Hurricane Harbor

A writer and a tropical muse. A funky Lubavitcher who enjoys watching the weather, hurricanes, listening to music while enjoying life with a sense of humor and trying to make sense of it all!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Dam Failure, Search & Rescue In Progress... New Tropical Storm Leslie Forms

It's been a long day in most parts of coastal Mississippi and Louisiana. The misery may spread further inland as Tropical Depression Isaac moves NNW at 9 mph. Despite Isaac's weakened condition his watery legacy remains and severe storms are still possible in his spinning bands.

Slidell LA has been dealing with rapidly rising water all day. They are still going through Plaquemines Parish looking for people trapped in their homes. There is a possibility of a dam failure far to the north of where Isaac made landfall.

Over a million people are currently without power. Damage assessments are going on as I type this and it's meaningless to say a lot of trees are down. Every town has lost trees, much in the way that Raleigh and Charlotte far inland suffered tree damage from Fran.People here in Raleigh keep talking on their memories of Fran and how unprepared they were for the amount of damage they had so far inland. It's hard to fathom the threat to your life and property when you have the illusion of safety living far from the coastline.

Notice the little red indicator at the top of the image above. Notice how far away it is from where the coastline is, however that is where the dam is that may break where the town was evacuated.

A cute area where there will be no school for a while and residents will wonder what happened and why they did not think this could happen to them.

This is the real story, not the sexy pictures and dramatic footage of Al Roker and Jim Cantore hanging onto each other in a deserted street that by their own words was a "wind tunnel" vs the street a few blocks away where Stephanie Abrams had barely any strong winds. It's not the weather guy by the water front where everyone was evacuated except for the film crews... no...the real story is in the small bayou towns and parishes and small cities far to the NE in Mississippi who had up to 20 inches of rain.

Isaac is still spinning, pumping moisture up into the Mississippi River Valley.

This is the problem with every storm in that people in one area expect the last storm they felt. Everyone feeds into this by reminding everyone of the last storm... in this case Katrina. One thing you can always bet on is that the problems will be different, even if the track is the same.

Highway 90 is still out in some parts along the coast and should be shut down until Friday. Anyone ever want to take a nice drive, it's one of the nicest water front drives in the country.. except when a land falling hurricane hits nearby.

Tornado damage ..inland flooding... dam failures.... these are the intangibles of a hurricane.

As i said before... this was NOT Katrina, it was a different storm. Yet the hype on New Orleans and Katrina and the anniversary of Katrina eclipsed the REAL FEARS that should have been highlighted.

Isaac was for most of it's life time a STRONG, LARGE, WET, TROPICAL STORM and what they do is FLOOD areas... plain and simple. Allison comes to mind... so many come to mind.

This is the real story, the real drama:

"TANGIPAHOA PARISH, La. – Residents living along the Tangipahoa River were told to quickly evacuate after a potential dam break at Lake Tangipahoa, a breach that could release a torrent of water south into Louisiana.
Shorlty before 2 p.m., an immediate evacuation of Kentwood was called following a flyover of the area by Gov. Bobby Jindal and Tangipahoa Parish President Gordon Burgess. 
McComb, Miss., mayor Whitney Rawlings said there was a 50 percent chance the dam would fail. He said it was currently holding, but the concern is that it would eventually give.
“What they’re doing now is saying, ‘OK, this thing might go. People need to be moving now in case it does go.’ And lord only knows if this thing holds or not,” Rawlings said.
Around 10:10 a.m., a mandatory evacuation was called for areas along the Tangipahoa River from Kentwood through Robert, an area that would affect between 50,000 and 60,000 people. Residents within a mile of the river were asked to evacuate.
Evacuation routes to get out LA-16, LA-40 or LA 442 to Hwy. 51.
Gov. Bobby Jindal has agreed to send over busses to help with the evacuation, Burgess said.
With the Tangipahoa River already swollen from heavy rains from Hurricane Isaac people in towns below the dam, like Robert, La., frantically worked to evacuate, packing up belongings, loading up their cars and trucks with pets and possessions to get out in case the dam fails."

I truly wish that people would be prepared for these possibilities by the News rather than all the focus on which waterfront spot gets the honor of being the spot where the storm made "landfall" and until that is dealt with people will not be properly prepared for these storms.

