Harvey, Irma, Jose and the shocks and hazards of place

This blog was originally posted here by Mary Babic at Oxfam America on September 8, 2017. Oxfam worked with the Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute (HVRI) to develop a series of Social Vulnerability maps for the southeastern states in the US. These maps measure and illustrate the convergence of social vulnerability factors (such as economic standing and age, among others) and four environmental hazards: flooding, hurricane force winds, sea-level rise, and drought.

Hurricane Irma Leads to Solar Questions

Will Solar Panels Work During a Hurricane? Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for all of Florida, grocery stores are already running out of food and water, and some residents have already started to evacuate, just in case. But for those staying put, planning to weather the storm, another question has risen – If we lose power, will solar panels still work?

Texas Wind Farms Survive Hurricane Harvey

Simply put, many wind farms in coastal Texas weren’t affected by Harvey’s highest-level winds. And the turbines that did experience those extreme conditions, performed as expected and shut down for self-preservation, or when the local grid system failed.

How Will Hurricane Harvey Affect Texas Wind Farms?

To date, no wind farm in the United States has been destroyed by a hurricane. Neither Hurricane Iselle (Hawaii, 2014), Hurricane Sandy (New Jersey, 2012), nor Hurricane Irene (Delaware, 2011) harmed wind farms. Wind farms in hurricane-prone coastal zones are frequently designed to withstand hurricane-force winds, up to level Category 3 hurricanes. For self preservation purposes, wind turbines automatically shut down when wind speeds reach excessive levels. Hurricane Harvey is slated to become a Category 3 storm, and may test the limits of turbine engineering.