Disaster Discourse: The Hagerty Blog

Tsunamis Advisories and Snow Storms: Severe Weather Events Impact Most of the United States Throughout Month of January


Over the past month, the United States (US) has experienced severe weather such as wildfires, tornadoes, Tsunami waves from the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga- Ha’apai Underwater Volcano eruption, and severe winter storms.


According to the Weather Channel, earlier this week, Winter Storm Izzy impacted 19 states and produced strong winds, ice, and significant snowfall across large portions of the US Midwest, East Coast, Southeast and mid-Atlantic. Some northern states recorded snowfall of over 16 inches and snow impacted southern states like Georgia and South Carolina causing dangerous road conditions and power outages. The storm caused significant delays and cancellations to air travel with thousands of flights being canceled beginning Sunday, January 16 to early into the week on January 17.

CNN reported that Winter Storm Izzy’s Storm System was the cause of multiple tornadoes across Florida including an EF-2 Tornado in Lee County Florida in the early morning of Sunday, January 16. Tornadoes caused thousands to lose power and caused damage to many homes and structures.

According to The Weather Channel, the Governors of Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia issued emergency declarations ahead of the storms on Friday, January 14. In preparation for the extreme winter weather, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia’s Governors activated their National Guards to assist with stranded motorists, storm damage, and other needs that would be brought on by the storm. Earlier this month, a winter storm caused several accidents on a 50-mile stretch of Interstate 95 south of Washington, DC. As a result, The New York Times noted numerous motorists were stranded on the interstate overnight, some for over 20 hours. 

Twitter: NWS Raleigh

As the weekend approaches, winter weather continues to pose dangers to southeastern states as the weekend approaches. AccuWeather meteorologists have reported that portions of the coastal southeast, from southeastern Virginia to the Delmarva Peninsula, could receive up to a foot of snow from late Thursday night to Saturday morning. A state of emergency has been declared in South Carolina and North Carolina due to the impacts expected from the wintry weather.


Twitter: NWS Los Angeles

On the afternoon of January 14, the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga- Ha’apai Underwater Volcano erupted about 20 miles southeast of the coast of one of Tonga’s Islands. According to the BBC, the volcanic eruption caused a tsunami on Tonga’s largest island and caused Tsunami warnings and affects that impacted places as far as the US, Canada, and Peru. The National Weather Service (NWS) reported that Tsunami waves were felt in California, Alaska, and Hawaii. Street flooding and pier flooding was also reported in these areas with little damage to property. The NWS also reported that the volcanic eruption caused pressure fluctuations from shockwaves that were recorded around the world, including in Chicago.


 The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) encourages individuals to prepare and plan for disasters. It’s never too soon to prepare for an event. Individuals should follow the guidance of local authorities and remain safe. Another way to stay updated is taking advantage of real-time alerts available via the FEMA Mobile App and other local and national communication systems. FEMA encourages individuals to adhere to the guidance of local authorities in order to stay safe during wildfire events impacting their community.

The Hagerty Blog Team will continue providing information and updates on current events and disasters impacting the nation. Visit Disaster Discourse for the latest information.