Eye on Gustav
All of a sudden there is concern that tropical storm Gustav (satellite image above) could develop into a hurricane and make landfall near New Orleans. Reuters reports that officials in New Orleans will consider an evacuation if there are indications that it could become a Category 3 storm:
Not since Katrina and Hurricane Rita, which followed in its wake, have residents faced government orders to evacuate their homes and businesses. Many are still struggling to rebuild their lives in a city famed for its jazz clubs and Mardi Gras festival.
On Wednesday, two days before the third anniversary of Katrina’s Aug. 29, 2005, landfall, Gustav drifted away from Haiti and the Dominican Republic after killing 22 people. It could hit the U.S. Gulf Coast around Monday.
Here is the National Hurricane Center’s bulletin:
The storm has already affected our pocketbooks as the price of sweet crude oil edged up to $118.28 a barrel, settling there after reaching $120 during trading today. The storm is threatening U.S. oil platforms in the gulf, Bloomberg reports:.
Energy producers will evacuate “several thousand” employees from offshore rigs yesterday because of the storm, said Ted Falgout, the director of Louisiana’s Port Fourchon. Almost 20,000 workers are on offshore platforms, about one-quarter of which are needed to maintain output, Falgout said in an interview.