View Full Version : Cat 3 Hurricane Gustav heads for Louisiana (and New Orleans?)...

30th Aug 2008, 14:06
Gustav is due to hit Cuba (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7589299.stm) later today before ostensibly tracking across the Gulf towards Louisiana and Texas where it might strike next Tuesday.

Have all the lessons from Katrina since been absorbed and translated into more efficient ways of coping with another calamitous hurricane, should it hit...?!

Two's in
30th Aug 2008, 14:09
Absolutely - the Number 1 pre-Hurricane purchase currently in New Orleans are Rifles and Ammo.

30th Aug 2008, 14:14
Why is it that the media seem concerned about New Orleans, yet ambivalent about the 71 people already killed in the Caribbean?

Two's in
30th Aug 2008, 14:26
Media Formula for Public Interest;

I = e W A
dNY nS B


I = Interest
e = Size of the event
W = Good looking white chicks
A = Qty of Alcohol involved
dNY = Distance from New York
nS = number of Senators or other politicians
B = Black People who might die

galaxy flyer
30th Aug 2008, 14:29
With a little luck, Gustav might just finish the place off for good!! Maybe I could get some of the unspent Federal money back.


30th Aug 2008, 15:41
The National Hurricane Center's mantra for the last few days has been: we really don't know exactly where it's going to hit.

If it does hit NO square on, that's what I'll call raining on McCain's parade.

Definitely it's going to get real wet in NO. The big question is how deep.

Last time around, the levees pretty much held and for a few hours it looked like NO dodged the bullet --until the drainage canal walls collapsed:(

This time they have gates to keep the storm surge out of the drainage canals:ok:

But all the storm has to do is find one weak spot.

If Gustav hits NO with more power than Katrina, all bets are off. Fortunately it looks like there's colder sea temperatures in the Northern Gulf so that Gustav will drop from Category 5 to 3 before hitting NO.

Don't bet your house or life on that.

30th Aug 2008, 18:48
Most forecasts are tending for it to hit west of New Orleans, somewhere between New Orleans and Huston. Of course that could just be wishful thinking.

Unlike the last Governor, the new one has already activated the National Guard and have moved them into position. They have also started evacuating the elderly, nursing home residents and non-mobile hospital patients. The Governor has also informed the Mayor of New Orleans that this time the city and school busses will not be abandoned and left to be swamped with flood water, like last time.

30th Aug 2008, 18:54
On a much smaller scale, our local council depot that supplies sandbags and vehicles to respond to flooding incidents was submerged during the last flood (in 2005) and none of the vehicles ould be mobilised . . .

30th Aug 2008, 18:54
Two's In - Inversely proportional to the number of politicians? That's odd...

Der absolute Hammer
30th Aug 2008, 20:03
Now Gustav is Category 4.
Category Four Hurricane = Complete destruction of mobile homes.

30th Aug 2008, 23:00
We in the UK have been beefing about the weather for ages now, whinging about the rain, the grey cloudy days, the lack of summer sunshine. It takes a fearsome thing like this hurricane, to underline just how fortunate we are to have such an uninspiring but SAFE climate. Pretty well every year the hurricane season literally "puts the wind up" the residents of that otherwise idyllic region, and they just have to put up with it and pick up the pieces afterwards.

I do have a personal interest in the matter this year - I'm going on holiday to Cuba in a couple of months, and would prefer that Gustav does as little damage as possible to the Havana region, which seems to be right in line for a Category 4 battering at present.

31st Aug 2008, 02:36
The mayor of New Orleans has issued a mandatory evacuation order for the entire city, as Hurricane Gustav bears down on the US Gulf Coast.

Ray Nagin said residents of the city's West Bank should begin moving out at 0800 local time on Sunday, with the East Bank leaving at midday.

He called it "the storm of the century" and added: "You need to be scared".

Gustav, which is forecast to strengthen to a Category 5 storm over the Gulf, is currently passing over Cuba.

