Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Isaac v. Rommulus Part II

Isaac Update 0400 (EST) August 29, 2012

Isaac the Powerful has made the second landfall at this time, marking the beginning of its tortuous trek across land, but that trek will be delayed as Isaac will be remaining in place as a hurricane swirling around its primary victim, the City of New Orleans (NO) on the very anniversary of Katrina's reign 7 years earlier. Fully 7 inches of what is expected be 20 inches of rainfall has already fallen in NO.

Which Category that will be determined to have been in effect at the time of the first landfall is actually insignificant in view of the dangerous amount of this combined wind and rainfall event, which is rated at 4x the amount of the Katrina rainfall in 2005. Winds measured as strong as 105 MPH were not constant across the coast, but this storm is just sitting like Jabba the Hut ravishing the very same area and more than in 2005. That means severe flooding has already been in effect, and floods are what kill. People regularly drive into flooded underpasses and the like, never to drive out, and some to their death.

Even after having made it's second landfall, Isaac will continue to pummel his target with heavy rains for at least the next 24 hours, with over 12 hours of hurricane force to continue from this time. Tornado watches are in effect as well, and one of the Plaquemines Parish unimproved levees has already been over topped. (

NO has been darkened, with aprx 350,000 households without power. Roads will be impassable in the suburban and rural areas throughout the entire region at this time. In Mississippi, Highway 90 has been cut and has been shut down in the vicinity of Gulfport Reserve Base and Biloxi USAF base, although the heaviest rain attack has been reserved for Mobile and as far east as Panama City. This brings up the issue of only military truck transport being the most capable type of vehicle (especially the 5 ton load capacity), and how few of those are actually still available in the inventory after Iraq and the continuing operations in Afghanistan.

You can reliably estimate that whatever vehicles are left have been pooled by the National Guard to be concentrated as a "strike force" near the afflicted area, but in greatly reduced numbers. FEMA vehicles are most likely the main transport asset to be utilized, and are already marshaled in assembly areas ready to roll in supplies. Aprx 35,000 National Guardsmen have already been mobilized.

This may be accurately described as the "Siege of 2012" for NO and the surrounding region. Because of the surrounding transportation and energy infrastructure taking hits, food and water supplies will become critical by the weekend, with utility crews unable to even venture out to assess the damage, much less repair it for at least 24 hours. (

Rommulus Camp Notes

I attempted to watch the Teapublican party gathering coverage around or about 5 PM. The most interesting parts were the Hardball show with Chris Matthews who had Gingrich on playing the Rommulus partisan and so forth, and the various pundits such as the Charlie Rose show and others excluding Fox, which I'm allergic to. When the actual convention began, I was so irritated by Gov. Haley's nasal intonations that I switched to the Weather Channel, whose droning on while performing marionette moves outside in the beginning hurricane force wind and rain bands put me to sleep.

I didn't mind missing the tearjerker speech by Ann Rmoney, which may have something to do with my aversion to "chick flicks", and after waking up and observing the afflicted tweets running on the bottom of the screen on MSNBC, apparently by swooning Teapublican women confirmed my choice. I see she made such remarks as "This man will not fail. This man will not let us down". Well, he's been failing for six years, already. And, "You can trust Mitt. He loves America." No, I think he loves his cash much, much more. Its still his avocation. Running for prez is just his hobby apparently, since he also claims that he's unemployed while on the stump.

I had to switch to CSPAN to watch the much heralded Gov Christie speech. That was torture. His speech was a big flop. He barely mentioned Rmoney until the very end. He just bellowed Teapublican talking points and looked pissed off. What a blowhard. Christie reads the teleprompter like he's summarizing a prosecution to a jury. And I got pretty queasy watching his wide track frame against the moving blue background.

I was mercifully spared Santorum's speech somehow, only catching the convention floor interview with   Andrea Mitchell, where she pressed him on the lie about the claim that the President has cut out the work requirement for welfare. He just bobbed and weaved his way out of the question, so I can only imagine how much he lied during the speech. Ugh.

I watched some more coverage during which Rmoney got nominated. Ho-hum. Back to disaster coverage, and least you know it's more riveting than the Teapublicans, who are just "all wet". Sorry about that, just couldn't resist.

Some home owners on coastal Louisiana who weathered Katrina are already reporting more damage to their property than during that disaster in 2005. The weather channel's Al Roker is already reporting some people were unable to be evacuated from danger areas, and USCG rescue operations are already in progress.

Part of the problem is that outlying wetlands that have been washed away by previous erosion is no longer able to slow down the advance of storm surge systems that regularly lash the coast and further inland. "Presently, Louisiana's wetlands are in a state of rapid degradation.  80% of the nation’s coastal land loss occurs in Louisiana.  The state loses 25-35 square miles, or 25,000 acres, per year, the equivalent of one football field every 15 minutes.  These losses are not only environmental and aesthetic, but commercial.  Projected losses to the fishing industry by the year 2050 as a result of coastal land loss are a staggering $37 billion." (Davis-Wheeler 2000)

"Land Area Changes in Coastal Louisiana After the 2005 Hurricanes." (USGS 2006)

" Storm Protection - Every 2.7 miles of wetlands may absorb an average of one foot of storm surge (USACE, 1963).  Louisiana’s wetlands thus create a natural buffer zone on which all of the infrastructure and communities located in the coastal zone depend.  Using one estimate, the coast’s 2.5 million acres of wetlands have annual storm protection values of between $520 million and $2.2 billion (Costanza, Farber, and Maxwell, 1989)." ( 2012)

 ( 2012) "Louisiana's Vanishing Wetlands. The wetlands of Louisiana are disappearing at a high rate. Every 38 minutes, a football field sized parcel of Louisiana's wetlands is taken over by water. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that if present trends continue, the state will have lost 2,400 square miles of land between 1932 and 2050 (USGS, 2003). That’s an area about 25 times the size of Washington, D.C. Across the region, communities are being threatened, jobs are being lost, and habitats are vanishing."

( 2012) "The loss of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands is one of the most serious environmental problems facing the country today. Louisiana boasts more than 4 million acres of wetlands, representing 40% of the nation’s total.  These wetlands are among the world’s most diverse and productive ecosystems.80% of the nation’s coastal land loss occurs right here in Sportsman's Paradise. This state loses 16.6 square miles annually, the equivalent of one football field every hour."

And now this deadly storm after the BP oil spill. At 0600 time of publication of this post, gusts are being measured at 80 to 90 MPH. The Hurricane is just sitting there, one leg on land, and on leg still in the Gulf, and creating tornadoes all over that are short lived and moving too fast for anyone to react. Expect more injuries of all types including life threatening ones as people come out to see the damage and become swept up in this deadly environment. Say a prayer for the people in the region. This will not be easy, breezy.

Make sure you make a contribution to the American Red Cross disaster relief at:

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