kitchen table math, the sequel: Times reader photos

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Times reader photos

Fabulous reader photos of Irene

My favorites:
123 (of 236)
162 - “Bring it”
165 - lawn chairs in pool
177 - surfers
196 or 198 – **Hurricane Alert** Mayor Bloomberg states “everyone should have 7 new pairs of underwear"


Catherine Johnson said...

I think number 123 pretty much epitomizes my impression of the Tri-State area response to Irene.

Catherine Johnson said...

Here's my question: how do people in other states react when hurricanes are on the way?

Do you see this much surfing and tarrying in evacuation zones and general mocking of authority?

I was watching TV much of yesterday, and there seemed to be an ongoing argument between newscasters, who were all firmly on the side of the authorities (get the hell off the beach) and the citizenry, who weren't having any of it.

It wasn't just young people, either. I saw an interview with a family who had just dropped their son off at the University of Maryland for his freshman year, it seemed, and had then raced back to the city so they could refuse to evacuate their home. When the interviewer asked them about that decision the mom, who was a personal injury attorney, said politely that "you people," meaning you newscasters, "tend to blow things out of proportion" (or words to that effect.

When the interviewer got huffy and repeated the "better safe than sorry" line, she hastened to say, "Oh, yes, yes, of course you're right." But she and her husband and their teen daughter were staying nonetheless.

The interviewer ended the exchange with the observation that while she might be a personal injury attorney, she wasn't going to be able to sue anyone for injuries sustained during the hurricane since she had been 'warned.'

Catherine Johnson said...

How do people in Florida react when the authorities start ordering them to evacuate?

Of course, people in Florida have had a lot more experience being ordered to evacuate than people here, who have had none at all.

Anonymous said...

Also, the wind speeds in FL are, I'm betting, on average higher. By the time storms move up the coast and get up to NY and NE, they're downgraded versions of their southern selves. Doesn't water temperature have something to do with it too? So as the storm moves north, it slows?

Not all of course and some veer out and don't make landfall until farther up the coast...

All of which is to say you'd be dumber to ignore the same storm in FL than in Boston.

GoogleMaster said...

Here's my question: how do people in other states react when hurricanes are on the way?

I'm in Houston, 60 miles inland at about 55 feet above sea level. In the 25 years I've lived here, we've experienced 10 or 15 hurricanes or tropical storms worth mentioning, including a tropical storm that sat over our area for several days, left, and came back, dumping over three feet of rainfall in some areas. The most recent was in 2008 and was a direct hit as a cat 2 storm.

The rule of hurricanes is RUN FROM THE WATER, HIDE FROM THE WIND. This means that if you are outside the projected storm surge, you're generally supposed to "hunker down" i.e. stay put so that the people who live in the storm surge areas along the coastline can evacuate to higher ground so they don't drown.

For Rita, since people had only a month previously seen the devastation of New Orleans caused by the levee failures after Katrina, there was much panic and overreaction. People living in the suburbs 80 miles from the coast at 140 feet elevation were found to be loading up multiple vehicles per family with all of their worldly possessions, in order to save their stuff. Blog: Should Katy residents have taken only one car to evacuate?

Sorry, folks, that's not how it's supposed to work. That's why you have insurance. The purpose of evacuation is to save lives.

The highways outbound were clogged with cars. People reported spending 13 hours in their cars and not moving. Gas stations all along the highways ran out of fuel to sell.

Some areas have mandatory evacuations. My area is high enough to be under voluntary evacuation. For Ike in 2008 (and Rita in 2005), I stayed put in the central part of the city. We lost power for eight days after Ike, but we had a campstove and supplies. And a chainsaw, which came in handy. :D

But back to your question, yes, some people from Houston do head to Galveston with their surfboards when a big storm is in the Gulf.