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From the obvious department: "Katrina-size hurricane would devastate South Florida"

Unfortunately, some people clearly do not read StormTrack. One news site is running a story about how a Katrina-sized hurricane would devastate South Florida. Since when is this news? This is like saying "ice is cold," "hurricanes destroy things," or more aptly, that a hurricane would flood New Orleans. Yes, these are all things we have always known. Will the fear mongering never end?

From Knight Ridder newspapers:

MIAMI - Seven feet of sea water swamps 45 miles of coastline from Miami Beach through Fort Lauderdale to Deerfield Beach. Salt water surges through countless houses near the coast. Waist-deep fresh water blankets vast regions of suburbia.

Ferocious winds crush tens of thousands of roofs and gut numerous office buildings. Residents who defy orders to evacuate skyscrapers along the coast and in downtown Miami could be blown out of their apartments. Power outages persist for months.

According to simulations conducted for The Miami Herald by scientists at the National Hurricane Center and to interviews with a wide range of experts, those are realistic sketches of what could occur when South Florida is blasted by a hurricane as strong as last year's Katrina was when it devastated the Gulf Coast and New Orleans, or Wilma when it wrecked portions of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.

No part of the above quotation should be news to anyone who has been following tropical storm coverage with even a modicum of interest. The article continues:

This article and the graphics and other material that accompany it in print and online aren't intended to frighten readers. They're intended to provide a clear-eyed assessment of how the heightened hurricane activity that's expected in coming decades could affect a densely developed area that's a magnet for people from northern states and South America and for vacationers all over the world.

[...]

It can't get much worse than that, right?

Wrong.

"You can get a whole lot worse that that," said Jay Apt, the executive director of the Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center, a power-industry research group based at the university of the same name in Pittsburgh. "Ninety-eight percent recovered in three weeks beats 98 percent recovered in that many months. That's what you could be looking at - months without electricity."

Or even better:

A particularly macabre fate could await anyone foolish enough to defy orders to evacuate the new residential towers that line many South Florida beaches and downtown streets.

Some reporters know no shame. Using my favorite tag-line from this site, "In case you forgot, you're still afraid." Really, I don't make these things up. Oh, let's fear monger some more:

"But what we really have to be worried about is the Category 4 or 5 storm that exceeds Katrina," Saffir said.

Which brings us to another Wilma, even more powerful than Katrina. What would residents see after such a storm?

"Block after block after block of stripped buildings," Saffir said. "There would be utter devastation

Can you imagine such a thing?!?! A category 4 or 5 hitting Southern Florida?! Oh, right: Andrew. Everyone who lives along the eastern seaboard knows that they are in a hurricane kill zone. Everyone knows the risks that they assume to their property. Everyone knows the risks that they take by not evacuating. Nobody in New Orleans could claim that they hadn't been warned for 50+ years. Are journalists so unoriginal that they have to resort to these reports? No wonder traditional media is on the decline.


Posted by Bryan Woods | Permalink