MSNBC's Up with Steve Kornacki
has been collaborating with NJ journalist Brian Murphy
on some investigative journalism about the Chris Christie administration's alleged withholding of Sandy Relief funds until the Mayor of Hoboken agrees to fast-track a real-estate development. Hoboken was one of the hardest-hit communities and has so far received $6 per resident. Christie became governor after leading a US Attorney investigation which convicted NJ politicians of crooked real-estate deals.
Haiyan has struck the Philippines.
It is the fourth strongest hurricane
in recorded history and has the highest wind speed
of any hurricane at landfall.
The 'worst storm since 1987
' is due to hit the UK over the next few days. It may also hit 'northern France and the Low Countries
'. It may be 'overwhelming
' and 'there is a risk of some parts getting two inches of rain
in a six hour period'. The Met Office has warned that 'England and Wales will be hit by a significant storm
on Sunday night with winds of up to 80mph in some areas'. They also said the predicted storm was 'not one
you would see every year' and that 'exceptional winds will batter Surrey
'. Drivers are advised to 'at a minimum
, take a fully-charged mobile phone and warm, weatherproof clothing.' Some media outlets claim, however, the storm will only be the worst of the last five year
, though in Bristol it'll be the worst in 'two decades
'. Never the less, 'stay well away from trees
'. [more inside]
Eleven year-old Floridian Peyton Robertson figured out how to make a better sandbag: leave out the sand.
After witnessing the damage hurricane Sandy caused across the nation, the concerned middle-schooler sought a way to help mitigate flood damage caused by the storms. Peyton fills his bags with a salt and polymer mixture which expands when wet. The bags also use an unique center-locking mechanism, allowing them to overlap for an even stronger flood barrier.
: not in America? Video won't play for you? Try this link
instead.] [more inside]
Winter storm "Nemo
" is headed for New England, and weather experts
more than two feet of snow in some areas. [more inside]
The New York Times Magazine's latest issue, The Lives They Lived
, is a tribute to cultural icons that have died in 2012. Adam Yauch, a.k.a MCA of the Beastie Boys, is featured on the cover
. [more inside]
October 2012 is the 332nd consecutive month with an above-average temperature. If you were born in or after April 1985, if you are right now 27 years old or younger, you have never lived through a month that was colder than average. State of the Climate: Global Analysis October 2012
(NOAA). While $50 billion Sandy has had the spotlight, the biggest natural disaster of 2012 (in the US) has been the Great Drought
still ongoing which is expected to cut America's GDP by 0.5 to 1% for the year. The death toll from the heat waves that accompanied this year's drought will exceed that of Sandy. This Sunday and Monday, Ken Burns premiers his new documentary "The Dust Bowl"
, on PBS. (via
Documented: The People
Who Were Killed By Hurricane Sandy [more inside]
NOLA to New York
Katrina survivors reach out to Sandy survivors
's proximity to Election Day means that the response to it is highly politicized. [more inside]
Twenty-five years ago today, southern England and northern France were struck by the Great Storm of 1987
. Although the storm did not go entirely unforecast
, the exact track and ferocity of the storm were not as predicted, and the resulting devastation
killed at least 22 people, and destroyed
six of the seven oak trees that are symbolic of the eponymous town of Sevenoaks
, in Kent. [more inside]
On September 13, 2008, Hurricane Ike
made landfall at Galveston, Texas - which had previously endured one of the most devastating natural disasters in US history: The 1900 Storm. The waters receded and life went on for most of the island's residents.
The same was not true for the approximately 40,000 live oak trees which were killed in the area by the saltwater stormsurge, many of which were planted just after the hurricane that devastated the island in 1900. One by one, the trees died and had to be removed. Some residents refused to accept this, and instead hired artists to carve the now-dead trees into works of art. Some became sea birds
. Some became angels
. The trees outside the fire department became a dalmatian
staring longingly at an uncapped fire hydrant
. Others became frogs and dogs
. Mermaids and dolphins suddenly jumped out of asphalt and cement
. Someone even decided that the town really needed a Tin Woodsman
. Another person decided to have a geisha
carved on their front lawn. I can only imagine that a very small art critic demanded that Spongebob Squarepants
be carved on the side of his or her house. They range in size from 2' tall hoptoads to 20' tall eruptions of seabirds. And they're all on display for you to enjoy
See a list of sculptures here. And a suggested walking map to view the sculptures here
. And a slideshow with many pictures of the sculptures here.
