The 2019 Atlantic hurricane season officially came to an end on November 30, marking the fourth consecutive season of above-normal storm activity in the U.S., something not seen since 2001. The season produced 18 named storms, including six hurricanes, three of which were labeled “major.” Two of those major storms achieved a category-five status, something that has not happened in twelve years.
The season began for the U.S. in early July with Hurricane Barry, a category-one storm that dropped up to twenty-three inches of rain on some parts of the Louisiana coast. The rain added to an already flooding Mississippi River, causing large-scale flooding in the New Orleans area. Hurricane Barry was followed by Hurricane Dorian on August 24, a massive storm that barely spared Puerto Rico, still recovering from the destruction of Hurricane Maria two years before. Hurricane Dorian grew to a category-five storm and thrashed parts of the North Carolina coast. The final storm of the season to significantly impact the U.S. was Tropical Storm Imelda, which came ashore on September 17 in Southeast Texas. The storm proved to be fourth wettest storm on record in Texas, dumping more than 40 inches of rain in some parts of the southeastern part of the state. Imelda caused widespread flooding in the region, inundating homes in many of the same areas inundated during Hurricane Harvey in 2017. The 2019 Atlantic hurricane season as a whole inflicted almost $12 billion in damages and caused over 85 deaths in the U.S. and abroad.
Hurricanes and other disasters have disproportionate negative impacts on the lowest-income individuals who are least likely to have resources to recover afterwards. With rising global temperatures due to climate change, future hurricane seasons are expected to be longer and more intense, placing vulnerable populations increasingly at risk. The Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition (DHRC) – an NLIHC-led group of over 850 local, state, and national organizations working together to achieve equitable disaster housing recovery – is advocating for disaster recovery reform legislation like the “Reforming Disaster Recovery Act of 2019,” which would ensure federal recovery and mitigation dollars reach the most vulnerable disaster survivors as expeditiously as possible. As the country recovers from the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season and begins preparations for 2020, the DHRC will continue to advocate for reforming federal disaster recovery programs to ensure the most vulnerable people receive the assistance they and their communities need to prepare and recover.
Read more about the Reforming Disaster Recovery Act of 2019 at: https://bit.ly/2sKlrx1
Find more information on the DHRC’s disaster recovery work at: https://bit.ly/365uRBy