Sanding our assholes with 150 grit. Slowly. Lovingly.

New Orleans is in deep shit

God bless those people, they're going to need it.

The alerts on the NOAA website are insane. It's going to be like a warzone or worse.
Permalink muppet 
August 28th, 2005
Yea, prays our with you.

Thing I don't understand, how do you evacuate 'New Orleans!!' in a couple of days/hours?
Permalink Berlin Brown 
August 28th, 2005
Tell them there's some free gumbo in Mississippi? That'll get them moving, I gaaa-ron-TEE!
Permalink Mat Hall 
August 28th, 2005
The news said there is something like 100,000 people who can't evacuate because they have no transportation or money. They are supposidly going to turn the superdome into a hurricane shelter.

Crazy, crazy stuff. The thing's the size of Florida, and is on track to be the second strongest hurricane on record.
Permalink Cory Foy 
August 28th, 2005
Can't evacuate for lack of money? Where's the fucking national guard with commandeered buses, APCs, cargo helicopters, and whatever they can get their hands on???


Oh wait they're in Iraq defending us from dirty peasants with short ranged weapons and no air force.
Permalink muppet 
August 28th, 2005
Be a good time for the Governor of Louisiana to accidentally let that comment slip during a press conference.

"We have 100,000 people who are stranded. This would be a great job for our National Guard if they weren't in Iraq..."

Philo
Permalink Philo 
August 28th, 2005
N'Awlins has been expecting this for yeras. The damned (no pun intended) place is like a bowl, and one hurricane is all they need to flood the place. The water has no where to drain to.

I hope someone helps out those who can't afford it, and I hope Katrina, as all the other hurricanies have in the past, veers off course and passes them by.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 28th, 2005
The warning: http://weather.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/iwszone?Sites=:laz062#t1

I'm told New Orleans is 20 feet below sea level. I guess it's fucked.
Permalink Flasher T 
August 28th, 2005
Yeah, New Orleans has so many damns keeping water out that when the big one hits, they're gonna keep it in. I believe the mayor (years ago) described it as a sports stadium filling with water.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 28th, 2005
http://abc26.trb.com/wgno-airportclosures082805,0,4334417.story?coll=wgno-home-1

Armstrong International Airport Cancellations


August 28, 2005, 3:20 AM CDT

All Delta Airlines departures and arrivals have been cancelled.

All United Airlines departures and arrivals have been cancelled...except UA 1511 to Denver and UA 752 to Chicago

***********************

Well that's a relief - god knows we don't want anyone flying out of the area...

Philo
Permalink Philo 
August 28th, 2005
Combined with the flooding in Europe right now.... what were the signs of the apocalypse? Or maybe we need to appoint a new Noah.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 28th, 2005
http://www.noaa.gov ?

Philo
Permalink Philo 
August 28th, 2005
Yep, an anchor on CNN was just describing the plight of thousands of tourists whose flights were cancelled. It turns out that high rise hotels in the area are allowing them to stay in order to ride out the storm since there aren't any rental cars left.

Whew, that's a relief. We wouldn't want the military to get them out, or anything. It's great that those high rise hotels almost certainly haven't got a HUGE AMOUNT of surface area to catch those category 5 winds or any of the debris, like entire roofs or small cars, that they're going to pick up.
Permalink muppet 
August 28th, 2005
The military aside, I'm trying to figure out why you couldn't just shuttle aircraft back and forth to Atlanta to evacuate people. You could at least start with everyone who's got tickets outbound (for any time in the future)

Philo
Permalink Philo 
August 28th, 2005
No... I mean a guy to build a boat. A great paddleboat to take all the drunken flashers upriver. In pairs, two by two, we'll take the exposed boobs until the dove of peace brings us the olive branch of dry land.

Wasn't there a post earlier this week about how annoying it was that Katrina was in the news all the time? Well there ya go, New Orleans. You can't say we didn't warn you.

PS - this thread should have been titled "The Big One hits The Big Easy"
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 28th, 2005
Atlanta? Wouldn't some place more north & west make more sense?
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 28th, 2005
And the interstates are complete gridlock. People who cross the median to travel out of the area on the wrong side of the interstate are being ARRESTED.

Good thing we're keeping the roadway clear (on the news the side of the interstate heading INTO New Orleans is all but empty) for all the people who want to get IN to the disaster area!!

Genius!
Permalink muppet 
August 28th, 2005
Driving on the wrong side of the highway is dangerous. I mean, you could get killed!
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 28th, 2005
"Atlanta? Wouldn't some place more north & west make more sense?"

