The Fury of Gustav

It’s been a while since I mentioned it here, but I grew up in the southern part of Louisiana. Not terribly near the coast, but still way down south. Most folks have left the coastal areas now, and that’s a good thing. The next 12 to 24 hours are going to be very rough, as hurricane Gustav makes landfall somewhere near Houma, Louisiana. It’s not all that far from where Katrina made landfall three years ago this week. Though for levees, settlements, floods and homeowners, a small change can mean a decisive difference.

Hurricane Gustav at 1am Eastern Time on Sept 1, 2008.

Hurricane Gustav at 1am Eastern Time on Sept 1, 2008.

For our readers who don’t have an immediate mental geography of the southern United States, the diameter of the red area (this a radar image, so the red indicates very bad weather conditions indeed) is about 200km. The top sustained wind speeds will be over 190 kph (about the speed that Mercedes was going when it made your car shake as it whooshed past on the autobahn), with gusts up toward 240 kph (good cruising speed for a TGV). Katrina is fresh enough in people’s minds that compliance with the evacuation call was very good, but this could still be a devastating storm.

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About Doug Merrill

Freelance journalist based in Tbilisi, following stints in Atlanta, Budapest, Munich, Warsaw and Washington. Worked for a German think tank, discovered it was incompatible with repaying US student loans. Spent two years in financial markets. Bicycled from Vilnius to Tallinn. Climbed highest mountains in two Alpine countries (the easy ones, though). American center-left, with strong yellow dog tendencies. Arrived in the Caucasus two weeks before its latest war.

One thought on “The Fury of Gustav

  1. The latest on the storm aftermath is that it may generate anywhere b/w $4 to 10 billion in insurance claims. At least 8 dead in the U.S. and 93 in the Caribbean as a result of Hurricane Gustav.

    In comparison $41 billion in damages and over 1000 deaths due to Hurricane Katrina.

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