September 12th, 2008

Space Cadet

Left Behind

SEVERE INUNDATION IS LIKELY NEAR THE IMMEDIATE COAST AND BAYSHORE
AREAS!

NEIGHBORHOODS THAT ARE AFFECTED BY THE STORM SURGE...AND POSSIBLY
ENTIRE COASTAL COMMUNITIES...WILL BE INUNDATED DURING THE PERIOD
OF PEAK STORM TIDE. MANY RESIDENCES OF AVERAGE CONSTRUCTION
DIRECTLY ON THE COAST WILL BE DESTROYED. WIDESPREAD AND
DEVASTATING PERSONAL PROPERTY DAMAGE IS LIKELY ELSEWHERE. VEHICLES
LEFT BEHIND WILL LIKELY BE SWEPT AWAY. NUMEROUS ROADS WILL BE
SWAMPED...SOME MAY BE WASHED AWAY BY THE WATER. ENTIRE FLOOD PRONE
COASTAL COMMUNITIES WILL BE CUTOFF. WATER LEVELS MAY EXCEED 9 FEET
FOR MORE THAN A MILE INLAND. COASTAL RESIDENTS IN MULTI-STORY
FACILITIES RISK BEING CUTOFF. CONDITIONS WILL BE WORSENED BY
BATTERING WAVES CLOSER TO THE COAST. SUCH WAVES WILL EXACERBATE
PROPERTY DAMAGE...WITH MASSIVE DESTRUCTION OF HOMES...INCLUDING
THOSE OF BLOCK CONSTRUCTION. DAMAGE FROM BEACH EROSION COULD TAKE
YEARS TO REPAIR.

In spite of that warning from NOAA, authorities have chosen not to evacuate about 1000 inmates in the Galveston County Jail on Galveston Island. This is worth calling your newscaster and politician of choice and registering a complaint. These people have no voice and they are not all evil. They are in our care and this is no way to treat them.

From http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/chronicle/5997765.html

"GALVESTON — About 1,000 prisoners and a full jail staff remained in the Galveston County Jail on Galveston Island this morning, even as the island began to be battered by the onslaught of Hurricane Ike.

The reason for not evacuating the prisoners is a security issue and cannot be discussed, sheriff's spokesman Maj. Ray Tuttoilmondo said.

"The prisoners and their safety and well-being are paramount and it will be handled," Tuttoilmondo said."

During Hurricane Rita, inmates were left behind in at the United States Penitentiary in Beaumont and it was handled quite badly. I hope the authorities do better this time. Here's what happened in Beaumont:

"The plumbing was shot. A garbage bag held the only drinking water available. Guards had handed out the plastic bags before the storm, telling inmates to fill them with tap water in case the hurricane knocked out the sewer and water systems."
<snip>
As temperatures hovered around 100 degrees, Deetz and his cellmate were locked up for weeks without any ventilation or escape from the rising tide of urine and feces accumulating in their cell. For two days, they did not receive food, and when supplies finally began to trickle in, there was nothing but peanut butter sandwiches on moldy bread and stale potato chips. Deetz claims he did not get a hot meal for about a month. The small bottles of water handed out were simply not enough to combat the intense dehydration Deetz suffered as he sweat uncontrollably. The paint on the walls began to peel off, and prisoners begging for help and screaming out for someone to open their food slots so they could get some air had trouble breathing due to the humidity.
Hurricane

'Tis Truly An Ill Wind That Blows Nobody Some Good

The tree guy I lined up to trim some trees out at the land finally got his truck out of hock and met me out at the land. He did a fine job for a good price. It was all stuff that needed to be done and the roof will be better without those branches tapping it and that tree bending the eves when the wind blows.

Traffic in Austin is heavier than normal. It's more like a busy weekend close to Christmas. The emergency shelter near the land is apparently full, because the sign that used to direct people there now said to go north on I-35 to the Parmer exit.

There's a new motel near the land. It's been open about six months. On a normal night there are maybe 5 cars in the parking lot. Tonight it looked pretty full. And pretty much all the restaurants and bars were considerably busier than they usually are at 8:30 on a Friday night.

Looking at all this as I was driving home, it dawned on me that evacuations are a pretty nice shot in the arm for the Austin economy.
  • Current Mood
    pensive pensive