Re: FEMA's wonderful job
- From: el lizardo <the_lizard@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 14 Sep 2005 01:22:29 GMT
<snipped Wendy's words>
> For some inexplicable reasons, Josh Hill <usereplyto@xxxxxxxxx>
>:I'd say it shows more about your inability to recognize hyperbole.
>:And my hyperbole was a way of saying that you don't seem to grasp
>:the difference in these situations, Wendy. Yes, those hurricanes
>:were bad, but they weren't like this one.
"Charley then came under the influence of an unseasonably strong mid-
tropospheric trough that had dropped from the east-central United
States into the eastern Gulf of Mexico. The hurricane turned north-
northeastward and accelerated toward the southwest coast of Florida
as it began to intensify rapidly; dropsonde measurements indicate
that Charley's central pressure fell from 964 mb to 941 mb in 4.5
hours. By 10 am, the maximum winds had increased to near 125 m.p.h.,
and three hours later had increased to 145 m.p.h. - category 4
strength. Charley made landfall with maximum winds near 150 m.p.h. on
the southwest coast of Florida just north of Captiva Island around
3:45 pm. An hour later, Charley's eye passed over Punta Gorda. The
hurricane then crossed central Florida, passing near Kissimmee and
Orlando. Charley was still of hurricane intensity around midnight
when its center cleared the northeast coast of Florida near Daytona
"Although ferocious, Charley was a very small hurricane at its
Florida landfall, with its maximum winds and storm surge located only
about 6-7 miles from the center. This helped minimize the extent and
amplitude of the storm surge, which likely did not exceed 7 feet.
However, the hurricane's violent winds devastated Punta Gorda and
neighboring Port Charlotte. Rainfall amounts were generally modest,
less than 8 inches. Charley also produced 16 tornadoes in Florida,
North Carolina and Virginia. The total U. S. damage is estimated to
be near $15 billion, making Charley the second costliest hurricane in
U.S. history. Casualties were remarkably low, given the strength of
the hurricane and the destruction that resulted. Charley was directly
responsible for ten deaths in the United States. There were also four
deaths in Cuba and one in Jamaica."
"Frances made landfall near Stuart, Florida just after midnight on
the 5th with 105 m.p.h. (category 2) maximum winds. Frances gradually
weakened as it moved slowly across the Florida Peninsula, and became
a tropical storm just before emerging into the northeastern Gulf of
Mexico early on September 6. Frances made a final landfall in the
Florida Big Bend region that afternoon as a tropical storm. Frances
weakened over the southeastern United States and became extratropical
over West Virginia on the 9th .
"Frances produced a storm surge of nearly 6 feet at its Florida east
coast landfall, and caused widespread heavy rains and associated
freshwater flooding over much of the eastern United States, with a
maximum reported rainfall of 18.07 inches at Linville Falls, North
Carolina. Frances was also associated with an outbreak of over 100
tornadoes throughout the southeastern and mid-Atlantic states. Eight
deaths resulted from the forces of the storm - seven in the United
States and one in the Bahamas. U.S. damage is estimated to be near
$8.9 billion, over 90% of which occurred in Florida."
That was just August, 2004. A few weeks later:
" Steering currents in the western Atlantic were weak, and Jeanne
moved slowly through and north of the southeastern Bahamas over the
next five days while it gradually regained the strength it had lost
over Hispaniola. By the 23rd , high pressure had built in over the
northeastern United States and western Atlantic, causing Jeanne to
turn westward. Jeanne strengthened and became a major hurricane on
the 25th while the center moved over Abaco and then Grand Bahama
Island. Early on the 26th , the center of Jeanne's 60-mile-wide eye
crossed the Florida coast near Stuart, at virtually the identical
spot that Frances had come ashore three weeks earlier. Maximum winds
at the time of landfall are estimated to be near 120 m.p.h."
Or, Category 3.
Katrina was a Category 4 when she made landfall. She turned, at the
last moment, and people actually breathed a sigh of relief. While
the damage of her wind and rain was extensive, it was *less* than had
been feared, and, really, not much worse **as a hurricane** than the
succession of storms visited upon Florida the prior year.
That is to say, comparing the Florida storms of 2004 with a dust
devil isn't just hyperbole. It's outright stupidity.
What makes Katrina different isn't the storm strength. What makes
Katrina different lies in the storm surge: 11-12 feet.
Even that would not be _as_ catastrophic except for three things:
1. New Orleans is a city built in a swamp that is sinking.
2. New Orleans is a city that has suffered from city and state
corruption -- not *necessarily* that of the present local or state
government, mind, although the police force certainly seems to have
gathered that reputation. And, I would like to see some close
examination of Nagin's dealings, because his squealings and finger-
pointing strongly suggest he's trying to wag a dog.
3. The deepest part of the "bowl" that is New Orleans is populated
most densely by the poorest of the citizenry, and even though they
had a bridge out of the city within walking distance of their
Superdome, they were not permitted to leave.
The city did not enact its plans -- not because it couldn't. Because
it *didn't*. The city and now the state are making up excuses: no
bus drivers. Too many people so we'll just leave the buses sit and
The city *prevented* people from leaving on foot or by chartered bus.
Not because the city and state were not up to the daunting task of
facing this storm. But because the city and state did *not* face up
to the task.
And when the state and city screamed for help, they did not take the
help offered, but dickered over it. Instead of putting the citizenry
*first*, and dealing with who gets to do what later, they refused to
let the help arrive.
The storm was mild when compared with the ineptitude of the city.
Why should we let cities and states govern themselves? Because
that's what freedom is about. Because, typically, the cities and
states best understand their issues and what it takes to resolve
them. Why should we NOT point fingers at the feds? Because it was
not their job to be first responders, and it was not their job to
step in and take over without invitation from the city.
What happened here? An inept and possibly corrupt city and state
happened here. Does that mean the feds should take over in general?
HELL no. It means the citizenry of each city, each state should take
a good long hard look at their own governments, their own emergency
plans, their own police forces, and make the necessary changes to
ensure that their local governments are at least up to the task of
dealing with emergencies quickly and appropriately.
Florida had the government to handle it. Florida has parts that are
also built in swampland, and yet, time after time, Florida has
weathered storms as bad as Katrina or worse. The federal government
helped, but did not need to sweep in and take control. The locals
were up to the task and took the help where it was offered and rolled
that into their plans.
Texas? Same deal. Even New York has had its share of horrific storms
and has come through.
It isn't the storm. It's NOLA.
The blame isn't Bush's. He made his share of small errors; as I said
elsewhere, shit happens. His part in this was small and that's how
it should be in a federation of states, a free republic.
Raze the city. Distribute the people to better communities, ones
that know how to help them take care of themselves.
Nobody knows I'm not wearing underwear.
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