July 18, 2006

The Faith-Based Recovery on the Hurricane Coast, Part VI

Filed under: Katrina — PolitiCalypso @ 5:31 pm

Part VI: A dire situation

Somehow, emergency management for the Coast—America’s “Hurricane Coast,” incorporating the Atlantic and Gulf—has missed the boat, and badly. As of mid-July 2006, thousands of hurricane victims along the totally devastated Gulf Coast are living in various unsafe forms of housing: damaged homes, FEMA trailers, tents, RVs, etc. If the Katrina and Rita evacuations were a nightmare and, arguably, a failure, one does not really want to consider evacuating thousands of displaced and basically homeless people during a 2006 Gulf of Mexico hurricane—which will almost certainly occur once again. This is much more than ignoring the small businesses and residents of the coastline in favor of big industries, although that has been going on as well. This is a disaster waiting to happen.
Hurricane Katrina formed east of Florida in the Bahamas, entered the Gulf of Mexico, and exploded in both size and intensity. Katrina was a product of the Gulf Stream Current and Gulf of Mexico, which have been—along with the Caribbean Sea—considerably warmer in April and May 2006 than they were in April and May 2005. They were actually below average for April and May in 2005, but in spite of that, heated to temperatures that could support three of the six strongest Category Five hurricanes ever recorded in the Atlantic. With summer fast approaching, these waters will not cool off anytime soon. Most of the Atlantic Basin is warm enough to support a major hurricane, and wind steering patterns are thought to place the entire Atlantic and Gulf Coast in danger this year.

Hurricane season is upon us, with the strong possibility of a repeat of the past two years. Along the coastline from east Texas to the Atlantic coast of Florida, there are few communities that have not been impacted by one hurricane or another since August 2004. Some areas have been struck repeatedly, such as the central Gulf Coast from New Orleans to Pensacola, Florida (struck by four hurricanes since 2004), and the southern half of the Florida peninsula (struck five times with an additional close shave from Hurricane Rita). That’s a lot of damaged or destroyed homes. That’s a lot of people in unsafe housing, unable to obtain a safe place because their insurance—if they had any in the first place—has denied their claim or stalled paying, and the government is more interested in helping multibillion-dollar industries get “back on their feet.” America’s Hurricane Coast cannot afford a faith-based recovery.

1 Comment »

  1. Two years ago at this exact day and exact minute, Hurricane Katrina made its first Gulf landfall on the Louisiana coast.

    I would like to mark this day by providing a series of links to recent news about the recovery, or what passes for it. First i

    Comment by PolitiCalypso — August 29, 2007 @ 4:14 am

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