Sunday, August 28, 2005

Hurricane Katrina - Glimmer of hope for New Orleans?

Taking a quick break from these hurricane preps to eat some of my momma's potato salad, drink some water and catch up on the track.

Looks like Katrina is continuing on that NW path - pressure is lowest at Grand Isle in Jefferson Parish which generally means that's where a hurricane is going. The steering currents over Texas look like they might not take effect until after landfall. My thinking is a similar path as Andrew... Raceland, Morgan City and then a curve over Baton Rouge. Maybe.

As far as the city -- if my idea holds -- the winds will pile the water up in Lake Pontchartrain (it's not really a lake - more like a 600 sq. mile tidal lagoon and it's only 12 feet deep) with the most severe surge effects happening on the North Shore. That sucks, on so many different levels, but for me personally, that's where I left my car. It is though, slightly better news for NOLA... If that holds.

Nevertheless, preparations are progressing. All the cypress shutters are up and reinforced by 2x4's and 2x6's. These walls are think and could probably stop a cannonball. In the kind of winds that their forecasting... a Mardi Gras bead could hit with the same force.

The streets in this neighborhood are very quiet. We have not even seen a Sheriff's Deputy. We do have some neighbors who have also stayed.

Winds are gusting now to probably 35 knots, and I saw on TV that the first rain bands are curving through the lower parishes. Unfortunately America, this is where most of Louisiana's oil and gas infrustructure is located. We process and provide something like 25% of the oil & natural gas used in this country...

We opened the box to the generator -- according to Sam Walton this means that we now own it.

Traffic reports are that things are starting to back up again. I would prefer to be in a potential fortress than be caught in a car out in the open. There are 1 million people who live in the New Orleans area, and probably 2/3 - 3/4 have evacuated. I also hear that there are large lines of people trying to enter the Superdome - again, I stress that the Superdome was originally designed to only withstand Cat 2 winds. They have never done a study on whether it would withstand anything higher than that.

What's spooky is that on WWL Radio, when they play commercials, one of them is some preacher talking about the end of times and please come to a prayer meeting in Slidell next Wednesday. In the background they have the theme to Star Trek playing.

Well that was the first bit of thunder I've heard... back to work.


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