OT: Have we become that stupid ..

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... as to be inflicted with this never ending proliferation of idiots with microphones and rain gear who seem convinced that they alone have made the profound discovery that high wind, rain, and flood water are components of hurricanes?
It's gotta be the rarity of the air in LA and New York that causes the ignorant, condescending arrogance that makes the Teutels' look like brain surgeons.
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Amen.
When did we become weather wimps? Snow is not an unusual feature of a Milwaukee winter, yet each and ever snowfall, regardless of amount, is played as a life threatening disaster on the local stations. I suppose all in the name of ratings.
Apparently it is no different elsewhere for whatever the nature of their weather. High winds, heavy rain, flooding. Business as usual in a hurricane.
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George Max wrote:

I've been wondering about that ever since I came back to CONUS about 20 years ago from Guam. We didn't close the grocery stores until we had 100mph winds. Nobody panicked or did the stupid stuff I see on TV. We tossed tires onto sheet metal roofs and tied them down to stakes, put shutters over the windows and collected water. No big deal. We had tons of little "banana 'phoons". They were good for parties afterwards while the gov tried to get the electricity back up. Everyday someone on the street wold open their freezer and the street would have a party. Next day it was somebody else's turn. Just kept going until we had power again. No FEMA except for the *really* bad ones. Certainly no talking heads whining about rain and wind. Dave in Fairfax
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I've been watching a fair amount of the news footage of the hurricane since Sunday evening, and I'm trying to put my comments to these posts in fairly politically correct format...
There's a considerable difference between localized flooding caused by a small river overflowing and the flooding that they appear to be experiencing down south. I don't know how many homes are affected, but when they show block upon block of homes flooded to the eaves, I wonder where the previous two poster's compassion is. It's not like "Oh, gee, the power's down for a couple of days, let's take it easy till it comes back, then we'll all go back to work, and life goes on...". These people are talking about being homeless for months, if not years (how long does it take to build a house from the foundations up, especially when there's thousands of other homes in the same predicament). The only belongs that will have been saved (if they're lucky) will be the ones that fit into the back of their vehicle as they fled their houses. Who knows when they'll be able to get back to work, and get a real income again.
*just shaking my head, trying to understand the hard-hearted comments*
Sure, maybe the talking heads don't have to be on the air, 24/7. And soon enough, they'll stop, and go on to the next story. But the rebuilding process down along the coast is going to go on for a long time. I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy.
FWIW, up here in Edmonton, they recently experienced a "once in a century" storm. There was extensive flooding of basements due to the water levels. I believe it took 18 months to 2 years for some of the people to get their basements liveable again, due to the number of incidents of flooding that occurred. And that was incredibly mild, compared to what the people along the Gulf Coast are experiencing. The number of homes affected up here were a tiny fraction of the number down there, and the magnitude of the damage (flooded basements compared to rebuilding houses) was much smaller. Plus the fact that most people's job's weren't affected, communities immediately outside the trouble zone weren't affected, so supplies were quick to come back in stock, etc...
Clint

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Clint wrote:

I suspect two things--one, it's not them and two, there's no way one can get the actual level of destruction and scale involved in such an area from all the news footage. And, the difference between the area hit this time and a place like Guam is the difference between, well, CONUS and Guam...

That's the OP's point that so much of the "reporting" is nothing but sensationalism and individual "reporters" essentially showing off trying to outdo each other in showing off--kinda' like the junior high kids in front of the school...

That's certainly true. OTOH, I have only a limited amount of compassion (for lack of a better word) for those who knowingly build in a place on the Gulf Coast below sea level and expect to not have such a result. While it's a major disaster, most of it is actually self-inflicted if folks weren't so bent on doing things that really just aren't smart decisions.
The moral of the story is that hurricanes <are> going to happen and if you insist on being where they are going to come ashore, you'd best be prepared for the result. That a major storm of such size occurs only every 50 years or so on average means, unfortunately, that most folks don't recall what happened the last time.
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seems that the insurance industry should offer discounts to folks who build houses (or at least ROOFS) to a higher standard could get some kind of discounts. They do this sort of thing with cars, why not houses.
And build a house that can be easily refurbished after a flood. Good old concrete blocks would work well.
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On Tue, 30 Aug 2005 17:52:09 -0400, "Lee Michaels"

