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Hurricane Gustav Must Die.

Discussion in 'General' started by PJF, Aug 30, 2008.

  1. PJF

    PJF New Member Piano Society Artist

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    If the forecast holds true, and I really hope it doesn't, my location only 17 miles (27K) from the coast and well within the predicted 40 mile (64.5K) wide eye of Gustav, will see 110mph (177kph) sustained wind with gusts of 150!mph (240!kph) (gasp) for 6+ hours on Tuesday morning and hurricane conditions for 24 hours...not to mention 30 inches of rain! I've never evacuated for a storm but I might just do that.

    I'm in the little town of Saint Martinville, which could be in the dreaded "right front quadrant" of this massive storm, especially if the storm "threads the needle" and makes landfall in Vermilion Bay to my south. I say massive because the hurricane wind field could be 140 (225K) miles wide by the time of landfall. The Cat. 3 or 4 wind field could be 70 miles (112K) wide! Considering the slow movement predicted, about 8 mph, we could be in the wind for a loooong time.

    A 110mph (160kph) wind will do things like tear down strong trees, break all unprotected windward windows, tear off all your home's roof tiles and some of the understructure, completely blow away mobile homes, (kill you if you're stupid enough to be outside :lol: ) and embed debris in exterior walls. Since I live in a strong, short, brick house, with no big trees around to fall on me, that wind would be tolerable. (In 2002, during Hurricane Lili, I experienced 115mph (168kph) wind in gusts...loud as a jet engine...I said to myself "I know Cat 3 wind, I don't want to ever feel more than that."

    On the other hand, a 150mph (240kph) wind (even in brief gusts) will do things like blow train engines off the tracks, toss light automobiles through the air :shock: , and cause some exterior walls of strong-frame houses to fail (and kill you if even if you're inside). That wind is not something I want to be around for!

    Anyway, a bit of blogging on my part; I'm going wrap my piano in foam rubber and five layers of plastic sheeting. :?

    PS: If there's storm video of any substance to be posted, (hopefully, there won't be any!) I'll share that with y'all.

    Anybody else been through a hurricane?
     
  2. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    My prayers are with you, Pete :( :( (and your piano :( )
     
  3. PJF

    PJF New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks for that, it means a lot. Even in the worst case scenario, I'm safe...I think.

    I'm not so worried about my personal safety but I am worried about my property! We're 24 feet above sea level (New Orleans is 12 feet BELOW sea level) so I don't anticipate a major storm surge or flooding in the event of a levee failure. A 25 foot storm surge is within the realm of possibility but highly unlikely, so I feel confident I won't drown. (Our neighbors lost two family members during Katrina, so they understandably have headed to Tennessee.)

    I'll probably lose most of my roofing tiles and have damage to my car and tool shed but my piano will be WELL protected. I seal it in plastic so well, it could stay dry outside in the storm! As I'm trying to sell it, no less! Perfect timing, no?!

    My main worry is the large (9' by 14'), southeast facing living room window. It's boarded up but there's a seam because I couldn't find a sheet of plywood that big. If that window blows in, it'll be a God-awful mess. I don't want to think of 100 mph wind pouring in to my living room. :x

    Luckily, my piano and I have got a safe room to ride it out. (I've got plenty of ice, too!)

    I blog when I'm nervous...
    Pete
     
  4. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Go ahead, blog away. Do you still have electricity? When I'm nervous or down in the dumps, I blast rock music. Nothing like some really loud Southern rock music to make you feel better. Try some old Molly Hatchet "Flirtin' with Disaster" (kind of appropriate, huh? - I was just listening to that on the way to my piano lesson today). That guitar section in the middle (the part with the whistle) will get you feeling invincible again and hopefully help you ride out the storm with ease. Lynard Skynard will do it too.

    Keep us posted.
     
  5. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    It's nice to be an hour inland now. :D I have always gotten excited about hurricanes, ever since I was a kid, but after having experienced Katrina and the aftermath, I'm pretty well sated in that area...
     
