Isaac Heads Into Gulf States; Hurricane Warning in Effect

Winston-Salem, NC 8/27/2012

The governors of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi declared states of emergency as a hurricane warning went into effect for the northern Gulf Coast from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle. It included New Orleans, devastated when Hurricane Katrina swept over the city on Aug. 29, 2005, killing more than 1,800 people and causing billions of dollars of damage along the coast.  “It is difficult to realize that to the day – seven years after Katrina – another hurricane is headed our way,” Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant said.

Early Monday morning, Isaac was about 405 miles (650 km) southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River with top sustained winds of 65 mph (100 kph) and moving west-northwest at 14 mph (24 kph).  It was expected to be centered over the Gulf Coast late Tuesday night or early on Wednesday. Evacuation orders for some low-lying parts of the Gulf Coast already were in effect Monday morning.
 
Energy producers in the Gulf worked to shut down some of their operations ahead of what could be the biggest test for U.S. energy installations since 2008, when Hurricanes Gustav and Ike disrupted offshore oil output for months and damaged onshore natural gas processing plants, pipelines and some refineries.  Gulf residents started stocking up on supplies and securing their homes. In New Orleans, long lines formed at some gas stations and in Gulfport, Mississippi, people crowded supermarkets to buy bottled water and canned food. “I sense a high level of anxiety,” said New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “The timing, as fate would have it, on the anniversary of Katrina has everybody in a state of alertness, but that is a good thing.”
 
Isaac is forecast to become a hurricane on Tuesday. In its latest advisory, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said the storm was not expected to strengthen beyond Category 1, the weakest type on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale of hurricane intensity.  NHC meteorologist Jessica Schauer said Isaac could trigger widespread coastal flooding, however.  “Right now we’re forecasting 6 to 12 feet (1.8-3.6 meters) of storm surge if it occurs at the time of high tide in the southeast Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama coast,” she said. Schauer said the NHC’s hurricane warning area included “quite a few oil rigs” but not perhaps the heart of the U.S. offshore oil patch, which produces about 23 percent of U.S. oil output and 7 percent of its natural gas. With the threat to offshore oil infrastructure and Louisiana refineries, U.S. crude oil prices were up 75 cents to $96.90 a barrel in early trading Monday.
 
Meteorologists at Weather Insight, an arm of Thomson Reuters, predict the storm will spur short-term shutdowns of 85 percent of the U.S. offshore oil production capacity and 68 percent of the natural gas output.  Once ashore, the storm could wreak havoc on low-lying fuel refineries along the Gulf Coast that account for about 40 percent of U.S. refining capacity. That could send gasoline prices spiking just ahead of the U.S. Labor Day holiday, analysts said. “It’s going right in the heart of refinery row,” Phil Flynn, an analyst with Price Futures Group in Chicago, said on Sunday.  London based BP Plc, the biggest U.S. Gulf producer, said it was shutting production at all of its Gulf of Mexico oil and gas platforms and evacuating all workers on Sunday.
 
Issac’s westward track meant the worst of its weather would miss Tampa, where the Republican National Convention was expected to open its four-day meeting on Monday but official events were delayed until Tuesday because of the storm.  Tampa, located on Florida’s west coast, still faces total rain accumulations of about 15 inches (38 cm) between Sunday and Monday evening, forecasters said.  In south Florida, winds from Isaac forced cancellations of hundreds of flights in and out of Miami, Fort Lauderdale and other south Florida airports on Sunday. Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez reported more than 500 cancellations affecting Miami International Airport alone. The storm killed at least nine people and caused significant flooding and damage in Haiti and the Dominican Republic before sweeping across the southern tip of Florida on Sunday.   
 
Contact us with any questions you may have regarding hurricane preparedness and your insurance.

View All News Articles

What Our Customers Say!
Several months ago we had a flood in our home due to a defective valve in our guest bathroom. Needless to say we came home to a disaster. We immediately contacted our agent, Linda Welborn. Right on the spot she gave us the name and phone number of a company to call (Disaster One). They came out that evening (around 11:30pm) and worked through the following morning around 6:30am. They did an outstanding job! We were so impressed with their "sense of urgency" and "expertise" we assigned all of our repairs to their company. The insurance adjuster(Erie Insurance) cut no corners when it came to replacing damaged items. They issued repair orders on things we weren't even aware we needed to look for. They too did a great job in getting everything processed quickly. It's great to have such a Professional agent who treats us like we are her only customer. I have been so impressed with her outstanding customer service that I refer many people to your agency because of the great care and attention she gives to her customers. Thank you Linda for your outstanding service! We look forward to working with you in the years to come.
Linda Martinez, Merfin Systems, LLC

Read what others have to say.

What's New

5 Types of Cyber Criminals and How to Protect Against Them
10/24/2018

Understanding the types of cyber criminals and their techniques can help protect your organization from a data breach. Here are some common threats and steps a business can take: 


Read More »

 

Wilson Insurance Services Team!
9/22/2018

 Our newest team photo!

Read More »

 

What You Should Know About Rental Car Insurance
8/1/2018
There are some very serious contractual gaps in coverage for rental vehicles. Even if you purchase their Collision Damage or Physical/ Loss Damage Waivers, many rental car contracts exclude the following:
  • Theft of the Vehicle
  • Tolling, or Turning the Vehicle Over
  • Lease Gap coverage
  • Loss of Use
  • Glass, Tire and Undercarriage Damage
  • Animal Collision
  • Flood and Hail Damage
  • Damage above the Windshield
  • Individuals who rent personal vehicles for extended periods and do not have a Personal Auto policy in force
  • Drivers who rent, and do not own another vehicle insured elsewhere, need to be expecially careful here
Read More »