Thursday, September 22, 2005

Rain hits the Mississipi coast

Rain hits the Mississipi coast

This is really the first rain since Katrina was here!

Over three weeks since Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, we finally got rain today. This might have been good news but for a series of less-happy facts:-

  • The rain is the northern-most tip of Rita, so this is the harbinger of much worse weather that will hit land to the west and north of us.

  • Much of the coastal flooding has still not completely receded.

  • New Orleans is absolutely not ready to take another storm - it won't take much to create fresh flooding and to burst the levvies again.

  • The rest of the coast is not ready for another storm either. Most of the storm damage has not yet been made secure. Many, many buildings still have no kind of roof or even a tarpaulin to protect them from further damage.

  • What debris there is that has been gathered together is mostly piled at the side of the road waiting for the local goverment or FEMA to collect it and take it away for disposal - it's going to take little more than a whiff of wind and a few drops of rain to start spreading that debris all over the place.

  • If we get anything more than about 10 mph winds, a lot of that debris will be flying around causing new damage.

  • Fresh rain will encourage fresh mosquitos - they have not yet been as bad as some had predicted.

On the plus side - there has to be a plus side, right?

  • The fact that a lot of the debris has not been cleared away means that most of the coast is smelling bad right now. I reckon at least some of that smell will be eased as the rain washes a lot of the cause of that away. Although making it wet will most likely make it worse than ever in another day or two :-(

  • There has been a burn-ban across the 6 southern counties of Mississippi, and no dound in Alabama and Louisiana too - making it impossible for people to dispose of their own debris. This may well be lifted. OK I know it's a bad idea to encourage people to burn all their storm debris, but for many in outlying areas it will be the only way to clean up.

  • Nature needs a drink. I have mentioned a couple of times how pleased I have been to see trees regrowing their leaves. I am sure a day or two of rain will help to fuel that regrowth. It will be nice to see the trees with their clothes back on, providing us with a less-bleak view of the world, and of course some shade form the relentless sun.

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