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Into the Black

The situation in New Orleans is just staggering... The inability to get aid more quickly into the disaster area compounds the tragedy, but more mind boggling is just how much help is needed. Our thoughts here are with all those in the southeast so terribly impacted by Katrina.

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39 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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39. Re: Michael Sheard Sep 1, 2005, 14:53 Zathrus
 
It seems to me that in the case of Louisiana, too many assumptions were made on availability of roads etc (and doesn't it seem that if you're talking about a flood, ROADS are the first thing you need to take into account of NOT being there??) and it was never planned into a worst case scenario.

Yeah, I agree with you there. I've been very disappointed with the powers-that-be here; their plans certainly seem to have been for a much less severe emergency. There's some reports that they wanted to plan for this and didn't get the budget allocations, but who knows.

Certainly the various budget cuts, staffing shortages, etc. haven't helped the situation. Someone's going to be put out to dry over this... it'll be "interesting" to watch that political hot potato get tossed around. (And by interesting, I mean sickening)

 
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38. Re: Michael Sheard Sep 1, 2005, 13:03 Moonbender
 
The average household size in the US (2003) was 2.57, for what it's worth.

 
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37. Re: Gas Sep 1, 2005, 12:50 Zathrus
 
But money was never provided to prepare for it.

I think you hit the nail on the head there.

That and the people who were supposed to be around to execute on the plan are a few thousand miles away doing other shit.

 
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36. Re: Michael Sheard Sep 1, 2005, 12:47 Zathrus
 
That's not to say it's not all but necessary with a family of 5

Family of four, and if you don't have a spare bedroom then you have to do weird things when relatives visit. If we have to go w/o the spare bedroom it's entirely possible, but there are pretty good odds that my mom will be moving closer in the near future, which means she'll be visiting and taking care of the grandkids more often.

And a family of four is hardly unusual in the US.

If it's not, your mass transit system sucks and you should change it

Our mass transit system does suck, and it's not going to change. We've been over this -- you have population densities far in excess of what we have. Many of our cities simply do not have any natural boundaries, and so they grow as such. Add in political issues over mass transit (people perceive that it increases crime near it; despite a lack of real evidence showing that) and its perception as a "lower class" method of transportation and you have major problems in expanding it -- two of the metropolitian Atlanta counties have rejected expansion of mass transit into themselves. One setup a separate bus system -- it actually does interface with the main system, but in a single piss poor location (again because of politics).

it's more comfortable and even faster

You're more or less preaching to the choir here -- like I said I use it daily. But only the part that makes sense for me to. If I was to try and use it for the entire route a 50 minute commute (car+train) would become a 1.5-2 hr+ commute (walk+bus+train) because busses suck. And that presumes that I hit the bus on schedule -- it's 20 minutes between busses. And the bus uses the highway, which I specifically avoid because of the absurd traffic. FWIW, the nearest bus stop is around a mile from my house... and last year they tried to eliminate all the bus routes near me.

But I do use it because it's cheaper (monthly transit pass < monthly parking pass; add in gas and tolls and it's just absurd) and I can read while on the train. Reading while driving is rather discouraged. I've had to drive to work 3 times in the past 6 months for various reasons and it takes the same time in the car as it does in car+train, so I'm certainly not increasing my commute time. I dislike spending 1.8-2 hours a day commuting as is, but there's really not much I can do about it, as I previously stated.

 
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35. Re: Gas Sep 1, 2005, 12:44 FourPak
 
I sit and watch this and can not believe we are watching this happen in the United States. Mindboggling.
Take a good look at those pictures because they shatter the lies that we've been fed for the last 60 years, that the US is better than the rest of the world.

When the sht hits the fan the truth is revealed.

 
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34. Re: Gas Sep 1, 2005, 12:11 FourPak
 
What if they're looting food or water?
they're not looting food and water, they're looting jewelry stores, gun shops, drug stores, clothing stores, furniture stores, etc., everything BUT grocery stores.

send in the Army...
oh wait, they're all in IRAQ, along with the Reserve and the National Guard. Just like the LA riots YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN.

 
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33. Re: Gas Sep 1, 2005, 12:08 Creston
 
Funny thing is this was predicted and aired on NATIONAL TELEVISION a year ago.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sciencenow/3204/02.html

And a transcript of what was disccused is on the following link - about half way down the page.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/transcripts/3204_sciencen.html


They say that if a major storm had a direct hit here, the effect would be devastating. They're talking perhaps as many as 50,000 dead, up to a million homeless and a city under water.


