Thursday, September 22, 2005

Oncoming doom

Steve Gregory's Wunderground blog describes the latest Hurricane Rita projection:

The storm has PEAKED in intensity, but remains an extremely dangerous Hurricane … By the time of landfall Saturday morning, Rita should be a CAT 4, with winds of 120mhp, and gusts to 150mph. Enough to cause tremendous wind damage to well built, non masonry structures.

However, the storm surge will cause complete devastation within 1-3 miles of the coastline near the point of landfall….

A tidal surge of 20-24ft will come onshore near and to the right of the point of landfall, with a 15-20 foot surge extending for up to 80 miles east of the strike point. From 80-120 miles east of the landfall point, a storm surge of 10-15 feet is likely3-5 foot above normal tides will affect those living as much as 300 miles to the east - which includes Southeast Louisiana. Keep in mind, riding 'on top' of the storm surge will be huge 30-40ft wind driven waves.

Hopefully most people who would have been under that surge will be long gone. After Katrina, very likely evacuation will look like a better deal.

The only thing I can imagine analogous to how folks in the way of this hurricane's violence must feel is how residents of Baghdad must have felt in the winter of 2003: You know it is coming; you know what it is going to do; and there is not a damn thing you can do to stop it.

For most of the people of Baghdad, the aftermath has been worse than the anticipation and the initial event. Let's do what we must not to repeat that pattern.

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