Tracking the Tropics
Storms that Form
WSVN -- South Florida hasn't taken a direct hit from a hurricane since Wilma in 2005.
In fact the U.S. has been spared from a major hurricane since Ike blew into Texas in 2008, but hurricane forecasters warn, it does not take a major storm to do catastrophic damage, just look at Irene from last year.
Bill Read: "The rainwater flooding was probably the biggest challenge we had with Irene."
Irene hit the outer banks of North Carolina as a category 1 hurricane on Aug. 27. It then went back out to sea and headed north, weakening to a tropical storm before making landfall in New Jersey the next day.
Governor Chris Christie: "We're seeing record flooding across the Northern part of our state."
As Irene moved into New Jersey, New York and Vermont, she dumped record amounts of rain spreading devastation throughout the northeast.
Irene is blamed for 56 deaths and $15.6 billion in damage.
Bill Read: "We knew there was going to be severe flash flooding unlike what people had probably seen there in their lifetimes. The disappointing point there was even with the message going out from ourselves, officials and the media a lot of people didn't connect that it meant them.
That's the frustrating part for hurricane forecasters they say they put out warnings, but people don't listen.
Bill Read: "They see it on TV. People have floods houses, get washed away, storm surge, wipes out houses and yet every new storm you'll see someone riding out in a place that's at risk because they didn't think it would happen to them."
Now it will be up to Richard Knabb the new director of the National Hurricane Center to get people to hear those warnings. Outgoing director Bill Read says take five minutes and make a very simple plan.
Bill Read: "The first thing to do I leave or stay. Under what conditions do I leave or stay?"
If you're leaving where will you go? If you stay, what will you need?
Bill Read: "What do I need to get by. The recommendation is three days. I go seven, I don't buy a bunch of exotic foods that I'll never eat that I throw away and feel like I've wasted the money."
And finally make sure you tell your family your plan.
Bill Read: "The anxiety going on from friends and family trying to find out about you after communications goes out is unnecessary if you took care of business on the front end there."
Because there is no getting around the fact there will be storms that form.