We tell ourselves that Connecticut weathered huge storms last year, and that's both true and not true. Irene, for example, never struck Connecticut as a hurricane. Any kind of hurricane. Irene's sustained winds reached about 50 mph.
Let's look at another I storm, Hurricane Ivan which, in 2004, hit the coast of Alabama with wind speeds of at least 120 miles per hour. As Ivan went inland, its winds slackened. A little bit. One hundred miles inland there were gusts of 90 miles per hour. I remind you, Irene, with all the celebrated havoc it caused, never blew harder than 50 or 60 miles per hour in Connecticut.
Ivan was a category 3 storm. One of those will hit Connecticut one of these days. It will require mass evacuations. It will keep power down for more than the ten days we now think of as a terrible hardship. Are we ready?
Web Extra: Wesleyan University Economist Gary Yohe discusses the role of climate change science in local disaster preparedness.
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