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Giving Compass' Take:
• According to Sam Bloch, Jessica Fu, and H. Claire Brown, communities across Texas and Louisiana are bracing for increased economic shock and food shortages as Hurricane Laura approaches.
• How does Hurricane Laura contribute to growing devastation during COVID-19? What can we do to support disaster preparation plans that include contingencies for coronavirus? What are you doing to contribute to equitable relief efforts as Hurricane Laura approaches?
The coasts of Texas and Louisiana are bracing for the arrival of Hurricane Laura late on Wednesday night or early Thursday morning, a storm that’s projected to make landfall between Houston and Lake Charles as a Category 4 hurricane.
Laura could bring with it storm surge of up 20 feet, meaning the threat of flooding for communities as far as 40 miles inland. Officials across Texas are scrambling to free up hotel rooms so that evacuees can shelter in place with minimal risk of contracting Covid-19.
Hurricane Laura’s timing is bad for commercial fishers, said Andrea Hance, executive director of the Texas Shrimp Association: it’s arriving both the end of a fishing cycle, and on the heels of economic devastation wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Texas opened its commercial Gulf shrimp season on July 15, and because most boats stay on the water for 30 to 45 days, many are now on their way back to port, some carrying over 30,000 pounds of shrimp, she said. Wild-caught shrimp are not insurable, Hance said, which means a commercial fisher caught in the storm could lose $100,000 in shrimp, per boat.
“I’m scared we haven’t seen the full brunt to the industry, moving forward,” she said. “I’m scared to death that our prices will continue to fall.”
Another concern in Texas and Louisiana, as communities prepare for an encounter with the storm: hunger. As we know, access to food banks and pantries can be threatened by natural disasters, and that’s a food-assistance infrastructure that’s already been forced to adapt to another historically disastrous human tragedy in 2020.
Read the full article about Hurricane Laura by Sam Bloch, Jessica Fu, and H. Claire Brown at The Counter.