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Hurricane Rita - Open Thread

Since I'll begin my indirect Rita bugout (by avoiding Houston's chaotic airport) very early tomorrow morning I've opened this post for Rita related discussion.

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Comments (18)

I lived in Houston for 25 y... (Below threshold)
geomatic1:

I lived in Houston for 25 years, through high school and University of Houston. I will never miss the soul sucking humidity, constant rain, moisture, and mold. I survived Alicia in 1983 and Allison in 2001. My wife and I both still have family there, and they all made it to San Antonio yesterday and are fine. But you could not ever pay me enough to go back to Houston. Well, admittedly I am paying three times as much for a house here in Southern California than I did in Humble, but at least it's nice and dry here.

geomatic1,First bi... (Below threshold)
mesablue:

geomatic1,

First big earthquake will change your mind about that. It's a scary situation but at least it does not have an annual season.

Everyone that I know, family or friends has made it out of Houston, thankfully.

I'm hoping that this time the hype that we've criticized the media for in the past is not only just hype but gets everyone out of harms way. Meaning, I hope this hurricane weakens near landfall like many have in the past (and we criticized the media hype) and does not do the kind of damage that we are anticipating.

I just got back from MS, I've never seen anything like that in my life -- worse than a warzone.

Katrina was more than enough, I'm hoping that Rita steers into the least populated area possible.

My mother-in-law talked wit... (Below threshold)
Joe:

My mother-in-law talked with a friend who left Galveston, went to Houston with her son to pick up his wife and kids and were headed out of there. They made it twenty miles in seventeen HOURS!!! After deciding that they didn't want to get stuck on the road with no gas, they headed for the airport. They got tickets out but the flight was cancelled due to not enough workers showing up. They then made the decision to go back to her son's house to ride out the storm. They made the same twenty miles in about twenty minutes. At one point the odometer moved two miles in 2 1/2 hours!!!! I'll take a blizzard in MN any day over that!

RE: geomatic1's observatio... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

RE: geomatic1's observation (September 22, 2005 11:47 PM)
soul sucking humidity

You got that right. Must be the most oppressive-feeling in the U.S. In the middle of summer, a 30 second foray into the sun can make it look like you just stepped out of the shower. The Houston-bowl area may have some nice pluses, but that humidity wouldn't be missed by anyone.

"I'll take a blizzard in MN... (Below threshold)
mark m:

"I'll take a blizzard in MN any day over that!"

As a Michigander, i'll second that in a big way.

GO BLUE!! ;)

"Hunkering Down" - What is ... (Below threshold)
Jim Hines:

"Hunkering Down" - What is that? Does is work and if so why don't more people hunker? How do you hunker? Is there a posture associated with hunkering? I've googled for pictures of actual hunkerers but have come up empty. Is there a hunkering news group I might reference? Has anyone at WizBang ever hunkered? If so could you describe it to me? Can you only hunker in a hurricaine or are there other times where hunkering would be appropriate? I'm very curious about the philosophy of hunkering and it's actual practical application.

TIA

Well I talked to my dad las... (Below threshold)

Well I talked to my dad last night who lives in Lake Charles, La. and he's staying there, but not by choice exactly. He's helping shut down Citgo Petroleum refinery, and then if he has enough gas he'll leave. Many of the refinerys along the coast have made the decsion to shut down.

I have an uncle in Beaumont... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

I have an uncle in Beaumont that has decided to ride it out. The man is smart enough to become a lawyer and a judge, but he's not smart enough to get out of the way of a hurricane.

The current crop of emer... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

The current crop of emergency plans and the overpaid planners who created them should be scrapped. The city of NO's plans called for using school buses to evacuate people who couldn't get out some other way. The plan fell apart because the bus drivers evacuated when the mayor issued the mandatory evacuation order.

In Huston, the evacuation order was obeyed by a large number of folks, but all at the same time. The result is gridlock with people running out of gas on the roads. Gas stations then ran out of gas and no more could be delivered because of the gridlock. This morning bureaucrats sent out two tanker trucks to get gas to stranded motorists. You get that; just two trucks for all the Huston area. These bureaucrats are stuck on stupid. Anything short of 200 trucks would fall short of what's needed.

Two strong hurricanes in the gulf wreaking havoc with this nation's energy infrastructure should be a wake up call. Whether you believe these storms are due to the normal decades long cycles seen in the past or to global warming is irrelevant. We are in for many years of active hurricane seasons. Unless we are all stuck on stupid it just doesn't make sense to keep poring limited resources into rebuilding that part of the infrastructure that could be moved inland. There's not much we can do about oil platforms in the gulf because they need to be where the oil is, but refineries can be built far inland if the nation has the will to do it. Congress needs to pass laws giving oil companies strong incentives to build new refineries inland. These laws also need to override existing environmental laws to make the move possible. This is a national emergency and decisive action is needed. The alternative is continual disruption of the energy infrastructure, billions of tax dollars wasted, and a weekend economy.

