Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Just a quick thought before sack time: Mother Nature, and a couple of other "mother-"blanks in the form of a wimpy mayor and a simpering governor, have thrown down a challenge to the engineers and other folks looking to patch the levees and get N'awlins back on her feet. They've kept the water out, until now, and they're not going to give up. My predictions: The levees are watertight (or at least enough so the pumps can keep up) in less than a week. The water will be pumped out of the city less than two weeks later. By Mardi Gras, visitors to the Quarter won't be able to tell Katrina had visited. And no, I don't think I'm being too optimistic. Remember it was supposed to take what, a year?, to clean up the World Trade Center site.
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
The aerial video footage of Biloxi has been running on several channels here this evening (by now it should be national). Three words - holy f*****g s**t. If you've seen the footage you know what I mean. If you've ever been to Biloxi, seen the casinos and the neighborhoods between the Back Bay and the Gulf, it may be difficult to believe what's happened. I was thinking some of the text descriptions, such as the death toll, being given were perhaps exaggerated (see earlier post below). Oh, now I'm not so sure.
We (my wife and I) saw Cats at the Grand a couple of years ago. Cirque du Soleil's Alegria - saw that with another couple at Beau Rivage. Same venue for Blue Man Group early last year. Oh yeah, Duran Duran, also at the Grand. Spent a couple of nights at Casino Magic, learned a little about craps from good friend Ken O. Now, wreckage. Death. Casino barges, massing a whole bunch of tons (tried to find a figure via Yahoo - no luck, but it's a bunch), floated off their moorings and deposited a distance (some of the TV commentators have said 300 yards) inland. Debris everywhere.
I'm just hoping they don't find any kids in with the bodies. Not that I'm a softie, but dammit people, you can screw with your own life but don't f***ing risk your childrens' lives. When someone says a big freakin' hurricane is coming, and you're a quarter mile in from the freakin' Gulf of Mexico and less than twenty feet elevation, you get the kids the hell out of Dodge. Go back and play in the God-damned waves if you want, but park the kids with granny somewhere safe. Freakin' idiots.
Just a thought regarding possible exaggerations in Katrina's wake:
From WWLTV.com in New Orleans we have
1:08 P.M. - "I'm very hopeful, with the devastation we've had, that the number (of deaths) will be much more reasonable than people think. There are not thousands of people floating around." -- Terry Ebbert, New Orleans' homeland security chief.
Compare this to Mississippi governor: Possible 80 dead:
"Thirty-five people swam out of their emergency operations center with life jackets on," neighboring Harrison County emergency medical services director Christopher Cirillo said Monday. "We haven't heard from them."So 35 people are out there, possibly dead, and all of their life jackets have failed to the point where no-one has found them? Or is this just bad record-keeping (that is, they have been heard from and the EMS director just didn't get the word)? I know there's a big difference between several dozen and thousands, but the situation is bad enough without exaggerations, either intentional or not, by people who are in positions where the citizenry will pay attention to them.
On a lighter note, also from WWLTV.com: "11:55 A.M. - Super Wal-Mart in Kenner open for supplies." Hey, if Wal-Mart's open, everything's going to be juuust fiine.
Monday, August 29, 2005
My little slice of northwest Florida seems to be doing well with the admittedly little we're getting of Katrina. The lights have been flickering, and actually went out for about a second around 0700. We've had less rain than we can get from a good summer thunderstorm. The wind has been moderately impressive, but hasn't caused any damage. I've been flipping around between Fox News, the local Fox affiliate, MSNBC, The Weather Channel, and WEAR, the local ABC affiliate, and other than water on the roads (such as Highway 98 along Okaloosa Island), the impact seems to be fairly light.
And maybe, just maybe, New Orleans has dodged The Big One.
Sunday, August 28, 2005
Just saw a bit of video on MSNBC, from the ShelterDome, I mean, Super Dome, in New Orleans. So bizarre seeing people essentially camped out on the artificial turf.
Oh goodie, we just (at 2128 local) got a tornado warning. There's more crawling text and funky beeping and buzzing sounds on The Weather Channel than I've ever seen/heard.
Other folks blogging about this hurricane (and other stuff, too - Katrina's just a hot topic right now, and will be for a while longer, but these folks have other stuff to say too):
Jeff Masters at Weather Underground
Straight White Guy
On The Third Hand
The Laughing Wolf
The weather today in our part of Okaloosa County wasn't bad, no worse than any normal summer day. Winds haven't even really picked up yet. Light rain started here (just north of Mary Esther Cutoff) at 2000 local, with lightning and thunder in the distance (but getting closer). I don't think anyone in the neighborhood put up plywood or took any of the more visible protective measures.
Of course, nothing here is anywhere close to the havoc breaking loose in southeast Louisiana, and especially in New Orleans. I'm hoping and praying that the laws of physics and meteorology and whatnot will go into temporary suspense, or at least reduction. I don't have any particular love for New Orleans, but the city and its people don't deserve this nightmare scenario. We'll see how things develop during the night and into the morning.
Saturday, August 27, 2005
Less than two days ago it was looking like Katrina was heading into my front yard. Then it was Appalachicola. Now it's looking like N'awlins is gonna get nailed. Still more than a day out, though, and it wouldn't take much of a change in course to result in a swing back to the east (although I'm no pro, I wouldn't be surprised to see an update later today or early tomorrow show just that). Foot's Forecast carries good educated "what-if" scenarios.
Regardless of the exact track, though, we'll get some wind and rain here. Inland impact will be relatively light if landfall is west of Pascagoula, but the beachfront, once again, will be pounded. There's tens, maybe hundreds, of millions of dollars in beachfront homes and commercial property from Destin to Bay County that are very vulnerable due to beach erosion from previous storms. Highway 98 from Brooks Bridge in Fort Walton Beach to Destin is probably going to get some water and sand on the roadway, if Katrina's path is as the NHC shows now, but a jog to the east may result in another wash-out on that stretch of road.
The weather here yesterday was beautiful, and today's nice too. Very warm (you'll never hear me complain about heat and humidity, though - there's a reason why I don't want to move north of I-10!), light winds, a nice summer day. I suppose it'll be heading downhill later tonight though.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
OK, so maybe that should be "walkin' on storm surge" - yes, the latest and greatest from Katrina and the Waves. Here we go again - as of the National Hurricane Center's update #4, it looks like Katrina will be making landfall in the Escambia/Santa Rosa/Okaloosa region sometime Monday afternoon. A couple of suggestions for people in the storm's path:
- Everyone, make sure you do not, repeat, do not, go get gas now - wait until Sunday afternoon so you can sit in the long lines and piss and moan like everyone else about how bad the lines are. Or better yet, don't get gas before the storm at all - wait and have even more fun afterwards when there isn't any gas to be had within a billion miles of Fort Walton Beach.
- If you're a beachfront property owner in Okaloosa (esp. Destin) or Walton County, throw yourself on the sand in front of the bulldozers trying to shore up the dunes - you know beach renourishment is just a Big Government attempt to take your land, and no hurricane is going to convince you that Mother Nature is just taking back what's hers.
Enough snide commentary for right now - I need to go and see if I can come up with more pop culture references to tie in with hurricanes (and I need to finish my rain-theme CD - Madonna's "Rain," CCR's "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?" and "Who'll Stop the Rain," and more!).