  6. PJF

    PJF New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Terez, I used to excited about hurricanes, too but Katrina and Rita made me see the light.

    And Monica, yes I have power, the leading edge of the tropical storm force winds are 65 hours away, so we have no effects yet.

    However, the computer models have been in excellent agreement for the last three days that the storm will be like Ivan, Rita or Katrina; a huge Cat 3, 4 or (God forbid) a Category 5 storm with a very wide eye. A storm with a 30 to 60 mile eye, (a "cyclops eye" or "donut eye") can be especially devastating because of its sheer inertia...the wider the eye, the greater the inland wind potential. Also the computer models have been insistent in this storm "threading the needle" and coming right up Vermilion Bay (In the bottom image, the bay is to the upper left, New Orleans is to the right.)

    I live on the northern end of that little brown square in the upper left of the image. Seventeen miles from the water, I'm not overly concerned about flooding, but if the storm comes in at a NW path, it could thread that needle and make landfall in Vermilion Bay near Abbeville, 20 miles from Saint Martinville, the SE wind rushing in unmitigated. A southeast wind is the strongest a hurricane has to offer. If Gustav would make landfall to my east, the wind would be a much tamed northwest land breeze.

    Below you will find an example of a "cyclops eyed" hurricane...2003's Hurricane Isabel. Usually these super-wide eyes are unstable and tend to be short lived, although if the conditions are right some can persist for days.
     
  7. PJF

    PJF New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Here's a VERY cool satellite loop of the monster eye of Isabel. It's truly astonishing!

    Isabel in action!

    OK, I'm going to sleep now. :lol:
     
  8. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    Yeah, if it makes landfall like they're predicting, I'll be in the bastard quadrant. Again...though not so close to the eye this time, that doesn't make me feel much better - Mobile got some serious damage in Katrina, and they're an hour to my east.
     
  9. PJF

    PJF New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Yeah, the bastard quadrant! :lol: I never thought of it that way.
    I would not want to be in a mobile home within 150 miles of the eye, so if you're in one, good luck!


    Unfortunately, I'm at ground zero. If the forecast is to believed, Tues. morn, I'll be in the calm of the eye. Landfall is predicted 17-30 miles to my southwest, not a good place to be...

    Gustav strengthening rapidly as I type...winds to 120mph with an eye diameter of 30 nautical miles. :x

    The official forecast track still has it coming straight into Vermilion Bay, a nightmare scenario for me. There's no worse possible track, I don't think. :lol:

    The only good thing is there's now more than an outside chance Gustav will encounter some dry air on its way inland, a la Hurricane Lili. (Crosses fingers)
     
  10. PJF

    PJF New Member Piano Society Artist

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    The east breeze has started.

    I can tell the whole mood of my town has changed. At gas stations there were car lines 500 feet long (one of the lines reached all the way from one gas station to the next), three car accidents (today) in a city of only 8,000 and I was treated rudely twice in two hours by complete strangers in Wal-Mart (I was being overly calm as I shopped amidst the pandemonium and this lady--er--I mean this female said, in a bitter tone "GET OUT OF MY G__D___ WAY!!!") I'm sorry but I was just selecting which LED flashlight to buy. There were lots of crying babies, whining children and sour-faced couples, too. This collective reduction in composure worries me for some reason.

    OK, I'm sufficiently scared...

    This storm is as bad as it gets. And unlike Lili, Katrina or Rita, there is little atmospheric disruption of the storm expected up to the time of landfall; that means a category 4 or 5. On Monday night, CDT, Hurricane Gustav is expected to come onshore 30 miles to my south-southeast with sustained winds of 150mph (240kph) and gusts to 180mph (290kph).

    My particular location can now expect 120mph (I'm tired of doing metric conversion) sustained wind with gusts of 140mph! This is enough wind to blow in all the exterior doors and windows (boarded up or not.) My piano may get wet after all...but right now I don't give a damn about that (it is insured).

