Posts Tagged ‘flooding’

Flooding Rains, Thunderstorms, & Snow All In One Day!

UPDATED POST:  THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 3:33 p.m.

That last round of thunderstorms has now pushed us up to 1.28″ of rain since midnight at Quad City International Airport in Moline, Illinois.

Our monthly precipitation total now stands at 2.82″.  That means this is now the 10th wettest February on record in the Quad Cities, in addition to the snowiest February on record and one of the coldest Februarys on record!

UPDATED POST:  THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 5:19 a.m.

Our first thunderstorms of 2014 moved through the area early Thursday morning.

Morning Radar

More showers and thunderstorms will move through the area through early Thursday afternoon.  Some of the storms to the east of us this afternoon may contain hail.

We could see another one-half to one inch of rain, especially from the Quad Cities south and east.

It’s a much different story across Iowa today.  Heavy snow, up to 10″-12″ in some locations, is on the way.  Here are the latest advisories.

Iowa Advisories

The red you see in Iowa is a “Blizzard Warning”.  The purple is a “Winter Weather Advisory” and the fuchsia is a “Winter Storm Warning”.

Illinois Iowa Advisories

Closer to the Quad Cities, the problem today will be potential flooding and wind.  The tan-colored area is a “Wind Advisory” and the maize color is a “High Wind Warning”.

Winds late this afternoon and tonight will blow out of the west at 20-50 miles-per-hour.

We’ll also see light snow that will become blowing snow and reducing visibilities.  Most locations will see little, if any, accumulation around the Quad Cities.  Up around Dubuque, Iowa, we may pick up 1-2″.

Be safe out there this afternoon and tonight.

Anthony

ORIGINAL POST:  WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 4:17 p.m.

The next 24 hours will feature a little bit of everything, so it should satisfy all:  sunshine and 40°+ today, heavy rain and thunderstorms tonight, and snow, howling winds, falling temperatures, and blizzard-like conditions Thursday afternoon and evening!

Iowa and Illinois, brace yourself!  You know what they say:  “If you don’t like the weather in the Midwest, wait 15 minutes and it’ll change!”

First off, take a look at the advisories for Illinois and Iowa and then I’ll try to sort it out.  And, thank you to the Quad Cities and Des Moines National Weather Service offices for these easy to read maps.

Iowa Illinois AdvisoriesIowa Advisories

First off, the green indicates a “Flood Watch” from 3 a.m. until 3 p.m. Thursday.

Rain and a few thunderstorms will move across eastern Iowa and northern Illinois later tonight and Thursday morning.  Rainfall amounts could easily top one inch.

This rain falling on the frozen ground and the melting snow from the past couple of days will cause considerable runoff and there’s nowhere for the water to go!

Here are the forecast maps at 6 p.m. Thursday from both the GFS and the NAM.

18Z GFS Thursday 6 pm 18Z Thursday 6pm NAM

Both basically show the storm moving right over the Quad Cities during the evening.   This means we’ll stay in the warmer air longer and have a shorter window of snow.

So, late in the day Thursday, temperatures will crash and the rain will mix with and quickly change over to snow as the winds start howling out of the northwest at 20-40 miles-per-hour (mph) with 50 mph gusts possible.

Accumulations in the Quad Cities will be around 1-2″ before the snow ends late Thursday night.

South and southeast of the Quad Cities, an inch or less of snow is possible.

Northwest of the Quad Cities, 2-3″ may accumulate.  However, it’s not the amount of snow that is the problem.  It’s the combination of wind and snow that will reduce visibilities off to the northwest causing blizzard-like conditions.

Since this storm is developing out in the Rockies, there could be a shift.

CBS4

Make sure you check the latest weather forecast Thursday morning before heading off to work or school.

I’d greatly appreciate it if it’s “CBS4 News This Morning” from 5-7 a.m that you choose. 🙂

Anthony

Advertisements

Icy Mix & Snow Threat Monday

UPDATED POST:  SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2014, 4:01 p.m.

A winter storm starting out with freezing rain, sleet, and snow and then changing over to all moderate to heavy snow is still in the forecast early Monday morning into Monday afternoon.

