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Archive for August 2008

Red Cross Prepares for Gustav

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More than 30 Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicles are assembled in Hattiesburg, Miss., prepared to move water and food to Gulf Coast residents in the path of Hurricane Gustav, the Red Cross announced Sunday. With crews from across the United States — including one that drove 1,500 miles in 17 hours from Niagara Falls, N.Y. — the gathering of vehicles underscores the Red Cross’ preparedness in advance of Gustav’s landfall, the agency said.

The Red Cross said it has moved nearly 200 mobile feeding trucks into Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama for evacuees. More than 100,000 cots and 200,000 blankets are in place, as well as tens of thousands of comfort kits and ready-to-eat meals. Supplies are being loaded onto 99 shelter support trailers to be dispersed throughout the region. Red Cross workers have been moving to the region yesterday and today. Before landfall, the Red Cross will be on the ground to help with shelters, food, and emotional support as evacuation orders are given.

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Written by newscycle

August 31, 2008 at 11:51 pm

Posted in Gustav, Red Cross

Red Cross Prepares for Gustav

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More than 30 Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicles are assembled in Hattiesburg, Miss., prepared to move water and food to Gulf Coast residents in the path of Hurricane Gustav, the Red Cross announced Sunday. With crews from across the United States — including one that drove 1,500 miles in 17 hours from Niagara Falls, N.Y. — the gathering of vehicles underscores the Red Cross’ preparedness in advance of Gustav’s landfall, the agency said.

The Red Cross said it has moved nearly 200 mobile feeding trucks into Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama for evacuees. More than 100,000 cots and 200,000 blankets are in place, as well as tens of thousands of comfort kits and ready-to-eat meals. Supplies are being loaded onto 99 shelter support trailers to be dispersed throughout the region. Red Cross workers have been moving to the region yesterday and today. Before landfall, the Red Cross will be on the ground to help with shelters, food, and emotional support as evacuation orders are given.

Written by newscycle

August 31, 2008 at 11:51 pm

Posted in Gustav, Red Cross

Crude Oil Futures Up as Gustav Hits Offshore Rigs

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Crude oil for October delivery rose $1.55, or 1.3 percent, to $117.01 a barrel in after-hours electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 8:40 a.m. in Singapore, Gavin Evans and Margot Habiby of Bloomberg reported early Monday. Prices, which dropped 7 percent in August, are up 22 percent this year.

Personnel from more than 70 percent of the platforms and rigs in the Gulf have been evacuated as the storm approaches, the U.S. Minerals Management Service said in a statement on its Web site yesterday. About 1.25 million barrels a day of oil and 6.09 billion cubic feet of gas have been shut, or more than 96 percent of offshore oil output and 82 percent of gas production.

Gasoline for October delivery gained 7.18 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $2.9260 a gallon on the exchange. Electronic transactions started early to allow market participants to respond to Gustav. Trades will be dated Sept. 2 because of today’s Labor Day holiday in the U.S.

“We’re more prepared for this storm than we ever have been for any hurricane that I remember,” said Phil Flynn, senior trader at Alaron Trading Corp. in Chicago. “We’re better prepared, and demand isn’t that strong anyway, so I’m about as optimistic as I can be in this type of disastrous situation.”

Brent crude oil for October settlement rose $1.35, or 1.2 percent, to $115.40 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe Exchange today.

The Gulf of Mexico accounts for 26 percent of U.S. oil production and 14 percent of natural-gas output. The Gulf normally produces about 1.3 million barrels of oil and an estimated 7.4 billion cubic feet of gas a day, according to the agency, part of the U.S. Interior Department.

CNNMoney.com examined Gustav’s overall impact on consumers and the oil industry. David Goldman reports:

Much offshore oil production has already been shut down and experts say it could get worse. It could damage gasoline refineries, which could send the price of oil and gas back up near record highs.

“Production will be shut down in the path of the storm,” said Cathy Landry, a spokeswoman for the American Petroleum Institute. “Not every rig will be in the storm’s path, but the oil companies tend to be very cautious.”

Written by newscycle

August 31, 2008 at 11:20 pm

Posted in Bloomberg, CNNMoney, Gustav, Oil

Crude Oil Futures Up as Gustav Hits Offshore Rigs

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Crude oil for October delivery rose $1.55, or 1.3 percent, to $117.01 a barrel in after-hours electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 8:40 a.m. in Singapore, Gavin Evans and Margot Habiby of Bloomberg reported early Monday. Prices, which dropped 7 percent in August, are up 22 percent this year.

Personnel from more than 70 percent of the platforms and rigs in the Gulf have been evacuated as the storm approaches, the U.S. Minerals Management Service said in a statement on its Web site yesterday. About 1.25 million barrels a day of oil and 6.09 billion cubic feet of gas have been shut, or more than 96 percent of offshore oil output and 82 percent of gas production.

