WASHINGTON - The drop in consumer confidence caused by the partial government shutdown and possible fiscal default is the biggest since Hurricane Katrina. WASHINGTON - The drop in consumer confidence caused by the partial government shutdown and possible fiscal default is the biggest since Hurricane Katrina.Gallup, which has been measuring economic confidence since 2008, said that the current partial government shutdown pummeled its Economic Confidence Index 12 points, the largest since Lehman Brothers collapsed in Sept.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R) declared a state of emergency on Thursday as the only-partially-shut-down National Hurricane Center warned that Tropical Storm Karen could become a hurricane by early Saturday. Most reporting on the impacts of the shutdown briefly mentions that the Center will continue to track storms. Hurricane Hunters, who fly into the middle of storms to gather essential data to more accurately forecast hurricane paths, are also feeling the pinch of the shutdown.
James Franklin, head of hurricane operations at the Center, told Al Jazeera America that “We know that our track forecasts are better when they fly.

Masters’ forecast notes a 28 percent chance that Karen will be a hurricane on Saturday morning, due to anticipated dry air and wind shear in its path. The nearby Liberty Island was also affected by the hurricane last year but reopened in July. Note: The hurricane watch does not include the city of New Orleans but that area does have a tropical storm watch in effect. The National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane watch for the Gulf Coast from Grand Isle, LA, to Indian Pass, FL. The 27.5 acre island was left without power for months after the hurricane flooded its boilers and electrical systems, threatening to wash out its rich history of American immigration. Last year's Hurricane Sandy caused a surge of water to swamp its grounds, leaving it without power for months.

Between 7 am and 9:30 am EDT the Hurricane Hunters made three passes though the center of Karen, and the central pressure stayed roughly constant at 1004 mb, so Karen is not undergoing much change. The House GOP has passed bills to fund portions of government, including national parks and the Centers for Disease Control, but Senate Democrats rejected them, saying it is wrong to pick and choose among government services.The dispute has led to the furloughing of hundreds of thousands of federal employees, the closing of national parks, and delays in everything from Veterans checks to important medical research. Thirty-three percent of Americans polled by Gallup said dissatisfaction with government and elected representatives is the nation's top issue, highest percentage recorded by the New Jersey polling firm since 1939.

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