Only two weeks after Hurricane Dorian decimated the Bahamas, a storm that was being referred to as “Tropical Depression Nine” turned into Tropical Storm Humberto when wind speeds abruptly increased. Almost immediately, the new system dumped heavy rain on the Bahamas, where survivors of Dorian are still reeling from the damage done and lives lost.
Tropical Storm Humberto will likely skirt the United States coast without ever making landfall: Alabama is safe.
Humberto could still damage coastal areas along the Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina coasts if it strengthens into a hurricane. Officials have not called for any mandatory evacuations, but residents along coastal areas have been asked to stay out of the water because of swells, rip tides, and potential storm surge in the coming days.
Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas hardest, but its slow progress along the U.S. coast resulted in millions of dollars of damage, most notably in Florida and South Carolina. Shifting sands resulted in the most unlikely of debris: two Civil War-era cannonballs were found on one beach. Past military operations in South Carolina mean that finding active mines and bombs is within the realm of possibility, and officials at the National Park Service are urging beachgoers to explore with caution.
Insurance claim attorney requests in Florida and South Carolina have increased in the weeks since Dorian’s winds, rain, and storm surge left many residential areas and public facilities with millions of dollars of damage. It could be months before the exact toll of the damage is known.
Unfortunately, the new storm system is also impeding ongoing rescue operations in the Bahamas, where thousands of people are still missing and feared dead. At least fifty people have been confirmed dead so far.
The Bahamas National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has been activated following Hurricane Dorian. Carl Smith, who works for NEMA, said, “I hope [Tropical Storm Humberto] does not disrupt [search efforts]. We have taken precautionary measures to address the potential impact that we may encounter. Fuel and water remain the biggest needs in Abaco.”
The United States government has promised at least $4 million in aid for the parts of the Bahamas hit worst and will be used for food, water, shelter, and medical treatment. 5,000 people have been evacuated from the worst-hit islands.
Although Tropical Storm Humberto is expected to move away from the United States over the next week, it could hit Bermuda in the next few days.