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Hurricane Harvey AAR
4 September 2017, 18:39,
Hurricane Harvey AAR
Email from a buddy down there:

Harvey - thoughts in no particular order:

I grew up in the Houston area and have seen this happen so many times over the years. Never to this extent, but many severe floods in the past.

While new residential and commercial construction requires better stormwater management, existing development is not going to be 'fixed' so flooding will happen repeatedly until an area is totally destroyed and rebuilt. Houston was DESIGNED to flood. They allow developers to build in flood prone areas to expand the tax base. So you end up with cities with too many people in them in areas they shouldn't be in. The State government here is no better.

State forces insurance companies to insure the people living in those areas, so they distribute the costs resulting in high premiums over the rest of the State. Years of unsound development has produced wide-ranging economic impacts. When too many people live in areas having established flood risk which the civil infrastructure is not prepared to handle, they're vulnerable and the Federal government ends up picking up the tab at taxpayer expense. This subsidy of stupidity needs to stop.

Why in a flood plain did the Great State of Texas design underpasses instead of overpasses into their road system? Every time it rains you have road closures.

• Did anyone predict this level of flooding and devastation?
• Well, yes, actually the National Weather Service and FEMA both did.
• There was plenty of warning time, but people didn't listen. Normalcy Bias...
• People must plan for worst case, not as was done here, the hopefull best case.
• Many people hadn’t planned ahead where to go, or didn’t have $ for bus ticket, hotel room to afford evac to motel, etc.

Reality is that despite media attention and repetition people ignore the warnings.

At I59 and Bennington St., a 23 year old person walking along the road fell into a drainage ditch and was swept away. Why was that person even out? Darwin Award nomination... People don’t listen. That is human nature and will never change.

The mayor told people not to evacuate. The Governor suggested it, but wouldn't make it mandatory. They decided that it was more dangerous to try to evacuate 6 million people without a practiced evac plan in place and have thousands exposed out on the highways, without established plans for where they should go, how they would get fuel, be fed, etc.

As far those people who DID leave, many were stranded in their vehicles, camping in shopping center or church parking lots of outlying areas because they didn't have money for hotels. But, at least they left. Better to wait it out the storm in a Wal Mart parking lot than under water.

One person interviewed on TV was asked why her family didn't evacuate. Her response? "Where would we go?" There are many, many people like that who either don't have the money to pay for motel rooms hundreds of miles away, or don't have family on high ground.

People bear at least minimal responsibility for their own well-being. While there will always be some for whom the state is required to take up the slack, that does not absolve average citizens, even those with limited resources, from exercising common sense so they are not in instant crises in terms of food and water. Even the poorest resident on public assistance could have filled some water containers or pots in anticipation of possible trouble with the water supply? Those on welfare could still afford to have 3 days to one week of emergency food in the house if they spent a few dollars less on cigarettes and beer.

If the water rises, you evacuate. If you have no car, you need another plan. Head to a shelter early rather than wade later. When citizens abdicate their well-being to the tender mercies of the State (and random others) they do so at their own peril.

Better municipal storm water management planning can help only so much. With four feet of rain it’s going to flood! That is the reality of an epic storm. The local economy is being devastated by this. Local commerce is dead. Those who live paycheck-to-paycheck are in trouble.

• A 2-week time frame is minimum planning standard for this event. There were no deliveries of food. Grocery stores mostly underwater and incapable of receiving and displaying groceries.

• 2-weeks is optimistic for basic services, water, electricity to be restored.

• The potable water situation critical as municipal supplies even when they come back will be subject to a boil-order for several weeks. One must have ways to filter water also chemically treat and/or sterilize it.

• People are being told to take an axe with them if they have to move into their attics, so as to be able to get out if water rises further. Do people have axes? Or other ways to pierce the roof and get out?

• Unless people already have flood insurance, which in many of these areas seems unlikely, anyone losing property to this flood is likely in huge trouble.

• There may be a huge outflow of population from Houston, if not permanently, then temporarily. Until the infrastructure is returned to some semblance of normal, and within a very short time frame, I wonder if Houston is a viable city for the near-to-intermediate future.

Regardless of people's thoughts about whether or not living along the coast is a wise decision our nation relies on those who are "willing to live with the risks". I [and many others] can tell you from firsthand experience that the entire economy feels the impact when traditional fuel (gas/diesel) prices rise due to one of these events.
If anyone is interested, check out this map of the nation's oil and gas pipelines and see for yourselves where the "soft spots" are.

In a flood, toilets don’t flush because there is simply not enough rise in your toilet to force water through, so have an alternate means of waste disposal. We used a camp toilet. Liquids were simply dumped outdoors. Solids were double bagged and disposed of in a trash container tied up outside the house.

