Sunday, August 28, 2005


PSA: Katrina Approaches

I've been, once, to New Orleans. I've been in Jackson Square and the French Quarter. It's lovely and fragile, and at this moment, poised to bear the brunt of a hurricane that has already caused tremendous havoc in Florida. Over at DailyKos, there's a thread for folk in the area who can offer to put up NO residents. Another thing you can do: Donate blood. You can do it through the Red Cross or America's Blood, a network of independent non-profit blood banks. Or even through your local hospital. (Even if the blood doesn't reach New Orleans, you're still doing a good deed.) My thoughts and prayers to those hundreds of thousands trapped there without cars or any other way to leave, save on foot.

Breathe a sigh of relief.

It was feared to be a category 5 : "Winds greater than 155 mph (135 kt or 249 km/hr). Storm surge generally greater than 18 ft above normal." Only three such storms have hit the American mainland since record keeping began.

It seems to have come ashore as a category 4: "Winds 131-155 mph (114-135 kt or 210-249 km/hr). Storm surge generally 13-18 ft above normal."

but rapidily falling to a category 3 within a few hours of making landfall: "Winds 111-130 mph (96-113 kt or 178-209 km/hr). Storm surge generally 9-12 ft above normal."

With all the BS about homeland security, the USG has made no attempt to secure the chemical industry. Adam Nossiter of the AP says

"For years, forecasters have warned of the nightmare scenario a big storm could bring to New Orleans, a bowl of a city that is up to 10 feet below sea level in spots and relies on a network of levees, canals and pumps to keep dry from the Mississippi River on one side, Lake Pontchartrain on the other.

The fear was that flooding could overrun the levees and turn New Orleans into a toxic lake filled with chemicals and petroleum from refineries, as well as waste from ruined septic systems."

And Brad Foss of the AP says:

"Refineries capable of processing some 1.6 million barrels a day have shut down. According to Dow Jones, they include:

Chevron's 325,000 barrel a day refinery in Pascagoula, Miss.

ConocoPhillips' 255,000 barrel a day Alliance refinery, south of New Orleans.

Valero Energy Corp.'s 260,000 barrel a day refinery in St. Charles.

Murphy Oil Corp.'s 120,000 barrel a day refinery in Meraux, La.

Exxon Mobil Corp.'s 183,000 barrel a day refinery in Chalmette, La.

Motiva Enterprises' 225,000-barrel a day Norco refinery, and its 235,000-barrel-a-day Convent refinery.

Marathon's 245,000 barrel a day Garyville, La. refinery."
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