Hurricane season clashes with COVID-19 pandemic


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — June 1 marks the official start of hurricane season and NOAA is expecting it to be a busy one.

We’ve already had two named storms in the Atlantic (Arthur and Bertha), but by NOAA’s estimate, we could see between 13-19 storms this season. Six to 10 of those storms could strengthen enough to become hurricanes and three to six of those hurricanes could be classified as major hurricanes.

This possibly active season is made more difficult by the COVID-19 pandemic as many coastal counties are still figuring out safe evacuation plans. Their main concerns are high-risk evacuees and PPE for volunteers.

“With COVID-19, there’s some additional consideration, but it should not be a reason not to evacuate,” former FEMA director, Craig Fugate told News 2. “States are looking at the ability to contract with hotels and motels as a form of sheltering, at least for the higher risk populations, elderly, preexisting conditions.”

We saw that hotel strategy used in Chattanooga after the tornado in April. Some counties are also planning to use parts of schools, in addition to the big gymnasiums you normally see utilized.

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