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Creek Running North
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August 28, 2005
To my Gulf Coast readers, lurkers and friends
I dearly hope any of you in or with loved ones in Louisiana/Mississippi get through the next couple days safely. Liz Davey, if you read this sometime soon, let me know how you are.
In fact, anyone else in that area: feel free to check in when you have a moment out of the weather and off the interstate. I know I have some readers between Port Arthur and Biloxi: my best wishes go out to you.
Later: this is agonizing. Looks like the evacuation is going well. What can we do except cross our fingers, hope for the best, and prompt good thoughts about New Orleans by slipping into disc jockey mode?
"The Louisiana National Guard is on alert, but thousands of guard troops from the state are now serving in Iraq."
Still later: This is how the National Weather Service describes what's coming. I'm pretty sure they always use allcaps, but if they didn't, I can see why they would in this case.
DEVASTATING DAMAGE EXPECTED
MOST OF THE AREA WILL BE UNINHABITABLE FOR WEEKS...PERHAPS LONGER. AT LEAST ONE HALF OF WELL CONSTRUCTED HOMES WILL HAVE ROOF AND WALL FAILURE. ALL GABLED ROOFS WILL FAIL...LEAVING THOSE HOMES SEVERELY DAMAGED OR DESTROYED.
THE MAJORITY OF INDUSTRIAL BUILDINGS WILL BECOME NON FUNCTIONAL. PARTIAL TO COMPLETE WALL AND ROOF FAILURE IS EXPECTED. ALL WOOD FRAMED LOW RISING APARTMENT BUILDINGS WILL BE DESTROYED. CONCRETE BLOCK LOW RISE APARTMENTS WILL SUSTAIN MAJOR DAMAGE...INCLUDING SOME WALL AND ROOF FAILURE.
HIGH RISE OFFICE AND APARTMENT BUILDINGS WILL SWAY DANGEROUSLY... A FEW TO THE POINT OF TOTAL COLLAPSE. ALL WINDOWS WILL BLOW OUT.
AIRBORNE DEBRIS WILL BE WIDESPREAD...AND MAY INCLUDE HEAVY ITEMS SUCH AS HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES AND EVEN LIGHT VEHICLES. SPORT UTILITY VEHICLES AND LIGHT TRUCKS WILL BE MOVED. THE BLOWN DEBRIS WILL CREATE ADDITIONAL DESTRUCTION. PERSONS...PETS...AND LIVESTOCK EXPOSED TO THE WINDS WILL FACE CERTAIN DEATH IF STRUCK.
POWER OUTAGES WILL LAST FOR WEEKS...AS MOST POWER POLES WILL BE DOWN AND TRANSFORMERS DESTROYED. WATER SHORTAGES WILL MAKE HUMAN SUFFERING INCREDIBLE BY MODERN STANDARDS.
THE VAST MAJORITY OF NATIVE TREES WILL BE SNAPPED OR UPROOTED. ONLY THE HEARTIEST WILL REMAIN STANDING...BUT BE TOTALLY DEFOLIATED. FEW CROPS WILL REMAIN. LIVESTOCK LEFT EXPOSED TO THE WINDS WILL BE KILLED.
Posted by Chris Clarke at August 28, 2005 02:19 PM
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Holy crap.Posted by: Allison at August 28, 2005 07:26 PM
Oh man.Posted by: Stephanie at August 28, 2005 08:18 PM
Like most people I've been following this all day, and I'm pretty horrified at the potential for destruction.
I'm disgusted that more wasn't done to evacuate the city's poorer residents. I'll fully admit that I'm armchair-quarterbacking here, and that an evacuation of this magnitude is a logistical clusterfuck... but I can't help but think that there was a way to get more folks the hell out of there.Posted by: the_bone at August 28, 2005 09:11 PM
I'm forgetting where I read this today, but it was a fantastic idea.
1) Car dealers are going to eat many hundreds of new cars in New Orleans.
2) Poor people can usually drive.
3) Car dealers should have "hired" poor folks to drive cars up to Baton Rouge or Lafayette to weather the storm. Proper ID and police escort and even if people steal or trash a fifth of the cars, the dealers come out ahead. Meanwhile plenty of people get out of town.
Too late now. Oh, well.Posted by: Chris Clarke at August 28, 2005 11:46 PM
Two words: coastal erosion.
And levees that channel the mighty Mississip away from where it should be dumping all the rich alluvial shit from up north.
Every ecosystem has its bad guys, doesn't it?Posted by: KathyF at August 29, 2005 04:58 AM
This just is not going to be good.Posted by: Rana at August 29, 2005 09:31 AM