The storm ploughed through Cuba's Isle of Youth overnight on Saturday before hitting the mainland in Pinar del Rio province with maximum winds of nearly 240km/h (150mph).

Almost a quarter of a million people have been evacuated in Cuba, where there has been extensive flooding.

But in a televised news conference Mr Nagin described the threat facing New Orleans in stark terms, calling Gustav "the mother of all storms" and urging people not to try and ride out the next few days.

The mayor, who was in office when New Orleans was hit by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, said no-one had seen a storm like Gustav before.

The hurricane has already claimed the lives of more than 80 people in the Caribbean.

It has swept through Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica over the past week, killing dozens of people and causing widespread damage.

It has strengthened rapidly from a tropical storm to a Category 4 hurricane, and is expected to grow to a Category 5 storm - the maximum on the scale - as it crosses the Gulf of Mexico.


31st Aug 2008, 04:13
It's possible that Gustav will miss NO or be weaker than Katrina.

It's just as possible that Gustav will hit NO even harder. If that's the case, Katrina comes in for a bit of gratitude because it looks like everybody is evacuating for Gustav.

If not Gustav, it's only a matter of time before NO gets hit even harder than Katrina.

Oh Yes, Gustav is now visible on the Key West radar, but you need the long range view to see the eye.

West Coast
31st Aug 2008, 06:06
Absolutely - the Number 1 pre-Hurricane purchase currently in New Orleans are Rifles and Ammo.

Jesus, I just snorted up my drink.

I hope some of those in the NO area have learned some practical lessons about being accountable for ones own safety in the immediate aftermath of a natural disaster.

31st Aug 2008, 10:33
Briton defies US evacuation order - Liverpool Daily Post.co.uk (http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-news/uk-world-news/2008/08/31/briton-defies-us-evacuation-order-64375-21642469/)

Briton defies US evacuation order

Aug 31 2008 (http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-news/uk-world-news/2008/08/31/)
A Briton who runs a pub in New Orleans said he will defy the mayor's order to evacuate the city as Hurricane Gustav thundered towards the Gulf Coast.
Mayor Ray Nagin urged residents to flee "the mother of all storms", but the owner of the Crown and Anchor pub in the Algiers Point area of New Orleans plans to stay behind to defend his business which was looted in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina three years ago.
James, who declined to give his surname, told the Press Association: "I will probably stay until someone with a rifle and uniform shows up. I am staying here because of what happened to my pub when Katrina rolled in - looting and mindless destruction."
At a press conference, Mr Nagin told residents to get their "butts out of New Orleans now" and said staying behind would be one of the biggest mistakes of their lives.
"This is the real deal, not a test," he said, warning that emergency services would not be available to anyone who chose to ride out the storm.
The Crown & Anchor is located on the west bank of the Mississippi River.
James, who left Putney, south-west London, for New Orleans 18 years ago, said a number of Algiers Point residents were planning to ignore the mandatory evacuation order.
The 38-year-old said: "This neighbourhood is like a small village. The families with small children have already left, but I know there are at least 20 of us planning to stay on. My house is at the back of the pub and I am probably going to stay there. The general consensus here is (the Mayor) is covering his back after the colossal muck-up over Katrina."
He said the atmosphere in Algiers Point was fairly calm and those staying behind were getting ready to batten down the hatches.
"Everyone seems pretty level-headed and we are preparing appropriately. You need to make sure you have food and water supplies, candles, torches, and hammers or axes to smash your way out of the roof if the water comes up. After the storm we will do the rounds of the neighbourhood, checking on people and animals and clearing the debris."

tony draper
31st Aug 2008, 10:54
I remember the old chap who refused to leave his shack when Mount St Helens was rumbling,I understand he is now about 300 feet below the ground now,still,no danger of Time Team disturbing his rest I suppose.

