Tag: hurricanes

A bit of unfortunate collateral damage: NOAA

I just read an AP article, via Yahoo!– http://news.yahoo.com/irene-fo… — that congratulates NOAA for getting the track of Hurricane Irene exactly right, then points out at length that they got the strength of the storm wrong:

..WASHINGTON (AP) – Hurricane Irene was no mystery to forecasters. They knew where it was going. But what it would do when it got there was another matter.

Predicting a storm’s strength still baffles meteorologists. Every giant step in figuring out the path highlights how little progress they’ve made on another crucial question: How strong?

Irene made landfall Saturday morning at Cape Lookout, N.C. – a bull’s-eye in the field of weather forecasts. It hit where forecasters said it would and followed the track they had been warning about for days.

“People see that and assume we can predict everything,” National Hurricane Center senior forecaster Richard Pasch said.

But when Irene struck, the storm did not stick with the forecast’s predicted major hurricane strength winds.

NOAA probably didn’t get the strength projections wrong at all.  Nor they did get it wrong last year or the year before that. They simply had no way to predict or account for my interventions.

Haiti: Yet Another Disaster Lurks

Hasn’t Haiti suffered enough?  Centuries of grotesque exploitation and purposeful neglect.  And most recently, the devastating earthquake.  Then an inadequate relief effort that has left thousands and thousands homeless or stuck in makeshift, flimsy camps, without adequate housing, food, medicine or sanitation.  An outbreak of Cholera.  And now, on top of all of that, the unimaginable: a possible Hurricane this week.  And a very big one at that.

The model predicts the storm will make a right turn.  In fact, almost all of the models say it will make a right turn.  And when it does, it will come ashore in Haiti.  This will cause loss of life, flooding, further outbreaks of disease, loss of even temporary shelter, unavailability of food.  A nightmare for those living in Haiti.

I’ve asked before that we contribute to Doctors Without Borders, specifically for Haiti Aid.  Now I’m asking again.  What else can be done?  What else can I or you do?

Money for specialized aid is extremely important.  As important, and perhaps more important in the long run, I think is for US citizens to being to know Haiti’s history and the story of its relationship to the US, in other words, the story of how it got to be the way it is now.  I’m sure we all realize that Haiti didn’t get to its present horrendous situation all by its self, without a lot of US and European “help.”  To ferret how all of this has happened, a great starting point is this dailyKos essay by allie123. It’s part of a series.  Each piece is important on its own.  Please take the time to read them.

For now, though, please consider an immediate, small donation to Doctors Without Borders.  It might save some lives in Haiti.  It might alleviate some of the suffering.


cross posted from The Dream Antilles

Paint it Black

“When the hurricanes arrive, a hurricane actually blows this oil onshore, it will basically paint the gulf coast black. It will shut down the refineries and power plants and it will be America’s worst catastrophe nightmare.”

Matthew Simmons on Dylan Ratigan

“We think those few extra words are worth the effort.”


I’m on the levees.org email list and I got a message from them today:

Thanks to you, Levees.org was featured in the New York Times!

The article focused on our success in encouraging national media to report accurately on the man-made causes of the metro New Orleans flood.

And making the true story about the flooding as common knowledge as ‘the sun rising in the east’ will help the region recover.

This fine piece of journalism by reporter Brian Stelter greatly increases the reach of Levees.org message!

And it gives evidence that your ongoing efforts are paying off.

And that’s good because when the American people understand that the flooding was a federal responsibility, they may understand that rebuilding is a federal duty.

Thank you for your support!

We’re winning!

Sandy Rosenthal

Founder, Levees.org


Here’s the New York Times story.

Gustav – The Real Story

The Gulf Coast needs your help.  We were in a MANDATORY evacuation mode during the third anniversary of Katrina, no doubt because of the condition of the levees.  I physically checked, Gustav water did not touch the toe of the lake levees so this was not really a test, contrary to what the Corps indicates.  All the money spent has not done one thing to rebuild the barrier islands, restore wetlands or create incentives to raise buildings.  What has been spent?  What would it cost to do those three things?  Obama, what about you?  Has the good will and tax funds of the citizens of this country been squandered on crony private contractors?

It has been over a week and the commodities (local provides the POD and state provides the commodity) are only starting to arrive, although today it is reported they are out.  People could at least be using the commodities (if they existed) until the food stamp situation is worked out.  At least after Katrina, there were few problems with food stamps and unemployment, but Jindal, a typical republican cut funds and staff to social services.  People stood in line at 2AM and in the heat to be turned away at the food stamp Pod.  A thousand people a day at 35 locations to be handled in 7 days when 2 million people evacuated.  Governor Jindal, your numbers do not work. For the victim, it only works for the republicans (only1/8 of the people will be serviced).  Is this not a traditional corporate media story?   In fact, Jindals’s Social Services program director (Cheryl Michelet) is now on WWL radio (Tuesday @ 3PM).  She is a former media/PR model/stenographer and does not know how many people can be processed.  She has asked for those numbers, but all we get is PR.  She may ask for an extension from the federal government.  She also misstated the monthly income requirement ($3,000=incorrect vs $3,108=incorrect).  Hiring incompetent PR people is the mode of operation.  So if they can handle 1/8 in 7days, this should go on for 7 more weeks.   This is planned not to work,.  the locations and times keep changing (deliberate miscommunication).  http://www.nola.com/news/index…

Update, SE LA Native Americans: Why Don’t We Matter?

