Author Archive: Charlie Barnett

Florida Homes Targeted by Looters after being Crashed by Hurricane Michael

Many Florida homes were left in the dark as a result of the powerful hurricane Michael reaching category four status a week ago. These homes are now the target of looters, and Florida authorities have arrested about ten suspected looters in the Florida panhandle a night.

The county sheriff’s office in the Bay has now sent out a serious warning that the houses, as well as the businesses situated in the devastated region, are being targeted by looters, and these are armed according to the reports published by the Panama City News Herald.

Thieves Enter Houses While Owners Sleep

Victoria Smith, one of the victims, shared that while she and her family of four children were sleeping, thieves enter her house. Smith left her front door open during the steamy weather that followed hurricane Michael to allow or a breeze, and her power was off at the time. While she was sleeping her purse were snatched by the perpetrators and even clutching it to her chest could not prevent this. Mrs Smith explained that she was simply exhausted from trying to fend for her children and survive during the storm, which made her so tired that she never even heard the thieves entering her home.

Looters Will Be Shot

Due to the looting in some of the areas, residents have spray painted several signs now warning the looters. Some read “You Steal We Kill” while other warns that “Looters Will Be Shot”. In the wake of hurricane Michael, Stanford reported that it is also a stressful period for the officers, who continue to work 16-hour shifts, even when most of them have also lost their homes during the hurricane. The influx of officers and resources from several other areas are a great help although the looting and lawfulness are a major concern. The recent storm in Florida killed 16 people, most from the coastal county, while another ten deaths have been reported from elsewhere. Many officers continue to work 16 hours up to 18-hour shifts without any sleep or getting a chance to shower and now they also have to deal with armed looters. It is a stressful time in Bay County, and everyone is still dealing with the damage after the hurricane.

Hurricane Michael’s Fury, A Week After Still Being Discovered

It is a week after hurricane Michael, and in largely-flattened town’s there are desperate searches still for missing persons. Neighbourhoods are devastated by the powerful blow from hurricane Michael, which was the strongest to hit Florida in almost 50 years. Slowly, cell phone services are returning, while 137,000 in northern Florida are without power. The lack of phone services and the electricity hampers the efforts to distribute water and food, and many residents have not been heard from since the storm. Officials have not announced how many are missing, although the death toll is 29 at the moment for North Carolina, Georgia, Virginia and Florida. As one resident describes it “We Basically Lots Old Florida.”

Did Global Warming Supercharge Hurricane Michael

Exploding in intensity, Hurricane Michael went from a tropical storm into a category 4 storm with 155 winds, and once it hit land, it became the third strongest to ever hit the United States and the most powerful to cause disaster in the Panhandle of Florida. Hurricane Michael is not the only record-breaker in 2018, and it is also the fourth warmest year when it comes to global warming, according to the NOAA. In the UK the Environmental Audit Committee warned that by 2040 summer temperatures will reach 38C potentially causing a yearly total of up to 7,000 heat-related deaths.

Earth’s Temperatures Increasing by Twice the Rate


According to National Geographic, the earth’s temperature is rising at twice the rate when compared to 50 years ago. This rapid pattern and rate of warming cannot be explained by natural cyclones only scientist say. It is the effect of greenhouse gases caused and ignored by humans.

Warm Ocean Waters of Gulf of Mexico

Hurricane Michael’s rapid intensification was fueled by both weather factors as well as the warm ocean water in the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricanes fuel via water of around 80 degrees and the water was 4 to 5 degrees warmer than normal in the eastern Gulf. What certainly played a role is the warmer water that is humanly fingerprinted according to the Atmospheric and National Oceanic Administration, according to Jim Kossin a hurricane and climate expert.

Rapid Intensifications Will Be More Common in Future

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Kerry Emanuel says that the incidences of storms will intensify rapidly and continue to substantially increase by the end of the century. Michael Mann, a climatologist at Penn State University, shared with ThinkProgress, that the ocean is undergoing rapid intensification, the ocean waters are unusually warm, it’s a pattern also identified a year ago with Florence, Harvey and now one of the strongest hurricane Michael.

Much Higher Temperatures


Ryan Maue, WeatherUS agrees and confirms that there is no doubt whatsoever that the warmer ocean waters encountered hurricane Michael, the waters were quite a bit warmer when compared to temperatures over the past three decades. By analyzing the water temperatures in early October, Maue found that when he compared the data from the period 1985 up to 2005 to the recorded data of the period 2006 up to 2018, the average rose in temperature was almost 1 degree. He feels more detailed analysis is required to completely understand what did happen across the Gulf of Mexico during the past twelve years.

