Commentators and analysts have made the argument in recent days that the destruction caused by Hurricane Irene will boost the economy as people are put to work repairing the damage. However, some economists point out that destroying things of value does not usually create wealth.
“Hurricane Irene might have provided some short-term economic stimulus as billions of dollars will likely be spent to repair the damage to the East Coast over the weekend,” Josh Boak wrote for Politico Sunday.
Imagine, for instance, that a business lost the roof to its factory in the hurricane. The loss of the roof, under Boak's reasoning, actually helps the economy because roof repairers would get extra business. more >>
As Tropical Storm Katia continues to strengthen in the Atlantic, victims of Hurricane Irene are concerned that FEMA's low disaster relief fund will not be able to handle another natural disaster.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says Katia is expected to be near hurricane strength late Wednesday or early Thursday. Similar to Hurricane Irene, Katia could cause damage to the Caribbean but experts are not sure yet if the U.S. is at risk.
Even if Katia misses the U.S., hurricane season is far from over. more >>
The death toll from Hurricane Irene has jumped to 40 as more people were pulled out of floodwaters, according to new reports.
The latest number is nearly double what was reported on Sunday, according to ABC News.
Millions of residents in 11 states were affected by Irene as it roared across the East Coast after making landfall in North Carolina Saturday morning. Though it arrived on the U.S. coast as a Category 1 storm, Irene still left billions of dollars in damage and dozens of people dead. more >>
The worst flooding Vermont has suffered in 83 years has claimed the lives of three residents of the Green Mountain state. The victims include a woman swept away by the raging Deerfield River in Wilmington, a man who drowned in Mendon when flood waters took him away, and another man found dead in Lake Rescue in Ludlow.
Hurricane Irene dumped some 15 inches of rain on the land-locked state this past weekend. It washed out more than 260 roads, according to Vermont Agency of Transportation Secretary Brian Searles, and left 35 bridges closed because of storm-related damage. It also left nearly 10 percent of the state’s 625,000 or so residents without power.
It is “one of the top weather-related disasters in Vermont’s history,” National Weather Service hydrologist Greg Hansen told USA Today. “We’ve heard reports of houses and cars washing away. We’re keeping our fingers crossed all those were empty.” more >>
In the wake of Hurricane Irene’s damage to the U.S. East Coast and Canada, Christian disaster relief organizations began springing into action Sunday and are continuing efforts today.
Irene, which began as a category 3 hurricane and turned into a flood-damaging tropical storm, left 21 people dead, disrupted power to 6 million homes and businesses, and caused billions-of-dollars-worth in damages before crossing into Canada late Sunday.
Relief organizations such as Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC) first sent help to North Carolina where the hurricane landed and are now assessing other parts of the country, gathering reports to determine where they will send teams next. more >>
Rep. Michele Bachmann's camp was retreating Monday after the Republican presidential candidate's statement seemingly attributing Hurricane Irene and the Virginia earthquake to God came under scrutiny.
"Obviously she was saying it in jest," campaign spokesperson Alice Stewart told political website Talking Points Memo (TPM) in a statement.
The comment in question was made by Bachmann while the Minnesota congresswoman was campaigning in Sarasota, Fla., over the weekend. more >>