Here are the updated snow forecast totals for Monday.  The biggest change has been to shift some heavy snow into our southern hometowns.

Snow Update 021414

You can see the original contours and the details below.

Anthony

ORIGINAL POST:  SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2014, 8:29 a.m.

Enjoy the sun and cloud mix Sunday with highs in the 20s because our next winter storm is threatening us with a wintry mix of snow, sleet, and freezing rain Monday.

Here’s the reason we always tell you to keep up on the latest forecast with storms.

Our big warm-up is still coming Tuesday through Thursday.  However, instead of a wintry mix changing over to all rain Monday, it’s now likely to change over to all snow and accumulate!

Monday WWA

A “Winter Weather Advisory is in effect from 3 a.m.- 3 p.m. Monday for much of eastern Iowa and northern Illinois (6 a.m.-6 p.m. for Knox and Stark counties in Illinois).

A combination of sleet, freezing rain, and snow will begin across the area after midnight and intensify Monday morning.

The best chance of seeing freezing rain will be south of the Quad Cities.  From around the metro area northward, mostly sleet and snow is expected.  By mid-morning, all of the wintry mix will change over to all snow and start piling up.

Here is the situation based on the American GFS models.

This first map shows light moisture over the area at 6 a.m. Monday and that blue line across the Quad Cities shows the freezing line.  Thus, it’s very likely we’ll be seeing a combination of freezing rain and snow (south), icy mix of sleet, freezing rain, and snow in the Quad Cities, and snow and sleet (north).

6AM MONDAY

The map below is at noon.  By that time, the cold air has arrived and all of the precipitation should be in the form of snow.  And, notice that the green is darker indication heavier snow.

NOON MONDAY

By 6 p.m., the winter storm pulls away and the snow should end as light snow or flurries.

Here is the likelihood of seeing 4″ of snow or more from the NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center.  The greens show a 20-40% chance and the blues indicate a 40%+ chance.

4 INCHES OR MORE MONDAY

I’m showing you that graphic because it lines up with my forecast.  Here’s how much snow I’m predicting for Monday.

Snow Forecast Monday

THIS IS A DEVELOPING SITUATION SUBJECT TO BIG CHANGES.  A 2°-3° SHIFT IN TEMPERATURES COULD MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE IN US GETTING A COLD RAIN, AN ICE STORM, OR A HEAVY SNOW!

Thank you to the National Weather Service in the Quad Cities for the base map with the “Winter Weather Advisory” colored in for Monday.

After this system, it warms up this week into the 30s and 40s Tuesday through Saturday.

As a matter of fact, another storm moves in late week and it should be all rain.  This is the precipitation forecast map for Wednesday morning through Friday morning.

WED-FRI RAIN

It could be a decent rain maker (0.5″ or more is possible).  That would not be good on top of melting away the 5″ of snow on the ground now in the Quad Cities and the new snow coming in Monday.

This does raise some flooding concerns, but let’s deal with one system at a time and that would be the ice and snow coming in Monday.

I’ll give you another update later today and I’ll have the very latest beginning at 5 a.m. Monday on “CBS4 News This Morning” in the Quad Cities.

Anthony

Plans For A Milestone Birthday

When it comes to birthdays, turning 13, 16, 21, 25, and 30 are the birthdays that seem to get the most glory.  Once you reach a certain age, many people stop making a big deal out of them.

I remember, as a teenager, thinking people who were 30-years-old were over-the-hill.  Once I hit 30, and then 40, I began to think much differently about those ages being ancient.  While I’m one of those people who don’t make a big deal out of each successive birthday, this year, it’ll be different for Ray.  Later this month, he turns 50 and we’re planning on celebrating it in style this fall.

Turning 50 is a big deal to me.  Think of all of the great people who never made it to 50:  my mother and her mother (47 and 48, respectively), Whitney Houston (48), Judy Garland (47), President John F. Kennedy (46), Elvis Presley (42), John Lennon (40), Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (39), Princess Diana (36), Marilyn Monroe (36), Jim Morrison (of the Doors) (27), Janis Joplin (27), Jimi Hendrix (27), James Dean (24), and Ryan White (18).