This is something I ponder after every report of a disaster. Some disasters seem to have greater survivability than others. For the ones with a higher probability of survival of the structure, why aren't the structures better built for the environment they stand in?
For example - the fires in Southern California a couple of summers ago - I saw a photo of a single house in one of the affected neighborhoods that survived. A stucco house with a clay tile roof. All the others apparently constructed as a regular frame house with asphalt shingles. Why build a house like that in that area?
And in hurricane prone areas, why build close to the shore where you *know* storm surge will inundate your structure? And as you mention a roof to better resist the wind. Some magazine did a story about a house built by the mother of former Attorney General Janet Reno. That dwelling did a great job of resisting Hurricane Andrew.
What's wrong with building a dwelling for the climate?
Of couse if the disaster is an earthquake or a direct hit by a tornado, maybe not much can be done.
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George Max wrote:

I don't think total safety is possible. We live in a non-earthquake area that nevertheless has mild quakes from time to time. So far, no problem. Hurricanes sometimes bring excessive rain here, with major damage done 20 years ago from flooding. We get the occasional tornado, though seldom a big or bad one, though a decade or so ago, just about 150 yards south of our house, a "small" tornado ripped a huge swath through some woods, tearing tops out of many pine trees. If it had been 150 yards further north, this house and several others would have ceased to exist, except as debris to be carted to the dump.
Yet this is a very safe area, compared to many others.
I don't have a whole lot of sympathy for the wealthy who build in problem prone areas, but around New Orleans, and in areas of southern Florida, there are many families that cannot afford to up sticks and move for av ariety of reasons--impossible to sell the house, even if a job can be found elsewhere, so a 55 year old couple, for example, would have to walk away from a mostly paid for home (one on which the bank would insist they complete paying the mortgage), other problems.
These things are unfortunately almost never simple to resolve for the people who are involved, regardless of what onlookers, naysayers, and other like to believe.
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Solid block, yes, but I'd be leary of hollow block getting saturated with the muck floating around.

Much of this is now being done. At the New Jersey shore, most communities have restrictions on what can be on the lower level. The bottom 8 or 10 foot of concrete can not have any utilities, breaker box, heater, etc.
Gaining in popularity all over, but especially in the south is Insulating Concrete Forms (ICFs) because they are both energy efficient and withstand strong winds. www.standardicf.com or www.polysteel.com or www.integraspec.com You can see some effects of tornado damage here http://www.polysteel.com/saferooms.htm as well as information of a safe room.
Disclaimer: My company molds some of the product for these companies to cover distribution in the northeast..
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<<This is something I ponder after every report of a disaster. Some disasters seem to have greater survivability than others. For the ones with a higher probability of survival of the structure, why aren't the structures better built for the environment they stand in?>>
Frank Zappa had a song that fairly well describes the prevailing attitude: "It Can't Happen Here." It's the same reason that people will have 3 or 4 beers and get behind the wheel (some without bucking their seatbelts), or that hundreds of people who have never lit a cigarette will embark upon the habit every day for the foreseeable future, or that several people who know better will stand directlly in line with the blade while ripping a piece of wood on the table saw. There is just something in human nature that convinces us that bad things can only happen to other people and not to ourselves.
Lee
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wrote

Or good old Domes. Buckminister Fuller (Bucky) designed domes to wistand arctic blasts. I know that it doesn't fit into traditional styles, but a manufactured dome would have many advantages. Including a quick build time with unskilled labor. Build them out of ferro cement. No roof to blow off. Etc, etc
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On Wed, 31 Aug 2005 09:25:17 -0500, George Max

