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Hurricane Hysteria Strikes Again

by: Oreo

Fri May 25, 2012 at 10:31:51 AM EDT


Officials in Florida are holding a disaster planning drill to determine just how bad a Category 3 hurricane would be for the Republican National Convention.

This week, he and other state Emergency Management officials will run through the nightmare scenario of a major hurricane hitting Tampa during the middle of the convention. The storm, nicknamed "Hurricane Gispert" for Hillsborough's recently retired EOC director, will follow the path of the last major storm to hit Tampa Bay, the Hurricane of 1921.

"The impacts would be devastating," said Brian LaMarre of the National Weather Service in Ruskin. He is among the team of meteorologists helping to coordinate with the U.S. Secret Service for just such a scenario. The week of the convention, a team from the Ruskin office will staff the emergency operations center in Tampa around the clock.

"Downtown Tampa would be under water, transportation would be severed," says LaMarre. "If we see a category 1 impact downtown Tampa at high tide, the bridges will no longer be passable." - WTSP

Matt has written repeatedly about hurricanes and conventions (see here, here, here, here and here). The biggest takeaway from his posts is this:

The chance of a hurricane hitting Tampa Bay the week of the convention are probably less than 1 percent, a National Hurricane Center scientist estimates.
...

"For a major hurricane, it's a rare event," said Chris Landsea, science and operations officer at the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

In August, most hurricanes move east to west. So Tampa Bay, on Florida's west coast, tends to be a "little shielded," he said.

Landsea puts the chances of a hurricane hitting the Tampa Bay area during August at about 2 to 3 percent.

For any given week in August, the chance may be one-half of 1 percent — or possibly up to 1 percent if 2012 is an especially busy hurricane season.

I don't think people should be worried about hurricanes in Tampa... they should be worried about earthquakes.

And just in case you think Charlotte reporters aren't joining in the fun there's this:

The peak of hurricane season is usually around Sept. 10, but the peak activity in the Carolinas is the first week of September.

That week happens to coincide with the DNC this year.

Lewis Collins is concerned about what his trip to work in uptown Charlotte will be like in early September.

"It's going to be a madhouse," he said.

But he's also concerned about a hurricane hitting the coast - or possibly further inland -- at the same time. Collins said he still remembers everything about 1989, the year Hurricane Hugo hit. - WSOC

Oreo :: Hurricane Hysteria Strikes Again

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It's not the percent chance of a hit that matters... (0.00 / 0)
...it's the percent chance of a hurricane being enough of a threat to force evacuations and other preparations. What if, four days out, there's a hurricane which is given a 10% chance of hitting Tampa? That would still be disruptive to the convention, even if it didn't play out.

The chance of a disruptive near miss like that is considerably greater than 1%.

That's not enough of a reason for the parties to avoid hurricane zones for their conventions; every place has its hazards. But it certainly is something they need to have contingency plans for.


What is Usual anymore? (0.00 / 0)
The chance of a hurricane hitting Tampa Bay the week of the convention are probably less than 1 percent, a National Hurricane Center scientist estimates.
...

"For a major hurricane, it's a rare event," said Chris Landsea, science and operations officer at the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

In August, most hurricanes move east to west. So Tampa Bay, on Florida's west coast, tends to be a "little shielded," he said.

This year is already starting out as unusual. 2 named systems in the Atlantic and Pacific regions already and the Atlantic hurricane season hasn't even started yet.

But hurricanes are a part of life in Florida. They are better prepared than most areas for them due to the thin nature of the State. They have done a ton of disaster prep/planning and have evacuations down to an art.

But what if the convention is disrupted? What are the conventions really for? Both parties have "crowned" their nominees already and not every State has even had a vote in the process. Our election system really needs to be overhauled. The only real thing a convention does is help bring money into an area......



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