Florence: An Ongoing, Slow-Rolling Disaster

In case anyone needs a rejoinder to the ‘ha ha, stupid people who won’t get out of harm’s way’ disaster-glee…

Evacuation, like most disaster resilience actions—and really, like most of life—is easier if you have wealth, health and extensive social networks. Being able to pack up your life and leave takes privileges you may not even realize you have. Everyone is doing the best they can based on their personal context.

It takes money to displace yourself. It takes having somewhere better to go and a way to get there. Having a full tank of gas is a luxury when you live paycheck to paycheck. Spending money up front and then waiting for reimbursement requires that you have the money in the first place, while knowing what expenses are covered and how to file the paperwork requires knowledge not everyone has or has access to.

Missing shifts at work is unthinkable when every dollar counts. Some workplaces keep employees as long as legally possible, more worried about lost profits than lost lives.

Delayed evacuation carries a different risk due to the sheer number of people trying to escape on roads that can barely handle rush hour, much less a mass exodus. People can be trapped in gridlock on the roads, running out of gas—or, worse yet, still be out in the open when the storm comes and the floodwaters rise…

Vulnerable populations—immigrants, single parents, elderly, people with disabilities, people in poverty—all face unique risks. Evacuating depletes community support during a diaspora, a frightening prospect when the people around you are essential to your survival. It increases stress on elderly, sometimes with fatal consequences: clearing out retirement and homes can actually kill their residents. Yet staying in place and suffering through mass infrastructure failures can do the same thing.

People with disabilities, injuries or illness may require specialized equipment to survive. Without a custom vehicle or assistance from others, it may be literally impossible to evacuate…

People impacted by disasters need you to have empathy. They need you to advocate for preparing for the next disaster while still recovering from this one. They need your support, whether it’s in the form of cash donations; voting for politicians with the integrity to vote for spending money on mitigation before the next disaster rather than on relief afterward; or even sending them cute animal pictures to cheer them up after another long day of cleaning up the mess. They need your help, not your judgement…


From his seat on the back of a small jon boat, Robert Simmons Jr. surveyed the floodwater in his neighborhood in northwest New Bern. The water, which spilled over from the Neuse River during Hurricane Florence, turned streets into canals, divided by rooftops.

It was waist deep on some of those streets, and deeper still on others. All around, street signs and trees poked through the water, offering landmarks to a terrain that even longtime residents now found unrecognizable. Simmons has lived here his entire life — 40 years — he said, and now he didn’t recognize anything…

Midway through his boat ride, his kitten climbed out of his jacket. He climbed on Simmons’ back, and then perched on his shoulder. For a moment it looked like they took in the scene around them together…

“His momma was in there,” Simmons said, referencing his home. “But she’s a wild cat, so …”

It wasn’t the only family separation on Friday. All day, Simmons said, he’d watched the small boats arrive in his neighborhood off Washington Street, and watched them haul away his neighbors.

His house hadn’t been flooded, he said. The water rose and stopped just outside of his front door, he said. Inside, his place was dry. And yet when he looked outside, he saw that the street he lived on had turned into a river. He saw there was no way out, and that for a while there wouldn’t be.

Inside, Simmons said he turned to his father and tried to convince him to leave. They could leave together, Simmons told him. And yet, Simmons said, “He wanted to wait it out.”…

He didn’t know the people who came to rescue him. It was a team of three younger men. None of them wanted to be identified. They’d been waiting in shallow water when Simmons approached from a small dry stretch of road. Simmons was but one of dozens of people who’d been trapped in this part of New Bern.

He climbed into the boat, his kitten hugging his neck, and soon one of the young men started a small motor. Off they went…

Remember the Waffle House Weather Index?

84 replies
  1. 1
    RedDirtGirl says:

    I expect the death toll is going to keep going up for some time. This storm is a big fucking deal.

  2. 2
    Lapassionara says:

    On top of everything, there are going to be snakes!

    These poor people.

  3. 3
    Cermet says:

    The poor especially, are vulnerable and have little choice but to ride it out. Then fema is their main hope – which under the orange fart cloud, may not be all that helpful. Voting matters and why the thugs do all in their power to suppress voting by the poor – they know that sooner or later, the poor get so screwed by the thugs that the vote will go against them.

