On The Radio

Did I mention, I’m on with Faith Middleton today on WNPR radio? I’ll be there with the two authors from the New Orleans Times-Picayune of the ‘definitive’ book on Katrina.

The show begins at 3:00 PM with a replay at 11:00 PM and streams live online.

More On Katrina’s Aftermath

This story is beginning to wind down for me. However, what has happened in New Orleans and on the Gulf Coast cannot be forgotten.

I am mortified at the sight of the United States begging other countries for aid. Is this our true place in the world? Heaven help us all.

While I was away from my computer, my friend Ashley Adams sent this IM. He was gone by the time I returned to the keyboard:

Ashley: Geoff, why weren’t FEMA and the other fed agencies better prepared in New Orleans? You were telling me that this was going to be the disaster of the century two days before it hit.

That, of course, is the money question.

This morning’s New Orleans Times-Picayune had a scathing editorial.

The More I Watch, The More Unhappy I Am

Hurricane Katrina ceased being a weather story days ago. I now watch as an interested bystander. I am very unhappy with what I see.

If FEMA or any other part of Homeland Security has had an impact on those people in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, I haven’t seen it. Again, this storm wasn’t a surprise. I told people here in Connecticut how bad I thought it would be… but I wasn’t alone.

Reading the pre-Katrina statements from the Weather Service’s New Orleans office, there was no doubt this was being portrayed as a killer… a once in a lifetime type event. The Hurricane Center was saying the same thing.

Where was FEMA?

Where was Homeland Security?

Where are they today?

How can we allow our fellow citizens to suffer, as these people are certainly suffering? Where is the humanity that symbolizes America? These poor citizens deserve comfort.

New Orleans is a city filled with poor, black people. I would be easy to think this was racist or classist treatment. I don’t think so. I think this is a case of inept agencies. They would have poorly served any group so affected, regardless of station in life.

It looks like there are still people dying from this storm. How disgusting is that?

From the New Orleans Times-Picayune:

Notes From New Orleans

My friends mom, the one I encouraged to leave New Orleans as Hurricane Katrina was approaching, is fine though her home is not.

My mother rang this morning from the Baton Rouge shelter. She’s fine and in good spirits considering. They’re treating everyone well. She’s come to the realization that her home is gone as is her car. Since most of NOLA is excessively flooded she’s staying put in BR until the officials feel it’s wise to move on. At that point, we may have her fly up to my sister’s in Connecticut. When it is safe to go to NOLA, we’ll go down there to see what the damage is, and then consider alternatives, including whether she should stay in the city. It’s hard to know whether she’ll be away from the city for a one or more. It’s more than likely we’re talking about a longer period of time.

From a Mississippi State classmate who just started a job forecasting the weather as Hurricane Katrina approached:

The national news hounds are blowing this one. I know

I talked to friends watching from other places and CNN

and Fox were saying it was a glancing blow. Just

because there were buildings blown over it wasn’t

that bad. Now that more and more of the flooding

video is being seen I think people are changing their

minds. This will go down as the worst storm in



There is no New Orleans Times-Picayune I can find. Their website hasn’t been updated since Monday’s edition. Their Tuesday front page link leads to last Tuesday’s.


Tuesday, 9:40 a.m.

The Times-Picayune is evacuating it’s New Orleans building.

Water continues to rise around our building, as it is throughout the region. We want to evacuate our employees and families while we are still able to safely leave our building.

Our plan is to head across the Mississippi River on the Pontchartrain Expressway to the west bank of New Orleans and Jefferson Parish. From there, we’ll try to head to Houma.

Our plan, obviously, is to resume providing news to our readers ASAP. Please refer back to this site for continuing information as soon as we are able to provide it.

I’ve heard stories of the Brazilian rain forest. If a jungle area is clear cut and then allowed to grow back, it comes back differently. The rain forest is what it is because of how it evolved over time.

There’s a truth in that last paragraph for New Orleans. This city will come back (if it is actually able to come back) different than it was a few days ago. You can’t rebuild tradition and charm. You can’t plan to regain what was there by serendipity.

I’m still not sure we know everything.

Katrina And My Sleep Schedule

We’ve got a little coverage problem at work. I’ve been asked to work Sunday morning – airtime: 6:00 AM! So, I’ve napped a bit this evening and will try and catch a few more hours of sleep before then.

In essence, I’m trying to put myself on ‘jet lag’.

As long as I’m up, another look at the hurricane progress. Since leaving Florida, Hurricane Katrina has been left alone in the open Gulf of Mexico. She’s intensified, but not as much as I would have thought. Still, the official number at this hour is 115 mph – that’s a wickedly powerful storm.

The forecast path is still a worst case scenario for New Orleans&#185

A common hurricane misconception is that its winds are only affected by the outside environment. Is there warm water? Are the feeders and outflow unimpeded? Is the hurricane being dragged near rough terrain, like mountains on an island? Things like that.

Often missed is the eyewall cycle. Hurricanes are constantly reforming their eyewall, shedding the old one for a new one. During this cycle, the strength of the hurricane’s winds are temporarily reduced, only to spring right back up. If this happens as a storm approaches land, you’ve dodged a bullet… or at least lowered the caliber.

That’s what’s being talked about in this discussion from the Hurricane Center:


At the home page of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, there is no new news – none! The website seems to be untouched since Saturday morning, or more likely Friday night. I can’t believe that, under these critical circumstances, but it’s true.

WWL-TV is up-to-date, including information on “contraflow.” Some interstates and other highways now have all their lanes heading north! It works moderately well, but it’s confusing.

New Orleans needs to empty out now. There is no longer enough time to consider the forecast might be wrong. People staying in New Orleans, or much of the rest of Southern Louisiana, do so at their own peril.

&#185 – When meteorologists talk weather, they often abbreviate, using the airport identifier. Bradley International is BDL, Kennedy in New York is JFK, West Palm Beach is PBI. Some are non-intuitive. New Orleans is MSY. I cannot think of New Orleans without MSY popping into my head.