I blogged a couple of weeks back about the dilemma that coastal residents face with an oncoming tropical storm. Hurricane Ike may reach landfall in the central Gulf Coast late next week, with the recovery from Gustav (landfall Sept 1) is in high gear.
With Ike, we have added complexity: an estimated 2 million Louisiana residents evacuated for Gustav. Some of them may still be in hotels, shelters or other temporary living arrangements when Ike comes ashore.
It will be more difficult to get that same numbers to evacuate for Ike. Some folks will judge that evacuation for Gustav was more trouble than it was worth, and decide to ride Ike out. Others may have depleted their resources running from Gustav.
Compounding the problem, the numbskull Mayor Ray Nagin a week ago declared the approaching Gustav to be the “storm of the century”, as his way of expressing the urgency for New Orleanians to evacuate. He can hardly use that line again. Gustav had the potential to be as serious for New Orleans as was Katrina, and that would have been the appropriate declaration.