Ray was born at Mercy Hospital in Fort Dodge, Iowa, on August 25, 1963.

While I always wanted dirty blonde hair when I was younger, these days I wish I was a ginger.  But, then again, I’m just thankful that I’m in my 40s and I still have hair!

So, when thinking of his upcoming 50th birthday, I thought about a surprise trip to Cancun, Mexico.  I was there in 1993 and I loved it.   I’ve been wanting to go back and I know that Ray’s never been there.  It’s a good thing I asked him before buying the package.  While he said it would be fun, he had other ideas and he’s the one turning 50!!!

However, I didn’t give up on Cancun.  Since I had some vacation time left over, we got a great deal and we’re going to Cancun for five days this weekend.  This is a picture I took of Cancun 20 years ago.

Cancun 1993 001

So, Ray thought about it, did his research, and he made a decision.  While both of us have been to Mexico and Canada (before passports were required), this trip was international and it required a passport.  This map is from the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and luckily, the trip he planned is “green”, which stands for “take normal safety precautions”!  Red is danger!

Safe Travel

So, obviously since the green locations on this map are in Europe, that must be the destination for his golden birthday celebration.  If you guessed that, you’d be correct.  Ray decided he wanted to take a cruise on the Danube River!  However, the timing for the trip didn’t work out for his birthday.  So, we’ll be taking it in October.

The cruise on the Danube River is on the “MS Sound of Music”.  Could the name be any gayer? 🙂

In October, we’ll drive from the Quad Cities and take an overnight flight from Chicago to Europe.  The original trip itinerary had us on an overnight flight from Chicago to Budapest, Hungary, and boarding the cruise.  However, I didn’t feel comfortable leaving the U.S. and arriving in Budapest to board the cruise on the same day.

While this is Ray’s trip, I’ve always been fascinated by Switzerland and it didn’t cost us anything extra for the flight changes to make it part of our vacation.  For the same price, we now fly from Chicago to Zurich, Switzerland, a global city and one of the world’s largest financial centers, and arrive Saturday morning!

Zürich

We get to spend almost 24 hours there!   We then fly from Zurich to Budapest and board the “Sound of Music Cruise Tour” on Sunday, where we’ll travel the Danube River from Hungary to Germany with several stops in between in Slovakia, Austria, and Germany.

Sound of Music Cruise

The cruise departs Budapest Sunday night and after sailing all night and in the morning, we’ll arrive in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, for an afternoon tour.  It’s one of the youngest capital cities of Europe, yet its history dates back more than 2,000 years.

From there, another night of sailing will be followed by an all day visit to Vienna, Austria, known for musicians Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Falco (“Rock Me Amadeus”).

After another night of cruising the Danube, we arrive in Durnstein (wine country in lower Austria) and another short cruise will take us to Melk (in lower Austria), where the historic Benedictine Abbey is located.

The next day, we arrive in Passau, Germany, which is also known as Dreiflüssestadt, the “City of Three Rivers”.  And, being a city of so many rivers posed a major problem earlier this summer when central Europe experienced some of the worst flooding in decades.  These pictures are from Passau in early June.

Passau Flooding 1 Passau Flooding 2

Since our cruise is more than four months after the flooding, it’ll be interesting to see how fast Germany responds to a natural disaster and how much of the city is flood ravaged and damaged.

The next two days will feature stops in Regensburg and Nuremberg, Germany.

When we awake after the last night of  the cruise, we’re driven two hours to the Munich (Germany) airport for our flight back to Chicago.  Once we get through customs, we’ll drive the three hours back to Moline just in time for me to go back to work — jet lag and all.  Crazy!!!!!!!

While Ray’s milestone birthday trip of a lifetime is still two months away, I’m already planning the trip for my 50th birthday in the fall of 2014!!!!

Happy Birthday early Ray!

Anthony

Flooding Threat Increases Again Tomorrow

You don’t need a meteorologist to tell you that it’s been a rainy (and snowy) five months across eastern Iowa and northern Illinois.  But, I’ll tell you that it’s been wet because I want to share some incredible rainfall statistics and a couple of amazing pictures with you.

Tuesday evening, Galesburg, Illinois, picked up more than three inches of rain in just about an hour causing widespread flash flooding.