31st Aug 2008, 11:51
The NHC/TPC does not control the naming of tropical storms. Instead, a list of names has been established by an international committee of the World Meteorological Organization. For Atlantic hurricanes, there is actually one list for each of six years. In other words, one list is repeated every seventh year. The only time that there is a change is if a storm is so deadly or costly that the future use of its name on a different storm would be inappropriate for obvious reasons of sensitivity. If that occurs, then at an annual meeting by the committee (called primarily to discuss many other issues) the offending name is stricken from the list and another name is selected to replace it.

So will Gustav join the list of retired names?

31st Aug 2008, 12:38
We'll know within the next 48-72 hours I guess: list of retired names for Atlantic hurricanes... (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_retired_Atlantic_hurricane_names). What strikes me though are that many more hurricanes had Anglo-Saxon names going back a few decades, compared to the melange of obviously foreign-origin names since - I hope that's because they ran out of names like Jack or Jill, and not some form of subversive plot to blame them (hurricanes) on furriners...?! ;)

It would appear that evacuation orders relating to Gustav are being treated more seriously than those related to Katrina in 2005. But you'd have expected a more responsible attitude from individuals in the wake of what happened back in 2005...?! Certainly, it looks like the city / state have managed to effectively organise transportation for those without their own cars this time around. Nevertheless, there'll always be the hardcore of those who will refuse to budge for whatever reason. Hopefully, there will be more adequate arrangements already in place at this time to ensure their safety if the shite hits the fan. Interestingly though, the infamous stadium is currently 'off-limits' to those who can't or won't evacuate, though one assumes that it will in fact be 'opened up' just before / after Gustav hits...?! :suspect: Keep up with this New Orleans based website (http://www.nola.com/).

Post Katrina, a decision was taken to basically rebuild New Orleans as it was before, as opposed to taking exceptional measures to prohibit rebuilding in the areas at risk for example (unless I'm mistaken), on the basis that such an event would not be repeated anytime soon...?! Going by what I've read, whilst the damaged levees have mostly been repaired, the city's defences have not been reinforced to any serious extent in order to offer a correct level of future protection. So if Gustav has similarly serious effects on New Orleans this time around, will they then consider abandoning large swathes of the city to nature? Perhaps rebuilding a 'new' New Orleans elsewhere further away from the gulf? I don't know who insures homeowners and businesses in such afflicted places (whether private or public insurers) but there must arrive a time when everyone says 'enough' (what insurance system could possibly cope with such closely-interspaced losses...) and simply moves on? I mean, California has had a great run so far. But if there was a 'big one' every 3 or 4 years...?!

BTW, anyone have news about what seaborne assets the US Navy / Coast Guard have standing by outside of the immediate area ready to intervene in the aftermath this time?

PS. That pesky sheriff whose police force were apparently turning away Katrina refugees from approaching his town at gunpoint. Is he still there or was he fired...?! :uhoh:

31st Aug 2008, 12:52
Insurance companies in the UK have stated to 'insist' that designs are modified to allow easier rectification after flooding (such as moving all electrical sockets up to shoulder height - isn't that where they were when electricity was first installed?).
Neighbours whose house has been flooded several times have built a high wall around the property (after sealing the original external walls with bitumen) and closed-off all apertures apart from the front door which is equipped with flood-gates. All drains had to be re-routed to avoid feedback.
The system hasn't been 'tested' yet . . .

31st Aug 2008, 14:37
Neighbours whose house has been flooded several times have built a high wall around the property (after sealing the original external walls with bitumen) and closed-off all apertures apart from the front door which is equipped with flood-gates. All drains had to be re-routed to avoid feedback.
The system hasn't been 'tested' yet . . .That works for a few feet of water before the walls collapse unless your neighbor has built to boat hull strength.

Sorry for no photos, but the folks who have beach houses on South Padre Island put them up on pilings 10-12' above the sand and use the lower area for garage and veranda. Mind you, Isabel had a storm surge of over 20' :uhoh:

31st Aug 2008, 14:51
there'll always be the hardcore of those who will refuse to budge for whatever reason. Hopefully, there will be more adequate arrangements already in place at this time to ensure their safety if the shite hits the fan.

