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#230845 - 08/28/11 03:27 PM Re: Irene [Re: Jesselp]
joekar Offline

Registered: 08/19/11
Posts: 6
Loc: Born in VA, relocated to IA
Hurricane, tropical storm, whatever you want to call it, it wasn't fun. We had lots of rain, a ton of wind, and enough trees on the ground to build a decent house. We're starting to see Dominion Power vehicles on the road, so maybe power will be back up soon.
I've gone out with a few of the neighbors and cleared the roads in our neighborhood. Fortunately, no serious damage by the trees, a few swingsets and sheds damaged, but no homes have any damage other than cosmetic.
This wasn't as bad as Floyd or Isabel, but can you really compare a storm? Some people lost virtually everything they owned. Others did lose everything, their lives.

I'm lucky. My home, my family is safe. I can provide power for my family if it becomes necessary. We were able to cook a hot breakfast and hot coffee on the grill this morning.

As far as misleading news reports, I feel our local news did a fairly decent job. We knew what was going on, where the storm was, and what to expect, and when to expect it. Maybe Irene will be a wake up for some people to prepare better next time. Maybe it won't. You could say that for pretty much anything Mother Nature throws at us...the earthquake earlier in the week, a snowstorm, whatever.

I've seen a few holes in my preps,and plan on acting to take care
of them.

Right now, I hope the folks to the north are making out OK.
Thanks for your time.

#230852 - 08/28/11 06:43 PM Re: Irene [Re: Jesselp]
Lono Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/19/06
Posts: 1013
Loc: Pacific NW, USA
I'm pretty far from the effects of H. Irene, but one tidbit I saw in a NOAA forecast put an interesting slant on wind speed that I hadn't considered: that actual windspeed can be ~20% higher at an elevation of ~100-200 ft. Basically hurricane windspeed goes up with elevation, and alot of NYC lives at higher elevations, in buildings etc. I have it on my list to check with responders who deployed to Manhattan to see whether this was factored in to low lying area evacuation orders, or if the evacuation was based on projected storm surge, or both. The estimates I saw for storm surge were enough to prompt the evacuation orders imho. Despite the lower storm surge experienced, the idea that all those folks in all those high rises having the resources to get along come monday morning was a crap shoot. Although I have to say, god bless the bodegas - they stayed open to the last minute. NYers are tough...

Plenty of damage and danger to go around, wait for the storm to pass and the basic accounting to take place. Mr. NuggetHoarder, your observations are your amygdalae talking, nothing to worry about. Most folks on this forum can resist some powerful neurological denials, built up over millions of years, and take action to prepare for disasters, and avoid unseen dangers. Most people can't. Our brains actually evolved that way as a survival mechanism I think - never underestimate the power of denial. Our brains tell us not to worry when we really should, because on balance, there are more Irenes than there are Katrinas - so you may be right, and we might be too, its a conundrum. I think layering on political overtones to hurricane response is a pretty weak case though. When you're on the beach you either walk out into the rapidly receding tides to collect the pretty shells, or you run like hell for high ground.

#230854 - 08/28/11 07:54 PM Re: Irene [Re: NuggetHoarder]
Susan Offline

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
After Katrina, Lt. Gen. Honoré was complaining that local governments and politicians only see the expense of preparing for a worst-case scenario, never how much money and lives it will save by having plans and people ready in place to help. He said they keep saying, "We're okay, we're okay... oh, sh*t! HELP!" THEN the machine has to be cranked up to get that help going. And in the meantime, 15,000 to 20,000 people were packed into the NOLA Superdome with inadequate food, not enough generator fuel, no water purification system, and overflowing flush toilets (no chemical toilets), topped with a leaking roof, and wading/sleeping in raw sewage. Meanwhile, a big bunch of school buses were parked and full of water; how many people could they have taken out?

Almost 2,000 people died from Katrina.

For Irene, NOAA predicted a hurricane from the info they had. City governments decided to be proactive and give evacuation orders and shut down the transportation system.

So far, 14 people have died from Irene.

You simply can't have it both ways. You can't give the word to evacuate when it looks bad at the point where you have time to do something about it, and then rescind it in the middle of the storm.

If the warning is given when it looks like it's going to be bad, and all the people have to do is go home and unpack their suitcases when the storm fades out at the last minute, why is that such a bad thing?

If people want absolute guarantees before they will evacuate, they're just plain stupid. And if they get complacent because they've gone through the routine a dozen times and nothing serious happened, so they stay, they're still stupid. But these are the same idiots who stay, get scared in the middle of the storm when their roof peels off, and start screaming for help from the same people they thumbed their noses at the day before.

The generous people who have been going in and risking their lives to rescue idiots who refuse to pay attention really need to stop doing it. Spread the word: If you want to stay and die, you have that right; but don't call for help, it won't be coming. You are responsible for your own decisions, good or bad.

Like Charles Dickens said, "If he be like to die he had better do it and decrease the surplus population".

Unfortunately, they keep their kids and pets with them, and they die, too.

