As hurricane Irma threatens South Florida’s east coast, Miami Beach prepares for what could be a catastrophic storm that could accelerate the looming concerns over sea-level rise in the popular tourist destination.
Just weeks before, in July, the newly-installed pumping system was overwhelmed by a particularly heavy, yet not a-typical rainstorm that moved through the area. The devastation from the potential storm-surge of hurricane Irma could not only wreak havoc on the system itself, but also cause billions worth of damage and irreparable harm to the future development of the city.
Miami Beach Mayor, Philip Levine, who is presiding over his last term as the top city official is known to be seeking a bid for the governorship of the state as outgoing governor, Rick Scott, positions himself for a senatorial run. The governor has made himself quite visible during the storm media blitz, making appearances in several different press conferences across the state, issuing warnings and advisories along with local authorities. Scott seems to be using hurricane Irma as a campaign platform. Mayor Levine, on the other hand, has kept a much lower profile. The immediate danger and very real possibility of massive destruction in the aftermath of this storm is sure to pose serious challenges to his political ambitions, which seemed on the up-and-up since hosting the United States Mayors Conference in June.
On The Move
Nearly 650,000 people have already been issued mandatory evacuation orders throughout Miami-Dade County as the path of the storm narrows. Pictures of the violent destruction wrought on several Caribbean islands and the intense media coverage has moved Miami residents to buy storm supplies like never before. Despite having more experience with hurricanes than possibly any other location in the country, the locals are rushing en masse to supermarkets in search of water, food and batteries. Gasoline has also been in such high demand that many gas stations have run out and are awaiting resupply tankers, which the governor has facilitated through the removal of restrictions.