I never would have thought I would need a boat, but one sure came in handy! Get at least a small inflatable raft that you can move supplies in as you walk and pull behind you to get to higher ground. Transporting luggage, children, pets was hard until we started using inflatable beds as rafts.

Prep for more than yourself, to help others. Our house was the highest in our neighborhood so we ended up being the staging area to watch kids as parents figured things out. We used much of our stored food and water for neighbors. We also had neighbors bringing animals in kennels to give them a place to settle, which brings me to my next lesson learned.

If you have dogs, buy a muzzle. Large dogs were very hard to keep calm even if normally friendly and were not so tolerant of strange people trying to handle them. People in boats trying to help were not willing to take on dogs that acted aggressive. A muzzle helps in this situation. Small dogs and cats keep in a carry crate.

Be aware that the worst flooding comes AFTER THE HURRICANE PASSES!

It was the rain from Harvey that nearly drowned us.

After the first high winds of Harvey blew through, people were out shopping and going out for dinner like nothing happened. After the rain started Saturday, if you went to bed, you woke up standing in water in your bedroom. The news warned everyone to prepare for flooding but it is hard to believe the media when ordinary news is so overly sensationalized. Unless I heard mandatory evacuation, I wasn't going to leave. That was the mindset of everyone. No businesses were closing down to let people leave if they wanted to keep their jobs.

On the plus side, I did see a lot of people helping people. If we do not stand together as a nation, America will fall. Harvey may be the wake-up call to bring others to the reality of their dependence on each other. There is a remarkable willingness of volunteers in Texas helping their neighbors, coming in relief from all areas of the country that is truly the American spirit that built this nation.

Tragedy can unite a nation.

73 de KE4SKY
"Almost Heaven" West Virginia
4 September 2017, 19:50,
RE: Hurricane Harvey AAR
Lots of rambling, but some good suggestions.

I did like that part about, Why do people continue to build in flood zones near the coast?

40% of the world population lives within 35 miles of the ocean, meaning a lot of them are in the tidewater areas.

That means they are so close to sea level that their rivers flow backwards and forwards each day.

London is one of those places. So is Washington DC. So is New York City. Two of the three largest cities in the world and two of the most important national capitals in the world.

Good luck with moving them due to chance of flooding!

There are a couple of natural disasters that will force one to abandon all theories of prepping and survival. One is flood and the other is wild fire. You simply can not do anything about either of them and you can not stay and "tough it out".

Even if you do not believe in "bugging out" when the water leaves you only a few inches of rooftop shelter you will get on the boat with nothing but the clothes on your back and leave.

Same with wild fire. When you see the flames coming across the hillside you will go the other direction by car, truck, boat or on foot with only what you can carry.

Even those that do not believe in "bugging out" should be prepared to leave where they are, not necessarily to live in the woods like a ninja campfire girl, but to get to a safe place be it a relative or aid center.

The people being taken aboard boat in Houston were allowed one plastic bin bag per person as carry on supplies.
4 September 2017, 22:04,
RE: Hurricane Harvey AAR
Looking on the net earlier and looks like another bad storm will hit around the eighth or ninth ...predicted to be as bad or even worse than Harvey .....I would expect you Yanks are aware of it .....keep a keen eye on it though.
To take a look back in times past, its easy to see future direction you need to be.
4 September 2017, 22:36,
RE: Hurricane Harvey AAR
Sorry guys ....the name of storm Is (Irma) category 4 to 5 .
To take a look back in times past, its easy to see future direction you need to be.
5 September 2017, 15:34,
RE: Hurricane Harvey AAR
Still too early to know the path of Irma. They often forget to ask us where they are supposed to track.

I have many friends in Florida and this storm seems more likely to land there. Being in a hurricane area makes you a prepper even if you are not inclined to call yourself one. Most all my friends have large gen-sets, food stores, more than one chain saw, off grid gear and such to get them through a couple of weeks without power or support. A couple of them live in homes especially built to withstand hurricane force winds with poured concrete walls and bolted down steel roofs, roll down covers for windows and doors.

The average altitude of the land in Florida is two meters above sea level and the highest point in the state is the top of the Mariot Hotel in Miami. When you install a swimming pool you have to fill it immediately or it will float out of the ground.

Florida is 1500 miles from where Harvey landed. It is category 5 now but they normally decrease as the pass over the islands.

This will be the first time we have been struck by two major storms in one season since the Katrian/Rita storms of 2005.
6 September 2017, 12:36,
RE: Hurricane Harvey AAR
I am reading south Florida will be hit hard by (Irma)...its even setting off some earthquake detectors ......National Guard is on standby and some evacuations have already been called for......not looking at all good at the moment .....any updates MB ?
To take a look back in times past, its easy to see future direction you need to be.
6 September 2017, 17:59,
RE: Hurricane Harvey AAR
Irma is a strong storm but most of what you are reading is media sensationalism.

