As rivers crest and floodwaters recede following Hurricane Florence’s deadly dance through the Carolinas, residents are beginning to take stock of what’s left of their communities, their neighborhoods, their homes. They will hope that Florence is the last of the Atlantic season’s hurricanes, but the season doesn’t end until November, and weather experts warn there are more storms to come; one or two may even become hurricanes. That’s worrisome news for those living along the East and Gulf Coasts.
Of course, if we make it past this year’s hurricane season unscathed by another monster storm, we still face next season and the seasons after that. And experts tell us the coming storms will likely be more powerful and more destructive. If you want to understand why, the New York Times provides some answers in a story with the sobering headline: Humans are Making Hurricanes Worse. Here’s How.
If you want to understand the dramatic impact that these storms–along with rising sea levels and other by-products of climate change–are having on coastal communities, pick up journalist Elizabeth Rush’s new book, Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore. In it, Rush reveals how lives, livelihoods, and entire ecosystems are undergoing irrevocable changes that are destined to leave many of these communities uninhabitable. Rush, who writes prose that verges on poetry, has a keen eye for detail and a wellspring of empathy for the people whose worlds are in danger of being washed away. (My full review is at EcoLit Books.)
The photo above comes from an ABC News video of dogs being rescued from a flooded neighborhood in Jacksonville, North Carolina.
Book Talk at the Warren Township Library