    At least this area has resources, roads (while there may be a lot of water, it isn’t an ocean) and an elite white group that can and will demanded help by fema and the state; so, the poor might not be totally overlooked..

  4. 4

    So sad. 😔 And of course our disaster response will make it sadder.

  5. 5
    debit says:

    I can’t even imagine what this must be like. Just awful.

  6. 6
    Nicole says:

    Great post, and a great reminder to respond with kindness, not judgment. I think the very idea of disaster is so terrifying that we leap to reasons why this is someone’s fault. If we can convince ourselves they have no one to blame but themselves, we can go back to feeling safe. Even if it’s not based on reason.

    Also. Venomous snakes! Agh! (though zoo nerd does give due props for using the correct, “venomous” as opposed to the incorrect, “poisonous.”)

  7. 7
    p.a. says:

    Keep an eye on the NC state legislature when they try to further weaken voting access in impacted traditional Dem voting areas post-storm. Fucking pigs.

  8. 8
    WaterGirl says:

    @Nicole:

    I think the very idea of disaster is so terrifying that we leap to reasons why this is someone’s fault. If we can convince ourselves they have no one to blame but themselves, we can go back to feeling safe. Even if it’s not based on reason.

    We used to see that all the time when I worked at the rape crisis service. All the time. You could see the relief on other women’s faces when there would be a detail they could latch onto. I don’t sleep with the windows open, I don’t walk alone, I always have the first few dates in public places, etc.

    It’s human nature, as you say. This can’t happen to me.

  9. 9
    Llelldorin says:

    It’s quietly horrific how the tweets slowly become incorrect as the Washington Post updates its headline.

  10. 10
    Mike in NC says:

    Wife just learned that power has been restored to our neighborhood (at least for now). However, the roads leading out of Raleigh are flooded/closed and will probably remain so until Wednesday at the earliest, when the rains finally stop. 200 miles from home…

  11. 11
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Horrible.

  12. 12
    Brachiator says:

    RE: He was sad to leave his father, and later, his father wanted to stay.

    Fuck that shit. Somebody should have forced the father to evacuate.

  13. 13
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Brachiator: Did you not read the Scientific American excerpt immediately above Mr. Simmons’ story?

  14. 14
    hueyplong says:

    We are hunkered down halfway between Charlotte and Greensboro. Daughter’s boyfriend from Ireland is with us and he freaked out when I read aloud the “venomous snakes” thing. (it’s not every day that you get to drop a snake thing on an Irishman)

    We have a creek in back. It’s got white water right now, but it’s 40-50 feet below the house.

  15. 15
    sheila in nc says:

    We are fortunate in Chapel Hill to have been minimally affected. Just several days of rain, usually light rain but punctuated with heavier rainfall at times. Branches down, some loss of power but not widespread in our local area (our neighborhood has not lost power.) First the storm was east of us, then southeast, then south, and now it is projected to go northwards on a path that will take it out to our west, over towards Asheville. Still watching to see if any of our roads get flooded (we are under a flash flood warning.) All things considered, we are unbelievably fortunate.

  16. 16
    catclub says:

    @Nicole: seconded.

  17. 17
    Ruckus says:

    @Brachiator:
    What are you going to do, arrest him?
    It’s his home. It may be all he has. It isn’t rational that he’s staying but it seems like he’s able to make the choice. We live in a supposedly free country, your choice matters. In our state, as in most others, we have, the castle doctrine. It’s an old idea, that the one possession we have and can protect with force is our home. The son is 40, how old is his dad, around 70? I’m less than a year from that age, I have began to understand about getting old. A lot of my friends have never made it to this age. Maybe he just doesn’t want to go, and if he dies at least he’ll die at home. It isn’t rational, but then none of us are rational 100% of the time. We are capable of reason and rationality, but humans are not a rational species and I’d contend than no species is. We make choices not always based on rationality. It’s just the way it is. You have a choice, have you always made the right one? Or was there even always a right choice to make?

  18. 18
    Ruckus says:

    Also I got in touch with my friends in NC and they are OK. They live in the western hill area and are just getting rain.

  19. 19
    sukabi says:

    What rock did Drumpf pull the FEMA director out from under?

    Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Director Brock Long suggested on Sunday that President Donald Trump was right to doubt the hurricane death toll in Puerto Rico because some of the people could have died as a result of “spousal abuse.”

