Guest essay by Dr. Neil Frank, former Director, National Hurrricane Center
As former Director of the National Hurricane Center (1974–1987), I was appalled when, in a campaign rally at Miami-Dade College October 11, Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said, “Hurricane Matthew was likely more destructive because of climate change.”
That is false.
We were extremely fortunate that Matthew—category 5 through much of the Caribbean—weakened to category 2 before landfall in South Carolina. It could have been much worse.
In 1893 a much stronger hurricane followed nearly the same track. When its eye reached the Georgia and South Carolina coasts, a 15–20 ft. storm surge inundated the coastal islands. Though population was a small fraction of today’s, between 2,000 and 3,000 died, making that the second deadliest hurricane in U.S. history. The same year another major hurricane killed 2,000 in Louisiana.
All together five hurricanes hit the U.S. in 1893, something that’s happened…
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