[shrug] There may be a better place - I just figured it's one of the largest airports in the country and it's just an hour's flight time away. It's also relatively safe - if Katrina *did* go that way, it would be just a big windstorm in Atlanta (as opposed to taking everyone to Houston or Dallas and subjecting them to the risk of flooding *again*)

Anyway, you get the general idea - empty planes landing, throwing people in seats, and taking off as fast as they safely can.

Philo
Permalink Philo 
August 28th, 2005
"if Katrina *did* go that way, it would be just a big windstorm in Atlanta"

Yeah, no concern for air traffic at all.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 28th, 2005
"Good thing we're keeping the roadway clear (on the news the side of the interstate heading INTO New Orleans is all but empty)"

How else would Jeff Goldblum get in to warn the President?

Philo
Permalink Philo 
August 28th, 2005
Mark, they cancelled all flights at 7am this morning. The storm is projected to hit tonight. How many people could you move out in 12 hours?

At 200 seats/plane, five aircraft is a thousand people...

Philo
Permalink Philo 
August 28th, 2005
Philo - I'm not arguing against getting people out of there, I was just arguing against them going to Atlanta. Actually, some place a lot closer could make more sense.

The roadways (I-10) around New Orleans are smaller than most highways. There aren't that many lanes to begin with.

This animation only has 2 frames, but man... if this thing doesn't veer off soon (as many of them have in the past) they're screwed.

http://www.weather.com/maps/news/atlstorm12/tropsatellite_large_animated.html
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 28th, 2005
http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-5239380,00.html

``We are facing a storm that most of us have long feared,'' Mayor Ray Nagin said in ordering the mandatory evacuation for his city of 485,000 people, surrounded by suburbs of a million more. ``The storm surge will most likely topple our levee system.''

Conceding that as many as 100,000 inner-city residents didn't have the means to leave and an untold number of tourists were stranded by the closing of the airport, the city arranged buses to take people to 10 last-resort shelters, including the Superdome.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 28th, 2005
"Estimates have been made of tens of thousands of deaths from flooding that could overrun the levees and turn New Orleans into a 30-foot-deep toxic lake filled with chemicals and petroleum from refineries, and waste from ruined septic systems."

Mmmmmm
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 28th, 2005
You know it is serious when you hear reporters saying, "Get the HELL out!!"
Permalink Berlin Brown 
August 28th, 2005
I was actually in New Orleans for a wedding the last time a hurricane was forecast to hit. Fortunately, the storm diverted elsewhere at the last minute, but it was pretty crazy leading up to that point. Walking the streets of the French Quarter on a Saturday afternoon, we found it virtually deserted, with owners boarding up and sandbagging storefronts. Came back to the hotel to discover they had moved all the furniture and equipment off the ground floor. Everyone was talking about how the city would be under feet of water for days if the storm actually hit.

Of course, fly-in visitors like my immediate friends and I couldn't get out of town because the airlines had canceled flights and moved all their aircraft away to avoid damage, and rental cars were impossible to get. The wedding guests convened and most of them decided to stick around as long as the wedding then hightail it out of there. (Unfortunately, at least some of the musicians chose to bail out, not that I can blame them.) All people could talk about at the reception was who might have room in their car to take extra people.

Five of us who were old college roommates talked to the hotel manager and asked if we could stay, since we didn't want to try to fight the traffic out of town in my friend's dinky little car, and moving to the shelter at the Superdome didn't sound too appealing. He said, "No problem, we're pretty sure this building can handle the storm; after all, it's the designated FEMA command center." So we found a supermarket and stocked up on water, candles, beer, canned food, and other essentials. I think we actually bought the last of the bottled water in the place.

At about 3-4 am, the combination of apprehension and news coverage showing that outbound traffic was thinning a bit motivated us to hit the road. Five us of with all our wedding-related finery crammed into my friend's sporty little car. I was wedged between two others in the tiny back seat, with my legs semi-stretched out between the two front seats.

On the way up to Baton Rouge, we hit a traffic jam unlike anything I'd ever imagined, a scene straight from one of those nuclear-apocalypse movies. Even though I-10 had been converted so that all lanes were outbound, it was effectively a parking lot -- a huge mass of cars, nearly unmoving, for as far as the eye could see. Cars had pulled over haphazardly on both sides of the highway and people were milling about or sometimes sprawled out on the grass or on their hoods trying to get some sleep.

We rolled slowly along and eventually made our way to Baton Rouge. When we stopped for coffee, I chatted with a girl who said she had left 12 hours ago and just arrived a bit before we did -- an average speed of around 5 miles per hour.

Of course, we couldn't really *stop* in Baton Rouge, because there was no place to stay. We tried to sleep in the grass in a parking-lot median, but there were too many biting bugs to make that practical for long. So we kept going... to Houston. Let me tell you, eastern Texas is not the most scenic part of the country, and I'll never forget how every time we thumped over an expansion joint in the freeway, the car bounced just enough for my head to bang against the rear window.