  20. 20
    boatboy_srq says:

    I for one fully expect FEMA to go in shoulder to shoulder with ICE juat to scare the pogees out of Those Other People®.

  21. 21
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brachiator:

    The father doesn’t seem to be in any immediate danger — their house did not flood, and the water is no longer rising in that area. At this point, if he has food and water, it might actually be best for him to stay and keep an eye on the house.

  22. 22
    Jay says:

    @Brachiator:

    We live in a forest fire vulnerable area now, due to Global Warming. The season runs from May to November.

    Every spring, I clear the firelines, fill the cisterns, tune up the pumps, place the hoses.

    We pack and prep for evacuation, and have a 3 step evacuation plan with 3 evacuation routes, 2 require serious 4 wheeling. Livestock gets evacuated when a fire is a definite threat. The wife, pets and critical items evacuate when the fire enroaches onto our property. I evacuate when the house is on fire.

    If a forest fire comes through, we will be left with nothing to show for our lives, and will have to live the rest of our lives in poverty.

  23. 23

    @Lapassionara: Snakes… why did it have to be snakes?

    Best wishes to all caught in this storm. I’m in Florida, so odds are pretty high it’ll be me next time (though fortunately, I’m almost 20 feet above sea level, so things could be a lot worse).

  24. 24
  25. 25
    Ruckus says:

    @sukabi:
    That’s known as the republican asshole rock. Not all their assholes are under it but they keep the best and biggest one’s there just so you won’t get too freaked out on a daily basis.
    He is a peach though, isn’t he?

  26. 26
    Suzanne says:

    I wish we could persuade authorities to upgrade the facilities of every public school to serve as evacuation centers for whatever hazards are most likely in a specific area (storms, floods, heatwaves, blizzards, etc). Build above flood plains, build extensive facilities for hygiene and basic health care, extra insulation, strong wind resistance, backup generators, etc. But then I remember that we can’t even have paper in our public schools.

  27. 27
  28. 28
    RedDirtGirl says:

    @p.a.: Really good point.

  29. 29
    RedDirtGirl says:

    @hueyplong: Be safe!

  30. 30
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Suzanne:

    In one of the Carolinas, kids have to bring their own toilet paper to school, because the schools no longer have a budget for it.

    Though that may have been the kind of “paper” you meant. 🤔

  31. 31
    gene108 says:

    @p.a.:

    Don’t these bills have to be signed off by the governor?

    Gov. Cooper is a Democrat.

    I am not sure R’s have a veto proof majority.

    Sec of State is also a Dem.

    A maybe some hope in NC

  32. 32
    TS (the original) says:

    @sukabi: What hold does trump have on so many people – or does he only accept people into his administration that are open to blackmail?

  33. 33
    Martin says:

    @sukabi: Alabama. There’s no inherent reason why Alabama republicans need to be so catastrophically shitty even among Republicans, but they never disappoint, do they?

  34. 34
    sukabi says:

    @Ruckus: he’s moved way up on the “Most Punchable Face” list. Grrrr

    From a quick Google to see who the Füçk that asshole was I found out that Kirsten Nielson asked him to resign over his extended absences from DC….and also that the IG has opened up an investigation into his use of gov. vehicles for going to his home in North Carolina and taking a huge entourage with him…

  35. 35
    Martin says:

    @TS (the original) Trump values loyalty above all else. The way all organized crime organizations work is by only trusting members that have been party to a crime to which you can blackmail them with. Trump is no different. So yes, he generally only hires dirty people.

  36. 36
    RedDirtGirl says:

    @Ruckus: This really resonated for me, as I am at the stage in life when my parents are in their final years and our roles are shifting. How and when do you step in over issues of independence, and the loss of it? My father (86) should’t be driving any more. He will not give it up willingly, and I understand why. My (divorced) mother is profoundly lonely, and seems to be giving up on life. I feel incredibly hopeless and helpless.

  37. 37
    SiubhanDuinne, Badass JAckal says:

    @sukabi:

    The fuck now?

  38. 38
    RedDirtGirl says:

    @Suzanne:

    upgrade the facilities of every public school to serve as evacuation centers

    This seems quite sensible. Are any people who actually believe in, and practice, civics that are pushing this as public policy?

