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As Irma Barrels into Florida, Washington Takes a 1-2 Punch


More than a decade of budget cutting and a rash of government job vacancies are taxing Washington’s ability to cope with a one-two punch of epic storms.


As Irma bore down, Alan Rubin was boarding up his house in Kings Bay, Fla., south of Miami, and remembering when Hurricane Andrew hit in 1992. A self-described "master of disaster," the Blank Rome lobbyist makes a living advising municipalities to prepare for the worst.

If Irma lives up to its threats, neighbors' boats will be in living rooms, he predicted.

"We're faced with potentially three natural disasters," he said. "The government isn't prepared at this particular time to keep writing checks. It won't work."

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"As Irma Barrels into Florida, Washington Takes a 1-2 Punch," by Lorraine Woellert was published in Politico on September 10, 2017.