Florida’s Space Coast only sustained minimal damage from Hurricane Dorian’s wrath, according to a NASA report.
Kennedy Space Center’s Damage Assessment and Recovery Team inspected the site’s infrastructure and facilities late last week. Officials discovered that “the center received some isolated damage and limited water intrusion, along with some beach erosion.”
If the storm had lingered, the aftermath could have been much worse. Instead, it turned north towards the Carolinas.
‘Dodging a Bullet’
On Tuesday, KSC posted a video on social media showing torrential downpours and wind whipping through the facility’s parking lot. Data from the 250-foot tower on-site reportedly noted windspeeds ranging from 62 to 90 mph. At its closest, Dorian’s eye was 70 nautical miles from Cape Canaveral.
Furthermore, the space center confirmed that “no flight hardware was damaged” in the storm in a September 5 Twitter post.
Earlier today, our Disaster Assessment and Recovery team inspected the center from the air for damage caused by #HurricaneDorian. We're happy to report no flight hardware was damaged during this storm. 🚀
— NASA's Kennedy Space Center (@NASAKennedy) September 6, 2019
NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems shared the good news in a separate post, noting that the KSC staff returned to work and the facility reopened on September 6.
A ray of light graces the VAB after #HurricaneDorian. @NASAKennedy’s Damage Assessment and Recovery Team checked out the center’s facilities and infrastructure. No spaceflight hardware was damaged during the storm and workforce has returned to work.
More: https://t.co/tXrO7P0XKF pic.twitter.com/9wAJ8BDkgx
— NASA's Exploration Ground Systems (@NASAGroundSys) September 6, 2019
As NASA and International Space Station crew members tracked the massive storm from space, Florida officials, businesses, and residents braced for impact. While the storm delivered high winds, rain, and power outages, the Sunshine State did not suffer any significant damage.
“To say we dodged a bullet for the storm would be an understatement — you know, obviously we dodged a missile,” said Volusia County Manager George Recktenwald at a news conference on Wednesday afternoon, as NBC News reported.
On September 7 at 3 a.m. ET, NASA, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Suomi NPP satellite captured an infrared view of Dorian as it transitioned from a hurricane to an extra-tropical cyclone while it moved along the U.S. East Coast.
Data showed that the strongest storms had cloud top temperatures “as cold or colder than minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit.”
The U.S. space agency posted further updates on Sunday, as the storm headed toward Canada.
Canadian Landing, Bahamas Devastation, More Warnings
NASA’s Aqua satellite provided an infrared look at post-tropical cyclone Dorian lashing parts of eastern Canada.
According to a CNN report, the storm swept across Nova Scotia on Saturday, bringing estimated maximum sustained winds of 100 mph.
CNN meteorologist Gene Norman warned that even with a downgraded status, Dorian is still very dangerous. “While the change in classification is technical, the fact of the matter is it’s still a dangerous situation, and people in the area should not let their guard down,” Norman said.
Nova Scotia Power issued a statement noting that “Dorian has been the most impactful storm in Nova Scotia Power’s history.” At the peak of the storm, over 400,000 people were without power. The brute force of the unrelenting winds caused “flooding, uprooted trees, broken poles, and down power lines” across the region.
As of 2:00 p.m. AST on September 8, several warnings and watches remain in effect from the National Hurricane Center, including a Hurricane Warning for Western Newfoundland from Indian Harbour to Hawke’s Bay.
Tragically, Dorian decimated The Bahamas with 43 people killed as the hurricane slammed into the islands last week. The UN expects the death toll to rise as thousands of people remain missing. At least 76,000 people are likely now homeless.