Katrina & Isaac: Anniversary Issue

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As Isaac bears down on NOLA on the 7th Anniversary of the landfall of Katrina, I though it would be a good idea to make a comparison of these two Hurricanes.  Above you see one of the last of the radar images taken before the Outer bands of Katrina made landfall, one of the most perfectly organized Cyclonic Storms of all time.  Well, at least what we have Satellite Imagery of anyhow.   Below is the most recent Satellite Image of Isaac I can pull up with a permalink:

As is obvious, at this stage of the game, Katrina was a much more Organized Cyclonic Storm, and packing much higher wind speeds as well.  Katrina was at this stage between Cat 3-4, and the Doomsday scenario was that she would continue to strengthen to a Cat 5 before landfall.  That did not happen, she in fact weakenned to around a Cat 2 at landfall.

Isaac by comparison is just barely making Cat 1 wind speeds now, and may strengthen to a Cat 2 before landfall.  In the end the wind speed differential between the two storms on landfall probably will not be more than 20-30MPH.  What should be remembered however is that the damage and loss of life Katrina caused was not a result of high wind velocities, it was a Flooding Event caused by failure of the levee system in a neighborhood that has much of its land below Sea Level.  What is above Sea Level is only barely so.

The main question here is whether with the improvements made since 2005 by the Army Corps of Bozos the levee system will hold its integrity this time?  One suspects the ACoB has positioned more Troops and more Heavy Equipment along the levee system to plug any levee breaches as soon as they occur.  Imagine a few hundred Little Dutch Boys equipped with Caterpillar Back Hoes and Daiwoo Front End Loaders here ready to Spring into ACTION to stick a Finger in the Dyke hole.

This is a Water Level and Pressure problem overall, which can’t really be predicted by any model since you don’t know precisely how much water vapor the system holds, and how much it will drop how fast at any given spot once the system is over land.  That in turn depends on Ground Level Temperatures and Upper Air temperatures above the system itself.  If it is getting overlaid by cooler and drier air above as it rolls ashore, that is what will spawn Tornadoes, and if any one of those Touch Down on a Levee or Lock along the Mighty Mississippi, you definitely get a breach.

To get some idea of what the comparative  Water situation might be like, let’s look at the respective Storm Tracks  of Isaac and Katrina roughly One Day before Landfall.  First, Isaac:

Now the Storm Track for Katrina:

As you can see, both storms are making landfall at just about precisely the same location, but the Angle of Attack is different.  These models 48 hours out are quite accurate, so we can pretty much assume this is how it will go.

Because of the Attack Angle, the Storm Surge which could hit Lake Ponchartrain from Isaac could be bigger than that of Katrina, it depends there on the precise timing of landfall and High Tide.  Also depends on the absolute Speed the storm center is moving, and if you look at the chart, Isaac is not moving as fast as Katrina was at the same relative time.  This means a longer time period with high wind speeds over the water, which translates to more water piling up in higher waves.  The current strom surge is predicted to be about 12 feet, but IMHO there is a significant Error Margin there, probably +-6 feet depending on the time of day Isaac actually hits.

Levee Breach in NOLA, Katrina 2005

Now, overall as opposed to last time with Katrina, IMHO the Army Corps of Bozos is probably prepared to go the full 9 yards to keep the levee system intact,  insofar as their equipment will allow them to do that anyhow.  They also have had 7 YEARS to plan for such a scenario, so if they haven’t figured out how to keep it from occuring again here, they are going to look like, well, BOZOS.  If NOLA Floods AGAIN here, that Big Shity is about Done, Outta Biz.

Lousiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP)

Next main issue here is the Oil Patch, the LOOP and Refineries and Pipelines streaming out from southern LA.  If you remember back to 2008, the damage caused by Gustav and Ike made a mess of this system, and Gas prices spiked up about $.75/Gallon.  That was when Gas was running around $2/Gallon.  If Isaac causes anywhere near the amount of ancillary damage to the whole Oil Production system that Gustav and Ike did, given we also have all the Shit Going Down with Iran and the rest of MENA and total global production capacity is MORE compromised now than in 2008, a hit to this portion of Global Oil Supply now probably drives up the GasDiesel Price $1/Gallon.  That moves it from near the $4 range in the FSoA to around the $5 mark.  The Automobile Industry is already in Collapse now, the “New” GM is on the verge of ANOTHER Bankruptcy.  $5/Gallon Gas puts the Final Nail in the Coffin for Happy Motoring here in the FSofA, and guarantees full blown Recession again, no matter how much Funny Money Helicopter Ben dishes out to the TBTF banks.

