A Whirlwind of a Record



2020 has been a year of all years, setting records and breaking molds. From the obvious death tolls and unemployment numbers, to the economic implications of rioting, and the counterbalance of peaceful protest taking to the streets, new record-breaking events seem to be happening overnight, causing the numbers to keep going up and breaking glass ceilings. Yet Mother Nature, just like Baby from Dirty Dancing, does not like being put in the corner and she's come out swinging in hope to set some records of her own.

As of September 14, Wilfred is the only name left on the 2020 hurricane names list. The list consists of 21 names that are rotated every six years by The World Meteorological Organization. Once all 21 names have been used during the hurricane season, the Greek alphabet will have to be used to name any remaining occurring storms. This could be the second time in history that the Greek alphabet has had to be used. In 2005, all 21 names were used as well as six from the Greek alphabet. That year also holds the record for some of the most infamous hurricanes such as Katrina, Rita and Wilma.

“During hurricane season, which has been extremely high and started earlier than normal this year, we usually have three backpacks ready for evacuation at all times. They’re hung by our front door in case of an emergency evacuation, all we have to do is put our shoes on, grab the bags, our two dogs, and get in our vehicle. We also have our GPS preprogrammed for the quickest and most efficient route to safety,” said Christina Martinez, a resident of Apopka, Florida, a suburb of central Florida.

Martinez, just like many other people who live in the coastal regions of the country, is trying to be prepared for the worst, while also trying to have some bit of normalcy to her everyday life.

“Since hurricanes are such a common occurrence where we live, when the hurricane warnings come out, most people follow the same routine of filling up their cars with gas and then going about their day normally. I think it makes us more prepared because we are able to keep calm and assess each situation as they come,” said Martinez.

When asked what important bit of information people not just in the coastal region, but anywhere in the world could benefit from, Martinez said, “to always be prepared, 2020 has shown us that things don’t always go as we expect them to and being prepared could make a difference”.

As for states that are more inward, and far from the immediate threat of the abnormal hurricane season, they are more welcoming to the changing weather brought on from the coastal storms. For Ashley Dahle, a local resident of Portales, New Mexico, the changing weather couldn’t get here any quicker.

“I love the fall season and can’t wait to start wearing sweaters every day, drink hot chocolate, and make pumpkin bread,” said Dahle, an Eastern New Mexico alumna. “When the cold front came in and the temperature dropped below 50 degrees, I was in heaven! This summer has been so long and hot, it was nice to have a change for a bit.”

The prior cold front here in Portales lasted for only three days, opposed to the continued ongoing storms in the coastal areas. Although in-landers may not be impacted directly by the continuous cyclones taking place in the Atlantic, they are still concerned for many of the people who live along the coast.

“I have friends and family that live in Florida and the Southern parts of Mississippi and to see and hear all the videos circulating online and on TV is scary,” said Dahle. “I am originally from Kansas and have been in my fair share of tornados, and I definitely know about the unsettling feeling of fear and uncertainty when in a natural disaster situation. My heart and prayers go out to all the people that might be affected by all these storms happening.”

Uncertainty and fear have been a huge factor in the past record-breaking nine months of 2020. Yet the one thing that seems to be unwavering is people’s perseverance to adapt and survive to whatever ominous unforeseeable obstacles remain in the last months of 2020.

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  Eastern New  Mexico University's student publication of The Chase is a member of the Associated Collegiate Press.

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