Alexis Cory, of Galesburg, took this picture of the street flooding.

Alexis Cory GBB

And, LeAnn Crouse, of Galesburg, has lived at her house for 27 years and she’s never seen the flooding that she has this year.

LeAnn Crouse  GBB

 

In the Quad Cities, we only picked up 0.72″ in the strong to severe thunderstorms that moved through the Mississippi and Illinois Valleys.

Quad Cities Rain

That brings our May rainfall total to 7.23″, which is more than three inches above average.  As a matter of fact, we’re just outside the Top Ten for the wettest May months on record.  With more heavy rain expected Thursday and Friday, a Top Ten appearance is guaranteed!

Since March 1, 2013, the start of “meteorological spring” (March, April, and May), we’ve picked up more than 17″ of rain (and melted snow) in the metro area.  In the same time period in an average year, that total should be just over ten inches.

So far, in 2013, our precipitation total is up to 22.41″, which is about nine inches above average.

One year ago, we were at 12.14″, which was just about an inch or so below average and then we headed into that devastating drought last summer.

Sadly, much more rain is on the way Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  The rain on the first two of those days could be heavy and it could be accompanied by more flash flooding and severe storms.

I expect several more inches of rain and this forecast projection from NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center verifies my thinking.

Rainfall Through Monday Morning

Be careful out there with all the flood waters and be safe over the next few days.

Anthony

 

Rain, Rain Go Away

Rain is pretty common on Memorial Day in the Quad Cities.  Out of the past 143, it has rained at least a trace on 77 of them.  And, since its already rained since midnight, we can make that 78-out-of-144 now.

The wettest Memorial Day came in 1903 with 2.03″ of rain.

It has already been a pretty wet holiday weekend with flash flooding on area streets, rivers rising out of their banks, and basements across the Mississippi and Illinois Valleys taking on water.

Here are some of the impressive rainfall totals from Saturday through Monday morning.

Rainfall Amounts

And, we’ll see several more rounds of showers and thunderstorms later today through Wednesday morning with heavy rain.

A “Flash Flood Watch” remains in effect through Tuesday morning across much of eastern Iowa and western-central Illinois.

Flash Flood Watch Memorial Day

And, if that wasn’t bad enough, there is the threat of some severe weather Tuesday and, again, later this week.  Also, more heavy rain threatens us Thursday and Friday.

Look at this rainfall forecast from NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center.  While I expect another three or more inches of rain from Monday morning through Saturday morning, if this projection is correct, we could get another six inches of rain!!!!!!!!  For now, just plan on at least three more inches this week.

Rainfall Potential Through Saturday 7AM

Try to stay afloat and make the best of your week.

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — April 19, 2013

Another weekend is here and another weekend where Ray and Gretel are elsewhere.  What is it?  Was it something I said?  🙂  Actually, last weekend, Ray left for a conference in Washington D.C. and Gretel was with her mother.  I got to spend last Saturday night with my sister, Tammy.  We ate at Isle of Capri (good) and them gambled (bad, for me).

This weekend, Ray and Gretel are in Fort Dodge for his niece’s First Communion.  I would have gone, but I had already committed to emcee a fundraiser Sunday with my morning co-host, Meredith Dennis.

SPEAKING OF WASHINGTON D.C.

While he was there, Ray sent me this picture of beautiful blossoming trees.  They are farther along than our trees, but we’ll get there.

DC Blossoms

BUT, THIS DOESN’T HELP

Colorful

This is a map showing all of the watches, warnings, and advisories Wednesday afternoon.  How colorful!  Good thing that Crayola expanded beyond the eight original colors in 1924.

As we now know from all of the flooding on area rivers, streams, streets, and basements, we picked up anywhere between 2-7″ of rain Wednesday and Thursday.  Meanwhile, in the cold air, heavy snow fell across the Plains and upper Midwest!

THINKING OF BOSTON

It was another chaotic morning today in Boston.  One of the two suspects in the tragic bombing at the Boston Marathon was shot and killed.  Sadly, a MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) police officer was also killed.  As you know, earlier this week, three people were killed and, at least, 172 others were injured in two different explosions near the end of the marathon.