The upside is that my friend who got married can definitively say that hers was a wedding no one will forget.
Permalink John C. 
August 28th, 2005
A little research leads me to believe it was Hurricane Georges in 1998 that we ran from. That was only a Cat 2 storm. Katrina is a Cat 5? Holy shit.
Permalink John C. 
August 28th, 2005
4th strongest Atlantic Hurricaine.

Hurricane Katrina 4th Strongest Atlantic Hurricane
8/28/2005 3:17 p.m. ET

Hurricane Katrina is now a Category 5 hurricane -- top winds are 175 mph. The pressure has dropped to 902 mb. This pressure reading is the 4th lowest on record in the Atlantic Basin.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 28th, 2005
Fuck you, A. Baldwin Wood.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A._Baldwin_Wood
Permalink Anon 
August 28th, 2005
Funny
Permalink Berlin Brown 
August 28th, 2005
They keep talking about how the interstate is gridlock, with an average speed of 5 mph and no one can get out, YET THEY KEEP ARRESTING PEOPLE WHO USE THE INBOUND SIDE OF THE INTERSTATE.

What the fuck?? Why not close the interstate to opposing traffic and use BOTH SIDES for evacuation? Am I missing something here? Bueller?!
Permalink muppet 
August 28th, 2005
Maybe it's because Interstate 10 is only 2 lanes in each direction, and any traffic on the other side would turn into all 4 lanes outbound, and emergency vehicles couldn't get in.

http://www.southeastroads.com/louisiana001/i-010_eb_exit_220_03.jpg
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 28th, 2005
So open up just one lane for outbound, and leave one lane for inbound traffic. On the news, that side of the interstate is ABANDONED.
Permalink muppet 
August 28th, 2005
You know how these things are. As soon as one person made any progress in the wrong lane, then there would be a mass exodus that the cops couldn't control.

The real counter-argument is "How many lives would that emergency vehicle save vs. how many could be saved by opening up the other two lanes?"
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 28th, 2005
>> So open up just one lane for outbound, and leave one lane for inbound traffic. On the news, that side of the interstate is ABANDONED.

Or just close both in & out bound lanes and then we can have a mass experiment of the survival-of-the-fittest. We could get Fox News to provide remote camera coverage but sell it on a pay-per-view basis, with all procedes going to the survivors (the fittest). Kind of like a catastrophic, end-times lottery.
Permalink Anon 
August 28th, 2005
Look at the current episode of the Simpsons. About rapture and the end is nigh.

I always knew there was something up with that show.
Permalink Berlin Brown 
August 28th, 2005
here in eastern nc they have plans to reverse the east bound lanes of I-40 when a cat 3 or higher is suspected to hit within 100 miles of wilmington, nc
Permalink  
August 28th, 2005
Planning's the key. Show us the plan. This has being foreseen since Memphis Minnie sang "Levee Breaaks" in 1929 and she must have based it on more than pure speculation.

Frankly, mass evacuation fails every time unless it's planned and practiced. There's going on half a million people in there. How much floorspace is above levee height? That may explain why everybody's on the road out of town. How many roads out of town? GMap shows I-10 leaving town in two directions and a third over the lake to Mandeville.

So why not make all 3 roads one-way. I-10's all 4 lanes outbound each way and inbound emergency access over the Lake - or am I missing something?

For advice here, I'd go chat with the Dutch.

Erik? What's going to happen if a Cat 10 storm arrives with high tide at the dykes?
Permalink trollop 
August 28th, 2005
The Dutch are using the pumps developed for New Orleans!

They should have widened the highways decades ago. If I were mayor, I would have a staggered evaucation plan. Something like:

Stage 1: Hurricane off the coast 60% probability it will hit in 48 hours, leave if you want we're declaring a holiday/emergency, nobody works except emergency folks, hotel, and drivers.

Stage 2: Category 3+ Hurricaine, 80% chance it will hit in the next 36 hours, leave under your own power if you can.

Stage 3: 90% chance it will hit in the next 24 hours, evacuation of anyone who hasn't already left, emergency procedures for those who cannot evacuate.

Plus, I would have widened the roads, and done it after hurricane season, but before Mardi Gras. It might take a few years, but if it can save lives for decades to come, I'll be happy with that legacy.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 28th, 2005
From http://www.lsp.org/pdf/Web_StateMap.pdf

Phase III - 30 Hours before onset of tropical storm winds. Includes areas on the East Bank of the Mississippi River in the New Orleans Metropolitan Area which are within the levee protection system but remain vulnerable to a slow-moving Category 3 or any Category 4 or 5 storm. These areas are depicted in YELLOW on the Evacuation Map. During Phase III, certain routes will be directed and the Contraflow Plan implemented.