Brian McNoldy, a hurricane researcher at the University of Miami, says, regardless the cause, Hurricane Michael saw everyone’s worst fears realised, its rapid intensification before landfall has never been experienced. Two measures are used to determine whether hurricanes are getting worse, the one is the strengths of the storms, the other the number of storms and both indicates that there has been a rapid increase since the start of the 20th century.

Over 370,000 Ordered to Evacuate in Florida

Hours before hurricane Michael hit Florida it was upgraded to a category four storm, a storm that is extremely dangerous and it was predicted that it would sustain winds of up to 130mph. Over 370,000 individuals in Florida were ordered to move to higher grounds and evacuate their homes while 13 people had already died because of the floods, rains and storm in Central America. Georgia, Alabama and Florida declared a state of emergency while the National Hurricane Centre in Miami warned that the hurricane is extremely dangerous.

Congressmen appeared on CNN on urge people to flee well in advance of the arrival of hurricane Michael until it was too late, and everyone was just advised to remain indoors when it became too dangerous to travel. Neal Dunn was one of the representatives of Panama City who appeared on CNN tonight and shared that the aftermath of hurricane Michael looked like a bomb went off on every single block, the trail of destruction was clear as the hurricane passed Florida’s panhandle.

National Weather Service issues several warnings

The National Weather Service also issued several warnings regarding the tornado as hurricane Michael became classified as a tropical storm while on its way to South Carolina. All residents were urged to move into interior rooms and not go outside. Soon after reports came in of dangerous flying debris as mobile homes were destroyed, roofs were damaged, and windows were broken.

Yet Michael passed the Mexico Beach as a hurricane category four according to video shots released by StormChasingVideo.com, while Tallahassee reported that many houses were damaged and that the area had no power, but that most people were doing well. By Wednesday most of the evacuees could return to what was left of their homes in Panama City, although people were advised to check their homes for gas leaks and to watch out for debris as the dangers were not completely over yet.

Hurricane Michael is the strongest storm to hit America since 1992 and reached wind speed so f 155 mph. The only interstate in the Florida area, Interstate 10 was closed by the Florida Highway Patrol, and the 81 miles of interstate stayed close due to extremely hazardous conditions. Later Mile Marker 166 and Mile Marker 85 was closed in both directions and travellers were advised to seek alternative routes.

Mike Thomas, the mayor of Panama City, told CNN’s John Berman that even though the city had suffered huge damage, it was not near what was expected. With most of the newer building being up to hurricane code, the damage could be somewhat controlled although the fire department and police experienced phone service problems.
By Friday morning, hurricane Michael was on its way to the Carolinas, now classified as a tropical storm it brought with it, heavy rain and strong winds, which made the main concern power outages. Albany that is 100 miles inland the storm left devastation, large trees where down, wires are lying across the streets, and trees have demolished houses and cars.

Toxic Red Tide Leaves Coastal Beaches Littered with Sea Life

Palm Beach County beach was littered with dozens of dead fish this week as the toxic red tide spread along the Atlantic Coast of Florida. Algae causing the red tide, have been spotted along some of the most densely populated parts of the east coast, according to Florida’s Wildlife and Fish Conservation Commission officials. In more than decade blooms were confirmed in St. Lucie, Martin and Palm Beach marking the first sign of the red tide.

After Hour of Coughing University of Miami’s Neurology Researcher Fled the Beach


Tests are performed by wildlife officials in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, and the results are expected on Wednesday for Broward. Currently, no mention has been made regarding online updates and Susan Neel, the FWC spokeswoman mentioned that further results could be expected by Friday. Since last weekend several of the beachgoers have complained about itchy eyes, coughing and other symptoms related to red tide. After an hour of runny noses and coughing on Saturday, the University of Miami’s neurology researcher, Gerare Rimesso and his family fled the beach at Fort Lauderdale.

County Beaches Closed Since the Weekend

Since the weekend the county beaches have been closed, state biologists were sent to investigate the kills, after dead fish washed ashore in Palm Beach County at the MacArthur State Park and red tide were detected. The blooms were first spotted off Sarasota in the Gulf of Mexico, almost a year ago, it then got swept into the loop current of the Gulf connected to the current in Florida that flows north along the Atlantic coast. The Atmospheric Administration and National Oceanographic satellites detected evidence in August and September when algae were spotted west of the Marquesas Island.

The Algae that Causes the Red Tide Lives off the Gulf Coast & Therefore the Atlantic Coast Rarely Sees it. Over the fall and summer blooms withered the gulf shores, beaches were shut down and it cripples businesses, and fish kills are constantly reported between Collier and Pinellas counties. Since 1994 the blooms do appear in the gulf between fall and spring every year, this year the bloom also appeared off the Panhandle a month ago.

