punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

Not just New Orleans

It will take a miracle to save New Orleans. I have been praying for a miracle for the last 2 days. Last year, the hurricane took a sharp turn before it hit New Orleans. I attributed that to a bunch of reasons, one of which was mainly spiritual (that squeaking noise is my friend byronczimmer rolling his eyes in his sockets REAL hard... just kidding, bz). But how do a bunch of pagans push away a hurricane that size? Apparently, they don't. Well, in the last few years, they were pretty good with Hurricane Bonnie, Claudette, Erica, Ivan, Matthew, and Grace, at any rate. But most of those were tropical depressions, or lost a lot of strength before they hit the Bayou.

But whether you believe in pagan weather interaction or not, the fact remains this will be probably a huge disaster. Some highlights:

- New Orleans is 10-20 feet below sea level, right next to the gulf, and the water was being held at bay by a levee that was built to withstand a Category 3 hurricane, or storm surges up to 14 feet high. The wall of water that will hit them will be 28-30 feet high.
- Out of the 22 pumps that keep NO dry, 9 are broken. All will fail when power fails.
- When NO floods, almost all of downtown will be lost. Not flooded and repaired: lost. All buildings will be destroyed like they were hit by a tidal wave, either by the rapidly rising water, or the soggy ground giving way beneath them.
- When the area floods, all the snakes also find higher ground. Lots of snakes. Many of them poisonous water moccasins, who have no wish to be friends, especially when the locals freak out, beating them with sticks. I am not sure what the alligators and crocs will do, I don't think there's enough of them to attribute more than a few deaths, and also, when there's no food... I mean, this is the Bayou. They will suddenly become a prime meat source until the supply lines are restored.
- The water left behind during prime mosquito breeding season will cause a swarm of mosquitos the likes of which history has never seen since the building of the Panama canal. The lack of adequate medical care will ensure a lot of sick people.

Why should you care about NO?
- People dying in mass quantities is always a bad thing.
- If you think people suck, then imagine the cost to the economy to get NO up and running again. Our economy will take a sharp dip. Long term, this means insurance rates will increase. Look how long it took to recover from Hurricane Andrew that hit Florida in 92.
- It and the surrounding areas are responsible for 18-25% of our fuel supply (via delivery). There are 23 offshore platforms out there, most of them floating. Gas will probably rise to $4/gal by Friday, up to $5 in two weeks. Not just your gas, but gas to public transit, shipping companies, airlines, heating, etc... also expect gas theft (siphoning) to take a sharp rise in urban areas. This isn't about OPEC this time, the cartel can't get us oil they can't deliver.
- High gas prices will mean all things delivered to you will also go up in cost. Food, packages, delivery rates, toys, whatever.
- On top of that, they were a major shipping port. So many goods will have to take alternate routes. This will be a short term boon for dock workers in other local Eastern ports like Houston, Miami, Norfolk, Baltimore, and New York, but it will take time to adjust schedules and re-route. Expect to run out of various things off an on for months until they get it all sorted out.

And that's just NO. The Hurricane will continue up through the midwest, affecting fall crops on a devastating scale.

Hang tight, folks. This is going to be a hellish ride.
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