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Hurricane Ivan: Before and After
September 21, 2004 11:35 AM   Subscribe

U.S. Geological Survey before and after photos of gulf coast barrier islands in Alabama and Florida showing the impact of Hurricane Ivan.
posted by pitchblende (20 comments total)

 
Note that the "before" pictures were taken in 2001, so that's why there are some different buildings within each pair. But the red arrows on the photos show the common reference points.
posted by pitchblende at 11:36 AM on September 21, 2004


Thank you for these. I'm going to print a few copies to show to my friends who didn't want to evacuate Miami Beach.
posted by mkhall at 12:11 PM on September 21, 2004


Here is a pretty massive collection of photgraphs of the damage.
posted by 2sheets at 12:15 PM on September 21, 2004


That's pretty astonishing stuff! Thanks for the post and update. I am still amazed everytime I boot up my computer and see that gaping maw of Ivan from the ISS that had been posted in an earlier Ivan thread.
posted by fenriq at 12:20 PM on September 21, 2004


My mom's got trees on her roof, no drinking water, and no electricity, and the beautiful beaches have washed away. Bad hurricane! Bad!
posted by JanetLand at 1:08 PM on September 21, 2004


I still don't get why they get government money to rebuild after each hurricane.
posted by amberglow at 1:08 PM on September 21, 2004


Because we Americans, see, we help out other Americans, to work for the greater good of all of us. If we leave a large number of Americans homeless and destitute after a natural disaster, it hurts all of us. We are one nation, indivisible, and the richest one in the world, so we can afford to help fellow Americans out of a jam.

Does everyone forget that WE are the government, so it's OUR money? We're giving it to some folks who need it really badly. We actually set aside money for this stuff in the Federal Disaster Fund.

(BTW I don't mean any of the above sarcastically in any way - this is the way it's SUPPOSED to work, you see? Obviously the help isn't getting to everyone who needs it but that's another thread.)

And don't start with "they shouldn't build in a hurricane-prone area." What, we should evacuate the entire Gulf and Southeast coast areas and leave them empty? Hurricanes don't hit the same place over and over every year.

Building inside the 10-year flood line on a major river, well, that's another story...
posted by zoogleplex at 1:24 PM on September 21, 2004


I bet Bush planned this nasty hurricane season so he could go in and give billions in relief funds to "buy" some votes come November.

And now I know he's going to use the hurricanes as an excuse for the US to go attack Hurricania. They'll probably have a draft to prep for it too!
posted by fenriq at 1:39 PM on September 21, 2004


fenriq, don't be an ass.

Bush didn't plan it. He can't control the weather!

Obviously, it was God who planned this all out and executed it. It's all part of his plan. Don't you remember General Boykin?
posted by soyjoy at 2:02 PM on September 21, 2004


I think what Amberglow meant to say was something along the lines of:

"No sane insurance company would insure these houses, so why must the United States Taxpayer?"

and:

"For the most part it is the rich who can afford these ocean-front properties, and therefore many of these houses are either oversized or vacation homes or both. Why is the American taxpayer subsidizing the extravagances of the wealthy?"

and also:

"Why are some simple rules not put in place to help end this cycle? For instance, in order to be elligible for Federal Disaster Relief funds after a hurricane your home must:
- Be at least 50 yards from the ocean
- Have foundation pilings that extend at least 20 feet (or whatever is nescessary) below sea level
- Have super-reinforced roofs
- etc etc.
If you want to build a house that violates these rules, well, go ahead, but you're on your own, cowboy!"

In my mind, simply handing people an assload of money so they can build another unsafe and unsound house in another absurdly exposed location is not the solution. My insurance company requires the installation and use of smoke detectors if I want fire insurance. But because hurricanes are couched as "unforseeable acts of god" and NOT eventualities whose damage can a) over the long term, much like fire damage, be pretty much garaunteed and b) much like fire damage, mitigated through the implementation of proper preventative measures, few similar regulations exist for beachfront properties. This is absurd and irresponsible.

I wonder exactly how much damage must be done and how many people must die before someone says, "Hey! maybe you should build stronger houses, and maybe not build them on sand dunes!" Or at least, "Hey! its really unsafe to build there, and your house is made out of cardboard, so either pick a better spot or sign this waiver!"

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for disaster relief, but if we spent a fraction of the billions it takes to clean up hurricanes on preventative programs, I bet that money would make itself back in no time, viz. earthquakes.
posted by ChasFile at 2:23 PM on September 21, 2004


FloraBama, somehow, seems to have survived.
posted by turbodog at 2:33 PM on September 21, 2004


Wow, excellent link, thanks.

and, I'm with Fenriq about the ISS desktop.

Noreasters don't do anything compared to these.
That said, I think ChasFile named it nicely, the problem with subsidizing oceanfront living.
Still, California wouldn't be as populous as it is without incentives. At least it's the 8th biggest economy on the planet. Florida, on the other hand, contributes...
posted by Busithoth at 2:56 PM on September 21, 2004


Hurricanes like Ivan are not common at all in that area. I used to live on the panhandle and the worst I remember is Opal, which was nothing compared to this. To those of you who think taxpayers are being forced to subsidize an overindulgent lifestyle, have you ever been to northwest Florida? It's not all condos and water parks.
posted by Hypharse at 3:06 PM on September 21, 2004


I have no idea if this image is accurate, but if it is, well... I'm sure it's just a coincidence.
posted by willnot at 3:20 PM on September 21, 2004


What ChasFile said. (much better than i did)

Because we Americans, see, we help out other Americans, to work for the greater good of all of us. If we leave a large number of Americans homeless and destitute after a natural disaster, it hurts all of us. We are one nation, indivisible, and the richest one in the world, so we can afford to help fellow Americans out of a jam.
Does everyone forget that WE are the government, so it's OUR money? We're giving it to some folks who need it really badly. We actually set aside money for this stuff in the Federal Disaster Fund.

It's funny that homeless people (certainly in a jam, no?) don't get wads of cash to build houses with, and the working poor don't get wads of cash to build houses with, yet these wealthier people do. Funny tragic, not funny ha-ha. If we cared at all about each other, we'd take care of those not able to afford beachfront homes first and foremost. I don't like it at all that my tax money goes to people building on dunes and barrier islands (which makes them willful imbeciles) and not to people living in their cars, or shelters.
posted by amberglow at 3:26 PM on September 21, 2004


that map is incredible, willnot--i heard just that statement on the crosstown bus the other day--2 old ladies were in front of me talking about it, and how Republicans were the hardest hit, and that it was God's punishment for 2000.
posted by amberglow at 3:43 PM on September 21, 2004


U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby of Ala., the mayor of Orange Beach and others are calling for much stricter building codes. That's long overdue. Orange Beach was getting ludicrously overbuilt, I think.
posted by raysmj at 4:35 PM on September 21, 2004


The map is not accurate, willnot. Charley's path is shown here and Frances' path is shown here.
posted by pitchblende at 5:22 PM on September 21, 2004


I took those tracks and overlayed them on a Red/Blue map of Florida because I still couldn't tell if it was accurate or not.
posted by euphorb at 10:54 PM on September 21, 2004


Go ahead, have government subsidies for Florida's coastal risks, just don't make it a federal subsidy. Florida can give them all the money they want, but Utah shouldn't have to bear that burden.
posted by NortonDC at 5:20 PM on September 23, 2004


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