S.T.O.R.M. REPORT by quearess


									   S.T.O.R.M. REPORT
   A Newsletter from The City of Lewes Partnership to               Safety Training Outreach Recovery Mitigation
        Build a Disaster Resistant Community                        Volume 2 Issue 2              Fall   2001

 As Hurricane Season Winds Down, It’s Time to
 Get Ready for Northeasters and Winter Storms
 Hurricane Season Ends November 30th                             Tropical Storm Allison developed on June 5th in the Gulf of
As hurricane season continues to wind down to its “official”     Mexico. This system distributed over a foot of rain into Gulf
conclusion on November 30th, Olga, the 15th named tropical       Coast states. Associated flooding resulted in billions of
storm of the 2001 season continues to churn in the Atlantic.     dollars in property damage and 41 deaths.
In 2001, nine of the15 named storms became hurricanes            Tropical Storm Barry formed on August 2nd in the Gulf of
(winds exceeding 74 mph), and four of those hurricanes           Mexico, and made landfall near Panama City, FL, on August
became major storms, with winds exceeding 111 mph. As            5th. No major damage or injuries resulted from this storm.
tropical storm experts look back on the 2001 hurricane           Tropical Storm Chantal initially developed in the Atlantic
season, they note that the United States once again escaped      Ocean on August 15th, and after becoming a strong tropical
the wrath of a land falling hurricane.                           storm, crossed over islands in the Caribbean near Jamaica on
          “Basically, we had the fourth most active hurricane    it’s way to the Yucatan Peninsula. Chantal made landfall
season since records began in 1871,” explains Dr. Steve          near Cancun, on the Mexican coast, on August 22nd.
Lyons, The Weather Channel’s hurricane expert. “It only          Tropical Storm Dean developed on August 22nd in the
proves that the total number of storms in the Atlantic doesn’t   Caribbean, just north of Puerto Rico. By August 23rd, Dean
relate to the number of land falling storms.”                    was depositing torrential rainfall in the Dominican Republic,
          Tropical Storm Allison, the first named storm of the   and then lost its energy in the Atlantic Ocean by August
season, was not only the most damaging storm of the 2001         28th.
season, but proved to be the most damaging tropical storm in     Hurricane Erin officially became a named hurricane on
U.S. history. On June 5th, Allison developed in the Gulf of      September 8th after 7 days of tropical depression and tropical
Mexico and moved quickly into Texas. In Houston alone,           storm status (winds less than 74 mph). Hurricane Erin
rainfall totals exceeded 30 inches, and damage estimates         eventually became a Category 3 hurricane, buffeting
were put at near $5 billion. Allison’s slow-moving               Bermuda with 115 mph winds. Little structural damage was
remnants continue to dump torrential rain from the Gulf          reported in Bermuda, but Erin continued to exist as an
states to the mid-Atlantic coast and caused more flooding,
damage and deaths than any tropical storm ever to hit the
United States. Torrential rainfall and associated flooding                                    In this issue...
resulted in significant property damage and 41 deaths.            Hurricane Season Ends November 30th . . . . . . . . . . . . . .                      1
          Dr. Lyons remarked, “As we remind people every          Northeasters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
year, there have been very quiet years with few storms, but       Floods Can Strike Anywhere, Anytime . . . . . . . . . . . . . .                      3
those few that develop can strike the coast and do                Protecting Valuable Records . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .              4
tremendous damage.....You need to be prepared regardless of       Winter Outlook: A Season of Extremes . . . . . . . . . . . . . .                     4
the season’s predictions.”                                        Coastal Construction Demo-House . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .                    5
                                                                  Lewes Project Impact Update . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .                5
    2001 Hurricane Season Summary,                                Disaster Planning Checklist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .            6
            Storm by Storm
2001 was one of the slowest-starting seasons on record; one                                                          Editor: Wendy Carey
without a hurricane (Erin) until September 8th. More than                                                         Marine Advisory Service
half of the named storms developed in the months of October                                                         University of Delaware
and November. However, this seemingly quiet season was                                                          Sea Grant College Program
destructive and deadly: between June and November, 2001,                                                                Lewes, DE 19958
more than 85 people were killed in the United States and                                                                    302-645-4258
Latin America.
