Today’s Editorial August 30: Heed storm evacuation warnings

The tables were turned Sunday and Monday as we in the Cayman Islands stayed glued to our televisions watching and wondering what Hurricane Katrina was going to do.

It was the same feeling of helplessness our families and friends experienced last year as Hurricane Ivan was bearing down on us.

All we could do was watch televised reports when cable television was working properly, try to get through with telephone calls and pray.

Hundreds of Caymanians have migrated to the southern throws of the United States, many inhabiting places such as New Orleans, the Gulf Coast and Florida.

It still is unknown what the extent of loss of life will be as a result of Hurricane Katrina as she snakes her way through the eastern portion of the US leaving in her wake downed trees and imploded buildings.

The Cayman Islands and the rest of the United States will more than likely see the negatives of Katrina for a long time to come.

Her entrance in to Louisiana sent oil prices soaring to more than $70 a barrel. That in turn will more than likely mean that we in the Cayman Islands will pay even more for petrol to run our vehicles; this on top of a 13-cent increase last week.

Katrina will hit us even harder in our pocket books.

The storm is expected to inflict $10 billion to $25 billion worth of damage in the United States.

If those predictions prove to be true, already high insurance rates could go up even more in the Cayman Islands.

Even if our insurance rates don’t go any higher, Katrina – a Caribbean Basin storm – just confirmed the high rates we’re already paying.

It appears most of those living along the Gulf Coast and near New Orleans took seriously calls to evacuate.

Our hurricane season is far from over.

We’re fast approaching the year anniversary mark of Hurricane Ivan, which hit the Cayman Islands 11-12 September.

The season won’t be officially over until November.

And there were still two systems forming off Africa on Monday.

If another hurricane threat comes our way, it is hoped that we act accordingly and do what our Government asks of us. If we’re ordered to evacuate a certain area, do it.

While losing something material because of a hurricane is sad and depressing, losing a life because of stubbornness is ridiculous.

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