Sunday, August 28, 2005

We might be screwed

This is damn near the worst case scenario: the strongest storm ever recorded in the Gulf of Mexico headed right at the U.S.'s lowest-lying city. After that, Katrina is currently forecast to cross into southern Tennessee with winds still up to 55 m.p.h. and possibly higher gusts. Nothing compared to the coastal onslaught, but the trees here are MUCH more easily blown down, as they don't see high winds anywhere near as often. So this could do tree and power line damage comparable to a very bad winter storm. Inland wind forecasting for hurricanes is iffy at best, and they tend to err on the side of severity. BUT, I still remember vividly the swath of flattened inland forests that Hugo left, spanning hundreds of miles and two States. Plus the complete collapse of the power grid Statewide, requiring a black restart and most of a week to get ANYONE back in the lights.

If the storm actually follows the forecast track (which has happened once or twice in history) it puts us right in the thick of the winds and rain. A deviation to the west leaves us with the rain but not as much wind; which would be better for us but worse for someone else. A deviation to the east leaves us out of both the wind and the rain. With the drought we've been having, I think I'd prefer both rather than neither.


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