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  • Friday, September 23, 2005


    NOLA Floods Again

    Great. Rita comes through and two of the three places where the water broke through to flood New Orleans break again.

    My question: How did this happen? I understand that there are other priorities with draining the city but it seems just about as strange an occurrence as I can recall. Here’s the situation as I see it: A slow initial response to Katrina and her aftermath but eventually help arrives in force over two weeks ago. Cleaning up begins, restoring power, etc. Except there seems to be more military and mercenaries in town than necessary. These folks are “keeping the peace” but mostly not helping with the actual work of cleaning and rebuilding as far as I could tell. Now, those plugs in the broken gaps keeping the water out of the city are temporary. It might be a good idea to make sure they will hold since it is still hurricane season on into October through November 30. Gee, weren’t there three hurricanes that hit Florida one after another just last year?

    So why weren’t the “temporary” dams shored up after the immediate emergency was past? Were they going to wait until a good job could be done? They’ve had two weeks to do it.

    I don’t know who to blame but I’d sure like to blame someone. Because this level of bungling must have a source. My initial thought is to blame someone at the Federal level because I suspect that the local officials would have some inkling about making sure the water stays out of the city. I’m pissed.

    [Addendum: This is strange but I wonder about the affect of particular heat or cold spots on the land masses to create "alleys" or paths of hurricanes to go. Because of the earth's rotation, I think hurricanes are spawned in particular ways and in particular directions. Hurricanes north of the equator always spin counterclockwise and generally seem to travel east to west. In the same way that there is a "tornado alley" in the midwest, there appears to be a not as well defined alley for hurricanes to travel out of the Atlantic into the Gulf of Mexico and the US east coast. I don't know what my point is though.]

    [Addendum 2: Perhaps I'm smarter than I know. This paragraph from the Pew Center on Climate Change almost exactly echoes my first addendum.
    Higher ocean temperatures may also influence the tracks of hurricanes, increasing the likelihood of hurricanes tracking through the Caribbean or making landfall on the U.S. east coast. Although his phenomenon is not very well understood, a track of unusually deep and warm water appears to have led Katrina directly to the Gulf Coast when it struck Louisiana and Mississippi.]

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