Gustav Open Thread

Looks like it is Category 2 now and the levees are holding. Thank goodness.

If they can survive the initial storm, hopefully they can make it through the second wave, when it rains Republicans hoping to prove they can be competent in a crisis.

*** Update ***

Ugh. According to MSNBC the levees are likely to be overtopped, which, if I remember my levee terminology correctly, is not as bad as being breached.

*** Update #2 ***

Industrial canal.

39 replies
  1. 1
    Krista says:

    Yeah, it’s kind of sad that the politicians are going to be practically dislocating their shoulders in their efforts to pat themselves on the back for actually being competent, for once.

  2. 2

    The Republicans received two gifts on this one. New Orleans was spared a possibly levee-busting storm and Bush/Cheney will not appear at the convention. The latter would have done more damage to them than the former.
    The hilarity will ensue with Republican conventioneers all appearing sans ties, sleeves rolled up to show that they’re being competent after letting NO drown the first time (Toolbelts optional for daytime attire).

  3. 3
    dmsilev says:

    Can we use excess Republican grandstanders as fill to reinforce damaged levees?

    Given how dense they are, they’ve got to be more effective than the current filling of old newspapers.


  4. 4
    dbrown says:

    Even Hell-of-a-job brownie was making the morning TV rounds. I guess helping to kill 1600 helpless Americans is a reason to be proud if you are a repubis and you work for ass sucker bushwhack and bloody hand cheney the killer. Another proud day for Americans as we finally discover that government is the solution and repubics are the trash that needs to be removed from Washington.

  5. 5
    gbear says:

    Re: the newspaper caulking issue: The levees are not out of the woods yet. There’s still a chance that they could fail.

  6. 6
    Tra la la says:

    Republicans are so cute! They flit from disaster site to aircraft carrier with the greatest of ease. No one chases down hard-to-catch photo ops like the GOP.

  7. 7
    ThymeZone says:

    Krugman basically tells the Repubs to stay away, they’ve done enough damage already.

    Ouch. Bush holds a phony “classified” folder to display that presidentiness and deciderousness?

    These people are fucking clowns.

    Earlier this year Mr. McCain, as part of his strategy of distancing himself from the current administration, condemned Mr. Bush’s response to Katrina. If he’d been president at the time, he says, “I would’ve landed my airplane at the nearest Air Force base and come over personally.”

    Um, that completely misses the point. The problem with the Bush administration’s response to Katrina wasn’t the president’s failure to show up promptly for his photo op. It was the failure of FEMA and other degraded agencies to show up promptly with food, water and first aid.

    Clowns. Just clowns.

  8. 8
    Paul in Boca says:

    MSNBC is reporting that water is flowing “like a waterfall” over about a 200 foot long section on the Industrial Canal.

  9. 9
    LiberalTarian says:

    Heh. Raining Republicans. Yeah, that’s a plague of biblical proportions alright.

    Wonder if that was what that goofball in Denver actually meant?

  10. 10
    Incertus says:

    I wrote much the same thing as Krugman–it’s gratifying that I can have the same thoughts as that guy sometime–and I’m glad to see that the storm isn’t as bad as they’d feared. I’ve got lots of friends and family in the area, so anything that works out better than expected is good news from my perspective.

  11. 11
    lutton says:

    John: I tried to email this to you, but it bounced:

    you were right: McDonalds back in GOP good graces

    I thought of your post (and copied it to TBoggs comments) from a couple
    weeks ago re McDonalds and arugula –

  12. 12
    Georgette Orwell says:

    The Industrial Canal is overtopping somewhat, and the lake is coming over the seawall (but not the levee). Apparently there are three vessels loose in the canal–that could be an incredible problem. We’ll see what happens when the wind shifts and the rain continues. There are hours left in which they’ll be pummeled.
    Remember Katrina, when things looked good for an entire day? And then….So far, so fairly good.

    Corps of Engineers getting whacked for their priorities, but the organization and evacuation have been excellent.

  13. 13
    zzyzx says:

    I’m still feeling confident that history won’t repeat. I just love NOLA too much to want it to flood again.

  14. 14
    South of I-10 says:

    Looks like it is Category 2 now and the levees are holding.

    I hope you are right for N.O.’s sake. My main concern is that it is moving so slowly, the same areas are going to be seeing hurricane/tropical storm force winds and rain for a long time. My home town is getting tropical storm force now and they are expecting the eye to cross over later, hopefully it will weaken significantly by then. I am watching the live stream from home here.

  15. 15
    gopher2b says:

    Water going over the top of the levees isn’t a big deal in and of itself (that’s why the city has an elaborate pump system). It is, however, evidence that tremendous pressure is being applied to the levees.

    At least this time there shouldn’t be any (or, atleast unnecessary) deaths.

  16. 16
    mark says:

    Heh. Raining Republicans. Yeah, that’s a plague of biblical proportions alright.

    Wonder if that was what that goofball in Denver actually meant?

