Act Two

Hurricane Rita brings a second cruel assault on the Gulf Coast. How well did we apply Katrina's lessons?

We get to know our hurricanes so well now. We christen them and watch them grow from little tempests way out at sea to big, clumsy storms spilling bright orange rings all over the weather maps. We track them so closely that we fool ourselves into thinking that what we can't control we can at least predict, with all our models and millibars, as though it were not in the very nature of hurricanes to skid and twist and break things. That's worth remembering now as the skies clear and we measure what worked and what didn't, who overreacted, who waited...

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