Uh, what exactly do you think is under the stucco of just about every house in Southern California, including (most likely) the one you saw? Hint: starts with a "w" and gets discussed occasionally on this NG.
And more than likely, the adjacent homes to the one that survived had the same type of roof or something equally "fire-proof". Once a large fire gets into an area densely populated enough to be called a "neighborhood", the primary factor determining which houses survive and which ones burn is called "luck".
Lee
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Lee DeRaud wrote:

Even if you're right it was more likely the landscaping that saved that one house.
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On Wed, 31 Aug 2005 11:16:27 -0700, Lee DeRaud

I had been in the areas that burned about 2 weeks before it all started. Lots of roofs that looked like asphalt shingles. Maybe they were something else, but they sure looked that way to my midwestern eyes.
Yes, wood under the stucco, but stucco doesn't burn. Hard to start a fire when the outer shell doesn't support combustion.
I wish I could find that photo again to post here or in the furniture picture forum. The neighborhood looked like all the rest around the country. Small hillside lots with houses very near each other. Very ordinary, very typical.
Luck? Maybe so, but I tend to think other factors are in play when 200 of your neighbors are burned out and you're not. It's obvious this house stood in the center of a firestorm for a while and lived to tell the tale.
And this is where I stand - were I to construct a new house in a particular area, I'm going to want to build with techniques that improve the chances of survivability. Note that I say "improve my chances" since it's a certainty that just about any structure can be destroyed with the right combination of events.
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On Fri, 02 Sep 2005 08:07:13 -0500, George Max

The primary propagation mechanism for fires in a residential neighborhood is flying embers, to which asphalt shingles are effectively fireproof.

You're missing my point: about 99% of the houses here *have* stucco as their outer shell. I can count on my thumbs the number of houses I've seen here that have combustible siding.
Here's the real deal: the reason you even saw the picture of that house is because it was an anomaly at that location. The single house that survives (for whatever reasons) gets tons of air time, unlike the blocks of identical structures that were burned flat *or* survived unscathed.
But what do I know, I've only lived here 32 years.
Lee
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[...]

... just like old battleships that are anounced as "never been overcome by the enemy forces". Yes. Anyone sees that the ship is still afloat and was not sunk by the enemy. The other vessels cn no longe be visited unless you do scuba diving...
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mailto: snipped-for-privacy@physik.uni-bonn.de Phone: +49 228 73 2447 FAX ... 7869
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wrote:

i recall that picture. i also recall that it was due to the fact that the owner cleared out everything that could burn for a 30-50' radius, and was the only one to do so in that area.

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how this " Wet Weather" down south will be affecting the economy of the U.S. for years to come let alone the lives of a million displaced weather wimps. The Port of New Orleans is the worlds busiest port complex , that's including the shipping activity of the Mississippi.
Their saying at least 6 weeks to get electrify back up in the busiest port complex in the world! I'm not too sure how that compares to a few snow days off in Milwaukee or a week of eating canned beef in Gaum after a good soaking, but were going to find out.
I recommend a visit to the Red Cross for a little donation in spite of all the wet weather down there, they still have a need for water to drink!
Ed
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"Clint" wrote in message

You're missing the point and running rabbit trails that have nothing to do with original comment regarding the pervasive "tragic TV syndrome".
The OP has plenty of "compassion" for those displaced, he lost his home and a lifetime of possessions to flooding in Tropical Storm Allison in 2001. DAMHIKT.
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Exactly...the reporters trivialize the danger by over acting the danger before it has really begun or from just out side of a shelter. The fact that you can see what is going on is an indicater that the storm has not really begun. In 1970 I went through my 3rd hurricane at age 15. My parrents and I sat in the master bath room in the middle of the house and there the walls moved back and forth. The water in the toilet would almost empty and refill from the vacuum in the sewer caused by the winds. Yelling was required to talk when sitting elboe to elboe. After the winds died down and we looked outside the fences were gone. Not just knocked down, gone. Whole roofs from the heighbors homes sat in the middle of the streets. Many homes whole roofs sat upside down in their back yards. Few trees remained standing and U-haul trailers sat on top of houses.
I really do feel sorry for every one that was hit by Katrina. They will be very very lucky if their lives get back to normal by this time next year.

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