Too much activity for this hurricane trackerBy TIM BEELAND,
I’ve mentioned in this space in the past that I have somewhat of a fixation with tropical storms. They fascinate me and as long as they are not causing loss of life or limb, I enjoy sitting outside and taking in the breeze. They also help when it comes to blowing the pine straw off the roof. Sometimes anyway.
At this writing on Monday there seemed to be storms everywhere in the Atlantic and a possibility of a new one in the Gulf. About this same time in 2004 Hurricane Ivan was setting his eye on the Gulf Coast. He was supposed to be the strongest storm to hit the Gulf since Camille back in 1969.
Of course a year later we had Katrina and we all know what she did to New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast as well as areas well inland like right here in Scott County.
As of Monday afternoon it was not looking too good for the Carolinas as Hurricane Florence, which was upgraded to a major category three, then four storm within two hours was barrelling toward the east coast all while continuing to gather strength. Who knows what will have happened by the time you are reading this.
Often hurricanes are fickle creatures. Especially those that make it into the open waters of the Gulf. Some make a beeline straight for their targets. Others zig zag back and forth and scare everyone from Mexico to Mississippi. It seems to me that I remember one time a hurricane out there that kind of circled around on itself several times.
Back when Camille — the storm that we measured storms by before Katrina came along — attacked I was still quite young and we were vacationing up in Washington D.C. and Virginia. I remember that by the time the storm had moved across the Eastern United States it was still causing a major mess even way up there. Somewhere around Richmond we traveled over a rain swollen river and I wondered if it was causing that kind of havoc in Virginia what in the world would we find when we got home.
My freshman year in college there was Frederick, I believe. If memory serves me correctly he moved inland and up across Mississippi. As the storm winds approached Starkville and the Mississippi State campus a group of us gathered in the mobile home, that I called home, for an impromptu hurricane party. The wind swirled and the rain came down and as we watched it all out the windows a big green garbage dumpster went rolling by. That was a bit unsettling for a trailer full of college freshmen.
You really never can tell what a hurricane might do. Usually by the time they get this far inland, if they get this far inland, they aren’t still a hurricane, but can spawn off some pretty feisty winds and a good bit of rainfall. But, again, remember Katrina. They can definitely do more!
From what I’ve read, it looks like conditions are going to be Katrina-like in the Carolinas later this week and Harvey-like into the weekend. The weather prognosticators are predicting massive flooding like in Houston last year when Hurricane Harvey stalled out over that Texas city. They say there could be up to 20 inches of rainfall in the Carolina mountains.
At the same time churning out in the Atlantic is Hurricane Issac whose projected path could lead it into the Caribbean and then possibly the Gulf of Mexico. And in between Issac and Florence there is Hurricane Helene but at least she’s predicted to make a right turn and head back out to sea.
But that’s not everything currently on the radar. There is yet another possible area of development just south of the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico that could develop into a tropical depression as it moves into the Gulf this weekend. That’s a heck of a lot of activity at the same time.
Like I’ve said, I enjoy a tropical storm, but this might be too much for even me. It’s that life and limb thing if you know what I mean.