Hurricane Gustav threatens New Orleans

This video from Associated Press is called Hurricane Gustav Roars Over Haiti.

Haiti devastated by hurricanes: here.

By Jerry White in the USA:

Hurricane Gustav threatens New Orleans, Gulf Coast

1 September 2008

As of this writing Hurricane Gustav is bearing down on the US Gulf Coast after its destructive passage through the Caribbean left more than 80 people dead in the Dominican Republic and Jamaica and severe damage and flooding in western Cuba, where the storm, considered the most powerful in half a century, included sustained winds of 150 miles per hour.

On Sunday evening, the US National Hurricane Center said the storm had weakened to a Category 3 hurricane with winds of up to 125 miles per hour, but warned that it could pick up strength by the time it reached the coast. High winds are expected to hit New Orleans shortly after midnight and are due to reach hurricane strength during early morning hours. The hurricane is expected to make landfall west of the city around 2 p.m. local time, with winds reaching 115 miles per hour.

Three years ago, on August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina and the flooding that followed the failure of the levee system led to the deaths of nearly two thousand people and an estimated $90 billion in damage. The storm exposed the negligence of the entire political establishment—from the White House and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to state and local authorities, who were responsible for both the underfunding and poor construction of the levees and the disorganized and incompetent disaster response.

In the face of a similar-sized hurricane, authorities have ordered the evacuation of much of the Gulf Coast, from the Florida-Alabama border to eastern Texas. In all, 11.5 million people are in the path of Gustav, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Much of the Gulf’s petroleum industry—which produces 25 percent of US oil and 15 percent of the country’s natural gas—has been shut down, leading to predictions of sharp increases in fuel prices.

Track Hurricane Gustav live here.

Blog from New Orleans: here.

See also here.

Cuba and Gustav: here.

Texas hit hard by Hurricane Ike: here.

Victims blamed in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike: here.

5 thoughts on “Hurricane Gustav threatens New Orleans

  1. Hi kunstyle, it is to be hoped that this will be a “nice day” for the people of and around New Orleans, in the sense that no people will die and no homes will be destroyed by Hurricane Gustav. That, if Gustav strikes, then the Bush administration will not mismanage it like they did with Katrina … however, there are good reasons to be very skeptical about that administration.


  2. Posted by: “frankofbos”

    Tue Sep 2, 2008 1:58 am (PDT)

    E-mails from the day Katrina hit reveal that Brownie is a “fashion God”(Bush History, 9/2)

    E-mails from the day Katrina hit reveal that Bush’s FEMA director might
    be “a fashion god”. It’s good to hear ‘Brownie’ had time for light
    hearted emails while thousands were suffering. Also, unwelcome words
    for the Bushies from his Iraq weapons inspector.


    Today’s categories: Bushisms, FEMA Follies, Iraq


  3. Where have all the Bahamian flamingos gone?

    Fri Sep 12, 2008 4:55am EDT

    By John Marquis

    NASSAU (Reuters) – The southern Bahamian island of Great Inagua is known for two things — its old salt plant and a 60,000-strong flamingo flock.

    Now some Bahamians wonder if they might end up losing both after Hurricane Ike ripped across the island last week causing millions of dollars in damage.

    Most of the flamingos, which attract bird-watchers from all over the world, took off before Ike arrived and have not been seen since, according to officials in charge of the islands’ national parks.

    Left behind were 30 dead birds, thought to have been entangled in trees as they tried to flee, and a few hundred live ones that might have taken shelter in the mangroves.

    Glenn Bannister, president of the Bahamas National Trust, said all of the island’s birds — including Bahama parrots and White Crown pigeons — vanished before the storm hit.

    The parrots returned after the storm, desperately seeking food among the storm-blasted trees and plant life. But for now, most of the flamingos have not come back and Bannister has no idea where they’ve gone.

    “Some of the flamingos are now reappearing, but it could be one or two years before they get back to their regular nesting pattern,” said Lynn Gape, also of the National Trust. She said wardens had only reported sightings of “several hundred” compared to the thousands there before.

    “There’s no doubt many left, but it’s possible others sought protection in the mangroves,” said Gape, adding that flamingos are sensitive to barometric pressure and they fly off or take cover when a major storm approaches.

    With leaves and berries blown away by the wind, life is likely to be hard for Great Inagua’s bird population until buds begin to appear, said Bannister.

    “In a few months, this place is going to look like spring,” he said. “But the birds are in trouble for the time being.”

    Meanwhile, bird watchers in the southern U.S. states have reported unprecedented flamingo sightings, like the one spotted in the beach town of Destin in the Florida Panhandle.

    “His feathers are beat up and he looks like he has been through a hurricane,” said Donald Ware, bird count coordinator of the Choctawhatchee Audubon in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.

    Wild flamingos are occasionally sighted in Florida’s southern tip but that was the group’s first recorded sighting in Okaloosa County in the northern part of the state.

    There have also been flamingo sightings in Mississippi in late August, after Tropical Storm Fay swept through parts of the Caribbean and Florida, and in early September.

    “This is the first documented record for flamingos for Mississippi. They are subtropical birds and just don’t fly this way,” said Mark LaSalle, director of the Pascagoula River Audubon Center in Moss Point, Mississippi. “It has certainly gotten people’s attention.”

    But Bannister did not think those birds were from the Bahamas. “Whenever they seek a safe haven they fly south to Bonaire, Venezuela or Cuba,” he said.

    Bannister is hoping the flamingos will return when the breeding season begins in January.

    Meanwhile, islanders are pondering another possible loss.

    Owners of Morton Salt, which employs 60 percent of the workforce on Inagua and is the only industry on the island of 1,000 people, have cast doubt on the salt plant’s future.

    The company said it “cannot say with 100 percent certainty” that the badly damaged plant will continue operating.

    (Additional reporting by Verna Gates in Birmingham, Alabama; editing by Jane Sutton)


  4. Pingback: Hurricane Irma, from Caribbean to Florida, USA | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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