A massive rare 'superstorm' is currently bearing down on Alaska
, with hurricane force winds (100+mph gusts), blizzard, sea-surge flooding. "This is going to be one of the worst storms on record over the Bering Sea". The storm passed through an area of unusually high sea surface temperatures. "This may help explain
why the storm is turning from an ordinary Bering Sea disturbance into a ‘superstorm’." [more inside]
Hurricane Irene is the worst hurricane to hit the northeastern US in 50 years.
President Obama has signed Emergency Declarations for North Carolina, New York, Virginia, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Maryland. At least 8 people are known dead, and 2 million are without power. [more inside]
When @Irene Met Hurricane Irene
A mild mannered 28 year old social media strategist in New York has a Twitter handle that's being mistaken for Hurricane Irene's.
Katrina: Then and Now.
Comparing scenes of devastation after Hurricane Katrina struck 5 years ago and what they look like now.
Hurricane season began yesterday, and NOAA is predicting a banner year in the Atlantic.
What does this mean for the oil spill
? Obama's point man says it will be "touch and go.
" [more inside]
: "Also, Dr. Ivor van Heerden
is the fucking man. And he wrote a hell of a book
, which will probably eventually get him fired." It did
. van Heerden is suing LSU for wrongful termination, and the AAUP is investigating
. [more inside]
Shreveport rapper Hurricane Chris performs
for the Louisiana State Legislature.
They said that Hurricane Ike could bring unimaginable disaster in its wake...
but no one could've predicted the full extent of the horror
. (YouTube, 31 sec. or still photo
This unexpected furriness brought to you by this guy
? Potential Darwin Awards recipient
Those who judge hurricane risk merely by their Saffir-Simpson category number (1-5) are not getting the entire picture. Another (coincidentally-named) IKE
nergy) proposes an improved method of classifying hurricanes, one that takes into account their size and separates the danger components of sea surge (which kills 9 out of 10 hurricane victims) and wind. By that measure, Hurricane Ike is the most dangerous storm in 40 years
. Ike's path reminds many of the greatest natural disaster in U.S. History, the Great Hurricane of 1900 (91 minute History Channel video on Google
) which killed thousands due mainly to the great sea surge
. After that the 17' Galveston sea wall was built and it has never been topped since by hurricane waves. Hurricane Ike may change that
as current wave heights (WVHT) being reported by buoy data in the vicinity of Ike
are well over 20 feet. A computer-simulated "Hurricane Carly" shows the results of various sea surges for the Galveston area (with gra
): Play with real-time data and forecasts for the western gulf with the experimental nowCoast
, as seen from orbit. Flying straight into a Hurricane
The list of worldwide Hurricane
The history of Hurricane
lets you see where the big Atlantic storms are, where they've been, and where they're projected to be.
is headed for landfall in Louisiana in the next 48 hours
, with currently around an equal chance
of being a category 3 storm or a category 4 storm. Gustav
has 150 mph winds at the moment as it begins to enter the gulf of Mexico and a million
After failing in their response to Hurricane Katrina three years ago
, Fema is trying to be more proactive
. Of course, some people are staying
in harm's way
, live blogging, and once
again, there's the cry "bring it on
". [more inside]
Grace Jones is coming to get you.
[SLYT] From Jones' new album Hurricane
, due this October. Sweet dreams, MeFites!
Salvador and Mabel Mangano, the owners of St. Rita’s nursing home in St. Bernard Parish,
where 35 patients drowned in Hurricane Katrina’s flood waters, were found not guilty of negligent homicide and cruelty to the infirm charges tonight by a six-member jury. Read their story and decide for yourself if they're guilty.
A.D. (After The Deluge)
is a serialized webcomic about what it was like in the days leading up to, during & immediately after the Hurricane Katrina disaster in New Orleans. The story is true, all dialogue taken from direct quotes. An ongoing project with updates monthly (scheduled to run from Dec 06 - Dec 07), the most recent chapter takes place right at the end of the storm, prior to the collapse of the levees, but to get the full effect, read from the very beginning
. For those who want to know more about the project, there's an FAQ
The Best Laid Plans: The Story of How the Government Ignored Its Own Gulf Coast Hurricane Plans.
A new report from CREW describes FEMA's plan to respond to a hurricane of Katrina’s magnitude and its subsequent failure to implement that plan. [Via C&L.]
CycloneFilter : Super Cyclone Gonu prepares to slam into Oman.
Cyclones this far north in the gulf are rare
; doubly so for one so powerful. Latest readings
have Gonu at Category 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale. Some are worried
about what this will do to oil prices.
