Gulf Coast Hurricane Tracker

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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Cities at risk

Tomorrow officially begins the 2007 hurricane season. It promises to be an exciting season. Almost as if on queue, an area of disturbed weather is forming in the western Caribbean near the Yucatan peninsula. Development is possible during the next 24 hours.

There has been much discussion on the MSM about the dangers of living along the coast and how more and more people live on the coast. The "experts" all deride this decision and love affair of ours in living near the water because of the dangers involved and the costs both in material and lives when a hurricane hits.

The Associated Press has pinpointed five of the most vulnerable U.S. coastal spots.

Among them: Galveston, Texas, sitting uneasily by the Gulf of Mexico, its residents limited to a single evacuation route; Miami, full of elderly people and others who might be trapped; and New York City, long spared a major storm but susceptible to a calamity of submerged subways and refugees caught in horrendous traffic jams.

Like so many other places, they are vulnerable because of geography. But mostly, they are imperiled because Americans have a love affair with the coast.

...

"If we really want to stop hurricane losses, we really have to slow down the kind of growth that's happening along the coast," says Jay Baker, a geography professor at Florida State University, "rather than worrying about how many hurricanes are going to come."
So to where should we go:
  • Sunny California is a great place to be. I love it there - Oh wait, earthquakes, forest fires and mudslides.
  • The midwest is away from the water - Oh... tornadoes, hail and severe thunderstorms

  • The north west and Canada -- deep snow and temps as low as -45F (or -45 C, at that temperature is really doesn't matter which scale you use).

  • The east coast is being warned about the increased threat of a potential hurricane.

  • The Ohio valley and Appalachia get inundated with the heavy rain when storms come ashore along the Gulf coast and head north.
It seems like there is no safe place on the entire continent. I'm sure there are similar conditions all around the planet. The fact is that there is no place that is totally safe. We migrate to those areas that we like. Some people like the farms, some like the cities, and some like the coasts.

The point is to adapt and to be prepared. A little common sense and awareness can go a long way this summer.

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