By Scientific American
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Additional resources for Weather (Scientific American Presents 03)
Observes. Because of Floyd’s enormity, its winds would have lashed evacuees even if the eye had remained offshore. Toppling trees might have crushed evacuees dozing in cars, G ridlock may be unavoidable during huge evacuations. It has plagued every hurricane evacuation since Camille in 1969. Hurricane Lenny was the first Category 4 hurricane to occur in November since Greta in 1956. , hurricane killed more than 8,000 in 1900. ) Moreover, the 1999 hurricane season was the first on record to spawn five major hurricanes with winds of at least 131 mph (1926 was the last year that four such hurricanes arose in one sea- Fleeing Floyd downed power lines could have electrocuted pedestrians, and flash flooding might have swept others away, given that a packed I-26 rest stop stands next to a swamp and that I-16 intersects four rivers.
After the storm hit North Carolina, a trucker had to be airlifted to safety because his vehicle had floated off I-95. dled rapidly. M. ) Hearing the news reports, angry, exhausted motorists took the risk of pulling over to sleep, parking at highway rest stops. Some evacuees even began making U-turns and heading back toward the ocean. M. Tuesday. But time was running out. Gasoline supplies, too, ran short. Because of heat and humidity, motorists revved engines for hours to power air conditioners, overheating engines.
Willoughby himself has flown into the eyes of hurricanes and typhoons more than 400 times. — roughly where the eye eventually came ashore—three hurricane reconnaissance planes were aloft, assessing the speed, direction and behavior of the storm’s threatening winds. Two NOAA WP-3D Orion turboprop planes traversed Floyd at altitudes between 1,500 and 10,000 feet, with airborne Doppler radar recording the wind’s rapidity. Each plane also sports sophisticated instruments bolted to its underside to measure fluctuations in sea-surface movement; storm-blown waves are reliable indicators of wind velocity.