Albert Einstein: "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

#230857 - 08/28/11 08:10 PM Re: Irene [Re: Susan]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3078

Well currently there are 4+ Million with no electrical power, give it a week or so then you will start to hear about how the great storm Irene was a Hurricane and not a tropical storm as it makes its way into history. wink

We had similar storm force winds gusting over 110mph a few months back with lots of downed trees but because there was no wide spread power outages (very little overhead transmission line on the last few miles) it was simply called a windy day. whistle

#230860 - 08/28/11 08:54 PM Re: Irene [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
bws48 Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/18/07
Posts: 831
Loc: Anne Arundel County, Maryland
The excuse is the "hurricane" is responsible. We live on the west shore of the Chesapeake Bay in Anne Arundel County. We lost power about 5:20 pm yesterday. Still without power and now running on the genie. Cable and phone/dsl went out shortly after.

Phone and DSL came back about 1:30 pm today. No cable or power yet and no estimate of restoration.

Now, we never had hurricane force winds. Rain in the 4-9 range, wind in the 30' (mph) only in gusts. (My neighbor thinks there was one a bit stronger.) But Tropical storm strength or less.

The power company that serves me states that since the beginning of the storm, there have been 471868 power outages reported, of which 171198 have been restored; 104893 out in by county, and 37139 restored. This power company does not provide power to any area actually hit by hurricane force winds.

IMO, I think this is a complete failure of preparation and maintenance on the part of the power company. Gale force winds and rain are not uncommon, and can happen in the many local thunderstorms we have each year. It seems that the vast majority of the outages are caused by tree limbs, and the occasional tree, falling on power lines. As part of the legal agreements and land easements the power company has, they have the right to come in and trim trees and tree limbs to avoid power interruptions. They don't do it. It seems more profitable to avoid preventative maintenance and ther to pay the costs to repair the outages, then claim "mother nature" was increasing their costs to justify a rate increase.

It's not as if our little area has had its first outage; this is one of many, and my neighbors and I have been complaining for years about the frequent outages. I walked around this morning and about 50% of the folks in our neighborhood had generators going. Several had extension cables running from one house to the neighbors. Kudos to people watching out for their neighbor, but the necessity for this is a shame.

Regulated utilities' profits are (usually) limited to a percentage of their costs. As a public company, they want to increase the amount of profit per share. If they reduce costs, their percentage profit remains the same, but the earnings per share go down because the dollar value of the total profit went down. Thus, there is an incentive to increase costs, which results in an increase in the dollar volume of the profit, thus increasing earnings (profit) per share.

Sorry for the rant, but after 12 years of this I'm tired of this power company's failure to provide power we can depend on.
"Better is the enemy of good enough."

#230867 - 08/28/11 09:36 PM Re: Irene [Re: Jesselp]
NuggetHoarder Offline

Registered: 07/01/11
Posts: 145
Loc: Appalachians
Perfect Storm of Hype: Politicians, the media and the Hurricane Irene apocalypse that never was

#230897 - 08/29/11 02:47 AM Re: Irene [Re: bws48]
Susan Offline

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
...after 12 years of this I'm tired of this power company's failure to provide power we can depend on.

Does this company ever have meetings that the public can attend? If so, maybe it's time people did.

If not, buy a share of stock and become a stockholder.


#230899 - 08/29/11 03:34 AM Re: Irene [Re: NuggetHoarder]
Bingley Offline

Registered: 02/27/08
Posts: 1415
Originally Posted By: NuggetHoarder
OK, here's the critical analysis... NOAA should have downgraded the storm's rating to a tropical storm as it made landfall in North Carolina. People would then associate the damage they see around them with the correct rating.

Was that too political?

No, but that isn't analysis. It's your opinion, and, as far as I can tell, it's an opinion that may not be informed by meteorology.

As for the Tony Harden article, I regard that as an example of the bad journalism so rampant today. First, it is an unedited, unvetted blog. Second, the article makes accusations without evidence to substantiate them. It appeals to emotions, fears, and probability. In other words, it's just conspiracy theory. For that sort of stuff, wait till you read my blog about Area 51, rectal probing, and the curved northward path of Irene. It's a code!


Edited by Bingley (08/29/11 03:35 AM)

#230914 - 08/29/11 12:58 PM Re: Irene [Re: joekar]
chaosmagnet Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3362
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: joekar
I'm lucky. My home, my family is safe. I can provide power for my family if it becomes necessary. We were able to cook a hot breakfast and hot coffee on the grill this morning.

I'm glad to know that. Welcome to ETS!

I've seen a few holes in my preps,and plan on acting to take care of them.

Good for you! Anything particular you want to bring up?

For me, a while ago I realized that I didn't have any tarps ready to put over unexpected holes in my house. I fixed that and fortunately haven't had to try it out.

My mom lives in NYC and refused to leave town for Irene weekend. Even though NYC wasn't hit very hard I thought then and think now that it was a mistake on her part. I have been working on getting her better prepared for problems. I know, for instance, that she has a flashlight that works (because I gave it to her).

#230915 - 08/29/11 01:12 PM Re: Irene [Re: Jesselp]
Dagny Offline

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1916
Loc: Washington, DC
Interesting article regarding Irene's lessons on how far they've come in hurricane forecasting, and how far they have still to go in being entirely accurate.


Irene forecasts on track; not up to speed on wind

Predicting a storm's strength still baffles meteorologists. Every giant step in figuring out the path highlights how little progress they've made on another crucial question: How strong?

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