Michael Oberndorf
Isaac ain't Katrina
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By Michael Oberndorf
August 28, 2012

For days in advance, the models showed Isaac heading tight up the west coast of Florida. Not. As soon as the Republicans cancelled the first day of their convention in Tampa, the models all showed Isaac tracking much further west into the Gulf of Mexico. No surprise to those of us who had been tracking the storm from its inception. The track up the coast made no sense. What is surprising, is that this resource, the National Hurricane Center, seems to have been compromised for political purposes, at the expense of the public's ability to prepare for an imminent emergency.

Now that reality has been restored, it is crystal clear that Isaac is headed for New Orleans. What is not clear is just how strong it will be when it makes landfall, sometime late Tuesday or early Wednesday. In any case, Isaac is not Katrina, and Governor Bobby Jindal is not Kathleen Blanco, and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu sure ain't Ray Nagin.

So far, at noon on Monday, Isaac is still a tropical storm and 36 to 48 hours from landfall. By this time, Katrina was a Category 4 and because of its high winds, moved much faster and made landfall by 6 am on Monday. Even if it does gain intensity over the next couple of days, water temps in the Gulf are several degrees lower than they were for Katrina, and it's unlikely Isaac will exceed Category 1, and may not even reach that.

The tracking models suggest that the storm is slowly moving west, but with a slow moving storm like this, who knows. What does seem very likely is that the greatest threat from Isaac is going to be from rain. Its slow pace means that it will dump, and dump, and dump, and dump. I have heard estimates of from six inches to as much as 20. With the drainage problems endemic to New Orleans and vicinity, flooding of all sorts appears to be inevitable. However, this time, the levees will not breach because the Democrats who run New Orleans spent the repair money on pet projects. This time they are actually preemptively shoring up known problem spots. In addition, Parish governments have spent the weekend setting up shelters and encouraging people who can to voluntarily evacuate.

For now, the temperature is mild, the sun is shining, the waits at the gas stations are short, and not all the stores have run out of things like water and other staples. In fact, no one seems to be half as worried by Isaac as the "mainstream" media seem to want them to be. However, the radar shows that the rain is coming, probably starting late this afternoon, or early this evening. We'll keep an eye on it, and let you know how it spins out.

© Michael Oberndorf

 

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Michael Oberndorf

The son of a German immigrant, Michael Oberndorf is an archaeologist by profession, with a BA from Metropolitan State College of Denver, and an MA from Leicester University, in England. He's also the Chairman of the Freedom21 Legislative Committee. Over the years, he has lived and worked all over the country, and traveled in Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, Europe, Australia, and Japan. He sincerely believes in the old saying, "America, love it or leave it." Michael can be reached at: moberndorf@yahoo.com

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