                  Page 2 STORM Report                                                    Fall 2001

extratropical storm in the Atlantic for the next 5 days. This   official end of hurricane season. Olga was the 15th named
system eventually disintegrated on September 14th.              storm and the 9th hurricane of the six month 2001 season.
 Hurricane Felix developed on September 7th as a tropical          Northeasters: Be Prepared for These
depression in the Atlantic Ocean. Five days later, it
developed into a Category 3 hurricane (115 mph winds), but          Potentially Dangerous and Severe
never was a threat to land areas.
Hurricane Gabrielle formed September 13th as Tropical
Storm Gabrielle gained strength over the warm waters of the
Gulf of Mexico. Gabrielle made landfall near Venice Beach,
FL, soaking the Florida Peninsula with torrential rain and 70
mph winds. Gabrielle eventually moved over the Atlantic
Ocean, where it finally became a hurricane on September
17th before it deteriorated.
Tropical Depression 9 developed in the Carribean on
September 19th, moving west-northwest towards the coast of
Central America, before quietly and quickly dissipating.
Hurricane Humberto developed into a tropical storm on
September 22nd in the Atlantic, and achieved hurricane status
                                                                   DNREC Photo
by the 23rd. Humberto briefly threatened Bermuda, but then
tracked northeast, and dissipated by September 27th.
Tropical Storm Jerry developed near the Windward Islands
on October 6th, and eventually dissipated in the eastern                           Coastal Storms
Carribean Sea by October 8th.                                   Over the past several decades, many scientists, coastal
Hurricane Iris was one of the most devastating storms of        residents, and coastal property owners have come to
the 2001 Atlantic hurricane season. Iris originated on          recognize the damage potential of severe coastal storms
October 4th near St. Vincent in the Windward Islands, and       called “Northeasters.” Unlike hurricanes, these storms form
strengthened into a powerful hurricane over the next two        outside of the tropics, and derive their strength from
days, eventually reaching Category 4 status. Iris made          temperature differences as warm and cold air masses meet.
landfall in eastern Mexico on October 8th, with severe          In the mid-Atlantic states, the presence of the warm waters of
damage to hundreds of houses and buildings. Winds               the Gulf Stream off the eastern seaboard during the winter
exceeded 140 mph, and storm surge reached levels of 13-18       season acts as a temperature contrast to cold arctic air masses
feet above normal.                                              moving in from the north. During winter and spring months
Hurricane Karen began as a subtropical storm near               along the mid-Atlantic coast, extreme warm and cold air
Bermuda on October 12th, and quickly gained hurricane           masses may clash, resulting in coastal storm development.
status with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph. Karen            The temperature structure of the cold continental air mass
eventually lost strength and dissipated over Nova Scotia.       combined with the Gulf Stream temperature gradient drives
Tropical Storm Lorenzo originated as a Tropical                 the development of the low pressure weather system known
Depression 14 on October 27th in the vicinity of the Azores     as a northeaster, or an extra-tropical cyclone. As the low
Islands, but never made landfall. T. S. Lorenzo existed as a    pressure system develops, deepens and strengthens, winds
tropical for two days before dissipating in the Atlantic.       and waves can quickly increase and cause damage to coastal
Hurricane Michelle, like Iris, was one of the most              areas as the storm generally moves along the Atlantic
devastating storms of the 2001 Atlantic hurricane season.       seaboard.
Originating as a tropical depression on October 29th,                     In Delaware, the impact and most severe threat of a
Michelle’s torrential rains claimed the lives of 12 people in   northeaster can be somewhat limited to immediate coastal
Nicaragua and Honduras. Michelle achieved hurricane             areas affected by beach erosion, overwash, storm surge and
status as it approached Cuba where it made landfall as a        rising tides, although impacts from rain, flood, and wind can
Category 4 storm, killing five people. Continuing north,        reach inland areas. Because these powerful storms can
Michelle impacted Florida with heavy rains, floods, and         develop quickly and explosively, they typically make landfall
wind damage, and eventually crossed the Bahamas as a            with less warning than hurricanes, and catch residents at
Category 2 hurricane.                                           home and unprepared. A number of notable northeasters
Hurricane Noel formed off the southern coast of                 have impacted Delaware in recent decades, including severe
Newfoundland on November 5th, and wind speeds eventually        storms in 1991, 1992 and 1998. The Ash Wednesday
reached 85 mph. Noel quickly dissipated in the North            Northeast Storm of March, 1962, is currently the coastal
Atlantic without making landfall.                               storm of record in Delaware.
