Hurricane Ike wrap-up
| 10.03.2008 | 07:00:38 | Views: 11808 | ID:
It has been one month since the formation of Hurricane Ike, the ninth named storm of the 2008 hurricane season. Since the storm hit the Texas coast, more than 300 people are still missing while the storm claimed 67 lives, and could end up costing close to $22 billion officials said. The storm also was responsible for high winds and rain in the interior parts of the country, causing power outages, flooding and gas shortages in the Midwest and Southeastern US.
Business Week reported gas outages in major urban areas such as Atlanta sending prices to close to $4.33 a gallon. "The Southeast is experiencing a hurricane-triggered gas shortage that has thrown the region's gas stations into chaos. ... The dual hurricanes (Gustav and Ike respectively) caused widespread power outages on the Gulf Coast, which forced refineries to shut down as the pipelines opened, waiting transport to transport reserve fuel to the Southeast."
The storm's effects were still being felt as recently as late as September 20 according to the Weather Channel which reported a National Weather Service bulletin announcing storm surge-induced higher tide waters which continued to flood parts of low-lying Texas.
Regarding those missing after the storm, local and state officials have partnered with the Laura Recovery Center to establish a Hurricane Ike missing persons website that compiles lists "of missing people and police are using the information to go door-to-door looking for answers."
"As of Thursday morning," the cable news channel reported, "the number of missing hovered at 300, including 24 children. Laura Recovery Center volunteers, working with the Galveston Police Department and Galveston Emergency Management, have been fielding calls from family and friends of people missing since Ike hit September 12."
Meanwhile, in Louisiana, the Advocate reported a "successful" lessons-learned best practice for disaster aid housing being implemented by federal, state and local officials. Using their experience during and after Hurricane Katrina, Housing and Urban Development officials announced assistance to low-income homeowners and renters. "Under the new program," the Advocate reported, "qualifying families will receive full rental assistance until May 1" as well as foreclosure relief for a period of 90 days. (The terms and conditions of the agreement are here).
In addition to infrastructure and community damage, Ike caused massive natural damage. Grist reported via Houston Chronicle that "Ike caused widespread environmental damage to Southeast Texas, ripping through the region's barrier islands, washing debris into Galveston Bay and the Gulf, and imperiling animals, fish and plants by pouring excessive amounts of saltwater into marshes."
Other developments of interest: Mike Schaffner wrote in Forbes he learned some lessons about the resiliency and community dependence on telecommunications and infrastructure in the face of a large disaster - namely that technology will fail; planning is critical; realize the value of those who maintain the infrastructure; create redundant systems and finally that continuity planning is more than IT disaster recovery planning.
And FEMA has its own YouTube page with videos about hurricane preparedness, disaster recovery among other things.
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