Edit - yeah, its PBS and no one watches PBS nowadays. But people whose JOB it is to think about this stuff and prepare for it, DID think about. But money was never provided to prepare for it.


Jesus, that's just unbelievable....

Creston


 
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32. Re: Gas Sep 1, 2005, 12:07 FourPak
 
what you see happening is the reason the National Guard should not be in Iraq.

looters and the inability of government to do much of anything points out how frail and phony the system really is.

with the majority of our military and financial resources bogged down in Iraq, and whatever's left being deployed to the gulf coast... now would be a great time for a terrorist strike, or for China to grab Taiwan.

 
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31. Re: Michael Sheard Sep 1, 2005, 12:02 Creston
 
That was actually directed at Zathrus, but hey see now it's already the two of you. Considering the typical turnout at American elections, you've probably got a majority already. Too bad that you probably can't vote, if you're still a Dutch citizen.

Yep, no votie for Creston


BTW, Creston I take it you don't happen to have any links handy describing that Dutch masterplan for a worst case scenario?

Sadly, no. The only reason I know about it is because one of my best friends worked for the Department of Traffic and Water (Ministerie van Verkeer en Waterstaat) who was in charge of that particular plan (since it was a plan in response to another 1953 occurence of a massive dike failure along the entire Northsea, coupled with a disruption of the Delta works etc.)

His job at the time was actually logistics and coming up with scenarios like that. Can't quite remember what it was called, it was a pretty snazzy name too.

The scenario basically described Holland being flooded all the way up to Gelderland & Limburg provincial borders(which I'm sure you can find on a map).

Is it likely to happen? No, not really. Even 1953, which as stated was an occurence of several ultra rare events didn't flood the country that badly, but a plan exists in case it DOES happen.

Once you have a plan like that, you can simply scale back in case of lesser occurences. It seems to me that in the case of Louisiana, too many assumptions were made on availability of roads etc (and doesn't it seem that if you're talking about a flood, ROADS are the first thing you need to take into account of NOT being there??) and it was never planned into a worst case scenario.

Then again, like I said, Holland had no plans in 1953 either. It seems the worst case scenario always has to happen before we actually ever plan for it.

Surprised some smart arse hasn't said it: So live in the middle duh

Well, that HAD occurred to us, and WAS on the plans (since Owasso is almost about halfway in between, and is growing like mad, quite a nice town to move into in a few years) until the entire US economy started teethering on the brink, but really, what difference does it make? So then instead of one of us driving 75 miles to work, we're both driving 37 miles to work.
Although, obviously, that would mean we'd both be working, and we could afford it, and it WOULD be cheaper if just my wife was working.

Creston

This comment was edited on Sep 1, 12:06.
 
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30. Re: Gas Sep 1, 2005, 11:50 Tango
 
Yeah, then >I< would have to drive 73 miles a day to work
Surprised some smart arse hasn't said it: So live in the middle duh

Hey, right now there's a lot of shit happening that's not helping, such as that fucking dredge that's SHOOTING at the helicopters that are trying to evacuate people
Yeah WTF is that about? What a prick.

I'd be surprised if all the prisoners sitting out on the road will still be there come dryout time - one or two must have slipped away.

The only good thing to come out of this is that (hopefully) things will tighten up. It's no longer about early warning, it's about cleaning up. And insurance rates going up

or when it happens again in the southern states. And it WILL happen.
Reminds me of the trailer to Armageddon. As long as this whole thing doesn't start a craze for hurricane disaster "movies" with Michael Bay directing.

___________________________________
http://www.overheardinnewyork.com (possibly NSFW)
 
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29. Re: Gas Sep 1, 2005, 11:36 Gandhi
 
Funny thing is this was predicted and aired on NATIONAL TELEVISION a year ago.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sciencenow/3204/02.html

And a transcript of what was disccused is on the following link - about half way down the page.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/transcripts/3204_sciencen.html

They say that if a major storm had a direct hit here, the effect would be devastating. They're talking perhaps as many as 50,000 dead, up to a million homeless and a city under water.



Edit - yeah, its PBS and no one watches PBS nowadays. But people whose JOB it is to think about this stuff and prepare for it, DID think about. But money was never provided to prepare for it.

Like the saying goes: When there is a fire, people start to dig for a well"

You cannot make anything fool-proof. The fools are too inventive
This comment was edited on Sep 1, 11:39.
 
