In 2017, Mother Nature rained down her powerful wrath on us. Some of the most powerful hurricanes in history completely wrecked parts of the United States and the Caribbean with people suffering months after the hurricane passed through. These are the most insane photos and destruction to come out of the coverage of the hurricanes.
Boats Tossed Like Toys In The British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands is a super luxurious vacation destination where people travel to from all around the world. Paraquita Bay, in particular, is known to house tons of yachts and other luxury boats and is even a launching point for many cruises. However, nothing could protect the bay from the power of Hurricane Irma. The storm threw around the various watercraft like they were toys. In fact, the entire region of the British Virgin Islands faced massive destruction and it will likely be a while before they are able to successfully rebuild. This is extremely devastating to the locals who call the land their home.
Billionaire’s Private Island Destroyed
Sir Richard Branson is the founder of Virgin Group which owns Virgin Records and Virgin Atlantic airline among nearly four hundred other companies. He is also the owner of his very own private island called Necker Island. Necker Island is a hot location, especially for fellow celebrities. Even former President Obama and First Lady Michelle were spotted vacationing there after Obama’s tenure in office. Sadly, despite its high reputation, the island was nearly totally destroyed during Irma. Even crazier is that Sir Richard decided to ride out the storm on the island. He and the island staff reportedly rode out the powerful storm in a fortified wine cellar. Let’s hope Sir Richard uses his vast fortune to help the locals on the island rebuild.
An Overlooked Humanitarian Crisis
The most recent of the storms to rock the Caribbean was Hurricane Maria. This time, the island of Puerto Rico faced the harshest destruction. Many Americans seem to overlook the fact that Puerto Rico is a United States territory and thus, Puerto Ricans are American citizens. Much of the island had been destroyed in September 2017, particularly the infrastructure. 60% of the island was reportedly without power, and hospitals were still at full capacity weeks later. Officials fear that patients will begin dying when they are unable to receive the care they need. Many have criticized President Trump’s response for disaster relief, as he tweeted about the NFL instead of focusing on aiding the island.
Hurricane Maria Capsizes Boat With Family Onboard
For one family, Hurricane Maria became particularly horrifying after the hurricane capsized their boat while they were onboard, off the coast of Puerto Rico. The family of four entered dire straits and radioed for help. Both the United States Coast Guard and the British Royal Navy responded. This photo is taken from an insane video showing the rescue.
The rescuers ended up being a British helicopter that was able to retrieve the family who had scrambled to climb aboard the capsized boat. The family was in the horrible situation for over 24 hours before rescuers were finally able to move in. While a mother and her two 12-year-old sons were rescued from the terrifying situation, the father of the family was trapped inside the boat and sadly passed away.
Staff Of Hemingway House Ride Out Irma With 54 Cats
Ernest Hemingway, the long-deceased famed writer, famously had a home located in Key West. His estate still maintains the property which is referred to as The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum. It also houses ten staff members as well as 54 six-toed cats. (Apparently, Hemingway owned a six-toed cat named Snow White, from which all of the cats which now inhabit the property are descended.)
When the staffers announced that they would not be leaving the property, which was thought to be directly in the path of Irma, many criticized their decisions. Local officials had called for people to evacuate. Even Ernest’s granddaughter, the actress Mariel Hemingway, hoped they would leave saying, “My grandfather’s famous quote was ‘courage is grace under pressure,’ but I think this is taking it too far.” Reportedly, staffers were most concerned about being able to move all the cats off the property. Luckily, the storm did not hit the area nearly as bad as originally thought and everyone, including the cats, remained unscathed.
Hurricane Harvey Brings Out The Gators
The hurricanes also brought out other unexpected guests, especially in the Houston area in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Houston residents were shocked to see that with the rising waters, came along massive alligators. The water carried them into residential areas from their previous swampland homes. Many people snapped photos of the creatures in their backyards, along roadways, and even in their pools. Yikes! One thing can be said for the poor gators, the entire experience was probably just as scary for them. There was also a photo circulating the internet which purported to show a shark on the highway, however, it was later debunked as being photoshopped… thankfully!