Everyone wants to be seen on Canal Street, but no one goes to the little towns and parishes with the simple folk and talks to them before the storm. Only the glamorous shots with Al Roker plugging the food at the Ritz vs talking to the people in the Bayou or the small suburbs north of Biloxi, way north of Biloxi.

Anyway, that's the story for today.

Over a million without power. It's going to be a long Labor Day Weekend for people to find out if all of their loved ones are alive and if their homes survived.

Hurricane Kirk is strengthening in the middle of the Ocean going out to sea...

Tropical Storm Leslie has formed south of Kirk moving westward for now, expected to also recurve,, however there are models that indicate that may change or she may get much further west.

It's a busy Atlantic Hurricane Season, El Nino has been a no-show so far.

Leslie is looking pretty good for a "new" Tropical Storm.

Really have to hand it to the people who manage websites on hurricanes like Mike at or as they work nonstop trying to stay on top of 2 or 3 different systems, updating often and it's a hard job and they do it well!

From SpaghettiModels... 

So much easier to use than sites with a dozen drop down menus and long directions.

As much as I love TWC... I can never use their site easily.
You need to go to AAA to get a map to learn where things are..
When I am in a rush I want fast information all in one spot.. 

So, that is the story for me.

Took a few hours off today, went to Trader Joe's in Cary to shop for food for Shabbos and ran in to Hurricane Grill and Wings to get a drink and relax. Every one's been teasing me that I need to take a break and go get a drink... was $2 Margaritas today :) so I had a drink! Always a cute place to sit, hang out and talk to friends. Not a lot of Vegetarian Options but..... with 2 dollar drink specials I can't complain. The manager William is nice, the owner Cindy is nice.. spoke to them a bit on their North Carolina Hurricane memories.    <---- cute, though they did have football on TV not TWC... but guessing I'm one of the only ones around who lives and dies by TWC ;)

And, what did I learn? Am beginning to believe the better part about having a Hurricane Party when a hurricane comes is that you sleep through most of the storm and only wake up for the aftermath. I had several people in OBX tell me they always get drunk before the storm, have had people in Raleigh tell me that. Being a girl from South Beach I figured it was just an excuse to party, now I'm thinking it's a way to avoid dealing with the reality of what you may find in the morning.

Lastly, I was in Manteo for the one year anniversary of Hurricane Irene. I spoke to someone who insists the sound was so dry you could walk across it. In fact, he said he drove from Currituck to Kill Devil Hills in his pick up truck after Irene. And, he emphasized that no old timer anywhere ever remembers that happening ever before. Usually the storms come in from the East...   That is similar to Miami which usually gets storms from the East or the SW, but rarely the direct hit from the South that might push the water up the Miami River and UP Biscayne Bay in a similar way. And, brings home the point that the people in Plaquemines Parish who didn't evacuate did so partially because the flooding there had never happened to that scale ever that they can remember. Old timers said they never remember that much flooding, ever.............

When it comes to Hurricanes NEVER and EVER and ALWAYS are words that should never be used..

Jacksonville NEVER gets a strong hurricane.

Tampa NEVER gets hit.

The storms ALWAYS turn just off shore.

Etc... etc... etc...

Each storm is different and the next storm will not be like Isaac it will be like whatever that storm is named.

Miami's next storm will not be like Andrew or Wilma. Andrew did not turn like David did...


Something to think on and remember.

Hoping the dam does not fail, and hoping that cities up the Mississippi river do not have similar problems.

Take care, stay tuned and stay safe. The good news going into Labor Day Weekend is that there are no more storms on the horizon that should affect your weekend. Go to the beach, spread some money around at the little stores and shops and help the economy, make some memories and enjoy what is left of the summer.

Besos Bobbi

Ps... we did the beach last week after the big Reunion Road Trip...   and finally, at long last fell in love with the Outer Banks. Hated it that last time I was there (sorry I did, honest) but this trip was wonderful. It's not Miami Beach, it's different... but it's nice. Not a lot of Palm Trees but lots of but a lot of sandpipers and I so love sandpipers ;)

I'll be back later with more information ...





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