Hurricane Gustav

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Hurricane Gustav on September 1, 2008, with the deadly Hurricane Hanna in the Caribbean
Hurricane Gustav was a major hurricane that formed August 25, 2008 near Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in the Caribbean. Although it was a category 3 hurricane it downgraded to a category 1 on September 1 when it hit the United States Gulf Coast states. It is estimated that it has resulted in the deaths of 96 people in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Cuba and the United States. Mandatory evacuation orders of 1.9 million people took place in the state of Louisiana and 200,000 people in New Orleans alone. "We want everybody... we want 100 percent evacuation. If you decide to stay, you are on your own" New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said.[1] Evacuations along the Alabama and Mississippi Gulf Coast also took place. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency, activating between 3,000 and 8,000 members of the Louisiana National Guard. The states response was much more improved compared to the response to the 2005 Hurricane Katrina, with Governor Jindal saying, "our state is better prepared that it has been before."[2] New Orleans' new and improved levees, which were still being rebuilt three years after Hurricane Katrina did not break, only having water sloshing over it for a period of time.[3] There was however, severe storm surge flooding in many parts of Louisiana.

Political Impact

Hurricane Gustav hit New Orleans on the start of the 2008 Republican National Convention. Because of this President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney were unable to attend. The first day of the Republican convention focused almost entirely on Hurricane relief and raising money for organizations like the Red Cross. Former Democratic National Committee chairman Donald Fowler responded to the timing, saying:

"The hurricane’s going to hit New Orleans about the time they [Republican Convention] start. The timing is — at least it appears now that it’ll be there Monday. That just demonstrates that God’s on our side."

He would later apologize.[4] Popular filmmaker and liberal activist Michael Moore said on the Hurricane,

"Gustav is proof that there is a God in Heaven."[5]

Mon Sep 1, 2008, 3:25 AM, before "Hurricane Gustav", a man hauls bags down Bourbon Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans.

See also



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