The cost of then transporti... (Below threshold)

The cost of then transporting the raw crude inland to your "new" refineries outweighs the cost of keeping them where they are. Think this stuff through.

I don't know what size the ... (Below threshold)

I don't know what size the trucks are, but 2 tanker trucks (about 9,000 gallons each) is a helluva lot of gasoline(an average of 20 gallons per vehicle would completely fill 450 vehicles). I'm sure more fuel is needed, but 200 is a gross overestimate (you really think there are 45,000 empty cars stranded on the highway?).

Oh, and drop the "stuck on stupid" line. Especially by repeating it twice in the same comment, you present yourself as neither original or particularly insightful.

<a href="http://outhouserag... (Below threshold)

www.Storms411.com is the BEST hurricane blog on the Internet.

Still here.Shelter... (Below threshold)

Still here.

Sheltering in place.

Setting up the cams.

Cats are fine.

And I'm down to 212 pounds. Hurricanes are good for diets and exercise.

pylorns - Transporta... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

pylorns - Transportation of crude oil is cheap, it's called a pipeline. We have one running from the northern slope of Alaska to the ice-free port of Valdez. The cost of building and repairing damaged pipelines is insignificant compared to the repairing refineries. There's also a time factor to consider. A damaged refinery takes a lot longer to bring back on-line than a damaged pipeline. Also, with much of the pipeline underground, it could withstand most hurricanes with little or no damage.

BoDiddy - It not the amount of gas that's important here, it's the time element. Per news reports the traffic jam stretched for 100 miles from Huston on three major roads. If only a small percentage of motorists were stranded without gas it would take two trucks a week or two to get to each one of them. You're are stuck on stupid if you expect these people to ride out the hurricane in their cars?

Mac:So your solution... (Below threshold)

Mac:
So your solution to the "time element" (although where you get your "week or two" timeframe) is to put a couple hundred 18-wheelers into the mix? No, a couple or three trucks, rolling from sideroads, can service those people who are stranded within a relatively short time. Now, other trucks are probably needed to try and keep up with demand on gas stations along the evacuation routes, but sending 200 out to help stranded motorists isn't overkill--it's asinine.

You're also overlooking the fact that an average car gets somewhere around 400 miles on a full tank of gas. A tankful, even in gridlock, would go far enough to be safe from the worst of the storm, especially now that it's obvious that Houston will only get the "dry" side of the storm.

The only reason I left the pipeline/inland refinery point untouched in my previous comment is that it had already been addressed. Go research the costs of a pipeline, from land acquisition and construction through implementation, maintenance, and protection, especially in populated areas (not the Alaskan tundra). It's not as expensive as road or rail transport, but it is a significant expense.

Um, as to the "stuck on stupid" thing, please re-read my above comment. I'm not the one stuck, apparently.

And, oh yeah, before you go flinging stupidity accusations, you may want to research the correct spelling of "HOUSTON" and take time to notice that your last statement is not a question.

BoDiddly - Sounds li... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

BoDiddly - Sounds like you're stuck on the stuck on stupid phrase. I never said it was original as anyone not in a coma the past few days would know.

The statement about sending out two gas trucks to help motorists stranded without gas was made Thursday night before the storm track was known. If they didn't think Rita was a threat they wouldn't have issued the evacuation order in the first place. You’re Monday morning quarterbacking arguing that there's no urgency in getting people off the roads because "now that it's obvious that Houston will only get the "dry" side of the storm." If you weren't in a coma you would know that people ran out of gas on the road simply because traffic was moving less than half a mile in two hours according to one report. It doesn't matter one bit if they didn't start with a full tank or not, all that matters is that they need help, and sending out just two trucks is what's asinine. If a truck spent just a few minutes per car delivering gas it still takes time to travel between them. If there are hundreds spread out over 50 miles on three major roads, two trucks would never get the job done in any reasonable time. There are kids and old people out there that need help.

As for the pipeline, they already exist from the refineries moving inland. Just convert them to carry crude oil or add more to the existing route. Of course if you weren't so proud of yourself for finding spelling and grammar errors in blog posts you might have figured that out for yourself.

My folks are from Sugar Lan... (Below threshold)
Suzi:

My folks are from Sugar Land and they were told NOT to evacuate today. The roads are clogged and if you have a problem there is no one to help you.

We spent 21 hours yesterday going 510 miles. At that we were moving quickly compared to some.

I wrote more on my blog.

No its not becuase of globa... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

No its not becuase of global warming as the crack-pots are suggesting its a weather pattern the real HO AIR come from the enviromentalist wackos




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