Thursday, September 22, 2005

1 comment:
AS IF THERE'S NO PLACE TO HIDE

The preparation stage is coming to an end, and the survival stage is about to begin. From this point on, the storyline changes from a meteorological one to an unfolding massive human drama of unbelieveable porportions. A traffic backup for a hundred miles or more in stifling heat. People from Texas heading north or east thinking they are moving out of the storms path are encountering heavy traffic coming west from Louisiana as those residents flee the same storm since the path appears to be shifted. These drivers may be running out of gas, slowing down efforts to get out in time. So what we thought might be a heroic to save lives by getting people we hope will not turn into a deathtrap. Instead of people trapped in homes with rising water, will we instead see motorists stuck on roads in the storm's path with no fuel and nowhere to hide facing the exactly the fury they were trying to avoid.

I have other points to make in tonight's discussion, including:
1. How a weakening trend will lead to an expansion of the wind field, affecting a larger area.
2. How the inland flooding risk may be greater for areas not in the Hurricane Warning.
3. Will there be another eyewall replacement cycle before landfall?
4. A summary of damage expected by NWS statements posted today

Please check back later this evening.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

7 comments:
DOUBLE TROUBLE
or triple...if we get a TD 19 in the far eastern Atlantic soon

Double Trouble 1


All eyes are turning toward two or three developing systems spread across the Atlantic, Computer models are projecting a general west or northwest track in the near-term for these storms, but it is entirely possible that by early next week, we could have Phillipe and Rita. It is also possible that one or both of them will impact either Florida, the East Coast or the Gulf within a 10 day period. The only sticky point is whether or not an upper level trough in the central Atlantic will pickup these systems and recurve them. Some forecasters, including Accuweather, believe the southern system has a low enough latitude that it may avoid interaction with this trough, and allow it to continue on a west-northwest track into the Caribbean this week, and possibly into the Gulf after that. The other possibility is that either system develops, heads north, and is later driven back toward the east coast as the ridge moving in behind Ophelia becomes the dominant air mass over the northeast U.S.

The more interesting issue of the day is that given we will cross the P and R names before September is out, it looks likely the 2005 storm list may run out of names before the season expires. I just learned this is the earliest ever that we will use the R-name, as the last known occurance since 1953 was in October 1995 with Roxanne. Then what? CNN reports that since 1953, when storm naming began, there has not been a situation in the Atlantic basin where the name list was exhausted. The plan is that once we cross the W name (Wilma), the hurricane center will begin using Greek letters, starting with Alpha, then Beta, and so on.

PHILLIPE: JUST A FISH STORM?

With light shear and very warm SST's ahead, Phillipe is expected to reach major hurricane status within a 5-7 day period. The northerly trend shown here is plausible due to influence of the upper-level trough in the central Atlantic left in the wake of Ophelia. However, there is concern that the high pressure ridge building in the northeast may cause Phillipe to turn back toward the U.S. at the end of this forecast period... in the 120+ hour time frame. The other possibility, that is equally plausible, is the cold front in the Midwest moving east eventually nudges Phillipe a bit more to the east, sending it merrily into the Atlantic, missing even Bermuda. It sounds like a copout to say this, but either scenario has an equal chance until we see which region of the atmosphere begins to exert an influence on steering currents for this storm.

Phillipe 3

RITA: HEADING FOR CAT 5?

Let me be the first to say that within 5 days I believe we will see TWO Category 3 hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin occuring at the same time... Phillipe heading north to northwest, and Rita heading west into the Gulf, both as major hurricanes. There is considerable concern at the hurricane center regarding the track and intensity of this storm, according to a NHC conference call report on Sunday morning. Apparently hurricane watches may soon be posted for parts of southern Florida and the Keys. You can see the reasons for concern below, as the cyclone is soon to cross into waters near 90 F, and in a relatively low shear environment. The GFDL, which is sometimes right on (as it was for most of Katrina's projected path) and sometimes way off (as it was for Ophelia) has a Cat 4 or 5 heading west-northwest towards the Texas coast. Wouldn't it be a crying shame if those who evacuated to Houston have to evacuate AGAIN? Given the warm Gulf, and no major weather systems to influence Rita's path or strength, I see this storm easily reaching Cat 3 and by the end of the week, may be churning toward the Texas/Mexico coast as a Cat 5.

