I am SERIOUSLY doubting CNN’s “Worst Hurricane Ever” sales pitch. Sounds to me like they’re either trying to win the Most Over-Sensationalized Reporting of the Year Award or simply trying to keep what few viewers are left.
But let’s look at some of these so-called “statistics:”
1. Strongest Atlantic basin hurricane ever recorded outside the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea…
Irma had maximum sustained winds of 185 mph and a barometric pressure of 914 hPa (lower is stronger). While strong indeed, hurricanes Wilma, Gilbert, “Labor Day”, and Allen beat Irma, both in terms of sustained wind speeds and lower (stronger) pressure. Allen (August 5-9, 1980) was the strongest with 195 mph winds and a pressure of just 899 hPa.
As for strongest ever, that record belongs to 2015’s Patricia, at 200 mph winds and 880 hPa.
2. Longest Category 5 hurricane since satellite storm-tracking began…
Perhaps, but “Cuba” (November 5-8, 1932) beat Irma’s 75 hours, coming in at 78 hours as a Category 5 storm.
3. No storm on record has maintained winds 185 mph or above for as long as Irma’s 37 hours.
Perhaps true, but this is a REALLY obscure fact, and would require pouring over tons of raw and minute data not generally reported to the public.
4. It prompted the largest evacuation in the history of the Bahamas, and potentially the largest in the US.
Ok, first of all, the Bahamas has never had so many inhabitants as it does today, nor so many with the means to leave, so, DUH.
Second, while 6.3 million people were ordered to evacuate, “The low estimates for the actual number of evacuees is 700,000 people” (Source: Boston Globe)
So, call it 1 million people who ACTUALLY evacuated.
Well, gee, you can order 30 million people to evacuated, but that’s not a “record.” Records are set by how many people actually evacuated, and that number looks to be roughly 1 million.
5. 1.3 million people without power…
On July 13-14, 1977, 9 million people experienced a power outage in New York City. Hell, hurricane Sandy knocked power out to roughly 8 million people.
UPDATE (20170911-1630 hrs EDT): The news is now saying “millions without powers” and refuses to specify numbers. Technically, “million” is anything over 1 million. However, I see they now added, “nearly 6 million people are without power.” Ok, that’s substantial, and commensurate with the fact Iram stretched beyond both Florida’s east and west coasts while raking it south to north. However, New York still has ’em beat.
Again: NO RECORD.
6. 15 feet of maximum storm surge…
“Katrina’s powerful right-front quadrant passed over the west and central Mississippi coast, causing a powerful 27-foot (8.2 m) storm surge…”
UPDATE (20170911-1630 hrs EDT): News agencies are now saything that while a storm surge of 10 to 15 feet was projected, that the storm surge was “nowhere near that bad.” So, what was it? Seven feet? Eight?
NOPE! Tied with Wilma, Gilbert, and “Labor Day”, but beat by Allen.
8. “95% of all buildings that Irma damaged when it hit Barbuda…”
Sorry, CNN, but damage to small islands enroute to the U.S. does not count. I really don’t care how many huts were blown down.
As for damage to Florida’s buildings, it looks like nearly all the buildings designed to withstand hurricane-force winds…
…actually withstood hurricane force winds.
Was Irma big? Yes. Was it fast? Yes. Did it cause significant storm surge? Yes.
But it wasn’t the biggests, fastest, floodiest hurricane on record, nor will it be the most expense. Nothing will top Katrina’s $108 billion price tag, although Sandy and Harvey came within $40 billion of doing so.
CNN, you’re caught LYING YOUR ASS OFF yet again!