22 September 2005
With the American Gulf Coast still reeling from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and bracing for the wrath of a second monster hurricane this weekend, experts told a Senate hearing that new storm forecasting tools could help save lives and property.
South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint opened the hearing by reading a statement issued by the New Orleans Weather Forecast Office 20 hours before Hurricane Katrina hit the city. It was marked Urgent.
"Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks, perhaps longer," the statement read. "The vast majority of trees will be snapped or uprooted. Power outages will last for weeks as most power poles will be down and transformers destroyed. Water shortages will make human suffering incredible by modern standards."
The next few days bore out the deadly accuracy of that forecast.