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The U.S. Census Bureau today estimated that more than 11.5 million Gulf Coast residents, stretching from the Florida panhandle to southern Texas, could be affected by Hurricane Gustav.
According to the storm’s five day projected track, the Census Bureau calculated that the storm could impact more than 68,000 square miles of coastal counties.
Although no watches or warnings are currently in effect for the United States, preparations in the New Orleans area are already under way, a city still recovering from Hurricane Katrina, which hit three years ago today. According to population estimates released this year, New Orleans’ population rose by 13.8 percent in 2007, making it the fastest growing large city in the nation. Among the potentially vulnerable in New Orleans are the 20 percent of the population living in poverty and 13 percent who are 65 years and older, according to Census Bureau estimates. Also, 17 percent of the occupied homes are without access to a vehicle.
As the 2008 hurricane season progresses, the Census Bureau will continue to post information on its Hurricane Data and Emergency Preparedness Web page at <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/emergencies/>.