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As Gustav churns toward the U.S. Gulf Coast, we are glued to the television. What’s the latest pressure? Wind speed? When will the next hurricane hunter report?
This morning, we learn in the New York Times that there are urban hurricanes and there are rural hurricanes, depending on where they make landfall. The Times reports: “A Louisiana State University scientist who has been tracking the storm said the area at greatest risk, under present forecasts, was not New Orleans but the low-population district between Houma and Lafayette on the state’s south-central coast. ‘It’s just like Rita; it’s more of a rural storm than an urban storm,’ said Robert Twilley, a professor of oceanography and coastal sciences.
Most eyes over the next few days will be on New Orleans. Rightly so. But if Gustav is a “rural storm,” and strikes hardest outside the metro area, the nation needs to pay attention, too.