  39. 39
    SiubhanDuinne, Badass Jackal says:

    @Suzanne:

    I wish we could persuade authorities to upgrade the facilities of every public school to serve as evacuation centers

    You may be unfamiliar with Betsy DeVos.

  40. 40
    p.a. says:

    @gene108: In other instances the thug lege is trying to legislatively take jurisdiction/responsibility away from the NC executive. If it’s a question of post-disaster funding (voting machines, hours, access etc) I’m not from NC but I believe as in USG the $ begins in the lege. They need to be watched and exposed.

  41. 41
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Brachiator: Perhaps someone will convince the father that the best course of action is to leave his home given the certainty that it will soon be flooded. At least there are rescuers in that area to save him.

  42. 42
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Mnemosyne: Well here in liberal NY I taught in a Buffalo Public School in which teachers brought toilet paper to school. They also had to come in early to sweep the rat droppings off the desks. There was an open drain in the floor of the so-called gym. Any way, partly due to the absurd way the building head maintenance engineers are compensated, no toilet paper, rats, etc. )
    We did get the other kind of paper, though. One ream a month. I had 200 students.
    (The Illustrious Jimmy Griffin was mayor then. What a peach! Look him up. Six Pack Jimmy. He said he’d seen worse. Every time the state increased the funding he decreased the city funding until finally the state just wouldn’t increase until the city did. Known spouse abuser. Nobody cared. Served 5 freaking terms. )

  43. 43
    p.a. says:

    @SiubhanDuinne, Badass Jackal: @RedDirtGirl: [spoken in Hannity-voice]: “And increase my TAXES???!!! Roswell! Roswell!”

  44. 44
    Ken says:

    @sukabi: Applying the rule that any attack by a Republican is actually a confession….

  45. 45
    TriassicSan says:

    Everyone is doing the best they can based on their personal context.

    As stated, this sentence is untrue. Most people are probably doing the best they can. But, clearly, there are irresponsible people who could evacuate and decide not to for very bad reasons. Any sentence beginning with a word like “everyone” is likely to be an overstatement. That said, condemning “everyone” who doesn’t evacuate ignores the realities of people’s lives. Even being stupid is a reality that can’t simply be overcome because there is an order to evacuate. And if the last two years have shown us anything, there are an awful lot of stupid people in this country. Poverty, age, illness, and ignorance, not necessarily in the same people, can prevent people who “should” evacuate from doing so.

  46. 46
    sukabi says:

    @Ken: It’s the ONLY logical thing to do at this point.

  47. 47
    eemom says:

    @sukabi:

    Heck of a job, Longie.

  48. 48
    WaterGirl says:

    @SiubhanDuinne, Badass Jackal: Well, I first read that as execution centers, so, yes, I can see her being for that.

  49. 49
    Suzanne says:

    @RedDirtGirl:

    This seems quite sensible. Are any people who actually believe in, and practice, civics that are pushing this as public policy?

    It has been discussed by emergency management types as good practice, since people would likely be less afraid to evacuate if they could be in their own neighborhoods, but it breaks down when it comes to, you know, paying the bill. Same as it ever was.

    My former office is one of the largest K-12 design firms in this part of the country. The budgets they have on some of their projects are just unbelievable. They end up with the cheapest construction you can find that meets code. And code is not very stringent. It certainly isn’t disaster-proof.

  50. 50
    sukabi says:

    @eemom: yeah, thinking when the next batch of disasters are in the rearview, and an evaluation is done on the responses he’s going to wish “Longie” is what he’s called.

  51. 51
    Gravenstone says:

    @SiubhanDuinne, Badass Jackal: Actually, DeVos might be all for the idea. If there were some way for her clan to monetize it for themselves, that is.

  52. 52
    Martin says:

    @Suzanne:

    I wish we could persuade authorities to upgrade the facilities of every public school to serve as evacuation centers for whatever hazards are most likely in a specific area (storms, floods, heatwaves, blizzards, etc). Build above flood plains, build extensive facilities for hygiene and basic health care, extra insulation, strong wind resistance, backup generators, etc. But then I remember that we can’t even have paper in our public schools.

    Well, I believe that Oklahoma is actually starting to look at schools in this way. But this is a state level policy. Ignore the feds and go to your state legs. It’s a good idea.