Gasoline for October delivery gained 7.18 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $2.9260 a gallon on the exchange. Electronic transactions started early to allow market participants to respond to Gustav. Trades will be dated Sept. 2 because of today’s Labor Day holiday in the U.S.

“We’re more prepared for this storm than we ever have been for any hurricane that I remember,” said Phil Flynn, senior trader at Alaron Trading Corp. in Chicago. “We’re better prepared, and demand isn’t that strong anyway, so I’m about as optimistic as I can be in this type of disastrous situation.”

Brent crude oil for October settlement rose $1.35, or 1.2 percent, to $115.40 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe Exchange today.

The Gulf of Mexico accounts for 26 percent of U.S. oil production and 14 percent of natural-gas output. The Gulf normally produces about 1.3 million barrels of oil and an estimated 7.4 billion cubic feet of gas a day, according to the agency, part of the U.S. Interior Department.

CNNMoney.com examined Gustav’s overall impact on consumers and the oil industry. David Goldman reports:

Much offshore oil production has already been shut down and experts say it could get worse. It could damage gasoline refineries, which could send the price of oil and gas back up near record highs.

“Production will be shut down in the path of the storm,” said Cathy Landry, a spokeswoman for the American Petroleum Institute. “Not every rig will be in the storm’s path, but the oil companies tend to be very cautious.”

Written by newscycle

August 31, 2008 at 11:20 pm

Posted in Bloomberg, CNNMoney, Gustav, Oil

Left Keeps Heat on McCain During Gustav

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Barack Obama has shut down the Democrats’ rapid reaction operation in St. Paul, Charles Mahtesian and Carrie Budoff Brown of Politico reported tonight.

The move was an effort to scale back partisan efforts in the midst of a national disaster.

The Democratic National Committee abruptly called off plans Sunday to unveil its St. Paul rapid response operation, canceling a media reception featuring several prominent Minnesota Democrats, including Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Rep. Betty McCollum. The DNC also canceled its daily media briefing for Monday.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families in the region,” said DNC spokesman Damien LaVera.

Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential nominee, said he spoke with Louisiana Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu on Sunday morning. He was also briefed by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff on the “status of the storm, the evacuation process and coordination between federal, state and local authorities,” according to Obama senior strategist Robert Gibbs.

In Lima, Ohio, Obama said after attending services at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church that his campaign plans to mobilize its huge e-mail list of supporters to volunteer or send money after the impact of Gustav becomes apparent and authorities know better what kind of help is needed. He said his campaign is coordinating its efforts with local authorities.

Asked if McCain’s visit to Mississippi was appropriate, Obama responded, “A big storm like this raises bipartisan concerns, and I think for John to want to find out what’s going on is fine.
“The thing that I always am concerned about in the middle of a storm is whether we’re drawing resources away from folks on the ground because the Secret Service and various security requirements, sometimes it pulls police, fire and other departments away from concentrating on the job.”

“I’m assuming that where he went that wasn’t an issue. We’re going to try to stay clear of the area until things have settled down, and then we’ll probably try to figure out how we can be as helpful as possible.”

If everyone recalls, one of the most devastating criticism of President Bush is that he stayed away from Louisiana after Katrina and viewed the damage from the air. The left howled that Bush was uncaring, he was racist, he was aloof, he wasn’t hands on. McCain is showing that he is the opposite. He is basically chucking an opportunity to highlight his campaign by scaling back the GOP convention, probably losing any anticipated bounce in the polls. He is actively trying to get as much information he can of the situation by being on the ground. The time he spent in Mississippi was minimal, and apparently not a security concern. Nor did it cause any delays in evacuations. CNN reported tonight that there are about only 10,000 people in New Orleans tonight. About 1.9 million got out.

But if Obama is easing off of criticizing McCain during this emergency, many of his followers have not. In keeping the spin machine turning, a host of left-leaning bloggers have blasted McCain’s trip.

Moria Whelan, writing on the Huffington Post, notes:

Today, Obama stated that he would stay out of the way as Hurricane Gustav once again threatens the Gulf Coast. Even Bush, who three years ago celebrated Katrina’s landfall at John McCain’s birthday party, is staying away.

What does McCain do? Just like he did when he traveled to a market place in Baghdad, he puts the lives of Americans in danger, and diverts the mission for his own personal political gain. He will travel to the Gulf Coast to give a speech while emergency professionals are urging people to leave. Not only is it political grandstanding, it’s a disgusting display of the type of bad leadership we would see if John McCain became President.

