River Life: On flip side, hurricane offers some environmental benefits


Within the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey that wreaked havoc on Houston, the query was typically requested: Might it occur right here? The reply was fairly simple: “Sure, it isn’t a matter of if, however when. Keep in mind Matthew?”

Little did we understand how quickly we might be affected by a hurricane. Irma definitely left her calling card on Jacksonville and all the state.

The facility and skill of the St. Johns River to vary the panorama and alter the bodily surroundings was on show because the wind and rain got here earlier this month. It wasn’t the primary time and positively gained’t be the final that Jacksonville and the encompassing space are hit by storms and flooding.

Hurricanes can even have a constructive impression on the surroundings. The super quantity of power expended might help fire up the ocean and blend vitamins from the underside again into the water column. That very same power on land, expended as wind, helps knock down lifeless and dying timber. Because the timber fall, it opens up the bottom for brand spanking new timber to develop. In the meantime, the previous fallen timber start to decay and their vitamins are launched again into the soil.

Even the large quantity of rain has a useful impact, flushing our tributaries and recharging our floor water.

The St. Johns River’s pure geography is designed to accommodate a big inflow of water with low-mendacity terrain that may flood. These similar wetlands, or flood plains, function the kidneys of the river, flooding and eradicating vitamins and sediment because the water strikes slowly via the vegetation.

These dramatic and earth-shifting occasions solely occur from time to time. The waterfront flood plains and their related wetlands supply engaging locations to construct houses and reside. So in we go, filling, paving and shaping the panorama to go well with our wants and generate profits for the builders.

Solely after a extreme storm or hurricane roars into city, toppling timber onto automobiles, houses and the electrical grid; flooding our neighborhoods; and destroying bridges and roads, can we understand the attainable impression these storms can have on our lives.

Makes you marvel if we’ll ever study.

Regretfully, we’ve got very brief reminiscences, and we go proper again to the place we have been simply flooded out and rebuild. Typically we’ll increase the peak, or design the construction to face up to stronger winds, however again we go. And we do it time and time once more.

And this isn’t simply in Jacksonville. Some areas of Florida have been destroyed quite a few occasions and…



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