  53. 53
    Mel says:

    @Ruckus:
    @Mnemosyne:

    I agree completely. Unless the elderly person in question has dementia or another form of cognitive deficit and truly cannot make their own decision, there isn’t much to be done, beyond making sure that there is plenty of food and water, and making sure that the person staying behind has a reliable way to communicate and call for help if they need it.

    Especially with elderly folks who have worked hard and struggled their entire lifetimes to acquire and keep a safe place for themselves and their family, sometimes the prospect of losing that safe place (to weather destruction, vandalism, looting, theft, etc.) and then living the rest of their lives without the home they worked so hard to gain, or without the photos, treasured keepsakes, furniture, books, etc. that hold their lifetime’s memories is more frightening than the prospect of weathering the storm, or even the prospect of losing their own lives.

  54. 54
    Jay says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    Water crested at the door, now the water is dropping. If he has enough food and water until services are restored, the Father should be fine.

  55. 55
    Brachiator says:

    @Anne Laurie: I read the Scientific American article. I think it was largely a waste of time.

    I do not condemn people who stay behind. I mentioned in another thread that in California, people stay behind when there are brush fires or floods and mud slides. Sometimes people die because of this decision.

    I get tired of people framing shit as an opposition of the privileged and the most vulnerable, poor. This is not useful. And too often condescending.

    During Katrina, poor people were evacuated. It was messy and inefficient and had all kinds of problems. Area churches in Texas and Louisiana, including my sister’s, took people in. And this was just a small part of the rescue efforts.

    We should have learned a lot from Katrina and subsequent disasters. This is what FEMA is fucking for.

    We learned that those who stay behind include people who get the evacuation information late, people without cars or reliable transportation, the poor, the disabled and their care givers, and other categories of people.

    It’s a logistical problem. If there is a mandatory evacuation order, then you have to come up with ways of moving people.

    Fuck, FEMA plans were later modified to try to account for pets. This is the whole point. Look at how we do shit and improve it.

  56. 56
    Ruckus says:

    @RedDirtGirl:
    Sorry about that. I’ve been through that with both parents. Dad was 84, mom lived to the day before she was 95. We tried to get mom to stop driving, the last time I saw her drive was when she was 84, on her way to work her part time job at the police station 4 towns away. I got on the freeway and she went past me at better than 80. We had a deal though and that is if she failed her test, she stopped driving. She finally failed and told me, “I can take the test again.” I told her no, you said you’d stop if you failed, and you did. Give me the keys. Amazingly she did. Dad lived his last 20 yrs with Alzheimer’s and he stopped about 10 yrs before he passed. They were divorced long before though.
    I had to step in because first they both gave me power of attorney and health care directives. Dad was an easier decision because of the Alzheimer’s, there was just no way he could live by himself. Mom was a different story. She wouldn’t tell us what she wanted, her only plan was to have the lawyer draw up the papers. Hard decisions she wasn’t good at, avoiding them she was.
    Sorry I can’t be of more help, but each case is different and you just have to deal with it the best way you can. If you have siblings, I hope that you all can share the duties, that does make it a bit easier.

  57. 57
    Brachiator says:

    @Ruckus: We live in a free country, but have mandatory vaccination programs.

    If there is a mandatory evacuation order, you look for ways to move people. Persuasion is best. But you do what you need to do.

  58. 58
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @sukabi: Right now the President loves him. Combined with the fact that he no longer loves Nielsen and Long will stay as head of FEMA for as long as he wants or until the Democrats get subpoena power.

  59. 59
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @sukabi: Ah, the Elon Musk school of disaster analysis.

  60. 60
    Jay says:

    @Brachiator:

    “We should have learned a lot from Katrina and subsequent disasters. This is what FEMA is fucking for.”

    But you didn’t, not in anyway that lasted more than President Obama’s two terms.

  61. 61
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @RedDirtGirl: I have. In policy recommendation papers. I’ve yet to get traction.

  62. 62
    J R in WV says:

    Talked with a friend in Wilson NC between Raleigh and the coast. They had rain and a little wind, but nothing scary. He said, the problem is, all that rain west of them, it’s coming down towards them.

    Hope it doesn’t mess their neighborhood up too bad. It’s really flat there, which can be an issue with water.