I’m appalled at the number of times the national news media showed the graphic images of blood and missing limbs and how people re-posted them on their Facebook page.  I, for one, don’t want to see them.

I want the other terrorist caught and brought to justice and I want to believe in the human spirit that good outweighs bad.  And, I’m going to think of this beautiful image of a building that I came across reading the February 2011 issue of “Boston” magazine.  This is the Institute of Contemporary Art.

ICA

And, if that doesn’t sell you on a positive image of Boston, how about this?

While baking in 1937, Ruth Wakefield made history at Whitman’s Toll House Inn.  She invented the first chocolate chip cookie when she dropped chunks of Nestlé semi-sweet chocolate into her butter drop dough cookies and it didn’t melt.  It became, you guessed it, the “Toll House Cookie”.

History of Chocolate Chip Cookies - Ruth Wakefield - Nestle Toll House

The cookie became so popular that she contacted Nestlé and they struck a “sweet” deal:  the company gave her a lifetime supply of chocolate and they would print her recipe on the cover of all their semi-sweet chocolate bars.  Nestlé eventually marketed “chocolate chips” for baking cookies!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Iowa Senator Dennis GuthDog Marriage

Sink

We’re getting ready to renovate our main bathroom and although we’re focusing on the shower and the floor, I think I may need to re-consider and get this sink!

TATTOO IT ON ME

It was one year ago this week that I got my first and only tattoo.  And, it was on Friday the 13th!

Back in 2005, while living in Salisbury, Maryland, I considered getting a Reba tattoo.  However, the artist was not all that confident doing it because of the intricate detail.  In retrospective, I’m glad I waited.

Getting a tattoo in memory of Miss ABBA, who died in February 2012, is more heart-felt.  I’m very pleased with amazing and incredible job that artist John Kautz at O’Toole Design in Rock Island did.  Here are pictures of John doing his thing, the final product, and the “model” for the tattoo.

Tattoo1OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAABBA Inspiration For Tattoo

Here’s the original blog that I posted last April about me becoming inked.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/miss-abba-ill-cherish-this-piece-of-art-forever/

GOLF IS NOT MY SPORT, BUT….

I know that there are people who love the intensity and the quietness of golf.  Did I lose you at intensity? 🙂

Golf is not my sport and it might have something to do with the fact that I was struck in the face with a golf club when I was a kid that required stitches to my chin.  My cousin, Shane, and I were hitting walnuts with the golf club before the school bus arrived one morning and I guess I was standing too close.

Where is this story going?  We know that that creep Tiger Woods is one of the best, if not the best, golfers of all time.  But, did you happen to check out the winner of this year’s Masters?

Adam ScottAS2

This is 32-year-old Australian Adam Scott.  He won $1.44 million for the sudden death win in Augusta.  He attended college at UNLV (University of Nevada, Las Vegas), now lives in Switzerland, and he tells “Us” magazine, “”I’m not single at all. I am very much in a relationship and very happy for the moment.”

I’m still not a golf fan, but he did make me stop of Google him. 🙂

WHY I FIGHT SO HARD TO EDUCATE OTHERS

As you know from befriending me, I’m very committed to making marriage equality a reality for every American, regardless of what state they live in.  But, here’s something that many people don’t know and it might be surprising.

Fired

Yes, it’s still legal in 29 states to fire someone for being gay or even thinking they are gay!  What year is this again?

Last month, “Time” magazine devoted its cover to marriage equality while the Supreme Court of the United States was hearing testimony on cases pertaining to California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act.

Time Magazine

“Time” managing editor Rick Stengel said, “Whatever the Supreme Court decides, it seems clear that the majority of Americans feel marriage is a civil right and that denying that right to people because of their sexual orientation is a violation of equal protection under the law.  We had a long debate in our offices about this week’s cover images of two same-sex couples. Some thought they were sensationalist and too in-your-face. Others felt the images were beautiful and symbolized the love that is at the heart of the idea of marriage. I agree with the latter, and I hope you do too.”

I agree that the images are beautiful.  We have fought so hard to make more and more people see that all Americans getting to express their love by marrying that person is not a “gay” right, it’s a human right.

