Yesterday’s blog talked about the ir-responsible and video out of North Carolina today showed more stupid people putting 1st responders in Harm’s Way. You’ve heard it before…”turn around, don’t drown”. Video after video in N.C. showing water rescues of folks who intentionally drove into moving water only to be swept off the road into the fast moving stream. It happened so often in Arizona that the state government passed a law called “The Stupid Motorist Law” that makes anyone who needs to be rescued pay for the costs of the rescue. No foolin’. Look it up. Makes sense to me. Maybe that would get folks to be more responsible for their actions?
The Matthew story continues to get worse with the death toll in Haiti now topping 1,000 and in the U.S. up to 23+, many of those caused by inland flooding and not storm surge. This was a Monster storm that could have been much worse if it had taken a westward jog into Florida. So what should you do when a Matthew type storm approaches New Orleans? For 38+ years I preached preparedness, knowing what you will do and when to do it. It really is a simple decision. You either stay or leave. If you choose to stay, here’s what you MUST have to survive. 1) elevation – that means you must have a second story to go to in case our strengthen levees fail again. 2) Window protection (shutters/plywood) to keep the wind out plus re-enforced garage door supports. 3) Food & water + prescription drugs for at least 7+ days. 4) Power – either a full house generator or a portable one to run the refrigerator & air conditioner. If you don’t have any of these, then your decision is made for you…you MUST leave. In addition, you need to know where you are going (relatives or friends to reduce costs) and how to get there. The longer you delay leaving, the more traffic there will be. My suggestions have always been for those not working (retirees, disabled), and those with young children under 5 to leave early. Yep, 4 out of 5 times will be for nothing but a visit to Grandma’s house or close friends who live out of town will be way better than enduring the horrors of life after a direct hit. If you must delay because of a job, know alternate routes in case traffic goes to gridlock. Now the good news. We have past the time for evacuation here in Louisiana. History tells us any Gulf storm that develops is weaker and is steered to our south & east. There can be exceptions (Juan 1985), but our levees will protect us from the Cat. 1 & 2s.
The only tropical activity tonight is Trop. Storm Nicole that is forecasted to impact Bermuda as a Cat 1 hurricane. The centerline track is right over the Island and it will be important to see which side the storm goes as the impacts will be entirely different if Bermuda stays on the weaker side of Nicole. If she goes farther to the west, the Island will feel the brunt of the storm. Stay tuned!
David pointed out tonight that our dry spell has reached 16 days without rain. I used my sprinkler yesterday for the first time in months. The cooler nights are helping my garden, but plants need water too.