    Also, they got two kittens recently, now about a year old. One appears to have Feline Leukemia, really small, but still chipper and happy, the other one is between 10 and 11 pounds, well vaccinated, appears to be doing well.
    They’re going to keep the little girl as long as she’s happy. Black kitties that chirp!

  63. 63
    John Cole says:

    “An Ongoing, Slow-Rolling Disaster” is going into my potentials file for titles of my memoir. “Lagoons of pig shit’ is another one.

  64. 64
    Ruckus says:

    @Mel:
    Another thing that lots don’t think about is home owners insurance. It’s probable that the dad owns the home outright and has no mandated reason for home owners insurance. And if in this flood his house is not flooded he at least lives on high enough ground that even if it did, it will likely be minimal. If he’s my age, give or take 5 yrs and retired from whatever high paying job he likely didn’t have and has no HOI then this is very likely his only asset. I have a friend 10 yrs older than me whose only real asset is the home he built for his dad, who passed about 10-12 yrs ago. His SS would not be a livable income without that home. This is all he has. Mr Simmons dad may not be in any better of place.
    A lot of olds really do not have a lot to retire on and really can not work a day’s work any longer. Especially given the typical employee work load of a lot of corporations these days.

  65. 65
    Gvg says:

    @Martin: Florida hasn’t actually upgraded facilities, but our schools are evacuation centers. Part of the aftermath of hurricane Andrew. Counties have sort of treaties with each other so the coastal county residents evacuate inland. I live in a middle county. The first post Andrew hurricane, I was taken off guard to hear the schools closed. We are 50 miles inland and it wasn’t a big storm so I knew it wasn’t a threat to Gainesville. Turns out we are evacuation destination for several coastal counties on both coasts. I also found out people on the coast evacuate to friends houses and everybody in town gets company because we are nicely in the center.
    Depends on which direction the hurricane is coming from as to which family friends need to turn up. That’s how you get old people willing to move and evacuate. A place to go they know.

  66. 66
    RedDirtGirl says:

    @Ruckus: Thanks for that. I do have siblings, and one of them is near both parents, the other two of us or not, so there is the added challenge of trying to provide respite for that sister, as well.

  67. 67
    Walker says:

    I have been talking to my mom in Wilmington every day. The tree that fell on the house killing two people was down the road from her. And tree damage seems to be the major issue. Many of the old canopy trees on Market Street are gone. But other than that, no serious flooding and everything is holding. But she does not know what the damage is like on Front Street, which is on the Cape Fear.

  68. 68
    Mel says:

    @RedDirtGirl: I’m so sorry. It is heartbreaking.

    I’m helping to care for a beloved elderly relative who has Alzheimer’s. She also has anosognosia, and so she doesn’t at all understand or believe that she has severe cognitive problems. It’s gut wrenching to see her grief and confusion and frustration when she isn’t allowed to do everyday things that now would jeopardize her safety. In her perception, we are just being unreasonable and awful by “denying” her those activities.

    Just know that all we can do is do our best. Sometimes it’s enough, and sometimes, things are just beyond our power to change or to fix. Never hesitate to reach out for help with your parents. It can get so overwhelming, and you need to remember to take good care of yourself.

    Many, many hugs to you. Hang in there. We will find the way through this stuff.

  69. 69
    sukabi says:

    @John Cole: “Lagoons of pig shit” ….jeeze John, I hope you’re not talking about your backyard.😕

  70. 70
    Jay says:

    @Brachiator:

    Nope.

    “All 50 states in the U.S. mandate immunizations for children in order to enroll in public school, but various exemptions are available depending on the state. All states have exemptions for people who have medical contraindications to vaccines, and all states except for California, West Virginia, and Mississippi allow religious exemptions, while eighteen states allow parents to cite personal, conscientious, philosophical, or other objections.[76] An increasing number of parents are using religious and philosophical exemptions: researchers have cited this increased use of exemptions as contributing to loss of herd immunity within these communities, and hence an increasing number of disease outbreaks.[77]”

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaccination_policy

  71. 71
    ljt says:

    Is anyone else having trouble getting the site to load? I’m unable to load on Mac in any browser. Can only access by phone.

