Juggling Disasters

Hurricanes don’t just batter trees, buildings and anyone that gets in their way. They also cause a surge that carries toxic materials from flooded cisterns, septic systems and sewage treatment plants. This year they could also carry spilled oil.

In an article on the Miami Herald website, Associated Press writer Jennifer Kaya says forecasters aren’t sure what degree of environmental hazards to expect if a hurricane lands west of the BP oil spilled in the Gulf of Mexico which, so far, lies mostly off Louisiana.

Bill Read, director of the National Hurricane Center, said, “the prevailing thought is the hurricane will have much more effect on the oil, rather than vice versa.”

As hurricanes mix with oil, they may also piggyback on the devastation of Haiti’s January 12 earthquake. Read is especially concerned that the upcoming storm season has potential for a new catastrophe in Haiti, where no evacuation plans exist for the hundreds of thousands of earthquake survivors who have been living under tents.

To read the Miami Herald article, click here:
http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/05/26/v-print/1649057/haiti-is-us-hurricane-center-chiefs.htm