Avatar 11944
 
You cannot make anything fool-proof. The fools are too inventive

GW: Tr Gandhi (Ra), Shiva Sung (Mo), Mangal Pandey (Ne), Rana Pratap Singh (Wa), Boddhi Satwa (Ri), Bhagat Singh (De), Bahadur Shastri (Pa)
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28. Re: Michael Sheard Sep 1, 2005, 11:34 Moonbender
 
That was actually directed at Zathrus, but hey see now it's already the two of you. Considering the typical turnout at American elections, you've probably got a majority already. Too bad that you probably can't vote, if you're still a Dutch citizen.

BTW, Creston I take it you don't happen to have any links handy describing that Dutch masterplan for a worst case scenario? Sounds exciting. Preferably either in German or English, understanding written Dutch is possible but a lot of work for me.

This comment was edited on Sep 1, 11:36.
 
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27. Re: Michael Sheard Sep 1, 2005, 11:30 Creston
 
should be easily done with mass transit. If it's not, your mass transit system sucks and you should change it

Right. Let me get started.

Creston


 
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26. Re: Gas Sep 1, 2005, 11:28 Capella
 
HAVE to start at the worst ever case scenario.

EXACTLY!

I realise it's easy to sit here and armchair quarterback, but aren't there people PAID to do this kind of thinking? What the fuck does FEMA do when there's not a hurricane somewhere? Just chill out and relax?

I am beginning to believe that these people only worry about what yacht they are going to ski behind today.

I sit and watch this and can not believe we are watching this happen in the United States. Mindboggling.


 
Avatar 7912
 
"Yeah everyone's gotta have the sickness
Cause everyone seems to need the cure"
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25. Re: Michael Sheard Sep 1, 2005, 11:23 Moonbender
 
Housing situation/commute: Maybe it just shows that I'm from a different place here, but 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths sounds quite large to me. That's not to say it's not all but necessary with a family of 5, but then families of five are already fairly rare, and increasingly so. Three person households are the norm, or maybe even the top end of the norm. (I'm not sure about the averages in the US; I am fairly educated about the situation over here because my father doesn't seem to be able to talk about anything else.)

Anyway, 10 to 20 miles in a somewhat urbanised area - I'm not talking LA here the Ruhrgebiet here - should be easily done with mass transit. If it's not, your mass transit system sucks and you should change it. Well working mass transit isn't just a cleaner alternative to driving yourself, it's more comfortable and even faster. Okay, by my own experience it's not working well enough to be comfortable during rush hour, mostly because it's too crowded, but that's just something that needs to be solved, mostly by throwing money at it.

 
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24. Michael Sheard Sep 1, 2005, 10:51 VampiricuS
 
his official site has more info if you want to check it out.
http://www.michaelsheard.com/

"Thank you my Very Dear Chums - See ya."
Michael Sheard (1940-2005)

"I fart in your general direction!"
 
"Error no keyboard. Press F1 to continue"
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23. Re: Gas Sep 1, 2005, 10:48 Creston
 
I take it you won't be pleased if I tell you to, well, move closer to work? Well, probably you'd have a long commute then, so I can see how it's not an ideal situation.

Yeah, then >I< would have to drive 73 miles a day to work. She works in a pretty small town.
There is ofcourse a solution, and that's having her get a different job, which it might come down to.

Creston

Creston, would you please do some damn research before stating things like this? Really.

Yes, there were contingency plans in place -- funny thing though, they don't work so well when there's virtually no way to get anything into the area. As of yesterday there was exactly one road in Mississippi that could get to the coast. And it's a state route, not an interstate. New Orleans had multiple systems fail, and the contingency plans simply aren't working -- they cannot get all the supplies needed (again, no way to get them there), some of the supplies were destroyed, and there was far more devastation than any contingency plan expected. Yes, they've had hurricanes before. None of this scale. Not even Betsy or Camille were this bad.


Sorry to say this bud, but then the contingency plan sucks. A contingency plan has to take crap like this into account. Holland's had a contingency plan for a scenario twice as bad as 1953 (when basically half the country flooded), with no infrastructure remaining.
Ofcourse, it's a plan that basically states "60% of the people is expected to die", so it's not the best of plans, but in my opinion, you HAVE to start at the worst ever case scenario.