Hurricane Olga, a persistent late season hurricane, lingered
in the Atlantic as a tropical storm until four days after the
                  Page 3 STORM Report                                                     Fall 2001

 Floods Can Strike Anywhere, Anytime                             functions - especially in states that have not had recent flood
Devastating floods occur throughout the U.S. every year.         disasters. It is also a demonstration on the part of the new
Over development and leveling of forests have reduced the        FEMA Director that wise floodplain management is an
land’s natural ability to absorb excess water. Because of        important national goal and that states have a pivotal role in
this, heavy rains can bring disastrous floods with very little   reaching it. Allbaugh already had expressed concern about
warning, even if you don’t live near a river or stream or in a   the need for more and better flood hazard mapping.
coastal area.                                                              The NFIP coordinator for the state of Delaware is
          If you a believe a flood can’t hit you, you’re         Mike Powell, Delaware DNREC, Division of Soil and Water
mistaken. The truth is, 99 percent of all natural disasters in   Conservation. Through this coordinating office, the state of
the country involve flooding; and between 25 percent and 30      Delaware has been active in assuming a fundamental role and
percent of flood insurance claims come from areas                responsibility in addressing flood risks and in providing
designated “low risk.”                                           assistance to local communities and property owners.
                                                                           According to Director Allbaugh’s letter to the
    Your Homeowners Insurance Policy Isn’t Enough!
          Losses due to flooding are not covered under most      governors, some of the steps that states can take to reduce
homeowners or business policies. No one, however, should         flood losses include:
be without financial protection from flood disaster. You can     •         Encourage communities to join the National Flood
insure your home or business, and its contents, if your                    Insurance Program.
community is part of the National Flood Insurance Program        •         Encourage communities to integrate mitigation
(NFIP). With the exception of certain coastal barrier areas,               measures within existing land use planning and
you can buy flood insurance in NFIP communities no matter                  development processes.
where your home or business is located.                          •         Enact floodplain management requirements that
                                                                           exceed the minimum NFIP criteria, and enact
   Is Your Home or Business Located in a Floodplain?
                                                                           statewide building codes to ensure construction of
          People who live in floodplains, areas that pose
                                                                           more hazard resistant buildings.
special flood hazards, are 27 times more likely to experience
                                                                 •         Develop a strategy for repetitive loss properties.
a flood during the term of their 30-year mortgage than they
                                                                 •         Ensure that state-owned properties are protected
are to experience a fire. Depending on the category of risk
                                                                           from flood damage.
area, and depending on the amount of coverage you elect to
                                                                 •         Increase state involvement in keeping flood hazard
purchase, the NFIP can cover flood losses to your building
                                                                           maps current for all communities.
and contents. In addition, the NFIP may reimburse you for
                                                                 •         Encourage constituents to buy flood insurance.
actions you take to prevent flood damage. The NFIP is a
                                                                 (Excerpted from the ASFPM Newsletter, Vol. 14, No. 5)
federal program created by Congress in 1968 to provide
insurance at a reasonable cost to property owners in
exchange for the careful management of flood-prone areas
by local communities. Today, the NFIP serves over 4
million policyholders in more than 18,000 communities
across the nation. It is administered by the Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). For more
information on flood insurance, contact the NFIP at 800-427-
4661, or contact the NFIP coordinator for the state of
Delaware, Mike Powell (Delaware DNREC) at 302-739-

   FEMA Urges Governors to Support
      Floodplain Management
In August, the Director of the Federal Emergency
Management Agency, Joe M. Allbaugh, sent a letter to all
state governors encouraging them to consider a range of
state-level activities to reduce flood losses and to support
their state floodplain management programs. A copy of the
governor’s letter went to each state coordinating agency for
the National Flood Insurance Program.