Cross posting from Kos again…

Why hasn’t something been done sooner to protect our community? Is it because the Island is a poor Indian community so it doesn’t matter what happens to us? Brenda Dardar Robichaux, tribal leader of the United Houma Nation

Things are pretty grim in the region–literally a place and a people that America has forgotten–flood and wind damage has devastated many areas that had survived previous storms.  The anger in the tribal leaders’ words can be seen below.

See my previous diaries here, here and here.

First off, according to the Houma newspapers, power is slowly being restored to the hospitals and main services.  Many areas remain without and are running on generators if they have them.  These come with dangers as the Terrebonne Courthouse experienced a fire from a malfunctioning unit.  The region is still under a boil water order.  Most of the major roads are cleared, but many side roads are untouched.  No streetlights work.  Some grocery stores are open, but relief supplies are still being distributed at points around the region.   A lot of the schools will remain closed due to electricity and roof damage.  Looks like they are hoping to reopen sometime late next week.


Hell in Haiti – Ike Update in Comments.

Cross-posted from my blog, The Wild Wild Left.

My friend went to The Dominican Republic a few years back. Staying at a Gated Resort, she mentioned how the worst part was getting there. Apparently the tour bus had to pass nearby the machine gun border areas with Haiti, and the driver reiterated how dangerous it was to even go near their border.

Devastating poverty and war lords out of sight, though, she had a marvelous time in a lush resort with huge buffets and plentiful alcohol. When asked if it bothered her, her typical American response was “Not my problem. They obviously fucked their side of the Island up, so why shouldn’t I enjoy the Good Side?

Much the same American response to how Gustav fucked Haiti like Katrina fucked NOLA, and is now fucked worse from the rains and flooding from Hanna in the area and Ike on its way.

“Not my Problem?”

Floodwalls stuffed with…newspapers?

Please take a break from the psychosis-induced Palin Fever sweeping the blogosphere and take a peek at something that should worry and infuriate you.

St. Bernard Parish (an administrative division involving several counties) lies southeast of New Orleans, a troubling location as far as hurricanes are concerned.

Apparently, a couple of years ago, a St. Bernard Parish resident witnessed a contractor (hired by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) stuffing a floodwall with newspapers.

Yes, newspapers.

Bush and McCain’s Greatest New Orleans Hits

cross posted from The Dream Antilles

Hurricanes aren’t the only things that spiral out of control.  Rethuglican politics spiral too.  They go round and round and round, reprising their greatest hits, trying to revise and rewrite and edit out their greatest failures.  Trying to help you forget.

Who doesn’t remember this as Katrina was destroying New Orleans:


Heckuva Job, Brownie, Part Deux? (Updated x 3)

Cross posted from The Dream Antilles

Its name is Gustav.  And nobody is entirely sure where it’s going.  But the 5 day forecast map from Weatherunderground.com makes an alarming prediction:


And that prediction is that this storm could grow in intensity and travel to New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Join me in the City that Care Forgot.

Hurricane Forecast 2008 – Atlantic Warm Pool Growing

Both the National Hurricane Center and the Colorado State University forecast team founded by Dr. Bill Gray are forecasting above normal Atlantic  hurricane seasons. The NHC is predicting 12-16 named storms, 6-9 hurricanes, 2-5 major hurricanes and an “ACE” range 100%-210% of the median. CSU is predicting (PDF) 15 (avg. 9.6) named storms, 8 (avg. 5.9) hurricanes, 4 (avg. 2.3) intense hurricanes and a “NTC” 160% of average.

However, these forecasts don’t address the “mystery” of the missing oceanic heat that has now been found.

Climate models had predicted that the heat content of the oceans would rise faster than the data were showing. A recent correction of the data set revealed that sea levels and oceanic heat content were rising 50% faster than previously determined.

The oceans have been growing warmer and sea levels have been rising at a faster rate than previously estimated, researchers reported. A review of millions of measurements over the past four decades revealed a subtle error, they said; after correcting it, they found that sea levels rose two inches from 1961 to 2003 – about 50 percent greater than previous estimates. Experts familiar with the work said the finding, published in the journal Nature, added credence to computer simulations predicting centuries of rising seas from human-caused global warming.

Also in Blue at BlueNC.