Coastal Pollution Feeds Blooms and Increase Problem

The blooms from offshore, but scientists revealed this week that the pollution feeds them and make it worse. This year’s bloom was encouraged by the blue-green algae that are massive on Lake Okeechobee. Palm Beach lifeguards informed beachgoers on Saturday that beaches were closed due to the number of people needing medical attention. Many asked one question and that is how long the situation would last, experts say it depends and at the time the red tides can last for weeks, it depends on nature, the wind and the sunlight it could also last a year. According to Florida’s Wildlife and Fish Research Institution, only eight blooms occurred since the early 1950’s and the last one was more than a decade ago.

Most Destructive and Powerful Hurricanes in the History of Florida

Mostly known for its breath-taking views and sandy beaches, Florida is also the place of deadly hurricanes. It has been hit by hurricanes more often than any of the other states. There also has been more damage and more loss of life collectively, in Florida than in other states according to Dan Kottlowski, the meteorologist at AccuWeather.

Hurricanes caused damage and casualties that displaced hundreds of people from their homes, and the damages can add up to billions of dollars. The most powerful or worst hurricanes to date include the hurricane Andrew, Miami, Okeechobee and the Labour Day Hurricane.

Labour Day Hurricane


The Labour Day Hurricane took place in 1935 and is the strongest hurricane to cause landfall in terms of wind and pressure. The maximum winds were estimated at 185 mph, and the storm surge neared 20 feet. In the Labour Day Hurricane reported fatalities totalled 409 which included 259 veterans of World War one working on the railway connecting the Keys. Every tree and building in Matecumbe Key was completely destroyed.

Hurricane Andrew

It is one of the most recent category five hurricanes in the US, during Hurricane Andrew the winds neared 165 mph in August 1992. More than 25,524 houses in Florida were destroyed not including damaged houses totalling 101,241. During Hurricane Andrew, 99.2% of mobile homes in Homestead were completely destroyed, and the storm tide neared 17 feet at the headquarters of the Burger King. Damaged estimated due to the hurricane was estimated at $25 billion measure to the value of the USD in 1992 in Florida only.

Miami Hurricane


Miami Hurricane took place in 1926 and was one of the most intense cyclists that completely devasted Miami. It tracked from the north to the south of Florida and caused destruction and death. In damages, it caused more than $100.

Hurricane Okeechobee

Hurricane Okeechobee was one of the deadliest, it took place in 1928 and was reported as the most devastating to life near West Palm Beach. The category four hurricane was the 7th strongest and ranked as the worst disaster when it comes to the loss of life. In Florida, there were 2,500 fatalities of which were drowning in Lake Okeechobee. More than 611 fatalities were noted for Belle Glade, and the damage it caused reached $196 billion which was an early start to the great depression.

Hurricane Irma

The powerful hurricane Irma is the most recent and winds of up to 130 mph were sustained which makes hurricane Irma a category 4. During the hurricane, several people suffered power outages caused by the winds. The storm combined with the tide in Southwest Florida and power outages continued for quite some time in Florida. Many left their homes in search of safety for their families, and hundreds of dead fish were found on Interstate 40. It is important for Florida residents to know when to evacuate, the evacuation routes and remain up to date with all events in their area.

Hurricane Florence Evacuees Accommodated by Opening of Hotel Rooms

As hurricane Florence nearer homes near North Carolina, Wilmington many had to pack their cars and head toward Florida’s Walt Disney World. This was also the case for Allison Jordan and her husband who headed toward Florida with two teenage children when they made the decision to go west towards Disney World others decided to go west, and it was chaos, it was weird for Florida hurricanes. Jordan is the director of a preschool in Burgaw, North Carolina.

Florida Accommodated Passenger on Diverted Cruise Ships

Accustomed to evacuating in several other parts of the state, residents of Florida were this week in the unusual position when fleeing north. This was the only option for many when the hurricanes started to threaten their homes. It also included accommodating people on re-routed cruise ships and many seeking hotel rooms was hoping to escape the rage of Hurricane Florence, which arrived in North Carolina on Friday morning.

Carolina Residents Escaped to Florida


By Thursday, state emergency officials revealed that had no idea of how many Carolina residents escaped to Florida and they also had no way in tracking the Carolinians. Numerous hotels in Florida offered special discounts to people fleeing from South Carolina as well as other hurricane evacuees, while Florida opened its ports to cruise ships who needed to make unexpected ports of call. Florida’s Space Coast along with Port Canaveral had visits from two unexpected ships once Hurricane Florence made it completely impossible for them to stop in Bermuda.

Both Norwegian and Royal Caribbean Cruises Stopped in Florida

On Tuesday it was the Norwegian Escape, New York-based cruise that stopped at the port with 4,200 passengers, on Wednesday it was the Baltimore based Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas with passengers totalling 2,000 that was diverted to Port Canaveral and then set to depart again on Friday. The passengers on both the ships booked excursions to the theme parks based in Orlando, the Kennedy Space Centre and the local Beaches.