But, I disagree that “Gay Marriage Already Won” is a given.  There’s still a lot of hate, bigotry, close-mindedness, or whatever you want to call it in this country and in the world.  However, with more and more of our “straight, but not narrow” friends siding with us, we’re getting there.

I’M A FOLLOWER AGAIN!

After a very strong, cutting edge start with one shock after another, “The Following” lost its mojo.  At every turn, the FBI made one grave mistake after another of being one step behind Joe Carroll’s cult following.  I lost faith and was losing interest in the show and was very vocal about it.

However, after this past Monday’s night’s show, I’m a believer again!  Here’s how I summed it up on my Facebook status update, “”The Following” — Best.Effing.Episode.Ever. Who needs zombies when you have a homicidal/suicidal cult? I knew the series would be redeemed!!!!!”

There’s one more episode before the April 29th season one finale and the previews are incredible.  I thought the massacre on “The Walking Dead” season two finale was brutal.  But, I think this finale will have a very high body count!!!!!!!

Here’s a spoiler for you.  I’m kidding, sorta.  Jacob (Nico Tortorella) survived Monday night, but he didn’t have a scene like this!

Nico Tortorella

“HANNIBAL” GETS EVEN BETTER

I loved the premiere of NBC’s new gory series, “Hannibal”, based on the Thomas Harris novels featuring everyone’s favorite cannibal, Hannibal Lecter.  Ray was not all that impressed with the first episode calling it “confusing”.  However, he loved the second episode and I thought it was very entertaining.  The show seems to be ratings-challenged, but then again it’s on NBC!!!!!

While some people blame television, movie, and music violence for all of the world’s problems, I can separate entertainment violence from real life.  With that being said, I admit that the show is right up there with “The Following”, “Dexter”, and “The Walking Dead” in violence and gore.  I’m still amazed at some of the things that get past standards & practices and make it on the air.  Let’s just say, I’ll never look at mushrooms the same way again!

Mushrooms

That’s not really a spoiler because you have no idea what is going on in the scene. 🙂

And, Vickie, I know you’re totally freaked out now.  So, these young pre-Will Graham Hugh Dancy photos are for you.  Who am I kidding?  The pictures are for all of us.

Hugh_Dancy 2Hugh_Dancy

PICK HIT

I’m not too happy with the current state of American Top 40 radio.  It seems like you hear the same ten songs over and over and from same ten artists.  So, I looked north of the border for some inspiration for my pick hit this week.

Canadian singer Danny Fernandes has released two albums in the Great White North that have gone gold there (sales of 40,000 or more).  While he’s charted with four Top 40 hits in Canada, the biggest, “Hit Me Up” only reached #22 in 2011.

However, I’m predicting that his new song, “Fly Again (Broken Wings)”, will become his first Top 10 hit in Canada and even help him to breakthrough here in the U.S., too.

“PEEPS’ ’80S FRIDAY FLASHBACK”

Since Danny Fernandes sampled lyrics from a 1980s song, I’m picking the original as my ’80s Friday flashback.

The American west coast rock band, Mr. Mister hit #1 on the album chart with their 1985 platinum release, “Welcome To The Real World”.

The band would score three Top Ten hits from that album:  “Broken Wings” (#1, 1985), “Kyrie” (#1, 1985), and “Is It Love” (#8, 1986).  The group would only have one more Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, 1987’s “Something Real”, which peaked at #29.

I guess it’s time now to start focusing on my weekend and stop sharing my random thoughts for this week.  I have to have some private thoughts. 🙂

Have a great weekend!

Anthony

Two Friends in New Orleans Reflect on Hurricane Katrina’s Anniversary As Isaac Makes Landfall

Hurricane Isaac made its second landfall around 4 a.m. this morning near Port Fourchon, Louisiana with winds sustained at 80 mile-per-hour.  It first made landfall Tuesday evening near Plaquemine Parish, Louisiana, about 95 miles from New Orleans.

While there is flooding and damage, this tropical system pales in comparison to Hurricane Katrina that made landfall on this date back in 2005.  More than 1,800 people lost their lives and many more left New Orleans and never came back making their new home elsewhere in the United States.

