Miscellaneous Hurricane Thoughts

First, as of 2pm EDT, the hurricane's center is in the northeast corner of South Carolina. Conditions have deteriorated at Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach. The hurricane is still quite impressive on satellite with winds up to 75 mph.

More than 40" of rain have already fallen along the southern North Carolina coast! Torrential rains are going to occur inland that will cause major to, in places, catastrophic flooding. River crest records are already forecast to be broken along rivers in southeast North Carolina.
The map above is a forecast of additional rainfall, that is on top of the rain that has already fallen.

Please allow me to comment on many of the Tweets that have come my way today.

The first is about people who do not evacuate. I am @usweatherexpert.

The news media is reporting "hundreds" of people are on roofs awaiting rescue in New Bern, NC. Jeff Piotrowski, moments ago, posted dozens of ambulances headed in that direction.
Of course, New Bern was in a mandatory evacuation area and we forecast a 9-12" (!) storm surge. Since I believe it is immoral to ask others to rescue people who ignore a mandatory evacuation, what do we do to fix this problem of having to rescue those who do not evacuate?

My suggestion? If people in low income areas need help, by all means send however many buses may be needed to get them to the shelter. Otherwise, people who must be rescued in a mandatory evacuation should be:
  • Fined $500/household if rescued by boat.
  • Fined $1,000/household if rescued by helicopter.
Those fines should not be dischargeable in a bankruptcy. 

Here is a sample of those that disagreed:
My first response is what evacuation expenses? When they arrive at a shelter they are provided food, water, healthcare and a place to sleep. But more important, we want people to survive! Both those in harms' way and first responders. Evacuation orders are not issued lightly. They are issued for danger zones.
Evacuations early this morning in North Carolina
My opinion is that no penalty for those who must be rescued in a mandatory evacuation zone subsidizes bad behavior. 

The next topic is, "The meteorologists screwed up. This hurricane is not as bad as forecast."

My response? We heard that exact same comment about Hurricane Andrew (from Dan Rather and others) and about Katrina (ABC News' Nightline and others). Give it time! The storm is not over yet. 
I believe there will be terrible flooding (as forecast) and there are hundreds awaiting rescue. It takes time to get to the hardest-hit locations. Let's wait until the storm is over to criticize 

More later.....


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