Archive for the ‘Storm Watch’ Category

Gustav Watch: How You Can Help

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

I just got an email from a friend who is helping to coordinate disaster relief here in Birmingham for Gustav victims.  She reports that there are already more than 5,400 refugees here, with more to come.  Hands On Birmingham needs volunteers to help feed and shelter those refugees.  If you can help, click here to register.

If you know of other agencies, either in Birmingham or elsewhere, that need our help caring for hurricane victims, please leave the information in comments.

Not Again

Saturday, August 30th, 2008

Yesterday was the third anniversary of the US landfall of Hurricane Katrina.  Now Gustav is bearing down on the gulf coast as a category 4 storm.  Those of you who read here regularly are probably aware that my co-blogger Del and her family live in Mobile, and we have readers who are still recovering from the damage inflicted by Katrina and Rita.  They and many other people in the path of the storm could use our good thoughts and prayers right now and may very well need a helping hand before this is over.  Please hold all of them close to your hearts.

Checking In

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

I hope everyone is okay in the wake of yesterday’s storms. We lost power for about 12 hours — went to bed last night in the pitch dark to the hum of the neighbor’s generator (*grumble, grumble, grumble*). Power came back on at 4:30 this morning, and we cheered. Other than some temporarily (I hope) flattened plants, no damage at our house. I wish I could say the same for everyone. We couldn’t get much news coverage last night, but I did hear mention of trees on houses and roads and lots of downed power lines.

I’m very grateful for the Alabama Power crews who worked through the night! I don’t know that they’re done yet, but they deserve a virtual cold beer from me when they finish.

Katrina Aftermath: Report from Bay St. Louis

Saturday, September 1st, 2007

[Proud mom's note:  I asked 14YOD to write this as we remember those whose lives were touched by Hurricane Katrina.]  Two years ago today [8/29], Hurricane Katrina hit the Southeast. One month ago this past Tuesday, I got back from a mission trip in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi where there is still damage.I was in Bay St. Louis with the junior high of my youth group, and this mission trip was different from any other we had ever been on.  The regular set-up for Group Work Camps Foundation is this.  All the youth groups stay in a high school, sleep on the floor of the classrooms, eat in the cafeteria, and have worship services in the gymnasium.  The first night that you are there, Sunday, you meet your crew of four or five youth and one or two adults, who you will be working with for the rest of the week.  There isn’t anyone from your youth group in there, so you don’t know anyone at the beginning of the week.  You are staying in an impoverished community, and you and your crew are assigned someone’s house to repair.  This is your resident.  Most of the time, you are painting, caulking window frames, boarding up parts of houses that are falling apart.  There are bigger things that you do too, like building wheel chair ramps, re-shingling rooftops. (more…)

Katrina Revisited

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

Two years ago today, Katrina roared ashore and devastated a large part of the Gulf Coast.  The next day, I posted some pictures that still take my breath away.  Last year, the recovery had just begun.  Today, we’re further along, but we’re not there yet.

But much of New Orleans still looks like a wasteland, with businesses shuttered and houses abandoned. Basic services such as schools, libraries, public transportation and childcare are at half their original levels and only two-thirds of the region’s licensed hospitals are open. Workers are often scarce. Rents have skyrocketed. Crime is rampant.

Along Mississippi’s 70-mile shoreline, harsh economic realities are hampering rebuilding. Cities like Biloxi and Pascagoula are making progress, but areas nearer to Katrina’s original landfall look barely improved, with most oceanfront lots still vacant and weedy.

Pam has a good overview, with links to several Gulf area blogs, at her place.  Our memories are short, but the need remains.  Let’s not forget.

Huge Sigh of Relief

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

Joe is home safe and sound from Jamaica.  He has a report and pictures of Hurricane Dean at his place.  Go give him some “welcome home” love!

Jamaica News

Monday, August 20th, 2007

Here’s some local coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Dean, which brushed the southern edge of Jamaica.  No word from Joe, but I doubt he has power at this point.  MSNBC has video of the storm and its survivors.  There doesn’t seem to be much in the news right now.  I’ll let y’all know as soon as I hear something from Joe.

Update from Jamaica

Saturday, August 18th, 2007

Joe has an update on the situation in Jamaica over at Bessemer Opinions.  The group from UAB and San Diego State is preparing for Hurricane Dean.  They’re scheduled to return to the US on Tuesday, but Joe expects flooding will delay them.

Dean has been upgraded to a Category 4 and is expected to hit Jamaica sometime tomorrow.  Keep the good thoughts and/or prayers coming!

(Okay, that headline is a bit misleading.  I’m not in Jamaica.  My post actually comes from Georgia, where we’re visiting my mom for the weekend.)

Dean Now Major Hurricane

Friday, August 17th, 2007


Oh crap!  It’s now a Category 3 and still headed straight for Jamaica.  There’s nothing new on Joe’s website about the group from UAB.  The center of the storm has passed St. Lucia, Martinique, and Dominica, although they are still being lashed with heavy wind and rain.

Dean will cross the eastern Caribbean south of Jamaica before heading to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and the Gulf of Mexico, according to the U.S. center.

“Dean won’t directly be hitting any more islands for several days,” [hurricane specialist Hugh] Cobb said. “The next island in its crosshairs is going to be Jamaica. Puerto Rico and Haiti will also see high winds and rains, but won’t be hit.”

Dean is expected to intensify to Category 4 level on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale by the time it crosses the Yucatan Peninsula on Aug. 20 or 21, forecasters predict. Dean is on a path to be in the Gulf of Mexico by Aug. 22 at Category 4 strength or higher.

“I wouldn’t rule out Dean could hit the Texas Coast as a Category 5,” said Cobb. “It’s still a long ways out to predict, but given the ocean’s warmer waters and low wind shear, conditions are ideal for it to strengthen.”

Let’s hope it dissipates instead.

Nice We’re Having Weather

Thursday, August 16th, 2007

I had an email this morning from blogger pal Joe of Bessemer Opinions.  He’s in Jamaica with a group from UAB studying community-based approaches to public health, and he and his fellow students now find themselves in the path of Hurricane Dean.


For those like me who aren’t completely sure of your Caribbean geography, I’ll point out that Jamaica is the small island, just below Cuba, that’s smack in the middle of the purple on the map above.  Joe says they’re staying in a concrete building away from the coast, and he’s not worried at this point.  I say send good thoughts their way.

Meanwhile, tropical depression Erin made landfall near Corpus Christi, Texas, this morning, dumping even more rain on the already saturated state.  Fortunately, the storm has weakened to the point that forecasters don’t expect wind damage.  Unfortunately, they still expect storm surge and flash floods.

And here in Alabama, we remain in the midst of record-melting heat.  Yesterday’s high of 105° exceeded by four degrees the previous record for the day, and it extended our streak of 100°+ days to nine.  It was also the hottest day since 1980.  Perhaps it’s time to rethink starting school in mid-August, but my brain is too mushy at this point.