A reversal in Fortunes in a State Ravaged by Hurricane Irma & Threatened by Hurricane Matthew

Steep discounts were offered by Harris Rosen a Hotelier at all nine of his hotels in the area to accommodate the evacuees or Hurricane Florence. Depending on the hotel the prices per night ranged from $59 up to $79, and pets were welcomed. Rosen is accustomed to offering discounts for the past decades to Floridians escaping the coast and says he get more kisses and hugs during the hurricane season. Jordon, on the other hand, said via phone that it was strange going from a hurricane area to the most magnificent place on earth when she had no idea what Hurricane Florence had in store. She, her husband and two children are making the best of the situation, and the family is trying to enjoy the magic of Disney World even when they not sure when they would be able to go back home, and even while they are in a magical place, their hearts are at their home in North Carolina.

Three tropical storms continue to increase in intensity in the Atlantic

The season for tropical storms off the Florida coast has begun, and with it, three storms are showing increasing activity. The three storms have been named Tropical Storm Isaac, Tropical Storm Florence and Tropical Storm Helene.

It is expected that Tropical Storm Isaac will continue to grow in size and intensity in the eastern part of the Atlantic. It is currently about 1500 miles east of the Windward Islands with winds reported at 50 mph. While it is a bit early to predict if Isaac will threaten Florida, it is expected to be upgraded to a hurricane by next week.

Last night also saw an advisory go into effect for Tropical Storm Florence. This weakens as a result of wind shear, but experts believe it will turn into a hurricane over the course of the night. Florence is producing 70 mph winds and is travelling at 6 mph 800 miles southeast of Bermuda.

By next week, it is expected that the storm will grow into a major hurricane. While Florence is not anticipated to threaten South Florida, it is being advised that those in the Carolinas take precautions as winds could potentially reach 145 mph

Tropical Storm Helene is another storm being closely monitored as it is moving towards the Cabo Verde Islands and is expected to reach the islands by Sunday. She is increasing in intensity and moving west at about 13 mph with winds hitting 60mph. At the time of this report, the storm was 150 miles away from the islands and was showing some signs of that is might weaken as a result of wind shear as it travels west.

It is advised that Floridian’s monitor the storm’s activity and take appropriate precautions. While none are a threat at the moment, the season dictates that those in the outlying areas prepare in advance so as to avoid being caught unprepared.

Replica of Florida’s Election System Hacked by Eleven-Year-Old in 10 Minutes

Just as the current Trump administration warns that Russia is busy working on a system to underline the upcoming midterm election security, the results came in that an eleven-year-old took 10 minutes to hack a replica of Florida’s election system.

The general and primary election dates are known to most residents of Florida, the general election takes place in November of every year with an even number, while the primary election is held before the general election. The primary election takes place ten weeks before with the purpose being to leave enough days for nominating the nominees to be voted for in the upcoming general election to fill positions in the district, county, state and national office. In 2018 the primary election was scheduled to take place on the 28th of August followed by the general election on the 6th of November. The deadline for registering for the general election is 9th October 2018.

Testing the Election System for Upcoming US Midterm Elections

To ensure any and every system is hack-free several tests need to be performed, although it is worrisome when the system is hackable by children and not even hard-core hackers. The news shook the residents of Florida and the US when reports announced that the reproduction of the election system of Florida’s was hacked into by an 11-year-old within just 10 minutes.

Yet that is not the worst news, since the 11-year-old was not the only youngster that managed it, he was only the fastest of thirty-five children who were all able to hack into the replicas of the Florida’s election system websites during the Def Con security convention lasting spanning over three days, that offered replica sites of six swing states. The convention raises concern about the election system security of America, while there are only months left before the midterms.

The shocking results of these tests and efforts regarding the US election infrastructure are passed onto the National Association of Secretaries of state and the states, which are the officials responsible for confirming and tallying the vote totals, which all agreed that they welcome the efforts in testing the system.

National Association of Secretaries of State Says Actual System Use Additional Protection

Even though the tests and results were welcomed, the group responsible for tallying the vote totals did say that the actual election system that is used by the state have additional protection. These officials also shared that it would be extremely challenging to replicate the systems used by the states as these use custom-built databases and unique networks with the most updated security protocols.

President Donald Trump’s national security force has already warned that pervasive efforts had been launched by Russia to interfere with the upcoming 2018 elections in America. The results of young children hacking into the replica of the election system highlight the potential of security lapses, which is a major concern to all voters in America, worried that the voters roll in the upcoming midterm election could be tampered with.