Calm before the storm

Sitting four hours inland in North Carolina, we are in a holding pattern with Hurricane Florence. She will hit hard and large on the Carolinas coast and may linger over the eastern parts of the two states dumping a lot of water which will overwhelm the water systems. In Charlotte, we are as yet unaware what kind of storm effect we will get and may not know for a few days, but the current model shows us on the north side of the eye, exposed to winds and rain.

Best wishes for all, but especially those closer to the shore. I commend the efforts to keep us informed and get us prepared. We should all batten down the hatches, ready our homes, and leave, if needed and required. But, the recovery will be an elongated effort as it has been with previous hurricanes.

With this said, our country could be doing a lot more to address these emergencies. We could fund FEMA through the normal budget and not have to rely on event funding. A former FEMA person said we rely too heavily on an on call work force, especially when multiple disasters hit. Last year’s multiple hurricanes proved problematic and it showed, especially in Puerto Rico. There is a metaphor in Puerto Rico that still exists one year later of hundreds of unopened crates of water sitting on a runway.

We could also recognize what NOAA, Union of Concerned Scientists, United Nations and climate scientists know. Sea rise and warmer oceans due to climate change are creating more and dangerous hurricanes that hit shore from a higher vantage point. One scientist said it is like dunking a basketball off an elevated court. It is easier to do damage. This is especially true with beach erosion.

The term which will and should get more air time is “sunny day flooding.” This represents the increasing number of days that ocean tides are washing into coastal city streets. We must do more about this increasingly costly problem. Hurricanes only make this problem worse as they lay bare already weakened areas.

So, while we brace for Florence, let’s think about how we can plan even more proactively. And, please think good thoughts for those in harm’s way.

18 thoughts on “Calm before the storm

  1. My sister and her husband live in Charleston, S.C. and they are headed 150 miles inland. What a way to live! We might note that scientists have been predicting catastrophic weather events for years as part of global warming. There will be more such events. Of that we can be sure.

    • Hugh, many thanks. If you ever come visit them, let us know and we could get together. A few minutes ago, the shared an updated model that brings the eye closer to Charlotte. So,….more wind and rain. Keith

  2. Wishing you folk as little damage as there might be in such a powerful force of nature, and may it somehow wear out by the time it gets to your locale Keith.
    Of course there is the aftermath, not just the clean up but having to bear the travesty of Trump trying to claim the credit.

    • Roger, many thanks. It is amazing that the US President keeps harping on Puerto Rico, trying to rewrite history. A story from a GOP leader in Florida said “Shut up Mr. President,” on his efforts to blame others for correctly pointing out the death count. He is fast becoming a caricature of himself. Keith

  3. Dear Keith and friends,

    Waiting this out is a night mare in itself. I keep praying that Florence peters out but if this doesn’t wake up our lawmakers that climate change is for real, I don’t know what will.

    If all the restaurants are closed, Waffle House is almost always open. They have developed quite a reputation for this. It is the company’s policy to be open for first res-ponders, stragglers who stayed behind, etc. The executives stock up, rent nearby places just for these events.

    Here in Florida, if Governor Rick Scott loses his bid to be a US Senator it will be because of republicans’ response to climate change and for what the GOP did to try to kill ACA/ Obamacare.

    Hugs, Gronda

    • Gronda, many thanks. Fortunately, NC is like Florida lying on its side. Charlotte is inland, so we hope the land mass will diminish the hurricane. That may be false hope, as we will get high winds and rain. Let’s hope the spin off tornadoes die down, which tend to do a lot of damage.

      I hope people remember Scott for what he has not done. He did handle the hurricane last year well, to his credit. But, not doing anything about climate change did not help his state any. Keith

  4. Note to Readers: Florence has turned out to be big and slow, which is a bad combination. It is dumping a lot of rain and is not moving on, so flash flooding is occurring. New Bern us the original state Capitol sitting between two rivers. It has been flooded. The other downside is the many of the NC rivers run downhill through these regions to the shore, so they are at very high levels and will continue even when the storm moves west.

    We are getting gusts of wind up to 35 mph in Charlotte, but have more coming as the storm advances west. They project it to turn north going through Greenville, SC and Asheville, NC. We should get more rain here when that occurs. Charlotte is right on the border of the two states.

    • Many thanks. We survived OK, but many east of her are not so lucky. The flooding is horrible and the rivers flowing from here to the sea have not crested. I read today that their are some issues with coal ash sites and hog waste lagoons bleeding into the water system. The latter is due to hog farming being a huge business in the eastern part of our state. Thanks for your well wishes. Keith

      • Many thanks. We are inching forward with ours, but ours is far easier than others. More continues to come out – poultry farmers are challenged as well as crop farmers right before the harvest. Keith

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