Katrina II: Time to Plan is Now
National Hurricane Center prediction as of Saturday afternoon for Ernesto.
UPDATE: Early Saturday evening forecast track has taken an unexpected jink to the east, improving matters somewhat as far as NOLA is concerned. This of course is still far out and predictions past three days or so are always uncertain. The rest of the opinion herein still applies unchanged.
We have the original Hurricane Pam exercise. We have a certain hard-won real-world experience. What possible harm could it do to start now planning a full-scale Hurricane Drill for next weekend for the LA/MS/AL Gulf Coast?
If the storm (as three tracks predict) never curves at all and smacks the TX/Mexico border, or (as two other tracks predict) recurves east over Florida, NOLA and the region still get a badly needed chance to show they can do it right next time. If on the other hand the track shown above is followed....it's Labor Day weekend coming up for chrissakes. Again. If the worst that happens is that some leaves get cancelled, who the hell cares, the city is broke anyway.
Mayor Nagin, I'm talkin' to you my brother. You know better than to hope 'n' pray this time. At least put the school district on notice that you want the fucking buses gassed, keys distributed to drivers, and ready to go when and if the word goes out.
And if it turns out you don't have a good list of where thousands of people are living in FEMA trailers, tents, vehicles and partly-reconstructed buildings....best get to work on that too, maybe. So the buses know where to go.
If you need help, I think I know where you can find a volunteer...