I visited New Orleans in the spring of 2010 and even after almost five years, there was still much work to be done and many of the damaged and abandoned homes in the Ninth Ward remained standing.

A friend of mine from Murray State University, Crystal Craddock-Posey and her husband, Anthony, live in New Orleans.  At the bottom of this blog, check out some of Ants’ incredible photos of the aftermath of Katrina and how much still needed to be done more than a year later.

PREPARING FOR “ISAAC”

I talked with Crystal back in 2008 on the three-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and I blogged about it then.  You can find that at the bottom of this blog, too.  However, I sent Crystal a few questions earlier this week as Isaac was still churning its way through the Gulf of Mexico as a tropical storm.

Q: What is the feeling now that a “state of emergency” has been issued and the storm could move closer to New Orleans?

The concensus in the city is that Isaac won’t be too bad. It’s not a strong system. The city (and its residents) are much better organized and prepared to deal with Isaac. Local area officials are working together and with the State in a much more efficient way than they did during Katrina. Even if Isaac turns out to be not so bad, it dredges up Katrina stress in differing degrees for people here.

Q: In the seven years since Katrina (and four since we did the previous blog), what changes have you noticed?

The city has improved by leaps and bounds, since the devastation of Katrina. There are so many new shops and restaurants post-Katrina. The city just “runs” better. There is still room for improvement, though.

Q: How is the “new” (current) NOLA different than the old NOLA?

So many people moved to New Orleans after Katrina, that it’s taken on a “newer” feel in some ways. E.g., new tech-centered businesses, younger entrepreneurs. The old-world charm is still very much present here, however.

Q: Since the Gulf has been relatively quiet for years, are you afraid that this could the season of big hurricanes?

One never knows, but I don’t think this will be a season for big hurricanes. We had a three-year lull between 2005’s Katrina and 2008’s Gustav. Now, four years later, we have Isaac approaching.

Here is the blog that I posted on August 28, 2008, on the three-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and it also features some background information (current at the time):

New Orleans: Three years after Katrina

Friday, August 29th, 2008

HURRICANE GUSTAV MAKES LANDFALL:   Gustav made landfall early Monday morning, September 1st, near Cocodrie, Louisiana, which is about 70 miles southwest of New Orleans or 100 miles southeast of Lafayette, Louisiana.  Winds were at 110 miles-per-hour at landfall making Gustav a Category Two storm.  (Top winds peaked at 150 miles-per-hour Saturday.

UPDATE:  Saturday, August 30th, noon.  My friends, Crystal and Anthony, have decided to evacuate New Orleans in advance of Gustav.  (You’ll read Crystal’s interview below.)

ORIGINAL POST:  Friday, August 29, 2 p.m.

Friday, August 29th, marks the three-year anniversary when Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana causing levees to breach and submerging 80 percent of New Orleans.

Now, residents are becoming uneasy and are closely watching the Caribbean Sea as Hurricane Gustav gains strength and threatens with a possible landfall early Tuesday morning somewhere near the Crescent City.

Once the storm makes it into the Gulf of Mexico this weekend, forecasters will be able to pinpoint more accurately and precisely the intensity and where Gustav will make landfall.

KATRINA HISTORY

Hurricane Katrina now stands as the sixth strongest Atlantic hurricane ever recorded (this is based on the central barometric pressure, not winds).  However, its peak winds hit 175 miles-per-hour.

Although Katrina’s winds had dropped to 125 miles-per-hour (still a very strong Category Three storm) when it made landfall near Buras, Louisiana, it was what happened after the storm began to move away from New Orleans that we will always remember.

The winds, rain, and the storm surge (estimated to be at least fourteen feet), caused 53 different levees to breach.

This allowed additional water pushed into Lake Pontchartrain from the Gulf during the hurricane to flood New Orleans.

For months, the rest of the nation and the world watched the horrific watery images from the city so rich in history and culture and wondered if it would ever return to its glory.

The death toll in the United States from Katrina is at least 1,836 (1,577 from Louisiana alone).  There are still 705 people considered missing from the storm.

Three years later, many people still consider the slow reaction time to the disaster from local, state, and federal levels of the government, a complete failure.

