Sunday, September 25, 2005

Bad, but not Katrina

Hurricane Rita threatened to pound Houston with Category 4 or 5 winds this weekend, but at the last minute, the storm fell to Category 3 and cut to the east to slam the Louisiana-Texas border instead. Still, Texas officials' mandatory evacuation orders for Galveston and Houston were the right call. At the time, Rita looked like a meteorological buzz saw headed straight for those cities, and humanity takes a Category 5 threat lightly at its peril.

Though Rita weakened, it still left 25 dead, including 24 elderly evacuees who died Friday in a freak bus explosion south of Dallas. The hurricane also did about $8 billion of damage in Texas, and Louisiana has asked for almost $32 billion in federal money to restore infrastructure. Here in Alabama, tornadoes swirled around the northern half of the state all day, but I've only heard reports of a couple of injuries. Fortunately, though Rita's death toll and damage are tremendous, they aren't on the enormous, broad scale of Hurricane Katrina's devastation.

Meanwhile, only four more names remain on the National Hurricane Center's list for this Atlantic hurricane season, which will last for two more months. If those names run out, storms then will take their monikers from the Greek alphabet. With global warming doing its thing, we may be only a few years away from hurricanes sharing names with fraternities and sororities.


Blogger King Cockfight said...

I know it's a long way away, but wouldn't Hurricane Omega just sound peachy?

10:29 AM  
Blogger RightDemocrat said...

President Bush has signed an executive order suspending the prevailing wage requirements of the Davis-Bacon act for the areas ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. The Davis-Bacon act mandates that construction workers on projects for federal contractors are paid the prevailing local wage rather than the minimum wage. This means a wage cut for workers involved in rebuilding New Orleans. These workers would be paid $9 per hour at the prevailing regional wage for the New Orleans metro area, but due to the Bush executive order - they may be paid as little as $5.15 per hour. The action is further proof of the hostility of the Bush Administration to American workers. Bush has stripped overtime pay away from millions of workers and now is giving a wage cut to already hard-hit workers in areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Contact your U.S. Senators and Representatives and demand action to reinstate the Davis-Bacon act prevailing wage provisions.

12:23 PM  

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