Election Time

I love the blog Mudflats, which is so funny that it actually manages to distract me from my concern about Hurricane Ike. I love the forecasters at the National Hurricane Center, especially forecasters AVILA and BEVEN, but their forecasts on Hurricane Ike have been making me nervous.

Hurricane Ike made landfall in northeastern Cuba around 11 PM Sunday at Category 3. Now he is in the water just south of Cuba at Category 1. He is going to make landfall again and go to Havana, and then to the central Texas coast where he is scheduled to arrive Saturday at 1 PM. All of this is terrible, and Havana may be destroyed. At the same time New Orleans may not be, and I may not have to evacuate.

I am not on the coast, so I am unlikely to drown, melt, or be picked up and transported to the Land of Oz. For many reasons the cheapest and easiest thing for me to do is to stay. But if there is mandatory evacuation now or later in the season, where should I go, and should it be by car or by plane? Plane reservations would normally be too expensive at such short notice, but I have learned that if you make a reservation with frequent flyer miles and then decide not to use it, you can change the dates. This means you spend no money, and lose no miles.

By car, I am thinking I could evacuate to NEW MEXICO or ILLINOIS. Each is about a thousand miles away, which is a long way. One needs to get beyond Texas if going west (Austin and San Antonio will be very crowded, and New Mexico is the next viable place). Memphis will also be very crowded, so one might as well aim for the library at UIUC, a very solid building. Interstate 49 leads right to Arkansas, so Hot Springs, Little Rock, and Fayetteville will be full. I also expect southern and central Arkansas to get rain and tornadoes as well during hurricanes. Maybe I should go up to the Ozarks and get a cabin, or a campsite in one of the national forests near Fort Smith.

The only interesting, closer place I can think of is GREENWOOD, MISSISSIPPI. When you ride down from Chicago to New Orleans on the train, Greenwood is the second to last stop. Before that is Memphis, where there is a theoretical transition to blues country, but a lot of people on the train are actually bound for Greenwood. That is why, when the conductor shouts “Greenwood, Mississippi!” I, too, can tell I am almost home. Greenwood has art, blues, food, and famous native sons and daughters. And I can drive there on non-freeways, a great advantage.

By plane, I am thinking of CALIFORNIA. I thought of other places including MEXICO CITY (a creative idea, with cheaper food and lodging than U.S. destinations, and there are lots of flights), but I was planning to go to California soon anyway. And having an evacuation plan is a preparedness issue. What do you think of my ideas? Do you have other ideas? How do you vote?


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Filed under Hurricanes, News

8 responses to “Election Time

  1. P.S. Important. I am learning to read wind speed probability tables. Here is an example of one: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIAPWSAT4+shtml/082050.shtml?

    It is a lot more reliable to look at these than just to look at the graphic cone of probability (the map).

    It is important to be prepared for hurricanes, of course, but I have decided Gustav was over-hyped.

  2. historiann

    Profacero–come on up to Colorado. It’s very dry here, at at 4000+ feet altitude, it’s unlikely to rise up to our ankles. I don’t know if the libraries here will work, but let me know if you need a spare room.

  3. Gracias Historiann! That is really nice of you – and/but watch out, I may actually take you up on it at some point!

    Meanwhile, it now appears that Ike is moving way south. Louisiana seems out of danger entirely and I wonder if they knew or intuited this. The NHC kept saying it was too early to tell where it would make landfall, and the National Weather Service never forecast the hurricane to come here (at least not that I saw).

    However, it is h*** in Cuba. Check out this very true to life video of storm surge and wind. Don’t look at the accompanying map of the projected hurricane track, though, it is out of date.


  4. Terrifying.
    I am glad you won’t have to evacuate. But how tiring and hard on the nerves.

  5. Gracias Hattie! Yes, it drove me to distraction: Gustav had brought up bad Katrina memories because of the date and the fact that everyone else was also experiencing this. It was exhausting and expensive for those who evacuated. And then this. What drives me over the edge is the specter of the total destruction of N.O. or the finalization of the project to turn it into a practically white only city which of course is cultural destruction.

    Meanwhile, the interesting discussion of Gustav around here is the way in which the whole evacuation episode *was* in a way a test. I am not saying prepared is bad but in some ways it was almost overkill, as in a test to see exactly how prepared we could get. I don’t know that all of it can be done for every storm and I’d hate for us to get so tired from preparing and evacuating that we quit and get caught out. Hence my interest in having the cities themselves better set up so that people would not have to all leave, or stay gone for so long. I could go on but it’s speculation and it’s late.

    What one also does not want is for them to decide people have to evacuate to an ICE prison. Remember when KBR got the contract to build these, supposedly in case of a massive immigration influx, they were also supposed to double as shelters from natural disasters. So I don’t know – but I don’t think I’m being apocalyptic or conspiracy-esque, just cautious. The need for shelters not a good reason to let the government build more of these prison camps.

    Meanwhile, everyone, Haiti needs donations for hurricane relief and MADRE, a good organization, is collecting – please help if you can!



  6. Come stay with me. LSU has a great library (really!) and I have a spare room.

  7. AP, thank you! I can meet the Angry Toddler and you will tell me how to improve my compost heap!
    The ill wind of the next hurricane may cause me to meet both you and Historiann, as you are both conceivably somewhere North/Northwest of here and could be neighbors! I am actually starting to look forward to the next storm (so long as it doesn’t damage my house, of course). I believe you about the library and I don’t care if it is still housed in those temporary buildings at the campus’ Siberian edges, while the actual library undergoes renovation.

  8. P.S. Although Ike is not coming I have bought an oil lamp at the grocery store for $8. I like it.

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