I believe the 'more adequate arrangement' is known as 'compulsory evacuation', airship.

Ignore that and you're on your own. Why should first-responders' lives and vast quantities of public money be wasted on those who deliberately ignore the lesson of 2005?

31st Aug 2008, 15:30
That works for a few feet of water before the walls collapse unless your neighbor has built to boat hull strength.As I stated, the existing walls were sealed with bitumen then the outer walls were built as a 'buttress' all around the building, apart from a gap for the (sole) front access door. I don't know how that stacks up for building (safety) regulations - maybe they count windows as emergency exits?

31st Aug 2008, 16:25
That looks like a dam -- hopefully dam engineering principles have been followed.

Not to say that the US Army Corps of Engineers faultlessly adheres to same.

Two's in
31st Aug 2008, 16:58
Not to say that the US Army Corps of Engineers faultlessly adheres to same.

The US Army Corps of Engineers - destroying an eco system somewhere near you today.

The US Army Corps of Engineers - never letting ignorance prevent the job from being done.

The US Army Corps of Engineers - over two hundred years experience of creating disasters.

The US Army Corps of Engineers - you can get better, but you'll never pay more.

galaxy flyer
31st Aug 2008, 18:12
Two's In

TOO True. Never saw a construction project in 17 years at my old base that didn't bankrupt the contractor, take 2-3 times the planned time, end up a compromised mess that didn't meet many of the requirements and cost 3 times the bid price. Simply unbelievable group!

galaxy flyer
31st Aug 2008, 18:18

Several decades ago, in an infant PC move, the Weather Service starting mixing in non-Anglo-Saxon names to "honor" the many French and Spanish speaking populations in the Caribbean area. Apparently, those names are no less dangerous than WASP names, thus stopping the "blame the Anglos for all the problems" bunch. Just like we stopped naming them all women's names, they were offended, too.


31st Aug 2008, 19:39
We spent three days in the Big Easy in January and fell in love with the place, its people, music, food, and streetcars.

To think that it is facing this again only three years since the last inundation is just dreadful.

The continuing dereliction alongside renewal - the swindling insurance companies and tented city under the freeway - were a revelation.

The people were generally friendly to a fault, and genuinely thankful for tourism returning.

Please God, the defences hold this time and FEMA do better than last.

The one souvenir I didn't get - the shop was closed - a TShirt with the motto "Not Our Problem Dude"

They never did have a good reputation

Um... lifting...
31st Aug 2008, 19:47
Lest we forget... the Director of FEMA was fired in the wake of the hurricane fiasco... Hurricane Andrew... 1992. We never really learn, do we?

31st Aug 2008, 20:06
(My) research into New Orleans reveals that during the 20th Century, draining and subsequent settlement of land below sea level (either originally or due to settlement caused by the drainage) has resulted in significant areas (80%) of the city lying below sea level and dependant on drainage by pumps and protection from flooding by embankments and walls.
Heavy rainfall in 1995 overwhelmed the pumps' ability to scavenge the water and floods ensued (there had been earlier episodes of flooding in 1927 and 1965). Improvements to the pumps were made and it was thought that adequate capacity existed, however in 2005 Hurricane Katrina resulted in overtopping and subsequent breaches of the defences and flooding and power supply failure of pumping stations resulting in 80% of the city being flooded.
Weaknesses in the design and construction of some of the defences is blamed rather than cumulative rainfall.
Not all of these weaknesses are believed to have been rectified, and conditions less than those experienced in 2005 are thought capable of repeating flooding of New Orleans.
(More at:- Drainage in New Orleans - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drainage_in_New_Orleans) )

31st Aug 2008, 20:12
significant areas (80%) of the city lying below sea level

Well, dang, raht thar's yer prol'um....

