Harvey. This one was being widely reported in Mexican and Central American media from August 18, but the US was simply too distracted by falling statues and resurgent Neo-Nazis and was in effect caught completely unawares. When I left Houston on the 24th I had mentioned the incoming storm to several locals who seemed neither to know or care that much about it.
Irma. Almost from the moment this one started to swirl in the mid-Atlantic the story was all about the threat it would ultimately pose to Florida - even as it laid waste to several small islands in the Caribbean and then the biggest one. The victims out there in the archipelago face a lose-lose situation in terms of the news cycle now. If the sunshine state does succumb to Irmageddon, this news will dominate for days unless the Donald sets off Armageddon proper. And if the story turns out to be a massive collective ‘phew’ in the southern states, this will have much the same effect, leaving the daminificados of Barbuda etc. largely forgotten.