In preparation, the state of Louisiana has declared a tax-free weekend May 29-30 for hurricane supplies only. During the Louisiana Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday, the 4 percent state sales tax will not be charged on qualifying items such as batteries, flashlights, storm shutters and batter-operated radios. The National Hurricane Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is declaring May 23 through 29 as the 2010 Hurricane Preparedness Week. The purpose of the week is to stress how important “awareness and preparation” can be in preventing loss of life and property damage from a hurricane.
Last April, Colorado State University issued its annual report on the upcoming hurricane forecast predictions. Experts believe that warm tropical conditions will continue later than usual, increasing the chances of storm formation.
CSU’s forecasters have predicted 15 named storms in total, eight of which are expected to develop into major hurricanes.
It is unknown how the rapidly-growing oil slick from the destruction of the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform will be impacted by hurricanes, as the likelihood of a hurricane hitting the oil slick is considered extremely likely.
According to some sources, a hurricane could move the slick toward the coast and a storm surge or hurricane force winds could carry the oil inland, producing an even greater disaster than either a hurricane or oil slick alone.
A hurricane or tropical storm in the Gulf would also impede the efforts to contain the leak and the slick.
Some have even speculated that the oil slick may inhibit the formation of hurricanes in the Gulf by forming a barrier between the air and the water.
Once a hurricane has formed, however, the slick would not affect its intensity or track. Another positive effect of a hurricane may be that the churning waves would hasten degradation of the oil by disbursing it.
The first 10 named storms will be named as follows:
The Hurricane Preparedness Week website is at: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/HAW2/english/intro.shtml.