We Survived Ike

This is Houston radar at 10PM last night. The storm hit us around 4 AM and lasted most of the day – ’til about 6 PM. We survived. More importantly, the trees pulled through 50+ mph winds. I saw very little tree damage in the streets this morning when I took the dog for a walk.

Tropical Weather and Storms – Hurricane Updates from weather.com

Tropical Weather and Storms – Hurricane Updates from weather.com: “On its current track, Ike should make landfall along the central Texas coast early (late) Friday night as a major hurricane. Models are honing in on a landfall location very close to Freeport, Texas. However it is very important to emphasize that tropical storm and hurricane conditions will be felt well before Ike’s center of circulation makes landfall. Conditions will deteriorate along the Texas coast well before that point.”

Texas A&M University will be closed Friday (Sept. 12) as a precautionary measure as Hurricane Ike nears the Texas coast and tropical storm winds and heavy rain are projected to reach the Bryan-College Station area.

HOUSTON — George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) will stop commercial flights beginning at 2:00 p.m. on Friday. No airline service is expected to operate at IAH on Saturday. Southwest Airlines at Hobby Airport will stop flights at 9:00 a.m. –khou.com

Round Two – Spite of Hurricane Ike

The funny thing is that the predicted landfall gets shorter by 8 hours every day. Today is Wednesday, September 10, and it’s now predicted to land early Saturday morning near Corpus Christi.

Hurricane Gustav

Gustav comes ashore this morning as a Category 3 hurricane, but getting weaker by the hour. Texas needs the rain, and maybe we’ll see some, maybe not.

Maybe big brother got lucky on this one. Two things: 1) the gov was proactive and evacuated at the right time; it’s cheaper to move half a million people and then to search, rescue and recover half a million people, and 2) people responded (most any way).

This year though sees another player – the Republican National Convention is scheduled for this week. Now the story is how the storm of ’08 affects politics and the presidency.

It came from lessons learned, but what about the next one, what if it’s a near miss (or near hit). Will people still respond. Will they say “better safe than sorry,” or, will they cuss the government for making them leave for nothing.

Tropical Storm Gustav

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.

Active Gulf Storms

In aviation there’s a saying that planes in a line on radar are called a “string of pearls.” Well, the Gulf and Atlantic have a string of storm pearls.

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.

Hurricane Humberto

This was the little hurricane that made landfall around 1AM. I saw the news at 6:00 PM and they thought that tropical storm Humberto would come ashore and die quickly.

Hurricane Season 2007 – It’s Back

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.

Jackson Square

Jackson Square, December 2003
Originally uploaded by teamsiems.

The top picture is one I took in December 2003 – before Katrina – with a credit-card-sized camera.

St. Louis Cathedral
Originally uploaded by steve_o3.

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.

Folgen Sie dem Fudge

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.”