Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Hurricane Wilma Spins at Incredible Speed


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Hurricane Wilma suddenly crossed her arms and kicked out her trailing leg and spun into one of the greatest hurricanes ever seen. All this in less than 90 minutes.

Gathering strength at a fierce pace, Hurricane Wilma swirled into the most intense Atlantic storm ever recorded Wednesday, a Category 5 monster packing 175 mph wind that forecasts warned was "extremely dangerous."

Wilma was dumping rain on Central America and Mexico. A hurricane watch was in effect for the east coast of Mexico's Yucatan peninsula, parts of Cuba and the Cayman Islands, and forecasters warned of a "significant threat" to Florida by the weekend.

"All interests in the Florida Keys and the Florida peninsula should closely monitor the progress of extremely dangerous Hurricane Wilma," the National Hurricane Center in Miami said.
According to the news, she went from a catagory 1 to a catagory 4 in less than 90 minutes. This has got to be a record. As the hurricane stalled out in very warm waters this was a bad thing because it could cook up quite a bit in such circumstances.

This is amazing, the number of powerful hurricanes this year. And it is merely a taste of things to come. This week, California again had unusual weather for fall, powerful storms suddenly formed over Southern California, dropping hail and many lightning bolts. I remember the past, my granddaddy used to blame me for bringing lightning storms when I visited, after all, they never had them there except on rare occasions.

Now it happens a lot.

Mudslides and deaths came, too, nothing to compare with the 75,000+ deaths from the earthquakes this month, but it is happening in "civilization". A first world country! And here in the Northeast, dams are on the verge of failing, rivers roar and it is like springtime, isn't it? Just as warm, too.

On the Gulf, they are frantically trying to rebuild as fast as possible in exactly the places destroyed by tidal surges and dams collapsing. Instead of retreating, they will build bigger, much more expensive places, gambling palaces! From
12-story Isle of Capri casino and hotel, the signs linger of Hurricane Katrina's devastating wrath: mammoth casino barges shoved across a highway, the foundations of stately waterfront houses the storm rubbed out like an eraser from the sky.

Inside the casino, though, the scene was one of frenzied optimism: A room filled with architects from Illinois and elsewhere around the country, sketching a new future for the Mississippi Gulf Coast from morning till caffeine-wired midnight. Not the sophisticated planning effort you'd expect from the nation's poorest state.
Aside from the spectacle of "Christian" right wing states squealing for sin and sex, the most insane thing we can do in the face of global warming is to build huge complexes right where catagory 5+ hurricanes will stomp around! Worse, all this will be insured and funded by taxpayers.

Wilma looks like she is going to "charge it!" to Florida. Right across the tourist zone, too. The densest housing boom section. If she hits with winds in excess of 200 mph, she will scrub out nearly anything standing. Since the houses there are built in very flimsy fashion, not nearly as strong as snowy Northern states that need to hold up under snow loads of huge weight, these buildings are full of windows and have a foundation usually barely 4" thick or no foundation at all if they are factory homes. Even here in the NE, people put their manufactured homes on cement blocks rather than a secure foundation!

I spent over $8000 on my basement/foundation. It is very awesome, the cement pad is 8" thick, has three layers of rebar/mesh, it is set on a foundation that is 4' deep and the walls are 12" thick and have a lot of rebar in them, too. And it is insulated with 2" blue board. The foundation of a house is its key point and a bad one can doom a house and you too!

This is where everyone likes to skimp which means lots of work for me when people call about their crummy basements.

Wilma just might be the deathknell of central/southern Florida. Not even Chang, the Bush magic buddy, can change this if she decides to visit.

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