“I’m not sure we’ve seen anything like it..”

Whilst we had some weather the other week, New Orleans is being evacuated for the second time in three years as the now category 4 3 Hurricane Gustav heads for landfall. The US blogs Mick noted in 2005 are probably worth checking again for coverage. As is the local New Orleans media where they’re blogging the detail. More coverage here. Update From Brendan Loy

Gustav is, in fact, weakening. The Hurricane Center’s 115 mph estimate is, as they say, “generous,” and frankly, although I’m generally reluctant to criticize the NHC, I’m not sure what purpose is served at this point by continuing to pretend Gustav is a major hurricane. This is a Category 2 hurricane, as it has been for most, if not all, of the last 24 hours. Maintaining its Cat. 3 status all day yesterday made some sense, as the possibility of restrengthening remained, and one didn’t want to sound a premature “all clear.” But now, calling Gustav a Cat. 3, when it’s really a Cat. 2 and isn’t going to get any stronger, simply risks creating more public cynicism, it seems to me. It’s not as if people will fail to notice when Gustav doesn’t cause major-hurricane-level damage or wind gusts.

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  • The Raven

    I read a headline on a economics blog yesterday…

    “Insurance companies winces as Gustav draws near”.

    Expect conversations like “my car insurance is up 30 per cent??? why???” to be starting soon…

  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    There are currently millions of people caught up in floods in India. Let’s hope the UN is flying in emergency bloggers to write about their plight, too.

  • Damien Okado-Gough

    Same here in Japan. Over the last three or four days 39 areas right across Japan have had record rainfall, with flooding and drownings.

    Indeed, the summer has seen several incidents of flash flooding, one of which saw a woman and three children swept away whilst paddling in a river. From ankle deep to torrent in two mins apparently, as a result of rainfall a couple of miles up river.

    On Friday night we had a thunder and lightning storm the likes of which I have never seen before, with torrential rain fallling for four or five hours non-stop. Thankfully we live on high ground.

    People here are putting it down to La Nina, but could its effects being felt in Ireland I wonder?

  • latcheeco

    Looks like the German fella swung a little bit our way last night (just above Mobile.)althougfh he is down to a three.
    BfB if you’re around I’m going to be a refugee in your house down in Palm Springs. That way I can show you the error of your Barak-hating ways 🙂
    O.K. on second thoughts I’ll just sit it out.
    Baton down the hatches time. Where’s Conor and Sammy when you need them?

  • dodrade

    Rather appropiate of BBC 1 to show The Big Easy last night!

  • Comrade Stalin

    Holy crap, I hope the people of New Orleans aren’t going to have to go through *that* again.

    I’m travelling to the USA tomorrow, Boston, and then Las Vegas, and Portland OR. Hopefully I won’t get caught up in all that. That said, it kind of pales into insignificance when we’re talking about people losing their homes – for a second time.

  • Harry Flashman

    I was glad to see that Mayor Nagin is sober this time and actually has a plan, good for him it beats maundering on to CNN about “da buses man” when his own city buses are sitting rusting in a flooded city parking lot, but hey it gave him and the rest of the world the chance to blame Bush so it wasn’t all bad.

  • Lets hope FEMA is up to the task this time.

  • esmereldavillalobos

    Has anyone asked Iris if this is all because of the gays?

  • Karlos

    Esmereldavillalobos its a warning from God not to elect a negro as president.

    Seriously no-one seems to care about global warming or the ICe cap melting.

  • latcheeco

    Time to implement the FEMA evacuation plan: “run motherfucker run”. Seems like the Chocolate City has its act together this time. Wind is starting to pick up here now at eleven am. I just got in from Walmart. I went to panic-buy beer but when I got there I remembered it was Sunday and this is Alabama SOB.

  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    “Seriously no-one seems to care about global warming or the ICe cap melting.”

    Global what?

  • Mick Fealty

    latch,

    You don’t need to go to Florida to chew that over with Bob. The Coalition reads Slugger, and ‘they’re’ just down the road (http://tinyurl.com/5zxyy5).

    Brendan Loy, who Pete linked above has this on Gustav:

    “Barring unexpected changes in the forecast, it will soon be time for the media to ramp down the pre-landfall hype about a possible calamity in New Orleans, lest they contribute to the public’s sense of cynicism about storms “never living up to the hype.” The “hype” surrounding Gustav was fully justified last night, before the unforeseen post-Cuba weakening, but now it is growing less so, at least with regard to the Big Easy.”

    Not sure what this means for McCain’s dismantling of the first day of the RNC. Runs the risk of looking a little panicky, even though the danger was/is real enough. More importantly, just how feasible is New Orleans, with or without new levees?

  • latcheeco

    Thanks for the link Mick.
    Not sure Norlans is out of the woods yet.It seems to be hovering between Cat 3and 4. I hope they never live up to the hype but 1.2 million have evacuated the coast just in case. So far we have just had heavy rain here and should just escape with a tropical storm although attendant tornadoes are always a concern. I think McCain was damned either way. Bush and Cheney obviously couldn’t look a gift storm in the mouth and were spared the embarrassment of attending.

  • latcheeco

    Mick,
    Feasible depends on the size of the footprint the city expects. There is little high ground in the bowl between river and lakeand building on low lying swamps that previously acted as natural storm barriers is clearly not feasible in the long run. Some houses have been there for centuries some, after tomorrow, for three years.

  • joeCanuck

    Heck of a job Dubya is doing down in the Emergency Control Centre.

  • latcheeco

    Joe,
    Anything to get out of doing that damned convention.