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    satellite image of Hurricane Florence Sept. 2018

    Hurricane Florence Underscores Broader Need for Environmental Awareness

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    Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall as a Category 4 storm in North or South Carolina late Thursday evening or early Friday morning.

    The governors of North and South Carolina, Virginia and Maryland and the mayor of Washington, DC, have declared states of emergency ahead of the storm. 

    On Wednesday, Ra Shad Frazier Gaines, founder of Black Progresses, joined Radio Sputnik's By Any Means Necessary to talk about the politics of Hurricane Florence.

    "I appreciate the fact that people are actually paying attention to the weather. A few years ago, in 2015 or 2016, [there was] the ‘1,000-year-flood' in North Carolina which mostly impacted the entire state — infrastructure, roads, bridges, levies crumbled under the pressure," Gaines told hosts Eugene Puryear and Sean Blackmon. Statistically speaking, a "1000-year flood" is a flood that has a 1 percent probability of occurring in any given year.

    "I'm hoping people remember [that event] as they prepare. The great thing about America is that we are really good to each other in disasters. People put all of their hatred and bigotry aside to help people. I am genuinely concerned. We don't know what the impact is going to be," Gaines added.

    In a statement on Twitter Wednesday, US President Donald Trump said that Hurricane Florence may be turning slightly southward, which means it could potentially affect the US state of Georgia.

    "Hurricane Florence may now be dipping a bit south and hitting a portion of the great state of Georgia. Be ready, be prepared!" Trump tweeted.

    Meanwhile, South Carolina has mobilized about 1,600 National Guard members in preparation of Hurricane Florence, the US Department of Defense said in a news release on Tuesday.

    There have been 14 named storms in the Eastern and Central Pacific Ocean this year, almost as many as the US sees in an entire year on average, and hurricane season isn't over yet, with three more months to go. According to Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach, the monthly energy output in August from storms in the Eastern Pacific broke the previous highest-ever record, which was set in September of 1992, Bloomberg reported earlier this month. 

    According to Gaines, the number of storms this year is indicative that climate change is real.

    "People who are used to having four seasons that are roughly the same amount of time year round, who have had elongated winters or shortened winters [this year], know that climate change is real. We are experiencing that. And just because there are people, who, for policy purposes, don't want to believe that, they don't represent the actual knowledge base of the rest of the country. We know that elected officials as a whole are not as responsible as they should be for the electorate," Gaines added.

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    climate change, Category 4 Hurricane, hurricane, United States
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