Three years after Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita, New Orleans is starring down the barrel of another hurricane. The National Huricane Center is frantically trying to predict the path of this tropical storm well before it becomes a monster.
It has been a relatively quiet season. Tropical Storm Fay came through Florida a couple weeks ago and flooded a lot of places, but I don’t think it killed anyone. Fay and T.S. Edouard did help knock loose the high pressure sitting over Texas and we subsequently got some rain after that.
Not quite in full force yet, but there’s activity on the radar. Tropical Storm Erin, now a tropical depression, is the first to sweep into the Lonestar state. She arrived 5:00 AM CDT this morning and by 7:00 AM she was downgraded.
Off on the horizon – in the Atlantic – is her big brother, Hurricane Dean. Dean must have been promoted to hurricane within the past few hours (maybe 5:00 AM CDT). We should expect him to strengthen and head straight for the Caribbean (Jamaica) and points west.
The bottom picture is one from Flickr member, steve_o3, taken after Katrina. Looks O.K. to me. I was just curious to see if it suffered major damage.
It means Follow the Fudge…
A theory, yes, but maybe it’s the longest political mile you’ll ever run: follow me here if you dare. In the shower the other day – where all genius thought occurs – I had a stream-of-consciousness thought about irony. Picture it, July 8, 2005, and Hurricane Dennis is barreling toward the Gulf Coast of the U.S.A. Louisiana’s Governor, Kathleen Blanco, declares an emergency evacuation, closes/reverses traffic on Interstate 10 into New Orleans (no inbound traffic), and braces for the hurricane to hit; bravo, good job. Dennis misses New Orleans and hits near Panama City, Florida, instead.
Fast forward to August 25, and T.S. Katrina – fresh off the west coast of Florida where she enjoyed dining on Mai Tai’s and a few tourists as a hurricane – once again becomes a hurricane. She’s angry. She grows to CAT5 strength almost overnight. By early morning August 27, she was the fourth most intense hurricane in the history of hurricane tracking. Now she wants more so she dances her way to the middle of Gulf then swings north. What is Blanco doing this time you ask? There in lies the crucial question. Many theories came out of the disaster which befel Louisiana when Katrina hit (and hit hard near CAT5 strength). Negligence to out-right incompotence were the buzz and enough finger pointing that you would have thought you were at a bird watchers convention.
Now consider this, Ray Nagin, Mayor of the Cresent City, gave several interviews after the storm and each one got progressively more angry until he finially snapped and cused the government’s slow response. He wanted commercial busses to come and save the people:
“I’m like – you’ve got to be kidding me. This is a natural disaster. Get every doggone Greyhound bus line in the country and get their asses moving to New Orleans.”
As he spoke, the city continued to flood and the school buses he refused to use were rendered useless.
Blanco meanwhile turned in her empathy card and let the chips fall where they may:
“The magnitude of the situation is untenable,” she told reporters. “It’s just heartbreaking.”
Just today Mike Brown, form Director of FEMA testified:
“My biggest mistake was not recognizing by Saturday that Louisiana was
dysfunctional,” Brown told the panel of lawmakers, referring to Saturday, Aug.
27, two days before the storm slammed the Gulf Coast.
So we go to round two of “Who’s To Blame”.
Meet our players…
Mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin
Governor of Louisiana, Kathleen Blanco
(Former) FEMA Director, Mike Brown
And now let’s throw in a twist, explosives near the levees:
“I heard from a very reliable source who saw a 25 foot deep crater under the levee breach,” Louis Farrakhan explained during a stop in Charleston, South Carolina. “It may have been blown up to destroy the black part of town and keep the white part dry.”
Not a drop! All we got was a drying 30-40mph wind. Now the air is hot and humid, the grass is brown, and there’s no end in sight to summer.
Today’s picture looks better than yesterday. So now we sit and wait – wait to see how much wind and rain we’ll get. Funny though, how news/rumor of events happening south of here (i.e. the evacuation effort) have spread around today. In the halls, at McDonalds at lunchtime, on the radio, everywhere you turn you get a different version or an updated version. But leave it to the Cajuns to ignore the weather and party on:
In Lafayette, Cajun fest rages on
Inundated with hurricane victims, they celebrate survival
12:00 AM CDT on Monday, September 19, 2005
By GILLIAN FLACCUS / Associated Press
LAFAYETTE, La. – Their homes are bursting with guests. Their schools are overwhelmed. Traffic has been at a standstill for three weeks since thousands of New Orleans hurricane evacuees arrived in search of shelter.But Lafayette, the capital of Cajun country, still knows how to party.Throngs turned out during the weekend for the opening days of the Festivals Acadiens, billed as the largest Cajun festival in the world, in a show of just what joie de vivre means.
Here’s the latest…she’s still coming.
So what is the big deal with Hurricane Rita? It could be the first major hurricane since Alicia in 1983 to hit the Texas coast! And here in the Brazos Valley we will not escape her effects. Of course, it is way too early to know exactly where Rita will strike but the Texas coast looks like a good bet. Based on the latest info, I believe Rita will strike somewhere between Galveston and Matagorda Bay and continue heading north into our backyards. Landfall will occur early Saturday morning. Source: Conley Isom meteorologist at KBTX Channel 3 News
On a personal note, this does not paint a pretty picture for my home and surroundings: there are only 2 trees within hundreds of yards of the house, 1 next to my parking spot, 1 next to my front window. Not good. We’ve gone through TS force winds before (70 mph) and the trees bent, lost leaves, but came back. If we get 80+ mph winds, I fear these trees won’t bounce back.
Until tomorrow or next time.
NOW it’s getting personal Mother Nature! Hurricane Katrina was bad – it killed a thousand plus people, destroyed a few hundred miles of Gulf Coast, disrupted thousands of lives, spiked gas prices – but Hurricane Rita wants to pour salt in the wound and then some.
This is definitely the year of the hurricane – 17 named storms so far and we have 6 more weeks left in the season! Some have suggested the Russians and Japanese are in kahoots to make a weather machine to destroy America.
Secretary Cohen was well-briefed on these weapons and their use by “terrorists” – in this case, the Japanese Yakuza crews who leased large strategic Russian scalar interferometers from the KGB in latter 1989. They have been engineering the weather over North America initially (and in some other places) since then, and have since become the most skilled interferometer operators on the planet. They are also being used as direct protégées by the KGB/FSB, which has moved them into the final Operations Phase of the long asymmetric war against the United States. Source: Scott Stevens (meteorologist) at http://www.weatherwars.info/Katrina.htm