    I'm staying to ride out the storm in an interior room which is reinforced with heavy beams and multiple-layered plywood construction (my quasi-soundproof practice room). If I feel my life is in danger (if the storm is coming in as a 175mph, cyclops-eyed monster (no pun intended!)) I can retreat to a fallout shelter a hundred feet up the road from me; fortunately it's a steel reinforced concrete building, unfortunately...it's the city jail.

    So at this point in time, I'm looking at relatively severe structural damage to my house and its contents - with complete roof failure a real possibility - or at the least, having no electricity for 10 days or longer.

    Oh yeah, Tropical Storm Hannah is headed our way for next week. YAY!
     
  11. Nicole

    Nicole New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Pete, I don't know you, and even though just next door in Canada, I don't know much about this storm, but I think you should consider getting into your car and starting to drive as far away as possible before this thing hits.
     
  12. PJF

    PJF New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Believe me, I'm considering it!

    There's a few positive things I know that influenced my decision to stay:

    1. I'll not be affected by storm surge or severe flooding as I'm on the top of a very gently sloping hill, 24 feet above sea level, 17 miles inland. Even if it's a 200mph storm, the surge can't reach me. Also, it has never, in the 200+ year history of the city flooded in my location (the local terrain sort of discounts that). So unless we have ten feet of rain or God starts hurling tsunamis at me, I'm safe. If I were to conceive the inconceivable amount of ten feet of rain, I can go to the city jail which is a five story building within earshot of me. But I'm 99.999% convinced that flooding at my house or my shelter of last resort is impossible. Mudslides do not happen here, either.

    2. My house is unusually strong. There's concrete in the exterior walls and thick plywood in all the interior walls so I'm positive they won't fail in anything less than 160mph; also the roof can't collapse inward the way the house is constructed; it can however be severely damaged and the windows can certainly blow in, so I might get rained on; I'm prepared to be very uncomfortable. (Remember, I'm a marathon runner so I enjoy being uncomfortable! :lol:) The structure will stand.

    3. If it looks like the worst is coming to my town, I can retreat into my shelter of last resort, the city jail (which can stand up to 240mph wind) during the storm; after, if my home is ultimately unlivable, I can go to my sister's house 100 miles northeast of me while I rebuild. We all remember The Superdome in New Orleans as a "shelter of last resort" from Katrina. My shelter will be nothing of the sort. At most, 50 will take refuge there and there won't be any persistence of standing water around the thing. I may be stuck here for a few days as debris is cleared from the main roads and I'm prepared for that. My pantry is full to bursting with canned food and bottled water.

    Given all that and the fact that I couldn't find hotel reservations within 700 miles...I'm stayin'.

    But I'm far from complacent.
     
  13. Nicole

    Nicole New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Ok well, please keep us posted for as long as you are online in the next day, as well as after the storm. We get summer tornados here on the flat prairies, but hiding in the basement once a week seems like nothing compared to what you are up against. I will be thinking of you and reading your posts. Good luck and stay strong!!!
     
  14. PJF

    PJF New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks, Nicole, if the worst plays out, I'll be extraordinarily inconvenienced to say the least.

    Now, a bit of good news...or bad news if you live in southeast LA.

    The 10pm CDT forecast track takes the eye making landfall near Houma, LA (bad news for New Orleans!)

    Because of this minor shift in track (along a line about 20 miles farther north) and the shape of the coastline, the hurricane could be over land nearly 150 miles before it reaches me. This would translate into a 60mph reduction in potential wind. From 150mph to 90. From complete roof failure to missing roof tiles.

    Having said that, if the actual track of the storm is south of the forecast line by just 20 or 30 miles (a bunny-hop for a hurricane) again, because of the shape of the coastline, the storm would be over water until slamming into the coast 20 miles to my south.

    I'm cautiously optimistic.
     
  15. PJF

    PJF New Member Piano Society Artist

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    My house is at the left tip of the white line.