    God’s timing and aim suck, apparently.

  17. 17
    dewberry says:

    Let’s just hope that the levees weren’t all filled with newspapers.

    Overtopping is okay; that’s what the pumps are for. Breaching would allow all the water to flow into the bowl that is the city.

    Getting everyone out was good. I worry that people will not take the next one seriously.

  18. 18
    LiberalTarian says:

    It is well to remember the New Orleans was okay when the hurricane hit–it was the volume of runoff over several days that made the levees fail.

    One might think that McCain would choose his photo-ops more carefully. A levee that can’t withstand runoff is a man-made disaster, not a natural one. They’ve been warning that the Mississippi and Lake Pontchartrain pose a risk to New Orleans for 20 years. And, once upon a time there were wetlands called barrier islands that took the brunt of hurricane landfall and storm surge.

    “The barrier islands of Louisiana are eroding at an extreme rate. In places up to 100 feet of shoreline are disappearing every year. Though it has long been assumed that this erosion was due to the area’s rapid rate of relative sea level rise, recent studies by the U.S. Geological Survey show that other coastal processes, such as the longshore redistribution of sediments, are responsible for this erosion.”

    But, changing from business as usual (and sadly, lack of political will on both sides) to address predictable failures that threaten lives. When Obama said, “You’re on your own,” he meant the economy. Personally, living in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta area, I thought of the potential for failing levees. All we need is one exceptional storm, or a well-placed earthquake. Not cheerful.

  19. 19
    Neal says:

    Completely off topic but I think this is an open thread…

    I remember defending Tony Dungy on here a while back. Someone was talking about how he’s so Christian/fundamentalist and had horrible views, etc…well, here:

    Quote of the Week III

    “I pay a lot of attention to it. I never thought I’d see it in my lifetime and until [the] Iowa [primary], I still had my doubts whether it would happen. It’s thrilling. It’s important. When we won the Super Bowl, people said to me they never thought they’d see an African-American coach in that position. But this is so much more significant, obviously. It’s great for our country.”
    –Indianapolis coach Tony Dungy, on Barack Obama winning the Democratic presidential nomination.

    I asked Dungy if he’d be interested in making an appearance with Obama, if the senator asked.

    “I would do it,” he said, smiling broadly.

    I’m glad to have defended him. He really is a class act.

  20. 20
    dbrown says:

    Flowing over any levee is not good. Water soaks into the ground and the levee falls; or the water cuts away the dirt and the levee falls. That is what happened last time. The issue is now, do the areas being top, have proper covering – if not, the levee will not hold. Time to cross the fingers, or pray or just throw the dice but NO is now balanced on a knife edge and … well, they will hold.

  21. 21
    Doug H. (Fausto no more) says:

    I’m glad to have defended him. He really is a class act.

    One of the best in the game today.

  22. 22

    Seconded: if the levees hold, thank the Creator.

    But on the political side, the peril for the Republicans never came from the levees. No matter what happens to NOLA, no matter how bad or how blatantly caused by Federal (Republican) mismanagement or corruption, the base can always spin it under the time-honored category of “when bad things happen to Black people”. IMHO, the peril for the Republicans comes from the refineries. If the refineries shut down (and Gustav has a follow-up on the way), then gas prices could spike, according to one Canadian bank economist, up to $7/gallon. If that happens, the brittle post-Reagan social contract will come under enormous pressure. People will look at the spectacle of wealthy rappers whining about their private jets in a different light when they have to get up at 6am to get the bus to work, and the prices at the supermarket/walmart reflect trucking costs going through the roof.

  23. 23
    Incertus says:

    I worry that people will not take the next one seriously.

    Depends on how long it is before the next one. When I was growing up, adults would talk about Camille in whispers, but kids my age had to real idea what they were talking about. And I was in my late 30s when Katrina hit, so a lot of people my age had never ridden out a truly fearsome storm. But they’ve all seen one now, and they know it isn’t fucking around. I doubt it’ll be thirty years before there’s another one that will make them sit up and notice.

  24. 24
    Rosali says:

    Why did the TV shows have Brownie on today?? He was run out of FEMA when it was clear to the entire country that he was unqualified and grossly incompetent. He was on the Today show this morning blaming the Katrina disaster on the local and state government and no one called him out on that.

  25. 25
    South of I-10 says:

    CNN is reporting that one of the Industrial Canal levies has been undermined. I hope they are wrong.

  26. 26
    zzyzx says:

    The levees have been breached apparently in the lower 9th.

  27. 27

    Seconded: if the levees hold, thank the Creator.

    But in my opinion, the peril for the Republicans comes from the refineries, not the levees. If the levees break, the rumour mill will paint the people who lose their homes as gang bangers and social rejects. But if the refineries stop working, one economist warns we may see a gas price spike to $7. Let that happen, and the brittle post-Reagan social contract may collapse.

