TL;DR: Ida falls short of Katrina in terms of damage and fatalities, but the Cat 4 storm still did significant damage along the Gulf Coast. Do you know what to say and think when disasters strike?
Ida made landfall earlier this week. Now that the storm has passed, the damage and destruction are fully apparent.
Here’s how things stand:
- So far there have been at least 6 deaths, 4 of which happened when a highway collapsed in Mississippi.
- Thanks to well-functioning levees in the larger cities, flooding is nowhere close to what it was with Katrina.
- People sought shelter in their attics waiting on helicopters and boats to bring them to safety.
- Power outages may last weeks and basic necessities are in scarce supply.
Hurricanes are often called “Acts of God.” But don’t be too quick to attribute God’s judgment or wrath to natural disasters. The reason for severe storms, like hurricanes, is the speed at which the Earth rotates. Any slower and we would have fewer storms, any faster and Toto wouldn’t be in Kansas anymore. Many aspects of our environment depend on the Earth spinning at the level it does:
- Rainfall to water crops
- Pruning of weaker trees to open up forest canopies and release more oxygen
- Lightening converts nitrogen for plants to use as food
In truth, we won’t ever know why disasters happen. Maybe God allows them, maybe disasters are made worse by moral evil in the world (corrupt leaders who do not provide safe housing for their citizens), or maybe it is part of our fallen world. What we do know is that God is close to the broken-hearted and will bring it all together for his glory.
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.”Psalm 46:1-2