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Storm Stuff — Why Now?
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Storm Stuff

CNN reports that Isaac is still causing trouble in Louisiana:

Earlier in the day, the state’s office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness posted on Twitter that “Pearl River Lock No. 2 is in danger of failing” and urged “anyone living in the mandatory evacuation area to leave immediately.” St. Tammany Parish warned on its website at 1:15 p.m. that “failure of Lock 2 is imminent!”

The lock is on a man-made canal off the Pearl River.

If they relieve the pressure and save the lock they can minimize the flooding below it, but the Pearl River is set to flood anyway, so more people are going to watch their homes washed away.

Isaac has become a rain maker for Missouri and Illinois, and should bring rain to Indiana and Ohio later on. They can use it, so it hasn’t been a totally ‘evil’ storm, but the people downstream are still facing problems that will last until midweek, when the real recovery process can begin.

An additional thought: I wonder how long it will be until we start hearing people saying that their problems were caused by the Corps of Engineers repairing the New Orleans system.


1 Badtux { 09.02.12 at 1:58 pm }

I wonder how long it will be until we start hearing people saying that their problems were caused by the Corps of Engineers repairing the New Orleans system.

LaPlace is already saying that and has been saying that since Thursday. Lake Pontchartrain flooded in from the back and put six feet of water in their streets. Note that Katrina didn’t do this.

2 Bryan { 09.02.12 at 4:24 pm }

Katrina went to the East of NOLA and Isaac went to the West, so wind directions were totally different, but everyone is looking for someone to blame.

3 Badtux { 09.03.12 at 1:48 am }

LaPlace is immediately to the north of the Bonnet Carre Spillway. The whole reason the spillway was put there is that it’s downhill all the way to Lake Pontchartrain. So LaPlace has no back levees, they never needed any before.

So yes, they’re looking for someone to blame, but the fact that this storm sat there so long piling up water at the west end of the lake is why they flooded. They may be ten feet above the normal level of Lake Pontchartrain, and due to the long distance from Lake Pontchartrain to them (and resistance from the Illinois Central railroad embankment and all that brush in the swampy lowlands) storm surge will normally fall off long before it gets to them, but this time it just kept building and building until LaPlace was underwater. Your comment higher up about “when I was younger storms lasted hours, not days” is probably the difference here… normal storms just go over, they don’t just keep piling acre-feet of water onto the same location for days at a time…

4 Bryan { 09.03.12 at 10:24 am }

The storm had a lot in common with Georges that dumped rain on me for 5 days as it crawled passed to the northeast after coming ashore. Even sand has limits when you dump that much [over 3 feet] of rain on it.

I hope Leslie stays out to sea, because it is 400 miles across and is currently moving under 10 mph. The steering doesn’t look to improve so there will be wave erosion on the East Coast.

Huge slow moving storms are not good for the nerves or storm water runoff systems.

5 oldwhitelady { 09.03.12 at 12:08 pm }

Yeah, we were happy to get the rain! It was soooo very dry. In an area near my work, someone pitched their cigarrette, and the grass caught fire immediately. Luckily, the fire engines got there in a hurry and put it out. Now that the rain came, the cracks in the ground have almost disappeared.

6 Bryan { 09.03.12 at 4:04 pm }

It would have been better for farmers if it had come a month ago as they might have salvaged something, but you can’t schedule the weather, you can only live with it.