Welcome to the age of climate migration — Rolling Stone Magazine

GOES East Hurricane Harvey image.

From Rolling Stone Magazine (Jeff Goodell):

Near Flagstaff, I pulled into a service station and parked next to a Subaru with the words “We Survived Hurricane Harvey, Orange, Texas” scrawled on the back window in bright-pink letters. The mud-splattered car was loaded with luggage, boxes and a guitar case. A middle-aged woman and a scruffy man with wild brown hair pulled themselves out, looking road-weary and haggard. The man popped open the hood and fiddled with some wiring.

I nodded to the words on their back window. “How bad was Harvey?”

“Bad,” the woman said. She introduced herself as Melanie Elliott. “We had to get out of there.”

“It was a fucking disaster,” the man said, bent under the hood. His name was Andrew McGowan. “We got swamped.”

Orange, I later learned, is an old industrial seaport near the Louisiana border, population 18,643. The town has been hit repeatedly by recent hurricanes: In 2005, Rita savaged the city; three years later, Ike breached the city’s levee and flooded the streets with as much as 15 feet of water. Three people died. “We were just dealing with water all the time, constant flooding,” McGowan continued. “The whole place is going under.”

“Harvey was it for us,” Elliott added. “Too much water, we can’t deal with this anymore. We are going to San Diego.”

“What are you going to do there?” I asked.

“We don’t know,” McGowan said. “I’m gonna play some guitar and see what comes along.”

As they piled back into their Subaru and headed toward the highway, I thought of the old Woody Guthrie song about the farmers fleeing the Dust Bowl: “We loaded our jalopies and piled our families in/We rattled down that highway to never come back again.”

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