So in the case of Louisiana : the whole State floods, we need to evactuate everyone, and there are no roads. What do we do. (locate hills prematurely etc to create shelter pockets and supply them through the air / by water, have local law enforcement maintain order on shelter pockets).

I realise it's easy to sit here and armchair quarterback, but aren't there people PAID to do this kind of thinking? What the fuck does FEMA do when there's not a hurricane somewhere? Just chill out and relax?

Hey, right now there's a lot of shit happening that's not helping, such as that fucking dredge that's SHOOTING at the helicopters that are trying to evacuate people, but it seems there is simply NO plan that ever took this into account. And I'm sorry, but that's just fucking stupid. Weather is ALWAYS going to get worse than what you've ever had before, and that's what you have to plan for.

Then again, ofcourse Holland didn't have any such plan when it happened the first time (since it was an occurence of ultra rare circumstances all happening together), so hopefully that plan will be created this time for when it happens again in the southern states. And it WILL happen.

This comment was edited on Sep 1, 10:56.
 
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22. Re: Gas Sep 1, 2005, 10:04 Zathrus
 
move closer to work

As you point out, that's not exactly a do-able situation. For instance, I live about 20 miles from where I work now (and, again, I do about half of that on mass transit, do able only because my office building is literally on top of the train station). My previous job was 4 miles from my house. My job before that was 10 miles. Before that 20 miles again. So am I supposed to move every couple years? My wife's former job was 10 miles away -- in a completely different direction. Her school is about 15 miles away in a similar direction, but still not the direction my job is in.

And if I was to move closer to my job I would have to sell my house and buy a new one that is smaller and costs 2x-3x as much. And we already need a bigger house. So that's not happening. Not to mention that the schools around here pretty much suck -- I guess I could move into the one area near my job that has good schools, but I can't exactly afford a $1M house -- even if I wasn't supporting my wife and kids.

Ideally, we'd make the cities more livable instead of the current urban sprawl

Not going to happen. There's no way you can have a decent sized house (I'm not talking McMansion here -- my current house is 3 (small) bedrooms, 2 (small) baths; I'd be happy with a 4/2.5) in a densely populated city without astronomical housing costs. And no, I won't rent again -- that's financial suicide. It would cost me more to rent than to own, and I wouldn't get equity or tax benefits.

 
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21. Re: Gas Sep 1, 2005, 09:50 Zathrus
 
these prices are now being forwarded to the consumer in almost every area

Yup. If the higher gas prices hold (gas was up nearly $1 in less than 24 hours here, and many gas stations are simply running out) then we'll see prices of pretty much everything raise to cover the increased transportation costs.

it's also not as if this is the first time Louisiana has ever been HIT by a hurricane. Apparently the words "contingency plan" have never occured to the powers that be?

Creston, would you please do some damn research before stating things like this? Really.

Yes, there were contingency plans in place -- funny thing though, they don't work so well when there's virtually no way to get anything into the area. As of yesterday there was exactly one road in Mississippi that could get to the coast. And it's a state route, not an interstate. New Orleans had multiple systems fail, and the contingency plans simply aren't working -- they cannot get all the supplies needed (again, no way to get them there), some of the supplies were destroyed, and there was far more devastation than any contingency plan expected. Yes, they've had hurricanes before. None of this scale. Not even Betsy or Camille were this bad.

That said, I do think the Army Corps of Engineers is doing a pretty shitty job. The military knew this thing was coming and could've had supplies readied and waiting over the weekend. Of course, it doesn't help that the ACE's budget has been cut repeatedly over the past few years (down ~11% this year), or that a rather large percentage of the National Guard has already been mobilized and isn't available for domestic duties.

I hope they declare Martial Law soon, so looters can be shot on sight.

Martial law was declared two days ago. I even posted about it here.

And shooting looters on sight is something that pretty much ended many decades ago.

Although I'm not entirely against it -- I'm sorry, but there is no excuse for looting. Out of food/water/etc? Go to a goddamn shelter you idiots. As bad as the situation is at the Superdome, it's still a helluva lot better than the situation outside of it.

 
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20. Re: Gas Sep 1, 2005, 09:43 WarPig
 
The first I consider understandable in a situation such as this. The latter deserves a fucking bullet in your head.

Agreed. It's almost as if today's Science! headline still holds true today...

Ancient and modern man lived side by side -study.

If that were actually true it might make it easier to comprehend how some "people" act.

-------------------------------------------------------
WarPig (the other white meat)
 
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GO SEAHAWKS!
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