Ok. There's a plan. Can't see the contraflow yet
Permalink trollop 
August 28th, 2005
I'm never going to New Orleans without my floaties again. And, I'm sorry Pat O'Brien, but next time I visit NO, I'm not ordering a Hurricane.

trollop - So all of New Orleans is a single phase, just part of a larger phase?
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 28th, 2005
It would appear so. Check out the map in the link. The Yellow bit is between the river and the lake up to Baton Rouge and all around the lake.

The west bank in orange and the delta in red are evacuated earlier.

That's if they are following the plan ...
Permalink trollop 
August 29th, 2005
Ok, 55 and 59 are running contraflow.

http://www.usatoday.com/weather/stormcenter/2005-08-28-mississippi-storm_x.htm
Permalink trollop 
August 29th, 2005
There you go.

I heard that the stadium they're using as a "shelter" will be flooded with 20 feet of water, and people will be waiting out the storm in the stands. I guess they'll get them out by boat somehow when it's "safe" to go back.

I wonder how those pumps will handle 30 feet of water.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 29th, 2005
"For advice here, I'd go chat with the Dutch.

Erik? What's going to happen if a Cat 10 storm arrives with high tide at the dykes?"

1) There's no such thing as a cat 10 storm, 5 is as high as they go.

2) Holland doesn't really get the proper Atlantic storms, whatever there are, get dissipated on the west coast of Britain.

3) And anyway, the rotation of the Earth means that the big ones get swept over to the US.
Permalink Flasher T 
August 29th, 2005
I think we should be asking Eastern Europeaners right now how to deal with extreme flooding.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 29th, 2005
In the Netherlands we measure storm in Beaufort, where 12 is the maximun (Hurricane force, > 74 mph).

The worst case in the Netherlands is a north western storm, that blows the waters from the Atlantic in the North Sea towards us, combined with a high tide (full moon or new moon).

It was such a storm from the north west on februari 1 1953 that caused great loss of life in Zeeland.

The current seadikes were calculated to fail once every 10,000 years or so, but those calculations were made before global warming was taken into account. Now the protection gates close 10 times more often then calculated in the 1960's.
Permalink Erik Springelkamp 
August 29th, 2005
>> People who cross the median to travel out of the area on the wrong side of the interstate are being ARRESTED. <<

Like the anonymous person said above, the Carolinas have plans for reversing the flow on the interstates. For Hurricane Hugo, my sister was one of the ones who got to drive up I-26 on the wrong side. All it takes is a trooper at the top of the on-ramps to prevent people going on in what would now be the wrong direction. Emergency vehicles drive half on the grass/half in the breakdown lane.

Hugo was, ummm, not fun. I was living south of Charlotte at the time, and the morning after the air smelled of Pine-Sol (household cleanser) from all the snapped pine trees. I was without power for a week, my sister (who lived in downtown Charleston) didn't even have her VCR blinking 12:00 when she got home. Downtown Charlotte never lost power, but several of the large towers lost windows (always bad in a hurricane, as it increases the surface area).

The damage was pretty incredible. The Navy had a barge they used as temporary worker quarters (essentially a floating Motel-6) that got pushed inland 1.5 miles by the storm surge. The rotating bridge to Isle of Palms was down in the water. Anyone living in a mobile home had serious problems.

I wish the people of Louisiana well.
Permalink example 
August 29th, 2005
I was in H.S in Charlotte when Hugo hit. We didn't have power for 4 days, and some people went longer than a week. We missed a whole week of school from it. Because of the missed school, spring break was cancelled to make up for it, majorly pissing everyone off.

Fortunately I ran into the superintendent one afternoon before spring break. I seized the opportunity to perform an impromptu song and dance number about the importance of young people having fun and being free (music just came out of nowhere!). I though he was going to get real pissed or something but his deep glowering frown slowly turned into a warm smile, and he was so charmed he reversed his decision and reinstated spring break. Yes! And then confetti and spring break revellers came out and partied and I totally wailed on the guitar! It was totally sweet!

And that's the story of how I saved spring break. The end.
Permalink ronk! 
August 29th, 2005
I hate this obsession with the number of days of school. It's like 160 days of school = successful children; 159 days of school = obnoxious little failures.

Why not just set the calendar, have some buffer, and if you use up more days than expected, so be it?

Philo
Permalink Philo 
August 29th, 2005
Because that 1 missed day of school means that little Johnny won't get into college.

Or that's what the obnoxious parent's lawyer will say.
Permalink example 
August 29th, 2005

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