Rita 1

More on this developing tropical forecasting overload once we get TD named as Rita.

GOODBYE NORTH AMERICA,
HELLO EUROPE ?

Ophelia 5

My apologies to our friends in southeast New England and the Canadian maritime provinces for not posting earlier on the fact that you were going to be sharing in Ophelia's dance. While the tropical storm warnings were a good idea and put the public on alert, it is encouraging to see that at least ONE geographical area of the U.S. was spared from a direct hit. However this is not the case for eastern coastal Canada, as Nova Scotia is now in the cross hairs, and will feel the full brunt of this expiring storm. While this will not be nearly as bad as Hurricane Juan in 2003, it will be a very stormy day. The conventional thinking would be that a tropical storm does not produce as damaging of a surge, but this time I beg to differ. The accelerating forward motion combined with 50-60 mph winds and the northeast angle will impact the entire coast of eastern Nova Scotia, including Halifax. The Atlantic will be pushed and piled up ahead of this storm, and I believe will result in a surge of 4-6 feet or possibly higher within small inlets. Though a tropical storm, this will look, feel and sound like a hurricane. Damage from downed trees will be considerable as Ophelia makes it’s first official landfall this weekend. Thanks to James, a reader from the Nova Scotia area, for reminding us that tropical cyclones often have a reach that goes well north of the U.S. and Ophelia will be no exception.


SUNDAY update: Nova Scotia did not see the strong winds and surge as predicted above, because the core of wind stayed offshore, much to the relief of residents I'm sure.


When I checked Ophelia's projected path this morning, I was stunned to see this map above. Can you believe this storm is going to maintain an impressive intensity all the way across the Atlantic... and possibly impact Scotland and Iceland? That is just "off the charts" as my students would say. The only other storm I can recall which had such a northerly track was Hurricane Gloria in 1985, which hammered Long Island and central New England, remained a tropical storm into the far North Atlantic, had after-effects in northern Europe into October. Read this well-done article that looks back on that fateful September storm.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

5 comments:
FROM BAD TO WORSE

Ophelia 5


I'm certain many people in North Carolina and Southeast Virginia do not consider this a "miss" as landfall is technically considered to be when the more than half the eye crosses over land. This Category 1 storm will turn out to cause as much damage as a Cat 2 or 3, because of the slow movement, long duration of onshore winds accompanied by heavy rain. The big problem for Eastern North Carolina is that all that water is being shoved up the sounds and rivers, and it will have no choice but to cause significant upstream flooding as it has nowhere to go. Couple that with 6 to 12 inches of rain on top of the surging water, and you have another significant flood event on the heels of the worst natural disaster in U.S. history. The NC governor was right to jump all over this storm early on, as the potential for inland flooding damage is just as great as storm surge damage along the coast. I don't recall a situation in recent times where a slow moving storm affected the Carolinas quite like this, unless you count flooding from Tropical Storm Dennis shortly before Floyd arrived in September 1999. Of course nothing in our time will compare to the ultimate slow moving catastrophic rainmaker that was Hurricane Mitch in October 1998 that devastated parts of central America under 3 feet of rain. More on the effects of Ophelia shortly.
22 comments:
STILL A CAROLINA CALLER ?

Ophelia 4
Maybe, just maybe... according to the NHC, Ophelia will simply MISS the Carolinas altogether. I have reviewed the NWS local forecasts for SE Virginia, the I-95 corridor and New England. Given the track of this storm and placement of the high pressure ridge, I have my doubts that areas north and west of Richmond will see much in the way of heavy rain as is currently alluded to in NWS forecasts. I think the greater risk will be strong northeast and north winds as the hurricane passes to our east, and some brief squalls along Del-Mar-Va. Extreme SE Virginia, especially Norfolk, will see tropical storm force winds, along with southern Chesapeake, but Washington-Baltimore-Philly and Delaware... all in the clear. Expect little in the way of rain from this. My earlier prediction below:

Ophelia 3


The first Carolina hit of the season is now inevitable and expectations are somewhere along the SC/NC border. Some computer models are taking a more northerly track targeting only the NC coast. Landfall intensity would seem stay well within the Category 1 range, maxing out at 85 mph, according to the NHC. But if you look at SST charts for the region this storm will soon be crossing, it will enter a warmer environment of perhaps 82-83 F surface water. (Charts courtesy of a post from the Eastern US Weather Forum). With low shear, minimal dry air entrainment and adequate outflow and a discernible eye developing, I think it is not at all unreasonable this storm reaches Category 2 strength just prior to landfall. The NHC projected path takes Ophelia through eastern SC, eastern NC and into southern Virginia. It is reasonable to expect some tidal impact in the Chesapeake Bay from a southeasterly fetch as the depression approaches on Thursday. It would SEEM unlikely SE Virginia will see a repeat of the flooding rains that accompanied TD/TS Gaston, but we'll see how this depression plays itself out once inland before calling OFF the calvary. Keep tabs on the latest reconnaissance observations, and pay particular attention to letter "D" as it is the best indicator of maximum surface wind gusts, and letter "H" indicates current minimum surface air pressure.

If you live in the coastal zone likely to be impacted, remember the lessons of Katrina in southern Florida when she was a "minimal" hurricane: 11 people died and areas saw 10-20 inches of rain. So much for minimal. Winds in excess of 80 mph can damage roofs and windows, allowing storm rains to get inside homes. A surge of 4-6 feet can arrive within minutes. Heavy rains in advance of the system will also weaken tree root systems, allowing for toppling of trees and braches more quickly than in a fast moving system. The risk of electrocution to people who stay behind is greater, because damage will not be hugely extensive, but standing water and downed power lines sometimes create hidden electrical hazards. Bottom line: A "minimal hurricane" does not mean the effects are minimal, it just means the technical classification of the wind speed is at the low end of the chart. The only thing that should be minimal about this storm is the risks to your family if you are in it's path, because you will have taken appropriate steps NOW to minimize those risks by preparing and getting out of harm's way.

Thursday, September 8, 2005

No comments:
TROPICAL TRIO


Trio


And now we have another hurricane. What else is new? Ophelia has intensified rather quickly today, possibly because as Nate slowly departs, the environment has improved allowing our newest storm to hit her stride. This latest tropical trouble may be aiming for Category 3 status, and an eventual landfall along...yep, you guessed it, the Florida, Georgia or South Carolina coast. Some forecasters believe this storm may also make it into the Gulf, which would be a worse case scenario...a Cat 3 striking Florida from the east, weakening and then regenerating and striking in the Gulf as a 2 or 3. It is not an impossible outcome, and all interests in Florida and in the Katrina-ravaged areas should keep a close eye. There is also the possibility this gets too close to the coast, and makes a run UP the Eastern Seaboard. Either way, this storm will be with us for at least the next week.

Ophelia 1



Model mayhem is ruling the day, and no one really know for sure where Ophelia will go, how long it will take to get there, and how strong she will be once that happens. The trend has obviously been the northern Gulf this season, and given this storm is stuck on the underside of the big Northeast high, it's mostly likely final destination is the Gulf of Mexico. It will probably loop around east of Florida, then suddenly charge westward, crossing the state as a Category 1 or 2 hurricane. Once in the Gulf, waters are warm enough to sustain a Category 2, and even 3 is not out of the realm of possibility. Why? if it traverses the northern Gulf where waters were not as disturbed from Katrina and have warmed since Dennis in July, and it does this slowly, areas ravaged and raw from the big K could be sideswiped by her wicked step-sister. This will be a long duration storm, hanging with us for at least another week, which by that time there could easily be the start of a Cape Verde storm heading west from Africa. It is going to be a long and toilsome month.

Ophelia 2

Tuesday, September 6, 2005

No comments:
INCOMPETENCE
BEYOND COMPREHENSION

I am a willing participant in the blame game because it is a necessary part of this national discussion we need to have on the accountability of the government.
Read this article for a thorough assessment of why the blame will go far and deep.

I ask you to consider the following:

1. An estimate by the Corps of Engineers on a system-wide overhaul of the New Orleans levee system would have cost $2.5 billion dollars. However it would have taken 20 to 25 years to complete this. National Geographic reports that a feasibility study started in 2000 was still underway on upgrading the levees to withstand a Category 4. The work never started because the study is not complete.

2. Risk Management Solutions issued a preliminary economic loss assessment, and estimated a $100 billion cost, which includes insured and uninsured losses.

3. The Senate Minority Leader, Harvey Reid, estimated that total government outlays in the short term would total $150 billion.


WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN A $2.5 BILLION PRICE TAG OVER 20 YEARS MAY BE $250 BILLION INSTEAD. And that's assuming "The Big One" does not hit California anytime in the next 10 years, or another major hurricane does not come calling in a metropolitan area along the coast.

Monday, September 5, 2005

19 comments:
KATRINA II ?

Katrina II

I am just flabbergasted at the possibility that the GFDL projects a tropical disturbance east of Florida to grow into a Category 3 or 4 hurricane and once again, threaten Southeast Louisiana. I am not making this up for the sake of ratings, I was shocked and stunned at this animation of the GFDL model for the next 120 hours. I hope this is model mayhem and not the real thing. Compare how the GFDL did on Katrina's projected path with this animation. I am starting to read that other models are beginning to show some kind of hurricane in the northern Gulf by late this upcoming week. Below is the current model projections, and granted there is huge variance this far out, but if you think about it, this is not all that far away since a week ago today the Gulf Coast was still under Katrina's wrath. Gulf sea surface temperatures weren't disrupted much by Katrina's path, as indicated on this recent temp map. I'll post more on this developing storm as information becomes available. For now, keep an eye on it with this IR satellite loop.

Katrina IIA



A NATIONAL TRAGEDY

Tragedy 2

Pictures from FOX News on Katrina's aftermath

Tragedy 1

NOAA satellite image of public school buses flooded in the storm that could have been used for evacuation of residents less able to do so on their own. This is just one of many examples of the inexcusable and collosal failure at all levels of government to properly coordinate this disaster. The full text of the article accompanying this photo is found on wikipedia.org

In the coming week, there is concern for tropical development both near the U.S. coast and far out to sea in the Cape Verde Islands off the African coast. These two trouble spots will have to be watched closely as we cannot take another major hurricane strike on the U.S. mainland this season. If we do, I believe the economic stability we’ve enjoyed since the mid 1980’s will be in jeopardy. I will continue with hurricane forecasting shortly.

Atlantic 9-4-05

Image from a weather blog published by Steve Gregory on wunderground.com It encapsules the current thinking on Atlantic activity: some concerns but no major threats right now.


I am temporarily redirecting the scope of this website to focus squarely on the fallout of Hurricane Katrina. This discussion is central to why I have created this site in the first place, and that was to provide viewers with a different perspective on storm analysis and preparation that is not being presented by mainstream weather or media sources. The other catalyst that spawned this site was the poor lack of planning by local and state officials in dealing with Hurricane Isabel in September 2003. While that situation is microscopic in comparison to this, the same themes have been repeated. The government and media did not heed their own warnings about storm surge and evacuation logistics.

I have been gathering notes and observations all week regarding the overall Katrina Catastrophe of 2005. Some of my commentary is based on my own observations, some of it is from other blogs, internet media, written reports and the TV. As you know there is so much information out there to process, so I am trying to get a grasp like many peope of what really happened and why. My aim is to analyze the reasons this catastrophe was so huge, the problems behind the relief efforts, the enormous post-storm consequences for the country and the areas dealing with refugees, as well as the long term implications for New Orleans, the Gulf Coast and the nation as a whole. I also have blame to issue for the major of the city, the governor, and the federal government. I am not simply jumping on the blame bandwagon like everyone else, I believe there are sound and scientifically verifiable reasons why failure at all levels of government are responsible for the horrific tragedy that is still unfolding before our eyes. Dr. Jeff Masters offers a poignant essay on his weather blog from a meteorologist's perspective.

You will have to forgive some of my discussions that follow, because I believe that especially in New Orleans itself, the blood of those people is on the hands of the mayor, the governor, Congress and the President. I personally have studied and followed the “New Orleans Nightmare scenario” for years, and have conducted a number of lessons in my Earth Science classes on the same. That the President said, “No one could have anticipated the levees would break.” Is the worst-possible one sentence excuse for this disaster when it is clear the Army Corps of Engineers, and anyone else involved in hurricane planning with N.O. knew those levees were designed for Category 3 storms and no more. In actuality, it is a miracle that more levees did not break, but that even one of them did was catastrophic enough.