  28. 28
    dbrown says:

    So Eye-candy Gov Palin has stated that her daughter (Bristol, age 17) is pregnant. Oops, I guess mother like daughter – can’t say no and fuck birth control; we need children having children. So much for Christian values and ignorance (just say no) stemming the teen pregnancy – these idiots are unbelievable. The possible VP supports a position that didn’t even work for her own family.

  29. 29
    4tehlulz says:

    Remember, only Republican children are allowed to reproduce; Democratic teenagers are sluts.

  30. 30
    Martin says:

    Yeah, overtopping levees is bad. That seriously weakens them. If it only lasts a short time, they’ll probably hold but may need repair. If it lasts a while, they’ll fail.

    Let’s hope Gustav moves on quickly.

  31. 31
    Martin says:

    Yeah, overtopping levees is bad. That seriously weakens them. If it only lasts a short time, they’ll probably hold but may need repair. If it lasts a while, they’ll fail.

    Let’s hope Gustav moves on quickly.

    The reports of the levee breach are inaccurate.

  32. 32
    ThymeZone says:

    Seconded: if the levees hold, thank the Creator.

    Ah, so INtelligent Design produced the failures and floods of 2005. That makes sense, really. What Intelligent Designer would want a city with a bunch of poor people and darkies?

  33. 33
    Martin says:

    The possible VP supports a position that didn’t even work for her own family.

    Yeah, most likely that’s true, but really that doesn’t matter. It is what it is and they need to do what they need to do.

    The story we got was bullshit after all, as many of us suspected. What we speculated on wasn’t true after all, but when you float a bullshit story then that’s what happens – people put the pieces together as best they can. But now McCain needs to answer for this mess.

    72 hours after the VP pick and the McCain camp is already doing damage control. Heckuva job, Johnny.

  34. 34
    ThymeZone says:

    From Steve Benen’s new digs at Washington Monthly, this gem:

    They’ve bragged that Palin opposed the famous “Bridge to Nowhere,” only to learn that Palin supported the project and even told residents of Ketchikan that they weren’t “nowhere” to her…. Likewise, though she cut taxes as mayor of Wassila, she raised the sales tax, making her hardly a tax cutter. […]

    McCain’s campaign seemed unaware that she supported a windfalls profits tax on oil companies and that she is more skeptical about human contributions to global warming than McCain is.

    They did not know that she took trips as the mayor of Wasilla to beg for earmarks.

    Popcorn, please. This just gets funnier every day.

  35. 35
    trollhattan says:

    Agree with the armchair assessment that the canal walls appear designed to handle over-topping. Hopefully they’ll work as designed, and the city’s pumps will be able to clear the accumulated water.

    The main levees still need to withstand the storm surge, wave action and currents resulting from all that water. Best of luck, N.O., you deserve a break this time!

  36. 36
    maxbaer (not the original) says:

    It would really be a blessing if the levees hold and there is little damage. Maybe Bush and Cheney could still make the convention. And there could be smiles and birthday cakes. Again.

  37. 37
    cain says:

    You know, it fucking bugs me when we have an entire party and press corp that doesn’t seem to put our country first. The press should be doing their absolute to make sure that we’re getting the best deal when it comes to president and rightfully hammering away at both candidates fairly. Instead, they seem to want to accelerate the downfall of this country.

    It’s fucking traitorous. Don’t they realize that if they [the media] don’t manage the cash cow properly they’re fucked? Then who will they blame? Democrats? Then what, elect another incompetent executive? Jeezus. This country is going to fail we’re going to be a third world nation with nukes. Another North Korea.

    We’re all Rome now. [sigh] It’s sad we have to revert to Rovian tricks in order to get any attention to lousy candidates or to get something as basic as support for a hurricane. The posturing around this thing is really sad. I hope the residents realize that this is nothing but posturing and they don’t actually care about New Orleans or the levees.



  38. 38
    cain says:

    One of these days, I am not going to be the last person to post on threads! :-)


  39. 39
    Nick says:

    Seems like the worst has come to pass. The eye passed over/by and I’m in the “dry” part of the hurricane (there was a dry air system that interfered with the cyclone that caused it to lose intensity, fortunately). It’s still really gusty outside, but no precipitation.

    For those who told me to evacuate in a previous thread, yeah I’ll admit that I may have dodged a bullet, but Gustav was coming over quite a bit of land before hitting us. In any case, where I’m at (Lafayette, LA), it’s too far away from the coast to worry about a storm surge and the city is on fairly high ground where flooding is a very minor possibility.

    Granted, if there were very tall trees near the house, if I wasn’t living in a solid structure (like if I was in a trailer or something), or if Gustav was coming in straight from the south, I would have been out of here (I did evacuate for Rita for the latter reason).

    Was kind of uneventful, anyways. Didn’t even lose power, nor apparently, internet.

    And this also makes it where cain *isn’t* the last person to post on this thread. ;)

    Looks like the girlfriend had invited some friends who are without power and internet over for a WoW LAN party, so I should help them setup.

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