Nothing is going to stop Ida. In 7 hours, she will have made landfall somewhere on the Louisiana coast. Bringing one of the most powerful storms to hit the area in 100 years. There will be much damage, many injured and some deaths.
Ida has already reached a Category 4. She could be a 5 either before she hits land or at that moment. She is considered “extremely dangerous.”
Ida’s power increase has been unusually rapid. She went from 80 mph to 145 mph in no time at all. Her speed presently 150 mph. Seven miles short of the 157 required to be a Category 5.
Surge is going to be unusual. Twelve to fifteen feet. Guaranteed death for all in its path.
NBC has a photo on the internet of the traffic evacuating Route 10 out of New Orleans. Reminded me of Irma. I did not wait till the last minute to leave Key West. Irma had been heading straight on for Key West for several days. The cone showed no deviation. It was also predicted to be a Category 5 when it hit Key West.
Not my cup of tea. I decided to get out of Key West 5 days before its anticipated arrival. My escape was a 3 day trip. Bumper to bumper most of the way.
Katrina hit New Orleans 16 years ago today. Interesting.
There is a calm before a storm. In my 30 years in Key West, I remained for most storms. Opted not to leave. Not because I was brave. Rather I early on became aware that a tropical depression, tropical storm, a Category 1, a Category 2, and sometimes a Category 3, can be handled. Very survivable. No need to run off.
The calm before the storm is just as it sounds. No wind, no rain, ocean like a mirror, temperature comfortable.
The next day, another story!
Some 15 years ago, there was a strong hurricane followed by an unexpected surge which came across Key West. I forget which hurricane it was. There have been many.
Yankee Jack was an entertainer who had lived in Key West longer than me. He was a singer, musician and songwriter. Everyone liked Yankee. He was that kind of person.
Thin he was not. Yankee weighed well over 300 pounds. Food was everything to him. He knew which were the restaurants where he could get the most food for his money. He needed to fuel up several times a day.
Yankee opted to remain. He lived in some type trailer. When the hurricane hit, his trailer went. Fortunately, his girl friend live in a condominium. He moved in with her for the storm correctly anticipating his trailer would not survive.
I telephoned Yankee the day after the hurricane. The lines were down. Five days later, I heard from Yankee. My message of concern had finally got through.
I asked how he was doing. His response said it all: I am in my girl friend’s apartment. We put a white sheet on her sofa. We are sitting on it bare ass. The government has provided us with bagged ice. We are taking turns rubbing the ice on each other’s body. The heat/humidity are indescribable. The smell atrocious. Dead fish, animals and vermin together with sea weed.
Irma was predicted as a 5. At the last minute, it moved a bit and slowed down. It came over Key West as a Category 1. We lucked out!
Sixteen miles up the road is Cudjoe Key. Irma actually came ashore with full force and hit at Cudjoe. As a Category 4. Damage galore from that point all the way up to Florida City.
I returned to Key West 7 days after Irma hit. No sense in coming back sooner. Key West was without water, power, food, etc.
Once I reached Florida City, Irma’s damage rapidly became evident. Everything was ass end backwards. Boats were on U.S.1. Cars were in the ocean and canals. Houses were down flat where they stood or hundreds of feet away lying upside down or on their sides. Some could be seen floating in the ocean. Debris everywhere.
The strangest thing I saw was somewhere around Islamorada. There was a pretty good sized tree to my right as I drove down U.S.1. The tree had 2 heavy branches about 20 feet above ground level. Lying on its side on the 2 branches was a large refrigerator.
Hard to believe!
Ida’s damage will be the same or worse. I suspect worse.
The only hurricane I have seen worse that Irma was Andrew. Andrew came in across Homestead in 1992 as a Category 5. It never reached Key West.
I had left before Andrew hit. Being new to the Keys, I knew not the paths hurricanes took. I returned 3 weeks later. Drove through Homestead. The damage could not have been worse. The city was flat. An occasional wall left standing. Nothing more. It was like a nuclear bomb had been dropped on the community.
Brought tears to my eyes.
Ida’s rapidly growing power has been attributed by the weather experts to global warming. A hurricane picks up speed and power as it moves over warm water. The warmer the water, the more the increase.
Due to global warming, the Caribbean waters leading up to New Orleans are roughly 8 degrees warmer than normal. Ergo, hurricanes such as Ida will henceforth be more powerful.
I feel sorry for President Biden. His plate is full. COVID, Kabul/Afghanistan, and now Ida. Additionally, he has what I would describe as minor problems. Joe Manchin, voting legislation, and the infrastructure bills.
The Republicans are of no assistance.
The Republican Party of today is no way comparable to the Republican Party of December 7, 1941. Every Republican at the time, except for one, voted for war against Japan. Today, the Republican Party is similar in name only. I doubt today’s Republicans would have supported President Roosevelt when he called for a declaration of war. He would have gotten what Biden is receiving today: Blame, blame, blame!
Enjoy your Sunday!