Saturday, August 30, 2008

Contraflow invoked for Hurricane Gustav

  • Important new post.
  • This map showing projected path of hurricane Gustav (NHC)
  • map (right) updated at noon EDT on Saturday.
A massive hurricane -- perhaps bigger than Katrina -- looks poised to reek havoc in the gulf region of the United States. Hurricane Gustav gathers steam on the third anniversary of Katrina, the natural disaster-turned-man-made tragedy; and the eve of the Republican National Convention, threatening to postpone the convention as Republicans scramble to look as if -- this time -- they really do care.*

Oil refineries could be at risk. Highways in Louisiana -- where a state of emergency has been declared -- are gearing up to "contraflow" traffic to prevent congestion (see: contraflow map, 2006 evacuation map, page that links to PDF evacuation maps from Homeland Security -- I cannot open these with my slow computer). Exactly what is contraflow? It means that all lanes of freeway traffic will be directed to move in the same direction (away from the coast), speeding evacuation.

And get this. CNN reports, "Hurricane Katrina victims living in government-issued trailers or mobile homes along [the Mississippi] coast will begin evacuating this weekend to prepare for the Gustav's possible arrival." Three years after Katrina hit, victims are still living in emergency trailers. WTF?

Meanwhile, the same man who failed to prepare for Hurricane Katrina, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, is in charge of managing this emergency. . .

Updates are available at the National Hurricane Center.

I have compiled a page of links to emergency resources here.

* Top photo NHC; middle photo shows Bush and McCain eating cake on August 29, 2005, the day Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans; bottom photo shows Katrina victims.

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