11:32 am - Monday May 28, 2012

Hurricane Ivan

Hurricane-IvanHurricane Ivan was a large, long-lived, Cape Verde-type hurricane that caused widespread damage in the Caribbean and United States. The cyclone was the ninth named storm, the sixth hurricane and the fourth major hurricane of the active 2004 Atlantic hurricane season. Ivan formed in early September and had reached Category 5 strength on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale and became the 10th most intense Atlantic hurricane ever recorded. At its peak in the Gulf of Mexico, Ivan was the size of the state of Texas. It also spawned 119 tornadoes across the eastern United States.

Ivan caused catastrophic damage to Grenada as a strong Category 3 storm, heavy damage to Jamaica as a strong Category 4 storm and and then Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands and the western tip of Cuba as a Category 5 storm. After peaking in strength, the hurricane moved north-northwest across the Gulf of Mexico to strike Gulf Shores, Alabama as a strong Category 3 storm, causing significant damage. Ivan dropped heavy rains on the Southeastern United States as it progressed northeast and east through the eastern United States, becoming an extratropical cyclone. The remnant low from the storm moved into the western subtropical Atlantic and regenerated into a tropical cyclone, which then moved across Florida and the Gulf of Mexico into Louisiana and Texas, causing minimal damage. Ivan caused an estimated US$18 billion (2004 USD, $20.9 billion 2012 USD) in damages to the United States, making it the fifth costliest hurricane ever to strike the country.

Impact of Hurricane Ivan

Ivan killed 64 people in the Caribbean—mainly in Grenada and Jamaica—three in Venezuela, and 25 in the United States, including fourteen in Florida. Thirty-two more deaths in the United States were indirectly attributed to Ivan. Tornadoes spawned by Ivan struck communities along concentric arcs on the leading edge of the storm. In Florida, Blountstown, Marianna, and Panama City Beach suffered three of the most devastating tornadoes. A Firefighter with Good Springs Volunteer Fire Department (G.S.V.F.D.) located in Anderson, AL was also killed during the storm. Firefighter Romine was working with the members of his fire department and others to remove fallen trees from roadways in the wake of Hurricane Ivan. He went to a merchant to purchase a replacement chain for his personal saw. As he drove back to the fire station, a portion of a storm-damaged tree fell onto his personal vehicle. The fallen tree was approximately 2 1/2 feet in diameter and fell directly on the cab of his. He was killed instantly. A passenger in the truck received non-life-threatening injuries. A Panama City Beach news station was nearly hit by an F2 tornado during the storm. Ivan also caused over US$13 billion (2004 USD, $15.1 billion 2012 USD)in damages in the United States and US$3 billion in the Caribbean (2004 USD, $3.49 billion 2012 USD).

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