It’s not the Wind, it’s the Water

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on September 16, 2018

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It's now a litle over 24 hours since the "landfall" of Florence, which hit Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina as a Cat 1 Hurricane, substantially below the earlier predicted landfall as a Cat 4.  PHEW! We dodged a bullet there!  Well, except for one problem…all that WATER!

When it comes to Weather Disiaster reporting with Hurricanes, the focus is almost entirely on where the cyclone comes in on the Saffir-Simpson scale, which strictly measures the wind speed around the eyewall.  It doesn't measure the overall SIZE of the cyclone or the amount of water it drags along with it to wherever it decides on going, which is also not all that predictable,  A Cat 4 which makes landfall in a low population zone is a major YAWN, but a Cat 2 which hits a major population zone like NOLA (Katrina) or NYC (Sandy) or Harvey (Houston) is newsworthy material!

So the critical point here is in terms of being "newz worthy" is "How many Homo Saps were affected by this event?"  When you look at it from this POV, what Category the cyclone rolled in with isn't very important.  Even with a really BIG ONE, the wind field of 100+ MPH winds is quite small, maybe 100 miles in diameter.  That neighborhood of course provides the best video for the Storm Chasers and "Meteorologists" (Weathermen) who go out to report on these things.  So in terms of newz reporting, this is what gets the coverage.  It's not a whole lot different than political or economic newz reporting, where you only really hear about the biggest and most disasterous occurence on any given day in the newz cycle.  A couple of days later, there is a new disaster to report on, and the prior one gets forgotten, at least by the media.  The people stuck in the location haven't forgotten about it though.

So in the current case of Florence, we have an ongoing disaster which is just going to get worse over the next week or so.  While she didn't come ashore packing the kind of winds predicted by the Meteorologists Weathermen, she DID bring with her an epic amount of rainfall, now approaching Biblical Proportions in quite a few neighborhoods around North Carolina, and it appears true for some neighborhoods in South Carolina too.

Florence already has set rainfall records and left tens of thousands of people in shelters and more than 1 million homes without power. Officials confirmed at least 11 deaths, including one Saturday in South Carolina.

While this is clearly a big problem for the locals, much like Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Maria, it's not likely to get a whole lot of coverage past next week.  If Flo had made landfall around Norfolk, a different story of course, because we have a big fucking Naval Base in Norfolk and a lot of Homo Saps live there!  Relatively speaking however, not a whole lot of people live in North or South Carolina, and as FSoA states go they are Piss Poor with a lot of Black People living there.  So if they go without electricity for a few weeks,it's no big fucking deal!  Does anyone here in the FSoA CARE that the Ricans are still without power in many neighborhoods a year after the landfall?  Of course not!  Much different story of course if Maria made landfall on Wall Street, as Sandy did.  WEEKS of Newz coverage there at the top of the Google Newz Search Engine!

In the grand scheme of things globally though as far as climate disasters go, does it really matter whether one of these cyclones hits a high population density neighborhood or a low one?  Not really, other than the obvious impact on Homo Saps living in the local neighborhood for such a landfall.  Not a place you want to be when it occurs.  Thing is though, numerous effects occur in the aftermath of a hurricane landfall and many of those effects impact on people whether they live near where it hit or not.

As with Harvey in Texas last year, Florence isn't a big wind event so focusing on the Saffir-Simpson scale to determine the severity of the storm is very misleading.  Florence is a RAIN even, not a WIND event, and the rain is dispersed over a much wider area.  Because like Harvey Florence has essentially "stalled", she's bringing wave after wave of rain bands into North Carolina, any many of the many rivers in that state will be cresting multiple feet over flood stage over the next week, perhaps even longer than that.

Unlike Puerto Rico though, despite being poor and well stocked with the descendants of slaves, North & South Carolina WILL be the beneficiaries of the largesse of The Donald, because they are states who elect CONgress Critters, and the Repugnants NEED the votes of the White Supremacists residing in those locations to have any hope of retaining control over the House and staving off an Impeachment after the mid-term elections.  So you can be sure copious new Dollars will be printed to assist in their recovery efforts.  The amount of money they will spend there likely triples the entire debt of Puerto Rico, but they won't have any trouble finding money for that, any more than they have trouble finding money to bomb Syria when they can't find money to fund Medicare.

So despite the ongoing innundation, I don't expect the lights to be off for all that long down in the Tar Heel state, certainly not as long as they have been off for in Puerto Rico.  They have slightly over a month before people will be going to the Polls in Wilmington, so I figure they'll get the lights switched back on in a couple of weeks there.  What will the real price tag on this disaster be though, and just how many more times can we restring those wires?  How many times can people in Wilmington afford to replace their drywall?

You basically have an entire STATE which is under water RIGHT NOW, and you don't need to wait for the sea level to rise by another foot for this to occur, repeatedly.  This because the weather systems do the job of lifting up the water from the ocean and then dropping it back down when they get over land.  Pretty much every state along the East Coast is vulnerable to this sort of innundation now, as are the states which line the Gulf of Mexico.  We're pretty certain to get a couple of these multi-billion dollar disasters occuring every year now as we move into the future.

It's not just Lights Out that is the problem here either, this same pile of water is innundating Pig Farms and Coal Mining plants all through the state, and do you really believe they can clean up that mess, no matter how much money they print here?  Of course they can't, all they can do is put Lipstick on the Pig and make it look a little better in time for the elections, but the pig will still be a pig after that and North Carolina will stink like a mouldy sewer into the forseeable future,  NC is just one of the Canaries in the Coal Mine here though, as Harvey was for Houston and Katrina was for New Orleans.

This is not a good time to be living in one of these coastal locations, frankly it's not even a good time to be lving on a sailboat in such a location either.  Many a Yachtie in Corpus Christie watched from the Marina Bar as his prized Seastead went to the bottom of Davey Jones Locker when Harvey made landfall, and many more will face the same problem this year from Cape Hatteras to Myrtle Beach.  The Yachties didn't do too good down in St. John's last year either.  There is nowhere safe left to run to anymore, nowhere to hide.  It's coming soon to a beach near you too.

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