See what other animals sought shelter later.
Hurricane Harvey Turns Streets Into Waterways
Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas city of Houston the hardest. Houston has always been known to suffer tremendously in hurricanes due to its geographic location and being located mostly below sea-level which is not a good combination for flooding. Some unbelievable photographs surfaced in the aftermath of the storm. Roads were essentially turned into canals with citizens traveling down them on boats. People took search and rescue efforts into their own hands, largely in order to avoid another Katrina situation. Although flood waters have receded, in the areas that were affected there will still be work to do for much time to come.
Nursing Home Patients Stranded In Floodwaters
Dickinson, Texas, about thirty miles from the city of Houston was all but destroyed in the wrath of Harvey. It also was home to one of the most disturbing photos to emerge from the entire Hurricane season. After Timothy McIntosh took to Twitter in order to plead for help from rescuers, the image quickly went viral. The image showed several elderly women submerged up to their waists in floodwaters. McIntosh is the son-in-law of the nursing home La Vita Bella’s owner, Trudy Lampson. The family was desperate to get help evacuating their residents. Luckily, the photo worked and the eighteen people still stuck in the waters where safely airlifted to other care facilities in safer areas in Texas.
Keep reading to see what a man in Houston found in his house when it flooded.
An Entire Island In Blackout
It has already been said that the island of Puerto Rico is facing a humanitarian crisis with supplies dwindling and much of the power grid knocked out. The image on the left shows Puerto Rico from a random satellite image from 2014, while the one on the right shows Puerto Rico now. The bright white section indicates where there is light, which is mostly centered in the capital city of San Juan. Almost the entirety of the country and the nearby US Virgin Islands of St. Croix and St. Thomas were entirely without power. All the residents could do at this point is wait and hope the government sends the aid, that is so desperately needed, to help the United States island of Puerto Rico.
Blown Out Windows
In a particularly striking image from the destruction in Puerto Rico, this photo shows a couple sitting in their apartment located in the capital city of San Juan. You can completely see inside their apartment after a large window was blown out. Although San Juan still has some power, unlike the rest of the island, it was still affected immensely by the tremendous ferocity of Hurricane Maria. Luckily for this couple, they are located in a high-rise building. So, although they and all of their belongings are exposed to the outside, they have remained dry unlike many of the other people on the island.
In 2016, two Puerto Rican artists, Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, made an extremely popular song called Despacito. The two even took to their native island in the neighborhood of La Perla to showcase the local culture. The song got an even bigger push to mainstream American audiences after pop star Justin Bieber provided a verse (although he could barely sing any of the Spanish lyrics, but that’s another story…). Needless to say, the colorful neighborhood featured in the original video was totally devastated by Hurricane Maria. Many Puerto Rican stars are rushing to the aid of their homeland. Daddy Yankee, Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Luis Fonsi and others pledged their aid and dedicated the profits from performances to help the devastated island.
Mexico Hit By Double Disasters
In 2017, Mexico was pummeled by natural disasters. There was Hurricane Katia, the weaker Hurricane Max, and Tropical Storm Norma. However, for Mexico, it wasn’t the hurricanes that did the most damage. Not long after the initial hit by Katia, the country was rocked by numerous earthquakes which have devastated the area. People have been trapped inside buildings, historical architecture has been destroyed, and there have been a disheartening amount of casualties. The people of Mexico have risen to the occasion however and many citizens have gathered to help search the wreckage of the demolished buildings, pulling people and pets out of harm’s way. While scientists have said that the earthquakes weren’t necessarily caused by the hurricanes or vice versa, it certainly seems suspect that they occurred within the same time frame.
The Strongest Hurricane Season Yet
Hurricanes are always a terrifying prospect, but why have they been so particularly ferocious in 2017? According to The Climate Prediction Center, it was a perfect storm of conditions. The atmosphere created a perfect recipe for a hurricane and the surface of the ocean water was warmer than usual, which made such horrible storms possible. In this photo, we see the comparison of Hurricane Andrew which hit Florida back in 1992, and caused catastrophic damage to the state, versus the more recent Hurricane Irma, which was luckily less damaging for the state than previously thought. However, the sheer size of the storm is quite staggering!
