rotates due to the Coriolis effect. As the hurricane passed through the Gulf of Mexico, it reached hurricane status due to its lukewarm water.

Relief programs, such as the Salvation Army, are helping those affected by the storm by serving food. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and President Trump have granted an emergency declaration to help the people affected by this hurricane. The victims of this storm are now eligible for government assistance programs such as SNAP.

What can we do? There are many GoFundMe’s started solely for Hurricane Hanna relief. Donating to these fundraisers and other humanitarian organizations helps the destroyed cities get rebuilt and makes sure the struggling families get the support they need.