Hurricane Damaged oil Platform, Port Fouchon

Beyond those Physical Problems is the Debt Problem, which overall now is an Order of Magnitude or perhaps two greater than it was in 2008.  In the interim time, big Insurers like AIG and Lloyds of London have basically gone BK and are on Goobermint Life Support.  Goobermints that themselves are in deep Debt Problems even without another “Natural Disaster” induced Oil supply problem.  Any projections at all made for the various Industrial Economies to work their way out of the Debt Problem all depend on GROWTH, which is pretty hard to accomplish if Mother Nature keeps taking out your Industrial infrastructure every few years.  Mortagages for instance are issued out on 30 year cycles, and these days you have some Goobermints issuing out Bonds of 50 year durations!  If what you bought with a 30 year Mortgage gets DESTROYED in 7 year increments, the DEBT remains, the COLLATERAL does not.  No McMansion to Repo if it got washed down the Mighty Mississippi and out to sea of course.  Similarly, repairing a damaged Refinery every 7 years is a very pricy deal overall.

So, what is the DANGER as far as Isaac is concerned?  Is it the likelihood of another Flooding Event of the Magnitude of Katrina in NOLA?  Not really, though that would cause not only Economic Havoc but Political Havoc as well here in the FSofA.  If NOLA Floods, you can GUARANTEE Obama-sama loses the Election.  He’ll look like as big a BUFFOON as Dubya did during Katrina.  Romney will be all over that one.  If it does NOT Flood, Obama-sama will crow about how well HE prepared for this as opposed to the poor job done by Dubya, so that enhances his re-election possibilities.

Where the real DANGER though lies is in another “Black Swan” hitting an already very fragile Economic system and Energy Delivery system on the verge of collapse from many other directions not present in 2008 when Gustav & Ike hit the Oil Patch of the GOM.  Greece wasn’t on the verge of being ejected from the Eurozone in 2008.  Spain wasn’t coughing up 7% on its Bond Issues in 2008.  Helicopter Ben wasn’t Doing the Twist and Super Mario Dragon  wasn’t creating Schrodinger Money from Nothing in 2008 either.  A perturbation in the House of Cards created here now has a much more powerful Knock-On effect than it did in 2008.  The system is simply less resilient to SHOCK.

Can you really call this a Black Swan though?  It is not, because Black Swans are not predictable, whereas this one was completely predictable, within a timespan of a decade anyhow.  Another Hurricane hitting this stretch of the GOM is completely predictable now over such timespans.  If the Oceans churn them up at a given rate, you will get a given number hitting the GOM and at least one of them each decade will hit on NOLA and the LOOP or the Houston Ship Channel.  It is GUARANTEED.  How many times can you rebuild this stuff, issuing out still MORE debt to do so?

If Isaac turns out to be a Big One for damage to the Oil Infrastructure of the GOM and Lousiana, this may be the last time.

To finish this 7th Anniversary of Katrina and the oncoming Marriage betwen Isaac and NOLA, let us review an Independent Documentary of  Katrina’s effects and consequences from one competely INSANE Storm Tracker.  That this dude’s SUV held up long enough for him to make his ESCAPE is nothing short of MIRACULOUS.


The Katrina Chronicles

Off the Keyboard of RE


Discuss this Articlcle at the Geological and Cosmological Events Table inside the Diner

What causes a person to become a DOOMER?  When did you receive your Wake Up Call that Industrial Civilization was on a Runaway Train headed for Derailment over the Olduvai Gorge?

Inside the Diner, I generally identify my Wake Up Call as coming with the Failure of Bear Stearns in 2007.  It was in the aftermath of that I began researching the Economic issues, which then led me to the Energy issues and then the Population issues.  It was during this period I joine the PeakOil.com Forum and became acquainted with concepts like EROEI, and various theories of collapse from people like Joseph Tainter, Richard Duncan and Dmitry Orlov.

Recent activity inside the Diner along with the fact Tropical Storm Isaac is now bearing down on Florida and after that into the GOM has caused me to go back to a Yahoo Group I was running when Katrina made Landfall in NOLA in 2005.  I had numerous friends at or near Ground Zero when Katrina hit, and the discussions that we pursued before, dering and int he aftermath of that catastrophe ran into the hundreds if not thousands of posts.  I now realize it was not Bear Stearns that took me down the Doomer Highway to begin with, it was KATRINA.

In the interest of maintaining the anonymity of all involved in that posting, I cannot open up that Group for general reading.  I can however go back in there and Copy/Paste what was written and strip out any identifying material regarding the posters.  I believe much of what was written in that series of discussions is instructive on the nature of collapse, not just as it applied to one Big Shity at Ground Zero in 2005, but to the catastrophe now facing ALL of us who depend on the Conduits of Industrial Life around the globe.

Inside the Diner, I will publish over the next few months as much of this material as I can in the Katrina Chronicles thread.  Here below are the very FIRST posts made as Katrina was bearing down on NOLA.  Follow the rest inside the Doomstead Diner.



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My FIRST Katrina Post, Published on August 28th, 2005.
Quote from: RE

Katrina is bearing down on New Orleans, and it looks like the storm of the century. I have never seen a more perfectly organized and symmetrical cyclonic storm, and besides that it is HUGE. Hurricane force winds extend over a 100 mile radius.
I believe Stacey lives fairly close to Ground Zero. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed for her, DH, Haley, Braxton and Forrest.