LOOKING BACK ON KATRINA

How amazing it is that in less than in less than a week, a world-reknown international city has descended into total chaos, anarchy and pseudo-tribalism and the government seems incapable of restoring order. This sounds more like Liberia, or Haiti or Baghdad than the United States. We now have American citizens who are refugees in their own country. We have mothers who lost their babies from heat exhaustion because American bureaucracy got in the way of getting the help to those who need it most. We have seen a hurricane expose deep and disturbing problems in how our society conducts itself, as discussed in a thought-provoking lead article in the UK's Independent.


THE GOVERNMENT DID NOT TAKE THE STORM THREAT SERIOUSLY

Evidence that the federal government did not take the possibility of a major hurricane strike on New Orlean that seriously, although they knew it could happen any year:

- The White House continually cut funding for further New Orleans levee improvements in the past 4 years, and some of that money was diverted to Iraq this year. Previous requests for New Orleans levee projects were rejected or scaled-down, and New Orleans officials were very worried that further cuts would endanger the city's future.


- In July 2004, FEMA hosted it's very own hurricane conference at the Louisiana State Emergency Operations center. Dubbed the “Hurricane Pam” Exercise, there were a chorus of findings that all pointed to the need for a large-scale over-powering response system needed were this storm to ever strike. However the follow-up study which might have implemented some of those findings was never completed, according to CNN. Plenty of people at all levels of government knew this disaster was predicted years in advance.

- Numerous press articles and reports have been written about the "New Orleans Nightmare Scenario" over the past 10 years, starting with a National Geographic Video special titled, "Cyclone" which I have shown in my Earth Science classes for the past 6 years. More recently, Nat'l Geo did an October 2004 Cover Story that spells out in eerie detail what would happen with a major storm strike, as did also the Times-Picayune in a June 2002 special report titled "Washing Away" and the Scientific American in October 2001. Ironically enough, Popular Mechanics also published a short article on this, but it was lost in the more important news of the day, for the issue date was September 11, 2001.

- Considering that billions of dollors have been pumped into the levee system over past 40 years, it was assumed that the levees and pumps were adequate for a Category 3, and that the probability of a Category 4 making a direct hit was low enough to warrant less funding in present day. Or so the government assumed.

- Government statisticians may have believed that given the frequency of hits in and around N.O within the past 3-4 years (Georges 1998, Isidore in 2002, Ivan 2004, Dennis a miss, Bret and Cindy in 2005) that it was now stastically less likely for a Category 5 storm to make a direct or even near direct hit, especially this season.) The Corps believed that on any given year, the chance of a Cat 5 strike on the city was low, possibly 300 to 1. So the recommendation would be that it is not as necessary to have a full-scale plan in place ready to activate when the probability of needing such a plan in the near future is low. The cost of implementing this plan, which I recently learned was still in draft form by August 2005, would be prohibitive if preparation for other disasters were deemed more important, such as planning for another terrorist attack. This concept of "more dollars for terrorism, less dollars for everything else" was probably lurking below the surface, it just took a major event like Katrina to bring it to light, as discussed in an article by MSNBC.


- MSNBC uncovered a Homeland Security disaster planning document, similar to the "National Response Plan" which listed the most likely disaster scenarios requiring a national response. There were apparently over 100 different kind of disasters described, but it was reported that only 2 situations involved the federal response to a hurricane strike, and even those were in the context of if a terrorist attack was followed by or preceded by a hurricane.

- Apparently, the U.S. government knew of the flooding risks in New Orleans over many years, but had no problem appropriating $10 billion dollars over a period of many years on the “Big Dig” in Boston which did alleviate traffic but did not ‘cost’ any lives. By the same token, the government could not "find enough money" to fund a $2.5 billion levee improvement system in New Orleans that could have saved hundreds or possibly thousands of lives. I do not fault taxpayers for this in the sense that it is not their fault money was not spent on levee improvement. But I ask this: If a flood killed thousands in Boston, or New York, or Chicago...and thousands of Caucasians were among the dead, would there be a nationwide riot against the government and demands for accountability?