The blog Revolution Calling said this:

McCain and Palin were in Mississippi earlier today. Who were they fooling? Exactly why were they there? Are they the governor of any of the Gulf States? No. Mississippi’s Governor, Haley Barbour, invited them. Gee, I wonder whatever for? Could it be for the headlines? So they look like they actually care? Never mind the fact that the two of them there is completely worthless and is just for appearances sake.

Harsh words? Not really. Considering McCain’s comments on MSNBC earlier this afternoon AFTER being “briefed” on the Hurricane and disaster efforts. McCain said (and I’m QUOTING his words):

“The hurricane will make landfall tomorrow at noon”. WRONG. Tomorrow near daybreak.
“The storm will reach tropical status at midnight tonight”. It passed being a tropical storm about a week ago!

My point is that McCain obviously wasn’t paying attention to anything anyone said to him regarding the hurricane. He’s just there for the photo-op and to grab some headlines. And to distance himself from what he was doing when Katrina hit (celebrating his birthday with Dubya)

Another blogger wrote:

“That doesn’t mean that McCain and company couldn’t score “heckuva job brownie” points by making an appearance at a Jackson, Miss. emergency center. McCain, Sarah Palin, Miss,Gov. Haley Barbour and others showed up to shake hands and generally give the impression that they gave a damn about the people and property in the storm’s path. As if they had the power to do anything.
McCain and Palin don’t have any authority whatsoever–they are merely political candidates–so this was no more that a cheap opportunity for the old codger to look “presidential” while he got in the way of the folks actually doing something. Palin, for her part, tried to look “veepish”. She smiled pretty while she said uplifting things like “I’m so glad you speak English here” and “It’s cold where I come from”.

Meanwhile, Dick Cheney had already come to Mississippi for some hunting. He’s shooting passing refugees from Haley Barbour’s front porch.

A pox on all their houses.

Written by newscycle

August 31, 2008 at 10:27 pm

Posted in Gustav

Left Keeps Heat on McCain During Gustav

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Barack Obama has shut down the Democrats’ rapid reaction operation in St. Paul, Charles Mahtesian and Carrie Budoff Brown of Politico reported tonight.

The move was an effort to scale back partisan efforts in the midst of a national disaster.

The Democratic National Committee abruptly called off plans Sunday to unveil its St. Paul rapid response operation, canceling a media reception featuring several prominent Minnesota Democrats, including Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Rep. Betty McCollum. The DNC also canceled its daily media briefing for Monday.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families in the region,” said DNC spokesman Damien LaVera.

Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential nominee, said he spoke with Louisiana Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu on Sunday morning. He was also briefed by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff on the “status of the storm, the evacuation process and coordination between federal, state and local authorities,” according to Obama senior strategist Robert Gibbs.

In Lima, Ohio, Obama said after attending services at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church that his campaign plans to mobilize its huge e-mail list of supporters to volunteer or send money after the impact of Gustav becomes apparent and authorities know better what kind of help is needed. He said his campaign is coordinating its efforts with local authorities.

Asked if McCain’s visit to Mississippi was appropriate, Obama responded, “A big storm like this raises bipartisan concerns, and I think for John to want to find out what’s going on is fine.
“The thing that I always am concerned about in the middle of a storm is whether we’re drawing resources away from folks on the ground because the Secret Service and various security requirements, sometimes it pulls police, fire and other departments away from concentrating on the job.”

“I’m assuming that where he went that wasn’t an issue. We’re going to try to stay clear of the area until things have settled down, and then we’ll probably try to figure out how we can be as helpful as possible.”

If everyone recalls, one of the most devastating criticism of President Bush is that he stayed away from Louisiana after Katrina and viewed the damage from the air. The left howled that Bush was uncaring, he was racist, he was aloof, he wasn’t hands on. McCain is showing that he is the opposite. He is basically chucking an opportunity to highlight his campaign by scaling back the GOP convention, probably losing any anticipated bounce in the polls. He is actively trying to get as much information he can of the situation by being on the ground. The time he spent in Mississippi was minimal, and apparently not a security concern. Nor did it cause any delays in evacuations. CNN reported tonight that there are about only 10,000 people in New Orleans tonight. About 1.9 million got out.

But if Obama is easing off of criticizing McCain during this emergency, many of his followers have not. In keeping the spin machine turning, a host of left-leaning bloggers have blasted McCain’s trip.

Moria Whelan, writing on the Huffington Post, notes:

Today, Obama stated that he would stay out of the way as Hurricane Gustav once again threatens the Gulf Coast. Even Bush, who three years ago celebrated Katrina’s landfall at John McCain’s birthday party, is staying away.

