Published: Tue, September 12, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Still In Texas Shelters While World Watches Irma

Still In Texas Shelters While World Watches Irma

Thumbs up for everyone who has chipped in to help victims of Hurricane Harvey - and to all those who will contribute to Hurricane Irma relief efforts.

Nearly 300 miles of the Texas coast were affected by the storm, amounting to an estimated $75 billion in total damages. Retail spending, which excludes gas spending but includes categories like clothing and home furnishings, was down even more, at 43.7 percent, according to First Data, which tracked data from more than 78,000 merchants in and around Houston, the fourth-largest US city. Harvey has already hurt the job market, and Irma could exacerbate the problem. Emergency contractors, meanwhile, have secured 1.5 million gallons of fuel and the state is working to explore additional options for port deliveries.

Stocks in insurance companies had been hit hard last week as the storm approached, and recovered on Monday after it became clear that pricey Miami real estate had been largely spared the worst of the storm. While we're seeing the richest country on earth struggling to cope with the devastation of extreme weather, don't forget the 40 million people affected by floods in South Asia, an area without anywhere near the same infrastructure or resources to cope.

There were at least five deaths in Florida while Irma advanced through the state causing pain and destruction.

"We are still in a rescue/recovery", said Maj. Fort Lauderale police also said they arrested several looters.

Hurricane Katia, a Category 1 storm, is moving inland toward Mexico's eastern shore and could make landfall early Saturday morning. The highest storm surge - about 12.5 feet - was recorded at the Aransas Wildlife Refuge, located northeast of Corpus Christi.

"The period of damaging winds will last longer than normal".

"We have seen both wholesale and retail prices come off the spike and I expect that trend is going to continue for a while", said Michael Ervin, vice-president at the Kent Group Ltd., which tracks petroleum markets.

The research concluded that climate warming was likely to cause hurricanes in the coming century to be more intense globally and to have higher rainfall rates than present-day hurricanes.

Irma was downgraded Monday to a tropical storm as it moved north through Georgia and the Carolinas.

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