Climate Impact Report – 09/29
As of Thursday morning, Ian was downgraded from a Category 3 hurricane to a tropical storm, with maximum sustained winds of 65 MPH. Ian was located around 40 miles southeast of Orlando at 8am, moving towards Canaveral at 8 MPH.
More than 2.5 million Florida homes and businesses were without power early Thursday.
As of Thursday morning, power is still out for 20% of Puerto Rican customers and unstable for those who have it.
Key Facts Of The Day 09/29
- As of Thursday morning, Ian was downgraded from a Category 3 hurricane to a tropical storm, with maximum sustained winds of 65 MPH. Ian was located around 40 miles southeast of Orlando at 8am, moving towards Canaveral at 8 MPH.
- President Biden on Thursday declared a major disaster in Florida, ordering federal aid to supplement state, tribal, and local recovery efforts in areas affected by the hurricane.
- Gov. Ron DeSantis described the storm as “500-year flooding event” and said Coast Guard helicopters were plucking trapped residents from the roofs of homes.
- More than 2.5 million Florida homes and businesses were without power early Thursday.
- Thursday morning, Governor DeSantis said reconnecting residents in Charlotte and Lee counties would likely require rebuilding of power infrastructure due to extensive damage.
- Entire neighborhoods in Venice, Nokomis, and Laurel are inaccessible due to flooding or toppled trees, and without power or phone service, leaving residents essentially cut off.
- As of Thursday morning, there were two reported fatalities in Florida.
- Lee County Sherriff said Thursday morning that deaths could be in the hundreds.
- Ian could become a hurricane again before hitting the southern East Coast.
- Forecasters are warning of a dangerous storm surge and other impacts, from Florida to North Carolina.
- The current forecast track sees Ian moving out northeast over the ocean as it passes Jacksonville, before turning more to the northwest and making landfall between Savannah, Georgia, and Charleston, South Carolina.
- Tropical-storm-force winds will start affecting Georgia and South Carolina Thursday.
- Ian is forecast to become a Category 1 hurricane when it makes landfall in South Carolina on Friday afternoon.
- Most of the Florida homes in the path of Hurricane Ian lack flood insurance, posing a major challenge to rebuilding efforts.
- More than a week after Hurricane Fiona hit Puerto Rico, the island is still dealing with the devasting aftermath.
- As of Thursday morning, power is still out for 20% of Puerto Rican customers and unstable for those who have it.
- 1,000 federal workers are on the ground in Puerto Rico to support power restoration, debris removal, urban search and rescue, and other response activities.
- Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas granted BP a temporary waiver Wednesday for a vessel near the island carrying 300,000 gallons of diesel fuel.
- On Tuesday, the Biden administration added the final four municipalities in Puerto Rico to the major disaster declaration, which allows FEMA to offer direct help to individuals to pay for temporary housing and home repairs, provide low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and fund other storm-recovery programs for individuals and business owners.
- Island residents are also experiencing trauma after suffering yet a second direct hit from a hurricane in five years.
- Many on the island are expressing that they feel helpless on social media.
- FEMA said it was providing mental health and counseling resources to its personnel in Puerto Rico, many of whom are “survivors” of the storm, as well as mental health resources to others on the island.
- As of Thursday, there are currently 92 large active wildfires that have burned 781,455 across CA, ID, MT, OK, OR, WA, and WY. As of Thursday, 53,338 wildfires have burned 6,872,196 acres across the country.
- In California, 2 fires have burned 29,386 acres as of Thursday.
- In Oregon, 6 fires have burned 332,543 acres as of Thursday.
- The Cedar Creek Fire has burned 115,428 acres and is 25% contained as of Thursday.
- New Mexico’s largest fire, Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon Fire, set off a drinking water crisis.
- Instead of replenishing reservoirs, downpours are flooding a burn scar left by the fire, releasing contaminants into private wells and overwhelming Las Vegas’s main water supply with ashy sludge.
- At one point this month, Las Vegas, a hub for predominantly Hispanic rural communities in one of the nation’s poorest states, had only about 20 days of fresh water left.
- Authorities forced water usage down to about 44 gallons per person per day — about a third of what the town used before the fire.
- Amid a heatwave, Cal State Long Beach art students plead for air conditioning.
- Fine arts students at Cal State Long Beach say their classes are housed in outdated buildings with inadequate air conditioning and ventilation, forcing them to spend hours in uncomfortable and unsafe learning environments.
- Classroom temperatures can reach into the 90s on hot days.
- Several dozen fine arts students participated in a walkout Wednesday to draw attention to the conditions, just weeks after holding a similar protest.
- Butterflies will be impacted by Texas drought and extreme heat during fall migration.
- The first-ever Climate Change Fund was announced this week for agricultural workers in Oregon who lost wages due to extreme heat or smoke the last two summers.
- Workers can receive compensation for up to two weeks of work or $1,250, so the funds could benefit as many as 8,000 workers.
New Reports and Data
- A September 2022 report found that more than 1,700 murders of environmental activists were recorded over the past decade.
- A September 2022 report found that human actions and climate crisis put 49% of the world’s bird species in decline, with one in eight bird species under threat of extinction.
- A September 2022 study found that Switzerland’s glaciers declined by 6% this year amid rising concerns about global warming and a summer heat wave that swept across Europe.
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