What does McCain do? Just like he did when he traveled to a market place in Baghdad, he puts the lives of Americans in danger, and diverts the mission for his own personal political gain. He will travel to the Gulf Coast to give a speech while emergency professionals are urging people to leave. Not only is it political grandstanding, it’s a disgusting display of the type of bad leadership we would see if John McCain became President.

The blog Revolution Calling said this:

McCain and Palin were in Mississippi earlier today. Who were they fooling? Exactly why were they there? Are they the governor of any of the Gulf States? No. Mississippi’s Governor, Haley Barbour, invited them. Gee, I wonder whatever for? Could it be for the headlines? So they look like they actually care? Never mind the fact that the two of them there is completely worthless and is just for appearances sake.

Harsh words? Not really. Considering McCain’s comments on MSNBC earlier this afternoon AFTER being “briefed” on the Hurricane and disaster efforts. McCain said (and I’m QUOTING his words):

“The hurricane will make landfall tomorrow at noon”. WRONG. Tomorrow near daybreak.
“The storm will reach tropical status at midnight tonight”. It passed being a tropical storm about a week ago!

My point is that McCain obviously wasn’t paying attention to anything anyone said to him regarding the hurricane. He’s just there for the photo-op and to grab some headlines. And to distance himself from what he was doing when Katrina hit (celebrating his birthday with Dubya)

Another blogger wrote:

“That doesn’t mean that McCain and company couldn’t score “heckuva job brownie” points by making an appearance at a Jackson, Miss. emergency center. McCain, Sarah Palin, Miss,Gov. Haley Barbour and others showed up to shake hands and generally give the impression that they gave a damn about the people and property in the storm’s path. As if they had the power to do anything.
McCain and Palin don’t have any authority whatsoever–they are merely political candidates–so this was no more that a cheap opportunity for the old codger to look “presidential” while he got in the way of the folks actually doing something. Palin, for her part, tried to look “veepish”. She smiled pretty while she said uplifting things like “I’m so glad you speak English here” and “It’s cold where I come from”.

Meanwhile, Dick Cheney had already come to Mississippi for some hunting. He’s shooting passing refugees from Haley Barbour’s front porch.

A pox on all their houses.

Written by newscycle

August 31, 2008 at 10:27 pm

Posted in Gustav

Gustav’s March on New Orleans

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Gustav continues its northwestern drive to New Orleans, according to the National Hurricane Center at 8 p.m. Eastern today. The center of the hurricane was near latitude 26.9 north. The longitude was 87.7 west. That position is about 260 miles south-southeast of New Orleans. The storm is moving northwest at 17 mph. Hurricane force winds are expected overnight in New Orleans.

Currently, the storm’s maximum sustained winds are near 115 mph with higher gusts. Gustav is a Category 3 storm on the Saffir-Simpson scale, but weather officials say they anticipate the storm will intensify tonight. Currently, the central pressure is 952 millibars.

The area of hurricane force wind have expanded to about 70 miles from the eye of the storm, and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 220 miles from the center. Aircraft data indicated that hurricane force winds have expanded in the northwest quadrant of Gustav, the 8 p.m. warning said.

The warning said:

A HURRICANE WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM JUST EAST OF HIGH ISLAND EASTWARD TO THE ALABAMA-FLORIDA BORDER…INCLUDING THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS AND LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN. A HURRICANE WARNING MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED WITHIN THE WARNING AREA WITHIN THE NEXT 24 HOURS. PREPARATIONS TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY SHOULD BE RUSHED TO COMPLETION.

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM EAST OF THE ALABAMA-FLORIDA BORDER TO THE OCHLOCKONEE RIVER. A TROPICAL STORM WARNING MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED WITHIN THE WARNING AREA WITHIN THE NEXT 24 HOURS.

AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS STORM SURGE OF 10 TO 14 FEET ABOVE NORMAL TIDAL LEVELS IS EXPECTED NEAR AND TO THE EAST OF WHERE THE CENTER OF GUSTAV CROSSES THE NORTHERN GULF COAST. ABOVE NORMAL TIDES IN THE DRY TORTUGAS SHOULD DIMINISH TONIGHT.

GUSTAV IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 6 TO 12 INCHES OVER PORTIONS OF LOUISIANA…SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI AND SOUTHERN ARKANSAS…WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF UP TO 20 INCHES POSSIBLE THROUGH WEDNESDAY MORNING.

ISOLATED TORNADOES ARE POSSIBLE OVER THE CENTRAL GULF COAST TONIGHT.

The current New Orleans radar is here.

Here are the advisories from the National Hurricane Center for Gustav. Go to the bottom of the page to see the latest warning.

The Weather Channel’s hurricane page is here.

Written by newscycle

August 31, 2008 at 8:23 pm

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