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deadparrot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-17-06 06:18 PM
Original message
Guard unable to deal with 2 hurricanes
WASHINGTON - Strapped by war and equipment shortages, the National Guard will find it difficult to deal with two or more major hurricanes if they sweep ashore in different regions around the same time, Guard leaders say.

To counter equipment shortfalls caused largely by the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the Guard has borrowed more than $500 million worth of equipment from the active duty military to restock its units. Thousands of trucks, Humvees and other supplies have been shifted mostly from inland states' Guard units closer to where storms are more likely to strike.

Army and Air Guard officials also are spending at least $900 million on new communications equipment and hundreds of tractors and trucks.

But that may be too little, too late, for states warily watching the weather reports as the nation enters peak hurricane season.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060817/ap_on_go_ot/nationa...
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-17-06 06:44 PM
Response to Original message
1. Hell, they couldn't even handle one last year! nt
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OwnedByFerrets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-17-06 07:30 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. That was the first thing I thought also. nt
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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-17-06 06:48 PM
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2. What if we have a hurricane that bounces up the length of the East Coast?
We've all heard a lot about storm surge, but hurricanes tracking north can cause major flooding in multiple states even if they degenerate into a tropical depression. I was amazed to read earlier this year about a hurricane Hazel in 1954 which actually caused major flooding and 81 deaths in Toronto, Canada! People living in the mountains in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York tend to be living at the bottom of narrow valleys. When the water rises, it rises fast and there is no where to go. Kim Stanley Robinson's book Forty Signs of Rain describes a scenario in which a hurricane sits off the Maryland coast and D.C. floods as it is caught between torrential rain up stream and storm surge on the Chesapeake.
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Lisa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-17-06 07:11 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. people in Ontario sure remember Hazel!
There's a big clearing in the woods near my folks' place, which the locals call "Hazel's Wrath". The storm was weak by the time it hit us (you're right, it wasn't a hurricane anymore) -- but the rainfall it brought, considering that the ground was already saturated from an already-wet summer, flooded many areas. That's what kills the most people -- not the wind, but the water. Even a Category 1 or 2 can be fatal, if it's slow-moving and dumps a lot of rain. Especially if the area isn't used to big storms. (Nova Scotia was also caught by surprise a few years back.)

And the situation is worse now, given that so many areas are urbanized. (The paving tends to make flooding faster and higher, because the water has nowhere else to go.) Ontario tried to put in a provincial watershed management system after Hazel, but hasn't been able to curb urban sprawl.

Excellent points, hedgehog. I could imagine a hurricane working its way up the eastern seaboard -- or the Mississippi Valley, all the way to the border, dropping water as it went. (And of course in the latter case the floods would wash down to New Orleans, causing even more damage.)

I fear that there have been times when there have been two or more hurricanes at once, in the Atlantic basin -- in fact, in 1998, there were FOUR of them! That only happened a couple of times in the 20th century, and there were only about a half-dozen seasons with three simultaneous storms (but we have no guarantee that this will be as rare in the 21st).

A really bad fire outbreak in the West, or California -- or a severe earthquake -- would also tax civil defense resources.

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sofa king Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-17-06 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. We've definitely had half of that scenario.
This is a picture of Great Falls (Virginia Side), about ten miles upstream from Washington, DC. The water is actually a little bit high in that picture.

Now take a look at this picture of a modest flood at Great Falls. It's taken from maybe fifty to a hundred feet upstream of the first picture.

Now scroll down to the pictures on this page of the high water post at Great Falls. Both of the pictures I linked above were taken from six to nine feet below the 1942 high water mark! Also on that page, you can see a shot of the Jefferson Memorial getting swamped by the same flood.

With the combination of tides (which strangely enough, DC has), this town could be completely wrecked by anything worse.
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donsu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-18-06 10:24 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. thanks for the reality
nt
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Lisa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-18-06 03:37 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. wow! that shot of the Jefferson Memorial is creepy!
It's practically underwater.
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-18-06 04:03 PM
Response to Original message
8. Translation: YOYO
You're On Your Own.

People need to prepare themselves better than many did for Katrina.

We can fuss and fume about how the government isn't able to provide all the services we think it should, but the bottom line is you need to be able to take care of yourself until help can get to you.
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