Our Views: Louisiana counts its good luck

Tuesday, 10 October 2017, 07:53:12 PM. Has Louisiana faced its final hurricane threat for the year?

Has Louisiana faced its final hurricane threat for the year?

We hope so, although last weekend’s late-season arrival of Hurricane Nate underscored the need for continued vigilance.

Luckily, Nate only brushed the southeastern tip of Louisiana, doing little damage to the state as it rolled ashore. October hurricanes are rare in this part of the world, but it’s been an unusual season. For the first time since 2005, at least four hurricanes have hit the United States and its territories this year.

Harvey devastated Houston on Aug. 25, and Irma wreaked havoc across Florida on Sept. 10. Puerto Rico is in ruins after Maria menaced the island on Sept. 20.

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A weakened Nate brings flooding, power outages to Gulf Coast but no widespread damage

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) — Hurricane Nate brought a burst of flooding and power outages to the U.S…

The last time Americans faced such a busy storm season was in 2005, when five hurricanes made landfall here. Most Louisiana residents need no reminding of what that terrible year was like. After the unspeakable agony of Katrina, followed by levee failures in New Orleans, southwest Louisiana endured Rita’s wrath.

Those memories remain vivid, which is one reason why state and local officials did the right thing in taking Nate’s approach seriously. We’re fortunate that the storm passed with little impact on Louisiana. But even in an age of advanced meteorology, hurricanes can be unpredictable. That uncertainty underscores the importance of being prepared, although the urgencies of emergency preparations have given all of us a good bit of weather fatigue at this point.

At the very least, the preparations for Nate across south Louisiana provided good practice for facing the next storm.

We’ll cross our fingers and hope that another hurricane doesn’t visit the state for a long time. Louisiana is still dealing with last year’s massive flooding in both the northern part of the state and the Baton Rouge area. Another wallop from a hurricane right now would only complicate an already fragile rebound.

Hurricane season officially runs through the end of November. Typically, Halloween brings a sigh of relief, since November hurricanes are even rarer than October storms.

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New Orleans returns to normal after Nate bypasses it, leaving little damage

After two days of fearing it might be in the storm's cross-hairs, New Orleans escaped the br…

But in this sad, crazy year for weather, precedent isn’t necessarily the best guide for predicting the rest of the hurricane season. If we can approach Thanksgiving without any more hurricanes blowing across the region, we’ll have even more reasons for gratitude at the holiday table.

In largely avoiding Nate’s effects, Louisiana residents are better able to help fellow Americans who haven’t been as fortunate. The recovery challenges in Texas and Florida remain formidable — in Puerto Rico, even more so.

Now is the time to give generously, as our fellow Americans helped us in Louisiana’s darkest hours.

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