Deadly hurricanes in the Tri-state Area

Why have there been so many hurricanes in the Tri-state area? Why exactly have they been so destructive and powerful? What was the aftermath of these events?

In the summer of 2021 alone, we have seen a dramatic effect of climate change on the east coast. On July 9, Hurricane Elsa, later downgraded to a Tropical Storm, pummeled onto the entirety of the Tri-state area however, the most pronounced visual we have seen so far was Hurricane Henri. Unexpected yet catastrophic. On August 21st hundreds of videos were posted on Twitter of the damage Henri had done to their town, showing in NYC where almost 2 inches of rain fell and overwhelmed their storm drains causing drivers to plow through foot-deep water. Although many assumed this was the worst hurricane we could get this season, they were wrong. On August 26, a deadly hurricane struck, Hurricane Ida. This event caused record-breaking rain and flash flooding, leaving 45 people dead and many more injured. Out of 45, 11 of them drowned in NYC basement apartments, and one person died in a vehicle collision in Queens, New York. In addition to these deaths, New York had at least three deaths, 23 deaths in New Jersey, three deaths in Pennsylvania, one in Maryland, and one in Connecticut. A new record-breaking of 3.15 inches of rain fell in Central Park in one hour that night. Water poured into subway stations in NYC and streets flooded up to the tops of cars in some states. This not only caused devastating deaths but 350 investigations of oil spill incidents in the aftermath of the hurricane were reported. 

To reflect back on why there has been so much destruction from these tropical storms and hurricanes in just these past 4 months, climate change has to be acknowledged. The result of the substantial change has been caused by warmer air holding more water vapor, which eventually gets dumped as rain. The Northeast US has been strongly affected by this trend. Not only has the total amount of rainfall here increased in recent decades, but independent rainstorms have delivered a more powerful hit. Due to the paved surfaces and heavy rain, it makes it harder for water to drain away causing floods in urban areas. This is clear when we look at places like New York but not only very populated areas were drastically affected, so were towns like Norwalk, CT.