  72. 72
    Ruckus says:

    @Brachiator:
    Most of those mandatory evacuation orders really aren’t. And past that there isn’t enough law enforcement to deal with it and keeping the flow of those that leave moving. Sure you can call out the NG, except that a lot of units are actually on active duty, like the one nearest my work, everyone is now in the middle east with one of our employees.
    So really what are you going to do? Most of the people that could enforce a mandatory order live in the area and have to take care of their families and work double shifts at least. Where are you going to take these people you arrest? How are you going to transport them? What are you going to do after you arrest them, take them to jail? The jails are full or close to it now. How will this look to those people if they survive and their houses are gone, does this sound like a politically advantageous thing for the mayor, governor?
    The reality is that it is a logistical nightmare in any situation this big. You do what you can, you clean up after it’s over. Sure it can be worse, Katrina comes to mind. There they arrested people on bridges because they wouldn’t leave the high ground, even if it was unsafe.

  73. 73
    Another Scott says:

    @ljt: It’s working here on my MBP with Chrome.

    I (like many others) had trouble for a few days when the CDN for the site was moved around. Maybe you’ve got old DNS entries on your Mac that haven’t been updated? (And your phone uses different DNS?) You could try temporarily changing the DNS entries on your Mac to 8.8.4.4 and 8.8.8.8 (Google’s public DNS servers) and see if that helps. (Note the old entires before making changes, of course. ;-)

    Just a thought. Hope this helps.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  74. 74
    Ruckus says:

    @Another Scott:
    You do know that when you speak in a foreign language that few understand it just sounds like gibberish.
    And yes my mac works just fine.

  75. 75
    Another Scott says:

    @Ruckus: Yup. It’s a problem. But Google is helpful, and we can provide more follow-up details if necessary.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  76. 76
    rikyrah says:

    @RedDirtGirl:
    Outside of literally taking the keys, I don’t know. My mother had a big accident a few years before she died. It wasn’t even her fault, but it convinced her to stop driving. Your mother doesn’t have family or friends? No Senior Center near her? No church activities?

  77. 77
    rikyrah says:

    Florence is a beast😢😢

  78. 78
    Ruckus says:

    @Another Scott:
    I was funning you. Somewhat. I only have house work to do other wise.
    We all do this a bit here, expecting others to know what we know, when in fact a lot of people have extensive knowledge in one small sliver of the big picture but very limited in all/most of the rest.

  79. 79

    I got a cousin in Fayetteville. I hope her family’s okay.

  80. 80
    Ruckus says:

    @rikyrah:
    Getting the keys away from them can be very difficult. You can’t sell the car because they hold the title. Some states, like CA test people every year or two as they get over a certain age or have tickets/accidents. As I said above that’s how we got my mom’s keys and she gave the car to my sister after that as she said she would. I think most of them know but refuse to admit that the thing that gives them independence, they have to give up. If you live in a big city it may not be so bad, busses, trains/subway, Uber. But a smaller town? The last small town I lived in, where I lived it would have been very difficult without a car. But even groceries today can be somewhat handled, many large chains have delivery, sometimes free.

  81. 81
    RedDirtGirl says:

    @Mel: Thank you, Mel. Hugs gratefully accepted!

  82. 82
    RedDirtGirl says:

    @rikyrah: She has not made new friends in the retirement community where she moved 2 years ago. My sister is near by, and we have found an amazing young companion to spend several hours with her several times a week. But it is not enough.

  83. 83
    Procopius says:

    @Cermet: The current head of FEMA is highly regarded, very experienced, and said to inspire the workers. So, naturally, Wossername Kirstjen Orsomething, is trying to push him out and put her former “housemete” in. Hopefully, she’s been persuaded to wait until after Florence is over. Think it was at Emptywheel where I read that, and Marcy is one of the people I trust.

  84. 84
    Procopius says:

    @sukabi: I dunno, if you read the quotation at RawStory from the interview at Meet the Press, his reference to spousal abuse seems more reasonable. He says after a disaster rates of spousal abuse shoot way up. He mentions it among several other causes of death from indirect causes, even heart attacks from stress. All in all I get a pretty favorable impression of him. The message he’s trying to give is that he hasn’t read the study so doesn’t know its methodology, but it includes “indirectly caused” deaths, where the original estimate was probably from direct causes, houses collapsing, people drowning.

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