The earthquake instrument are picking up ground vibrations from tree roots and sand shifting in the winds. They all do that.

it is a cat 5 storm with 185 mph winds but it is not the "super-storm" they are making it out to be. Harvey also had 185 mph winds at one point as have a half dozen storms in the past 15 years. any storm that reaches cat 5 will have those winds, that is what makes them a cat 4 or 5, wind speed. But it requires perfect conditions to sustain them for very long. These storms have to be fed.

Irma is being fed by 30c water temps and the natural heat of the Caribbean. Fortunately there is a strong cold front moving south like a freight train that may block the storm and decrease its power. Where I am it is noon and not yet 20c. Last night went into the low 10c range. Those temps are headed south toward the storm and should arrive about the time the storm hits Florida. The cold air will suck the life out of the storm rapidly.

That is why each time the storms hit landfall they loose power and when they finally reach the continent the reduce to simple tropical storms by the time the travel 100 miles inland. They may stay active and dump millions of gallons of water as they move north, but their winds decrease.

Florida is so flat, low and narrow that the storm sometimes does not realize it has reached land and does not diminish as rapidly as expected. The climate is about like southern Spain, except more rain. Year round temps average around 25c, 35c being common in the summers.

What often amazes me is how unpredictable they are as they move inland. One storm, like Harvey, will dump rain to flood stage, but have little wind. Another will be dry as a bone and still have gale force winds 1500 miles inland. That was what Ike did 10 years ago. Not a drop of rain but 90 mph winds 1000 miles inland. Other storms spin off tornadoes and bands of rainfall for a week. One series of weak hurricanes back in the early '90s caused a constant rain that lasted for the entire month of November. It never stopped raining, day and night, for the entire month!

Storms that strike the gulf coast move up to the north east as they travel inland. That gives them a wide path to strike with little topography to slow them down. They usually dump their moisture slowly over a wide area. Fortunately the Ohio, Arkansas and Mississippi River systems usually can handle the flow. I live right on the Ohio and there was not even a measurable increase in the river volume from Harvey.

Storms that hit Florida can move up the east side of the Application mountains or up their west side. The land is pretty flat for the first 500 miles until it reaches the area around Chattanooga, TN where it strikes the hills. At that point is goes slightly north west into Tennessee and Kentucky, or keeps going straight up the east side of the hills and focuses the moisture on river systems that are not designed to handle that volume of water.

My friends in Florida are all "preppers" as are most of that state's long term residents. They would ot call themselves preppers, they are simply ready for the next storm.

If you live there for long you will have the 5000w gen-set, a water-bob for the bathtub, lighting, cooking gear, chainsaws of various types, and stores of fuel. Most of them also have bolts installed in their window frames and have pre-cut plywood sheets that fit onto them. They install the plywood and secure it using wing nuts, then remove it after the storm. Some have roll down covers, like small garage doors, on each window and doors.

You want to know what size gen-set you need for your house? Ask one of those guys! they have lived with the gen-sets for weeks on end year after year. They can even tell you which of the cheap Chinese sets will give you return for your money, but I must warn you, any of them that can afford one have a Honda unit just for the quiet running and fuel efficiency. A gen-set will drive you nuts running 24/7.

it is the new residents or part time residents that go into panic mode, do not have proper supplies and roam about like deer in the headlights.

Florida has a large population of winter residents that come down from the northern states to escape the cold. They are referred to as "Snowbirds". The smart ones have learned to stay north until Christmas, when the hurricane season is over, then head south. That way they also get just enough if the northern states miserable weather to appreciate the southern climate.
6 September 2017, 21:30,
RE: Hurricane Harvey AAR
A real good post MB .....many thanks .
To take a look back in times past, its easy to see future direction you need to be.
8 September 2017, 00:22,
RE: Hurricane Harvey AAR
Nuclear power stations are powering down in south Florida. They will reduce the output down to just enough to power the station.

Smart move, no need to take chances.

Those guys have been through this drill before. The stations are designed to endure this.
8 September 2017, 07:18, (This post was last modified: 8 September 2017, 07:21 by Barneyboy.)
RE: Hurricane Harvey AAR
Bloody hell the USA is taking a kicking ,there's a earthquake off the coast of Mexico today, our thoughts are with you guys,as for the toss pots that are selling water at a massive markup hope you face the full force of the law you knob jockey
just read alas Babylon ,so im going to get more salt!!!!

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