Massive Sinkhole Opens
Hurricane Harvey took a massive toll on Houston, Texas and some areas are still attempting to rebuild from the devastation they faced. This photograph looks like something out of a movie rather than something you could be faced with in real life. Yet, this sinkhole was indeed real life. This photo is from Rosenberg, Texas not too far outside of Houston’s city limits on FM 762. The road collapsed as a massive amount of water rushed underneath. As you can see in the background, there are actually vehicles on the road, and this is certainly the last thing you would want to see on your drive.
Man Goes Fishing Inside House In Houston
It seems pretty clear that the man in these video stills is a fishing enthusiast, judging solely off the decorative fish mounted on the wall in the background. However, we bet he never thought he would be going fishing in his own home. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, this gentleman found himself doing such that. You might’ve seen the video as quickly went viral after it was posted. Some criticized the man for joking around during such a serious time while others applauded him for keeping such a great attitude when his home was literally flooded. Do you think they had catfish for dinner?
Delta Pilot Heads Straight Into Irma
Hurricane Irma hit almost immediately after Hurricane Harvey pummeled Houston, Texas. Irma headed straight for the Caribbean and later, Florida. Floridians were warned of powerful destruction to their state with evacuations being ordered. The Internet hunkered down and watched the storm’s progress.
One particularly crazy moment was when a Delta pilot attempted to miss the hurricane by flying from New York’s JFK into San Juan Puerto Rico. Delta Flight 431 basically flew straight into a hurricane with a plane full of people. The flight was regularly scheduled and tried to beat Irma, however, the storm arrived at the island first. Luckily, the plane was fine and everyone on board arrived safe to their destination and the Internet let out a collective cheer.
Hawk Seeks Shelter During Harvey
It is well-known that animals often have senses beyond human capabilities, particularly when it comes to sensing the weather. Harvey the Hawk, as he was christened after the Hurricane, was certainly no different. Houston cab driver William Bruso was shocked to find that a wild hawk found his way inside his taxi and attempted to seek shelter. In videos posted by William, it’s clear to see the hawk looks absolutely terrified and had no intention of leaving. So, William did what not many other people would do, he took the Hawk home and let him ride out the storm. William later reached out to the Texas Wildlife Rescue Center who came and retrieved the hawk.
Furniture Store Opens As Shelter
In Houston, many people had to flee or evacuate their homes. With not many other places to turn, a well-known local businessman “Mattress Mack” owns a furniture store and opened the doors of his store to house people. This was in massive contrast to local preacher and millionaire Joel Osteen, who did not open the doors of his megachurch until he was publicly pressured. The megachurch was formerly the Compaq center a basketball arena and has the capacity to hold nearly 17,000 people. Needless to say, Mattress Mack emerged a hero while Osteen has emerged with quite the tarnished image, especially for a minister.
Celebrity’s Tone-Deaf Dominica Response
The island of Dominica was hit particularly bad with much of the island facing total destruction. In the midst of their unfathomable disaster, former television star Melissa Joan Hart delivered quite possibly the most tone-deaf response throughout all of Hollywood. Melissa, best known for her starring role on Sabrina The Teenage Witch, shared a screenshot from her phone which alerted her that Hurricane Irma was a category 5 and make landfall at Dominica. She captioned the Instagram photo, “And just like that our family vacation is cancelled.” She was immediately criticized by people across the internet with one such user saying, “I think you should be more concerned with the people who live there then your meaningless vacation.” She later apologized but the damage was already done in the ever watchful eyes of Instagram.
Hurricane Irma slammed the Bahamas and caused some pretty crazy after-effects. One Twitter user @Kaydi_K posted a video which showed a dry sand bed where the ocean previously lay. The user was totally awestruck that Hurricane Irma seemingly had sucked all the water away from the shoreline, and from viewing the video, there is absolutely no water in sight. While some warned that the water could all come rushing back at once causing a tsunami, scientists have said that would not happen and the water would return slowly filling up the area once again. Still, quite an eerie sight to behold!