West Coast
31st Aug 2008, 23:02
Along the same lines as those around me who refuse to pay for earthquake insurance (in SOCAL of all places) saying the wooden structures that make up the majority of homes will just rock and roll a bit.

galaxy flyer
1st Sep 2008, 01:13
I'll repeat my earlier comment...."with a little luck Gustav will finish off the place." I've spent loads of time there and I am not amused by it.


1st Sep 2008, 01:21
Ach, too bad galaxy flyer - nobody took your bait the first time, and I'd say nobody will the second. :rolleyes:

1st Sep 2008, 01:28
I guess Dave Robicheaux and Cletus Purcell are fishing in Montana :hmm:

1st Sep 2008, 18:28
Ach, too bad galaxy flyer - nobody took your bait the first time, and I'd say nobody will the second.

No need for me to take the bait, the only good things about New Orleans is the food and the jazz, that can be moved anywhere. The shipping port can be moved farther up the Mississippi.

The truth is that the old section of the city, where the French first settled is above sea level. That area did not flood with Katnina. If we have to keep rebuilding New Orleans with taxpayers money, then at least New Orleans must be smaller and all above sea level.

But, that will never happen.

1st Sep 2008, 18:47
Right now there's waves splashing over the Industrial Canal floodwall.

If the surge goes up two more feet:(

And where does the water come from: the Mississipi River Gulf Outlet aka. MRGO:mad:

There's several more hours to go of winds piling up water into Lk. Borgne and feeding MRGO.

Fingers still crossed.

1st Sep 2008, 19:14
Just remember, on morning of the first day that Katrina hit nothing happen either. Not until the levees let go later did the flooding start.

However, I believe, and hope, that New Orleans has dodged another bullet.

1st Sep 2008, 20:07
Water levels have begun to subside in the Industrial Canal near the Claiborne Avenue bridge. Around midday, waves were sloshing over the wall for several hundred yards on the Upper Ninth Ward side of the canal, at Claiborne Avenue. But multiple eyewitnesses reported that had stopped and the levels were actually receeding there.

New Orleans police reported that water levels in the canal had dropped 2 to 3 feet between 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. Monday.Here's hoping nothing collapses this time 'round.

1st Sep 2008, 22:01
Back from the brink, then?

1st Sep 2008, 23:07
We, Oklahoma City that is, not us personally, just received the first 2,000 evacuees from new Orleans today. They were only expecting 800, oops.

However, on a personal note, some good friend's daughter-in-law left New Orleans at 01:00 this morning and just arrived. The son is with Sheriff's Department and remained behind.

2nd Sep 2008, 00:09
The talking heads, particularly NBC and MSNBC are very disappointed that there hasn't yet been a major disaster there. They're just itching for a "bust-ed dyke".

2nd Sep 2008, 00:29
The talking heads, particularly NBC and MSNBC are very disappointed that there hasn't yet been a major disaster there. They're just itching for a "bust-ed dyke".

I agree, shoot even Fox News (for my European friends, boo boo, hiss, hiss) has even showed disappointment that nothing has happened of any significance.

For hours on end they kept showing a fixed camera on one section of a levee on the Industrial Canal that had water splashing over the top. Time after time a spokesman from the Corps of Engineers kept saying that the levee was designed that way so as to reduce the pressure on the levee and that the water spilling over was being removed, and in fact there was never any flooding behind the levee, by the pumps, all the media kept up the never ending talk of; my God, there is water spilling over the levee!

2nd Sep 2008, 04:05
Will Obama get the credit for holding back the waves?

West Coast
2nd Sep 2008, 05:07
They're just itching for a "bust-ed dyke".

FOX News found one.

FOXNews.com - Report: Lindsay Lohan 'Seemed' to Tell Police She Wasn't Driving on Night of Her Arrest - Celebrity Gossip | Entertainment News | Arts And Entertainment (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,291113,00.html)

2nd Sep 2008, 16:55
Ah, Westy, I knew it wouldn't take long.....!