WHY IT TOOK SO LONG FOR SERIOUS AID AND RELIEF TO ARRIVE

Plain and simple: There was an across-the-board failure to do any large-scale contingency planning, or to take seriously the importance of doing so. I can cite a variety of sources for this I uncovered today. I'm sure FEMA officials probably did do a lot of planning and preparation, but by what we see on the ground, it obviously was not enough. The New Orleans Times-Picayune summed up their solution in once sentence: "Fire everyone at FEMA." My contentions are based on partly on what I have observed, on my gut feeling, and what I've known about natural disaster planning over the years. If you have found a more credible source that refutes or supports what I am saying, please post your source in the comments. A link from CNN has a transcript of the "Big Disconnect" between statements of government managers and reality on the ground.


In the fall of 2004, I recall hearing the FEMA director explain how they already had supplies in place ready to assist victims once the storm passed. Many of you know that I watch the storm and preparations for it like a hawk… from a week before it happens, right through every minute of the storm, to the end. The following statements are fictional, because during all the cable network around-the-clock coverage, I did not hear the following spoken:

I did not hear FEMA discuss in depth the usual pre-storm arrangements being made, such aswe have stockpile of food and water already in place outside where we think the storm will hit.” OR "Since the hurricane center has given us a general idea where this storm is going to make landfall, hundreds of FEMA officials are already in place ready to respond outside the storm's path."

I did not hear FEMA say,Once the storm began affecting the coast, and it was clear that New Orleans, the Mississippi and Alabama coasts were going to be devastated, we directed our staff to begin loading onto trucks massive amounts of supplies, including food, water, medicine, baby formula and more." Note: While the pre-landfall disaster declaration by the President did enable FEMA to pre-position supplies, it is still unfathomable why all those supplies took so long to reach those who need them most.


I did not hear FEMA say,
It is ironic this storm is occuring when it is, because last year at about this time, we conducted a very in-depth training exercise on what to do if a major storm were to strike New Orleans and Southeast Louisiana. We have implemented many of the recommendations from that study in preparing for this storm. I can tell you that as soon as the storm passes, you will see a large convoy of relief trucks heading toward the affected areas. In advance of those trucks are going to be heavy equipment vehicles loaded with bulldozers, and other heavy machinery to clear roads of debris so we can get through.”

I did not hear FEMA or Louisiana officials say, Given the damage inflicted by Hurricane Ivan last year on bridges such as I-10 in the Pensacola area, we have already made contigency plans in the event that similar type bridges fail during the storm surge. Since Ivan was also a Category 4 at landfall, it is quite possible that the twin-span going across toward Mississippi could be heavily damaged. To prevent this from interfering with relief efforts we have enlisted the help of the Navy and have already dispatched 4 large ships to the region which will arrive shortly after the storm clears the area."

IF YOU HEARD STATEMENTS TO THE CONTRARY, PLEASE POST IN THE COMMENTS. I AM FREELY WILLING TO ADMIT IF MY SUPPOSITIONS ABOUT THIS ARE WRONG.

LOOKING INTO THE POST-KATRINA ERA

Whether we are willing to acknowledge now or later, this storm will be a defining moment in American History as much as 9/11 was. More attention will be paid to how storms can disrupt our national infrastructure, and deeper than that, that this one storm may reshape American society forever, opening a discussion on the future of race, class, oil, politics, the environment and the role of government. Our life has changed dramatically, though it may be a while before the changes catch up to everyone, eventually you'll know this one storm was, "The One" for all of us, and not just in the price at the pump.

- Though minor to the public, a major event in the forecasting industry will be a total re-evaluation within the Commerce Department, NOAA and NWS as to the effectiveness of the public warning system, and what changes need to be made. Obviously a "hurricane warning" with dire predictions from the NWS were enough to get people out of harm's way.

- Will the NWS be willing to modify it’s 24 hour rule on hurricane warnings, given than 72 hours was not enough. Storm preparation and evacuation costs state and local governments $1 million for every mile of coastline included in a hurricane warning. The weather service would contend they don’t want to issue a warning that covers too large an area for fear that if it did not strike inside that zone, people would not take the next warning seriously. So the question is, looking back, was that policy effective in saving lives? Apparently not. While 1 million people did leave, hundreds of thousands did not, and now tens of thousands may be dead. That does not seem like an effective warning system.

- The government and FEMA will re-evaluate how to adjust airport closures and flight cancellations in the 24-48 hour period before a storm’s landfall. Some airlines, including Delta, stopped outbound flights from Armstrong Airport at least 36 hours before landfall, and had there been better contingency planning and wider coordination with the airlines, more people would have been able to leave the city safely, especially the old and infirm.

