Gulf Coast Region Holds Collective Breath as Hurricane Season Starts

NOAA-Hurricane-Katrina-Aug28-05-2145UTCJust what we needed in the Gulf Coast. Hurricane season starts formally next Tuesday.

In the midst of a man made catastrophe unfolding in the Gulf Coast, the region must also brace for the possibility of a natural disaster. A hurricane would compound efforts to stop the massive oil spill, rescue wildlife and mitigate the damage, while of course preparing human populations and property.

NOAA makes their forecast announcement next week.

NWF climate scientist Amanda Staudt, Ph.D., urges caution and preparation as hurricane season begins. She recently told me a hurricane or severe storm in the Gulf Coast region can only add chaos to an ecological catastrophe. Depending on when and where it strikes, and at what stage of the cleanup we are in, it would only complicate matters and endanger the people working to contain the spill.

NWF’s wildlife scientist Doug Inkley, Ph.D., recently told USA Today that a Gulf Coast hurricane would “likely distribute the [spilled] oil much more widely.”

(Photo:  Satellite photo of Hurricane Katrina from NOAA.)