According to an estimate by AccuWeather, the combined cost of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey could top $290 billion, an unprecedented level that could slow the American economy and hammer insurance company balance sheets.
FlightAware reported 12,678 delayed flights and 4,461 canceled flights across the U.S.as of early Monday afternoon, with Miami, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa and Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International accounting for the bulk of storm-related cancellations. The last Category 4 hurricane to occur in the USA was Hurricane Charley in 2004, which also hit Florida.
Denying climate change puts people in harm's way. States now open to service on this practice include Texas, Louisiana, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, and North Carolina - and areas of availability will be updated as Hurricane Irma progresses. The 2017 hurricane season marks the first time since record-keeping began that two Category 4 storms have made USA landfall in the same year, AccuWeather said.
Just prior to the storm making landfall in Florida, the mayor of Miami, Tomas Regalado, told the Miami Herald that if Irma wasn't evidence of climate change, he wasn't sure what was. "If this isn't climate change, I don't know what is".
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We're talking about anthropogenic climate change, of course. "This is a truly, truly poster child for what is to come".
But, as Regalado explained, failing to address the underlying cause will doom major USA cities like Miami to keep repeating the same mistakes, leaving Americans unprepared to cope with ever-worsening natural disasters. It comes just 16 days after Hurricane Harvey roared into Rockport, Texas, with maximum sustained winds also at 130 miles per hour. As Harvey and Irma demonstrate, doing nothing on climate change is a radically risky choice, one that comes with a price tag no one is happy to pay. We got [Hurricane] Jose in the back and we got Katia. "Our teams on the ground and across the country are closely monitoring the new storm, and we will deliver the same payment, fee relief, and on-the-ground support to customers in impacted communities after Irma passes", Sloan said.
"Clearly we dealt with Houston and we were prepared, more so, in terms of how we would pivot to our operation in South Florida", United spokesman Hobart said.