NEW ORLEANS IS NO LONGER NEW, BUT OLD

(Please note I mean no disrespect to those who may have resided in N.O. I am merely stating my scientific observations and theories about the recovery.)

- The actual "New Orleans" will become a much smaller city, shrinking to a fifth of it’s original size...the "Old Orleans" we knew on August 28.

- with the French Quarter, part of Garden District and some historical areas intact, in perhaps 5 years , the city will become more of a novelty tourist destination and more of an industrial port city than the major residential city it once was. The mind-blogging challenges facing the rebuilding of this city will dominate the nation for years to come.

- will become an EPA Superfund site, as chemicals, sewage, petroleum products, decomposition of plants, animals and bodies have created the "toxic cesspool" talked about extensively before the storm.

- Whether there is 2 feet or 20 feet of water in the city and surrounding area, the “toxic cesspool” the media and other agencies explained before the storm has now happened. The depth of standing water does not matter, it is the fact that any heavy chemicals in that water are going to settle to the ground and seep in, becoming intertwined in the subsurface. Under normal EPA guidelines in a situation like this, when there is a potential long term health hazard, the top 3 to 6 feet of topsoil has to be removed and disposed.

- Instead of being bulldozed, the EPA will have to constructed several remediation sites in the city, and remediate all the soil and water through specially designed incinerators, evaporation ponds and fume stacks that you see at Superfund sites.

- The Army Corps of Engineers will have to overhaul their process of determining how to best manage large infrastructure projects like the Louisiana Levee system. A 50 year effort resulted in thousands dead. A spokesperson for the Corps said he felt the levee system was a “success” because it did not fail initially at the height of the storm.

WE ARE MORE VULNERABLE

I contend we are now more vulnerable than at any other time in our history, including in the days following 9/11. Why?

- We have massive military resources tied up in Afghanistan and Iraq.

- We have hundreds of thousands of other military personnel scattered at bases around the world, and for good reasons, but the fact remains it takes resources on the U.S. mainland to support those troops elsewhere.

- FEMA is already mitigating dozens of other on-going regional and local disasters, including the continuing cleanup from Dennis, Ivan, Frances, Jeanne and Charley. There are still thousands of families in Florida living in temporary housing, and thousands of homes with blue tarps for roofs. Another hurricane strike would make rapid response much more difficult because resources are stretch so thin, despite what the President says about both running a war and helping those at home.

- Heart of the hurricane season is arriving now. September and October are climatologically the most active months. Among the worst U.S. landfalling storms in September include the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, The Great New England Hurricane of 1938, and more recenty Hurricanes Gloria in 1985, Floyd in 1999 and Isabel in 2003). If we have another hurricane strike anywhere in the country, even in a sparsely populated area, it will outstrip the government’s ability to respond.

- I think back to 1989, when we had Hurricane Hugo devastate Charleston and South Carolina, then it was followed by the San Francisco Earthquake. Then just 3 years later was Hurricane Andrew in 1992. I think you’d agreed from what you’ve seen on the news about our current state of affairs, that there had better not be ANY incidents of any kind anywhere in the world.

- God forbid there is a major earthquake in California, another hurricane, unrest in some part of the world that supplies oil, a terrorist attack, North Korea tests a tactical nuclear weapon. Any major event of this kind would put a long term surcharge on the world economy, and put a crippling influence on the U.S. economy.

This report is incomplete, and I will be adding more material as I refine it and add sources for some of the discussion. If you come across analysis that supports OR refutes my findings, please post in the comments. Do not be scared off by blogger.com's request for you to create a blogsite, that is just a formality. Just create a "fake site" but giving it a bogus name using your initials or some other innocuous title, you do not have to actually "create a site" in any way shape or form. Many readers would be encouraged to hear the thoughts of those who read this site from the Gulf Coast and elsewhere across the country. And every day since this nightmare began, out family continues to pray several times a day that God will give the people in this storm the strength and resources to go on.

Friday, September 2, 2005

9 comments:
HOLY CRAP

Next Storm
This model is the GFDL, which nailed Katrina's path and intensity fairly well all last week. If you can interpret the wind chart, it indicates max winds of 160 mph.

ANOTHER MAJOR HURRICANE ?


Next Storm 2

HER NAME WOULD BE MARIA

Next Storm 3