"It took the Mississippi River 6,000 years to build the Louisiana coast. It took man (and natural disasters) 75 years to destroy it. Experts agree we have 10 years to act before the problem is too big to solve." [Via First Draft.]
"This is a major innovation
...and in places that are affected by high winds and earthquakes, it looks like it's going to make a big difference." And it only adds about $15 to the cost of an average 2000 sq. ft. house - the Bostich HurriQuake
A little more than a year after leaving New Orleans, I miss the culture of sophisticated drinking. Sure, maybe not on Bourbon Street, home of the sickly sweet hurricane
and Hand Grenade
. But you head off Bourbon and you can get a very pleasant Pimms cup
at the Napoleon House
. And just down the street is a military antiques store that was once the pharmacy where Antoine Amadie Peychaud
invented the sazerac
, which lays claims to being the word's oldest cocktail. Any good bartender in New Orleans will be able to make you one; finding a sazerac-capable bartender outside the city is almost impossible. Of course, just outside the French Quarter, in the Fairmont Hotel, is the Sazerac bar
, but, surprisingly, their specialty is not the sazerac, but the favorite drink of Huey Long
, the delicious Ramos Gin Fizz.
Nearby, back in the Quarter, on an upper floor of the Pharmacy Museum
, was the former home of the Museum of the American Cocktail
-- now seemingly in transit after Katrina. At the opening, cocktail chef Dale Degroff
served up his specialty -- pre-Prohibition cocktails
, including a brandy crusta
that still makes me weep from the pleasure of it. Sure, up here in Minneapolis we invented
, but somehow a drink that's also become popular as a perfume
doesn't have that same Crescent City je ne sais quoi.
New Orleans City Ordinance #26031
--...those who have not been able to make the necessary repairs to their battered homes by August 29th risk having their property seized and bulldozed by the city....
Bush says today: Katrina Repair Will Take Time
, but time's up for many New Orleans residents. (more here from ACORN, who has been trying to help save homes there
Stress building in New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina anniversary could spark more problems
Like many other New Orleanians nearly a year after Hurricane Katrina, John McCusker was experiencing the overwhelming
stress of rebuilding his life
. McCusker, a photographer who was part of The Times-Picayune's 2006 Pulitzer Prize-winning staff
(reg. required, but worth it. Trust me.), was seen driving wildly through the city Tuesday, attracting the attention of police. He eventually
, but not before he was subdued with a Taser and an officer fired twice at his vehicle. During the melee, he begged police to kill him
. For some, it's still Katrina every day
An Exclusive and Brutally Frank Report by JT Nesbitt,
a New Orleans resident and the designer of the radically cool Confederate Motorcycles
' B91 Wraith
), in the wake of the destruction of the company's factory during Hurricane Katrina. via
A New Orleans Times Picayune flash animation of exactly how, and where, and when the city of New Orleans and surrounding areas flooded during Hurricane Katrina. Here's the accompanying article
. Even as a local, I had no idea how weak the levee systems were. And apparently still are
. Here's some more info
from a local grassroots group
fighting for better levee protection.
A NOAA report
says Earth's surface and atmosphere
are both warming
, and that earlier work that found otherwise contains flaws. In other news, global warming has started
to weaken an important wind circulation pattern over the Pacific Ocean, a study suggests. The change could alter climate and the marine food chain in that area; polar bears
and walrus pups
"You drowned 1,200 people! I rebuke you."
Politics as usual? Yes, if you're from Louisiana. Is it hot where you are? Well, at least your federal government didn't trick you into living in your car in 100 degree weather because they won't give you the keys to your trailer.
Oh, but try not to get sick, because even though New Orleans is almost back to its Pre-Katrina size (1 million out of 1.3 million), half of the hospital space is gone
. Only six weeks
until hurricane season! Woot!
National Hurricane Center and the Likelihood of Hurricanes
. In December 2003 the NHC predicted a 68% chance of a major (Category 3-4-5) hurricane hitting the US, in fact there were three major hits on the US (Charlie, Ivan, and Jeanne). In December 2004 the NHC predicted a 69% chance of a major hurricane, in fact there were four major hists (Dennis, Katrina, Rita, and Wilma). The odds of that happening are about 0.9% (see link for math), or "statistically very significant evidence" the NHC predictions are understated. Forecast for 2006
: 81% chance of a major hurricane.
Mascots helping Mascots
High schools across America have witnessed the devastation brought about by several recent natural disasters, such as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. An outpouring of sympathy and concern, and a desire to help, have come forth from high schools wanting to assist those in need. To enable schools to help other schools, the National Federation of State High School Associations has initiated a fundraising program called the Mascot Adoption Program.