hurricane harvey

NH DOT

With damage caused by Hurricane Harvey still being tallied and Hurricane Irma set to make landfall, New Hampshire officials are taking stock of the state's preparedness in what could prove to be a record-breaking year for major weather events in the United States.

Several costly natural disasters have hit New Hampshire in recent years, such as the “Mother’s Day Flood,” which caused more than $25 million in damage.

New Hampshire is unlikely to bear the direct brunt of a storm like Hurricane Harvey, but the state has experienced its share of disasters, from historic flooding to a tornado that killed a Northwood woman in 2008.

It’s those sudden or “no-notice” storms that keep Perry Plummer, director of New Hampshire Homeland Security and Emergency Management, on his guard. He wishes more people were prepared for major storms.

“We as citizens are under-prepared for disasters in this country,” Plummer said. “It’s a wake-up call for everybody.”

Steve Hooper; The Keene Sentinal

Hurricane Harvey slammed the Gulf Coast last week, and it got us thinking: How ready is New Hampshire for major storms, hurricanes, and floods?

Perry Plummer, Director of the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for the New Hampshire Department of Safety, says the state has plenty of work to do to ensure our infrastructure can handle the kind of extreme weather events that are becoming increasingly common.

"We know more water is coming; we’re going to get these types of rain storms," Plummer said on The Exchange. "Obviously, I don’t think we’ll get a Harvey in New Hampshire, but we are going to get 10 and 15 inches of rain, and that’s going to challenge our infrastructure. We need to rebuild our infrastructure to protect our residents, protect our critical infrastructure." 

Franklin Pierce University is offering free tuition, room, and board for the fall semester to up to 20 college students displaced by Hurricane Harvey.

Linda Quimby, vice president of enrollment at Franklin Pierce, says the move is meant, in part, to send a message to current students about moral leadership.

“We do think it sends a powerful message. And we also feel that it’s a way that Franklin Pierce can best reach out to individuals who may be impacted by the storm.”