          This direct communication with the governors about
the importance of the NFIP provides an opportunity for state
coordinating agencies to gain visibility for their important
                  Page 4 STORM Report                                                      Fall 2001

         Protecting Valuable Records
Many of us assume that floods, storms, and other disasters
will always happen to someone else, which prevents us from
planning to adequately store family papers. Protecting
family papers is just one part of being prepared to deal with
natural disasters. An up to date household inventory is a
very valuable resource. When making the inventory, do not
overlook tools stored in the garage, lawn furniture, or food in
the freezer. You may want to include a video or photographs
of your inventory. An accurate inventory will help you
determine if you have enough insurance to cover the contents
of your home. Keep the inventory current.
          Additional copies of valuable records list should be
                                                                  Win                                                      ter
in the care of a lawyer, the administrator of wills, business            Outlook: A Season of Extremes
associates or trusted family members residing outside of your     As Winter 2001-2002 approaches, NOAA scientists say that
home. The need for greater care of valuable papers increases      for most of the United States, winter this year will feel like a
as your estate size and family size increase, and as family       sequel to last year’s cold season, with sharp swings in
goals and life patterns become more complex.                      temperature and precipitation, including heavy lake-effect
Valuable papers to keep in your safe deposit box:                 snows in the Northeast and Midwest, cold air outbreaks in
Stocks, records and bond certificates                             the South, and the potential for Northeasters along the East
Property records, deeds, title and/or leases                      Coast. NOAA officials explain that the absence of a strong
Household inventory                                               El Nino or La Nina climate pattern leaves the door open for a
Contracts (including promissory notes)                            highly variable winter, which will impact the winter weather
A copy of your will (his and hers)                                extremes such as cold, snow, rain and ice that the nation may
Auto title                                                        experience.
Marriage, Birth, and/or Death certificates, Divorce decrees                 “We don’t expect a repeat of the record-breaking
Social Security cards                                             cold temperatures of November-December of last year, but
Government savings bonds                                          this winter should be cooler than the warm winters of the late
Important receipts and bills of sale, Automobile bill of sale     1990s,” said Scott Gudes, NOAA’s acting administrator.
List of insurance policies                                        “Citizens should prepare for the full range of winter
Military service records                                          weather.”
Copyrights and patents                                                      NOAA’s regional outlook for the Mid-Atlantic
Adoption papers, Custody papers                                   States calls for equal chances of above normal, normal, or
Passports                                                         below-normal temperatures and precipitation. Storm tracks
Citizenship papers                                                could bring more snow than the winters of the late 1990s,
Religious records                                                 which largely depends on the Arctic Oscillation. The Arctic
Income tax returns                                                Oscillation influences the number of cold-air outbreaks in the
Retirement papers                                                 South and Northeasters on the East Coast. This winter,
Valuable papers that need to be in your possession at             NOAA’s improving technologies will help the National
home at all times in a waterproof, fireproof box:                 Weather Service forecasters pinpoint when the Arctic
Advisor’s names and addresses                                     Oscillation will kick in and bring extreme weather. The
Guarantees and warranties                                         National Weather Service operates a widespread network of
Educational records                                               observing systems such as geostationary satellites. NWS
Employee benefits                                                 meteorologists use their expertise and experience to analyze
Health records                                                    data obtained from doppler radar and automated surface
Insurance policies                                                observing systems that constantly monitor the current
Loan payment books                                                numerical computer models.
Copies of birth and marriage certificates                                   There is no better way to keep ahead of a winter
Driver’s license numbers                                          storm than with NOAA Weather Radio (NWR), a small
Copies of income tax returns                                      receiver device that can be purchased at many electronic
Appliance manuals                                                 stores. As the “Voice of the National Weather Service,” it
Current bank balances                                             provides continuous broadcasts of the latest weather
Rental property records                                           information from local NWS offices. Weather radios come
Safe deposit records and inventory of items                       in many sizes, with a variety of functions and costs. A
                                                                  NOAA Weather Radio is a useful and potentially life-saving
                                                                  gift idea this holiday season!
