Sunday, August 31, 2008

New Orleans Awaits The Coming Storm

(Note from Ed: This article was written back in February of 2006, some 18 months ago. As I write today, Hurricane Gustav is bearing down on New Orleans. The new levees are not nearly complete and, I suspect, not nearly ready to handle what is headed for it.

The coming storm surge will, in all liklihood, wash right over the new and rebuilt dikes (levees). Remember, the storm surge is measured from the tops of the existing waves on the surface and NOT from the ocean floor or seabed. If, for instance, you have a 23 foot storm surge coming at you on top of , oh, say, a sea surface with, say, six foot waves, you are looking at a surge of water 29 feet in height coming right at you. Yes, it is very much like a tsunami. There is not much that CAN handle a wall of water like that! Always remember this: If you are caught in a storm surge while in your home or even worse, while in a vehicle, you will probably not survive.

Another point of interest, for those of us who live in Hurricane Alley, is which quadrant of the storm will strike where we happen to live. The northeast quadrant, better known as the "right front quadrant", is the most dangerous, by far! The "northeast quadrant" is that portion of the storm in which the winds are the strongest, the storm surge is the highest, in fact, nearly everything about the storm is worse on the northeast quadrant, or "Right Front Quadrant". Keep in mind that the right-front quadrant is always determined by the forward movement of the hurricane. Because most hurricanes that strike, here in the Hurricane Alley of the Carolinas, approach us from the south, the right-front quadrant has also been, and is most commonly thought of as... "the northeast quadrant", as well.The diagram below will give you a very good idea of where a "right front quadrant" can be found in one of our infamous Carolina hurricanes.

Diagram from:

I mention all this, concerning the Right Front Quadrant and the storm suge, because, as I survey the plots, on my tracking chart, and those of the NHC, it appears, as I write this, that unless Gustav makes a change in direction, which, of course, it is subject to do at any time, New Orleans may be hit by that dreaded Right Front Quadrant. I'm not a meteorologist so, I am a looooong way from an expert on these matters. I AM suggesting that you seriously follow the advance of this storm and plan acccordingly. Of course, our best advice is to get to safety long before you are within the zone of danger.

Our thoughts and our prayers are with you... especially as we folks in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida are watching another storm approach the Southeast Atlantic Coast even now. ... J. D. Longstreet)

(The article below was written in Feb. of 2006)

New Orleans Awaits Next Storm.By: J. D. Longstreet

The 2006 Hurricane season will officially begin June First.

New Orleans is still pretty much a shambles. However, efforts are underway to rebuild the city in the same spot, as it was when Katrina stuck last year.

They tell me the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome each time. I refer you to the paragraph above.

Early season storms have a tendency to build in the eastern and southern Caribbean. They tend to travel west and north. New Orleans is sitting on a bull’s-eye. How many billions has this cost the taxpayers of the US already… with a very good chance that New Orleans will get hit again in a few months? It’s not a question of if, it is a question of when.

Yes, New Orleans will be flattened, flooded, and swamped again by a hurricane. And yet they continue to build the doomed city, right back, in the same spot.

It’s time for the American taxpayer to say “no more”! If you insist on rebuilding the city in a known storm "entry point", then YOU, the citizens of New Orleans, take responsibility. YOU pay the price. We will not continue to bail you out. No more rushing the resources of a nation to your aid when you (and we) know, good and well, the city of New Orleans is going to get creamed again!

Remember the definition of insanity? Well, take a look at New Orleans.

When the storms roll through the Gulf this spring, summer, and fall, and they will, I have to wonder if the residents of New Orleans will leave when the next one takes a bead on the mouth of the Mississippi and New Orleans. Frankly, I expect them to do exactly the same thing as they did last year… squat, in place, and wait for somebody to save their collective rear-ends. (If I may insert this bit of updated information... it appears the city has begun measures to remove it's citizens from the coming danger much faster and more efficiently than it did when Katrin approached. THAT is GOOD NEWS!)

This is the mentality of a city, which sees itself as a ward of the US government.

New Orleans should not be rebuilt in the same location. Move it or lose it. The federal government should cut off the funds, for New Orleans, when the bills are paid for the last hurricane. No more.

As a resident of the Hurricane Alley of the southeast coast, I don’t suck from the federal teat and I don’t expect the government to continue to bail my behind out, either. We Tar Heels have way too much self-esteem than that. You see we understand that response to these emergencies works this way: ME, Family, Friends, City, County, State and finally, the Federal Government… in that order. The Federal Government is NOT, I repeat, NOT, the first responder to a hurricane disaster. (Another insertion, if you will allow me: It DOES appear now that that policy has been changed. FEMA is on scene, and geared up, or gearing up, to act in the capacity of a First responder.)

Soon, I’ll begin checking out my hurricane supplies: canned food, water, batteries and such, in preparation for the storm that is sure to come. Why? Because, I don’t expect anyone to save my behind until I have exhausted all efforts to do so myself. It’s called self-reliance. If you live in a hurricane prone area, you’d better have it, or you’d better leave.

J. D. Longstreet

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