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He urged all Texans in the storm’s path to “Remember, just because a hurricane is coming to Texas, does not mean that Covid-19 either has or is going to leave Texas,” and he told them to continue to maintain social distancing and wear face masks.
Why This Matters: A category 4 storm is bad enough, but to have to deal with evacuating half a million people, many of them poor, during a pandemic is beyond challenging. And the damage to the energy sector could be extensive.
COVID enormously complicates this disaster and there is likely to be a surge in cases as a result. Houston, which will likely be impacted, is very vulnerable to flooding, and there are huge oil and gas operations that must withstand the storm unlike any they have seen in more than a decade.
Where is the President’s focus during this emergency? Not here.
This year has seen many bad records broken when it comes to climate-driven severe weather. We are now several letters into the Greek alphabet for storm names having reached this point (23 so far) for only the second time since storm names began.
Why This Matters: The number of storms is not just a fun fact — it is devastating for tens of thousands of people.
Hurricane Sally, now a category 2 storm (winds at 110 mph) has slowed and intensified in the last 24 hours, with landfall now shifting to the east (fortunately away from New Orleans), but crawling toward the Eastern Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida Panhandle coastline with its high winds whipping the shore, the storm surge and huge rainfall amounts are expected to last for the next 36 hours.
Why This Matters: As President Trump denies the science, which he literally did today in California, the Gulf Coast gets ready for rainfall totals measured in feet not inches.
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