                  Page 5 STORM Report                                                      Fall 2001

    Coastal Construction Demo-House                                       Lewes Project Impact Update
                                                                 The following summary has been compiled from information
                                                                 provided by Mr. Nelson F. Wiles, Project Impact Coordinator
                                                                 for The City of Lewes. For more detailed information about
                                                                 the Lewes Project Impact initiative, please contact Nelson
                                                                 Wiles at Lewes City Hall: 645-7777.
                                                                           Mr. Wiles is coordinating the development of a
                                                                 City web site that will include a Project Impact page
                                                                 designed to showcase the city’s pre-disaster mitigation
                                                                 projects and initiatives. The site will also provide disaster
                                                                 preparedness and prevention materials as well as links to
                                                                 other useful web sites.
                                                                           Under FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program
                                                                 (HMGP), the State of Delaware recently approved the
A coastal construction demonstration house has recently          elevation of six additional residential properties within The
been completed to be used as an educational tool for coastal     City of Lewes. These properties are in addition to eight
communities, including property owners, building officials,      properties that were previously approved and elevated using
engineers, architects, and builders. This unique project has     HMGP funding.
been realized through the joint efforts of the University of               Mr. Wiles has recommended the designation of a
Delaware Sea Grant Program, and both The City of Lewes           City Mitigation Planning Team to sustain the initiatives of
and Town of Bethany Beach Project Impact initiatives.            the Project Impact Partnership by developing an overall
          The 6' x 16' demo-house has been built on a trailer,   mitigation strategy to reduce the city’s vulnerability to
and can travel throughout the county, state, and Delmarva        natural disasters.
Peninsula as a teaching and training tool for proper coastal               Lewes Community Rating System: City of Lewes
construction methods. The house also illustrates and             representatives recently met with a Community Rating
describes many of the wind and flood mitigation measures         System (CRS) Specialist from the Insurance Services Office
that are recommended by the newest FEMA Coastal                  to discuss ways that The City of Lewes may qualify for an
Construction Manual.                                             upgrade to the city’s CRS rating. Through projects,
          Delaware Sea Grant and the Lewes and Bethany           programs, and initiatives accomplished by the City and the
Project Impact initiatives were assisted by many partners        Project Impact Partnership, the city may qualify for an
who contributed materials, labor, and technical support to       upgrade to a rating of “8" thereby providing residents with a
help make the project possible. These partners include:          10% reduction on flood insurance premiums.
Quality Roofing Supply Company, East Coast Hurricane                       Critical Facilities Projects Updates:
Shutters, Lowes Home Improvement Warehouse,                      Lewes City Hall/Police Station: A backup generator for the
Stanley/Bostich Company, Simpson Strong-Tie Company,             City Hall/Police Station has been purchased and recently
Roll-A-Way Storm Shutters, Lewes Board of Public Works,          installed.
and Edwards Brothers Construction.                               Lewes Power and Water Plant: Storm shutters have been
          The demo-house will be used to provide education       installed at the plant. Work is progressing towards
and outreach programs regarding various construction issues      completion of the project to replace and reinforce the Engine
and how the homeowner can provide additional protection          Room wall. Estimates are being obtained for the costs
for a home by strengthening components of the protective         involved in putting electrical services at the Power and Water
envelope of a home: the roof, walls, doors and windows.          Plant underground.
Specifically recommended coastal construction techniques         Beebe Medical Center: Beebe Medical Center has
and materials illustrated by the house include: storm shutters   contracted Hurricane Protection Industries (HPI) to provide
for window and door openings, elevated utilities, and proper     and install insulated, reinforced glass at the hospital facility.
use of structural connections from                                                 Suggested Web Sites
the roof to the foundation such as                               Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA):
hurricane straps between the rafters                                      http://www.fema.gov
and walls, and proper strapping                                  Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA):
between sill plates, wall studs,                                          http://www.state.de.us/dema/index.htm
window frames, headers, and the                                  National Oceanic&Atmospheric Administration (NOAA):
foundation. The coastal                                                   http://www.noaa.gov/
construction demo-house is an                                    National Weather Service (NWS): http://www.nws.noaa.gov/
excellent example of partners                                    National Weather Service (Mt. Holly):
working together to build disaster                                        http://www.nws.noaa.gov/er/phi/
resistant communities.                                           American Red Cross (ARC): http://www.redcross.org

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