Drone footage has changed disaster zones completely. Michael was a monster. You know it would be bad… but were expecting anything like THIS?
There’s a serious down-side to being in a curious ‘sweet spot’ that is seldom bothered by Hurricanes.
All the damage is concentrated into one big storm. None of the smaller problems get cleared away recognized or sorted out in the “little” storms.
Trees, for instance.
Weaker, vulnerable structures.
Inferior building materials.
When the big one DOES hit, that means it will hit with that much more force.
Here is some footage of Mexico Beach after the storm blew through.
What the storm surge didn’t sweep away, the wind and waves battered to matchsticks. See how many buildings are now little more than the concrete pads they were built upon. (The buildings on stilts look like they have escaped the worst of the surge damage.)
Here’s a news report that keys in on a few different sites there, including a middle school with two walls blown out, but the volleyball net still standing defiantly in the middle of the gym.
Entire city blocks have been reduced to little more than debris fields.
Tyndall Air Force Base was called a ‘complete loss’. You can get a glimpse of that damage here:
And a big-picture view shot from a helicopter:
When it was over, the base lay in ruins, amid what the Air Force called “widespread catastrophic damage.” There were no reported injuries, in part because nearly all personnel had been ordered to leave in advance of the Category 4 hurricane’s landfall. Commanders still sifting through mounds of wreckage Thursday could not say when evacuation orders would be lifted.
For all the truly devastating damage, the early reports are that somewhere around a dozen lives were lost through 4 states in that monster storm. (That number is likely to rise.)
The loss is both tragic and devastating for all involved… but there is an upside: of all the tracks it could have taken, the main force of the storm hit a relatively lightly-populated region.