Hurricane Isaac, which landed in New Orleans August 29 — exactly seven years after its ancestor Katrina devastated that city— did not pack the massive punch residents feared it would though it brought enough wind and rain to garner evacuation warnings from state officials. It began as a tropical storm that started in the Caribbean, heading on a northwesterly course and leaving destruction in its wake. As it veered off the West Coast of the Florida Peninsula, picking up speed as it traveled, people began boarding up homes and businesses, stocking up on food and water, and getting ready to evacuate.
News reports from the Gulf Region, stated that the threat of storm surges and flooding was expected to last into the night. No loss of life had been reported at Sentinel press time and though meteorologists claimed that Isaac had reached category one hurricane strength when it hit New Orleans – and that it was much larger than Katrina in area – it had much less of an impact.
Before the storm hit, President Obama declared an emergency in Mississippi on Tuesday and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local storm response efforts there. The president declared a state of emergency in Louisiana late Monday, more than 24 hours before the storm was expected to hit the Gulf Coast. The declaration makes federal support available to save lives, protect public health and safety and preserve property in coastal areas.
“When disaster strikes, we’re not Democrats or Republicans first, we are Americans first,” said Obama at a campaign rally.
“We’re one family. We help our neighbors in need. Now is not the time to tempt fate. Now is not the time to dismiss official warnings. You need to take this seriously.”
The trail of the storm, after it left the Caribbean was Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. Texas might be slightly touched because of its close proximity, but all eyes were on New Orleans and inner Louisiana up to Baton Rouge. The size of the warning area of those four states, and the wide area of rain and wind prompted emergency declarations there. Also possible are tornadoes along the storm’s path, the central Gulf Coast region and particularly in parts of the lower Mississippi Valley.
In addition, the loss of electricity to hundreds of thousands and the expected shortage of gas for the massive exit area residents were expecting other possible hurdles.
Meanwhile, while the East Coast was being plummeted with a pending devastating hurricane, the West Coast was shaking; there were several tremors in the Southern California region last weekend. And according to geologists, the West Coast is overdue for a major earthquake.
The experts all say it is coming but they just don’t know when it’ll get here. Predicting earthquakes is very difficult and unlike storms/hurricanes they do not now exactly when and where the next one will be. Advancing technology and historical data are helping to fine tune earthquake prediction, they said.