    If Gustav takes the south track, it stays over water far longer than if it takes a slightly more north track.

    Computer models are in disagreement about which one it could take.
     
  16. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    They're putting it more headed toward Baton Rouge than Lafayette now. Which means closer to me. :lol: And yes, worse for NO...
     
  17. PJF

    PJF New Member Piano Society Artist

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    From the National Hurricane Center...

    Cuba has had more of a weakening effect on Gustav than anticipated...rapid restrengthening is not likely at this time. Likely to make landfall as a string cat 3 with 125mph wind. However, Gustav is a large storm and is expanding in area so it is important not to focus on the exact center.

    This is good news for everyone.

    A cat 3 storm (111-130mph) is damaging, a cat 5 (155mph+) is obliterating.

    HOWEVER...as I showed before with the red and white lines, if the storm takes a westerly jog - which about HALF the computer models say it will - the Lafayette area is still under the gun, so to speak.
     
  18. PJF

    PJF New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Now some bad news (at least for the inland wind impacts, good news in terms of rain totals.)

    Gustav is accelerating to the NW @17mph with a decided jump to the WNW becoming likely. This faster forward speed and track means the Cat3 wind will penetrate inland very far, impinging to my location.

    About the track...Gustav is taking a more westerly path than we thought last night. This means a more direct impact for me. The official forecast puts me in the dead center of the eye of a 110mph storm. So I may lose all my roof tiles and then some (I'm cautiously optimistic my windows will remain mostly intact). I can say with a high degree of certainty now, my house will stay in one piece, but will indeed be heavily damaged. I'll try to post video of during and after.

    Conditions at my house (of course, it's not all about me :wink: ) will start deteriorating in 24 hours, with 75mph wind arriving around 3pm Monday, my time (CDT); cat 2/3 (96-115mph) sustained wind will arrive sometime in the early evening and night, with higher gusts. I'm expecting a peak gust of around 135mph. That's like a moderate tornado, so bye-bye picture windows.

    A curfew is in effect in 12 hours for my town; anyone outside after that will be arrested. Zero tolerance. Ouch.

    What really worries me is the lack of complete evacuation of New Orleans, if the storm passes a few miles farther east, N.O. could experience WORSE conditions than Katrina. If that happens (and there's a solid 1 in 4 chance) New Orleans will be devastated once again...This storm is as large as Katrina and the track is more threatening to as far as storm surge goes for the city. New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin is "relaxed." I don't like him. The last thing he should be is relaxed. :?

    This is so ironic...I'm watching TV right now, listening to my local meteorologist giving me detailed info about local curfews, wind warnings and other pertinent info...ABC News interrupted her for a speech from weather expert President Bush. Then, to top that off, the emergency broadcast system interrupted him to say I was under a Hurricane warning.

    I'll give updates as the storm comes in but electricity is likely go off for 7-14 days, so I may be unable to communicate for a while after the storm force winds reach me. I have a power supply on my computer, so I can tell y'all exactly when I lose power.

    Pete
     
  19. PJF

    PJF New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Gustav weakens slightly to 115mph, but is forecast to regain strength to a Cat 4 with 140mph wind.

    This slight weakening is due an eyewall replacement cycle and is not indicative of a trend. In fact, eyewall replacement cycles are very often followed by intensification.

    The eyewall replacement cycle has caused the system to jog to the left about 15 miles.

    At my house, the barometer has started to fall and there's a decided easterly breeze. Strangely, the birds are silent. No singing this morning and no feeding today. They know...
     
  20. bclever

    bclever New Member

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    Pete, I used to work in Miami installing windows and doors when Andrew came through. If
    Gustav reaches Cat 4 I am sorry to report that your optimism regarding your windows staying
    intact is not well-founded. I appreciate your reports about the storm, sometimes these things
    remain far too impersonal but with you right there I am feeling stress myself!

    Good luck with everything.
     

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