I will publish sequentially my Katrina Chronicles in this thread.  I will also publish some of what others wrote, stripping their identities out if they are compromising in any way.
The first response:
Quote from: Stacey

Thanks guys :) We are planning on riding out the storm but I’ll probably head to Houston after if we lose power (likely) And don’t forget Peyton :)
DH has to stay close so he can be at the office Tuesday.

MUCH MORE to come.  The Katrina Chronicles make Dirdy Birdy’s stuff Cliff Notes by comparison. LOL.



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I often say that my Doomerism and Wake Up call to Collapse came with the fall of Bear Stearns in 2007.  As I pull back up my Katrina Posting, I realize this is not so.  It was Katrina that provided the real Wake Up Call for RE.
Here, the next few posts between myself and a few of my friends who were at or near Ground Zero  when Katrina hit.


Quote from: RE

Keep us informed as our Weather Channel Storm Tracker as long as you got an internet connection. Good Luck!

Quote from: Stacey

The rain just started and some wind too. We should be on the west side though so it should not be as bad for us…unless it hits farther west than expected. Keep all those in New Orleans in your thoughts…a lot could die.
As far as internet. If we lose power I can still go on battery power and plug directly to the phone line. I can read and send email on my cell phone too. I just hope our power stays on.

Quote from: Melissa

Good Luck to you!!!
I just talked with my dad and step mom a few hours ago. He went to the hospital this morning and was told to bring 2 changes of clotes and not expect to go home until Tues. They are expecting to lose power but probably for less than a week and have 2 generators and probably 10 houseguests from New Orleans. All the bed are full and the couches too. LOL!!! They’ve evacuated the New Orleans hospitals and his is full with their patients. (He’s at Our Lady of the Lake) over by the big Mall. (they live behind it off Perkins) My mom (who lives in N. La. works for social services (manager of the Shreveport welfare office) and her department is all trained to work at the emergency shelters. She thinks several from her office may have to go to Alex to work in them. We have tons of people over here in Houston who evacuated. I’m concernced that many didn’t evacuate. It’s too late now. Many are very poor and elderly and have no way out of the city. My dad was on a conference call (maybe with your hubby…doesn’t he work for FEMA or someone like that) and they said they are expecting a much worse disaster than anyone had imagined. They actually mentioned the possible need for body bags.
I hope y’all have lots of water and food stored up! At least y’all won’t get the worst, but I’m sure y’all will have 100+ wind gusts!!! My step mom is worried that her trees will fall on her house!

Quote from: Raquel

There was a man from FEMA on CNN – he really looked sick, said this made him feel sick – there is a huge chance of a significant loss of life from this hurricane! :( I can’t imagine how those feel that had to stay behind.

Now the first attack I EVER made on Corporate Oligarchy and how the MSM misreports and misrepresents what actually goes on in this kind of disaster.  Diners will recognize the beginnings of themes I have been pursuing for a long time since.
Date of this post: August 29, 2005
Katrina: Merchants of Death in the Corporate Oligarchy

Quote from: RE

I’m watching the CNN reports on the upward spiral of casualty reports from Katrina, and becoming ever more ticked off at the spin being put forth about people who “chose” to “ride out” the storm. As if the fact they died is their own negligence.
The government makes a “mandatory” evacuation order. The people who stayed behind? They had NO WHERE TO GO. Mostly these were poor or middle class people, many who had no transportation out of the area. Even if they owned a Jalopy they could pack the kids and the dog into, just where were they gonna GO? they don’t have the money to spend several days in a hotel far from home. they can’t afford the price of the gas it will take them to get there either.
Now, certainly its reality that the poor and the middle class without resources will always be trapped, but what is tickng me off is the SPIN of the mass media, that this is THEIR fault. They “chose” to ride it out. No, they did not CHOOSE it. They couldn’t afford to get outta Dodge.
Hundreds of people drowned in their attics as the flood waters rose. It could have been you. The mass media will paint that as YOUR fault if you could not get away. Organizations like CNN, NBC and CBS are pawns of a corrupt society and government. They sell a vision of American society which does not exist, they sell a vision of sports which is a lie. The reporters and researchers who work for these organizations are dishonest and corrupt individuals who have sold out to be part of the gravy train of corporate oligarchy.
Become a part of the Corporate Oligarchy and live well in your suburban houses. You are merchants of death, you earn your money and comforts on the pain and suffering and death of those you fool with your lies.

MUCH more to come.  The Katrina Story as we all know went on for MONTHS, and I wrote about it nearly every day, sometimes several times a day. My friends contributed many thoughts also.   It is hundreds if not thousands of pages I am sure.  I will try to reproduce as much as I can without compromising Identities.

Knarf plays the Doomer Blues


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