MIAMI - Seven feet of sea water swamps 45 miles of coastline from Miami Beach through Fort Lauderdale to Deerfield Beach. Salt water surges through countless houses near the coast. Waist-deep fresh water blankets vast regions of suburbia.
Ferocious winds crush tens of thousands of roofs and gut numerous office buildings. Residents who defy orders to evacuate skyscrapers along the coast and in downtown Miami could be blown out of their apartments. Power outages persist for months.
According to simulations conducted for The Miami Herald by scientists at the National Hurricane Center and to interviews with a wide range of experts, those are realistic sketches of what could occur when South Florida is blasted by a hurricane as strong as last year's Katrina was when it devastated the Gulf Coast and New Orleans, or Wilma when it wrecked portions of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.
Pardon me for a Moment
As with most high-intensity storms (Categories 4 and 5), the worst damage from Andrew is thought to have occurred not from straight-line winds but from vortices, or "miniwhirls" (something like embedded tornadoes). This was the conclusion of Tetsuya Theodore Fujita, a University of Chicago meteorologist who devised the Fujita scale for measuring the strength of tornadoes, after he surveyed Andrew's destruction in the Homestead area. There were thousands of these vortexes in Andrew; many of them could be traced for several miles, as they usually destroyed every building in their paths.
Andrew produced a 17 ft (5.2 m) storm surge near the landfall point in Florida, while storm tides of at least eight ft (2.4 m) inundated portions of the Louisiana coast. Andrew also produced a killer tornado in southeastern Louisiana. Its rainfall graphic is located here.
Excuse me again
One death in Jamaica, four deaths in Cuba, and ten deaths in the United States were directly attributed to Charley. Numerous injuries were reported, as well as twenty indirect deaths in the U.S.
Property damage from Charley in the United States was estimated by the NHC at $15 billion (2004 USD) . This made Charley the second costliest hurricane in United States history behind Hurricane Andrew's $43.7 billion in the 1992 season, though it has since been surpassed by the 2005 season's Hurricane Katrina.
and one last time
The heaviest damage as Ivan made landfall on the U.S. coastline was observed in Baldwin County in Alabama, where the storm's eye (and eyewall) made landfall, Pensacola, Pensacola Beach, dwellings situated far inland along the shorelines of Escambia Bay, East Bay, and Blackwater Bay in Escambia County and Santa Rosa County, and Fort Walton Beach, Florida on the eastern side of the storm. The area just west of Pensacola, including the community of Warrington which includes Pensacola NAS, Perdido Key, and Southwest Escambia County, took the brunt of the storm. Some of the subdivisions in this part of the county were completely destroyed, with a few key roads in the Perdido area only opened in late 2005, over a year after the storm hit. Shattered windows from gusts and flying projectiles experienced throughout the night of the storm were common. Early estimates had put damage in the United States at $5–$15 billion.
In Pensacola, the Interstate 10 bridge across Escambia Bay was heavily damaged, with as much as a quarter mile (400 m) of the bridge collapsing into the bay. The causeway that carries U.S. Highway 90 across the northern part of the same bay was also heavily damaged. Virtually all of Perdido Key, an area on the outskirts of Pensacola that bore the brunt of Ivan's winds and rain, was essentially leveled. High surf and wind brought extensive damage to Innerarity Point as well as Orange Beach just over the border from the Key in Alabama.
So umm why do we need computer models, and why do we need scare mongering?
because people in the media seem to forget these things already have happened, and already will happen