While it is still too early to tell where Gustav will make landfall, many people in New Orleans are getting ready– just in case.

NEW ORLEANS– THREE YEARS LATER  (From my 2008 blog on Katrina’s anniversary)

Thursday night, I emailed a friend and former classmate of mine, Crystal Craddock-Posey, who has lived in New Orleans since 1992 with her husband, Anthony, and I want to share her responses with you.

Q:  With a projected landfall still days away and a possible track that could include New Orleans, what is the mood at this point?

“People are on edge here.   Local stations have begun broadcasting at 4:30 a.m. and extended regular noon and evening broadcasts to an hour to cover the issue of the approaching storm.

Some folks in areas which did not flood are saying that they are going to stay for Gustav unless it gains more strength before landfall.  Some who were here for Katrina are staying again; most are not, and have begun leaving already.  

People in our area are already boarding up windows and filling up their tanks.  At this point, people don’t know whether to go buy a bunch of hurricane food and supplies, or just pack up and leave.  

It brings to mind something my grandmother used to say, ‘Nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs!’   I think Saturday will be the point when most make the decision to stay or go.”
Q:  Are people taking this storm seriously there knowing it could quickly develop into a major hurricane in the Gulf?

“I think this storm is being taken seriously by most.    No one wants another Katrina.   My mailman received eight feet of water in his home after the levees failed following Katrina.   He is back in his repaired home now, and is seriously worried about a repeat performance.”

Q:  When Katrina submerged 80% of the city with water, how much damage did you encounter and where are you in relation to the ninth ward, one of the hardest hit areas?

“We were fortunate to have lived in the 20 % of New Orleans which did not flood.  We are higher up near the rim of the “bowl-shaped” city, so the water didn’t reach us.  We had water damage from above, though.  The high winds and tornadoes took off sections of roof and boards from our rear dormer, so we had water damage in the form of fallen ceilings, damaged floors, and mold everywhere, etc.   

We are a few miles from the ninth ward.  The ninth ward is behind the Central Business District, the French Quarter and Bywater areas of the city, going toward Chalmette/St. Bernard Parish, where the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, aka “Mister Go” failed.”

Q:  Describe the feel of New Orleans now with the three-year anniversary Friday.  Progress is being made slowly, but what is the ”new” New Orleans like compared to the “old”.

“There were supposed to be certain ceremonies held to honor those who perished in Hurricane Katrina.    One local cemetery has planted small white flags, one for every person who died during Katrina, with a name on each flag.  (By the way, a client of mine lost her dad, her stepmother, her aunt and her 12-year-old brother; they drowned in their home.  She also lost everything she owned that she hadn’t taken with her during the evacuation.)   

That was supposed to last through Labor Day Weekend.    The anniversary is today, and it seems to be adding fuel to the fire of distress.   

“New” New Orleans in the French Quarter, Garden District and Uptown areas, the 20% that didn’t flood, is much like it was before the storm– at least from the street level.  

Other flooded areas are rebuilding and coming back.   The hardest hit areas still are mostly desolate patches where homes used to be.   

Financially, the effects of Katrina have been hard on everyone.   People who came back after the storm have been struggling for three years with $10,000 per year homeowner’s premiums and $5,000 per year flood premiums, an increase in property taxes in Orleans Parish, increased labor and material expenses for repairs, shady contractors who take money and never show, etc.”      

Q:  Where do you see New Orleans in the next few years, barring no more hurricanes or disasters?

“With the right leadership and funding, it’s possible to make New Orleans a great example of how to rebuild after a disaster, e.g. green projects, solar panels, etc.  It just hasn’t happened thus far.” 

Crystal works now as an attorney in New Orleans.  However, back in the 1980s, she was in the radio and television program with me at Murray State University in Kentucky.  She then went to law school in New Orleans when she moved there in the summer of 1992.

PHOTOS BY ANTHONY POSEY FROM 2005-2006

New Orleans, my thoughts go out to you and I’m glad Hurricane Isaac was only a category one storm.  I hope that’s all of the excitement you see this year and that the only hurricanes you experience are ones like these shared by Ray, Crystal, Ants, and myself in April 2010.

Anthony