Category Archives: climate change

Visit to Kent Island, MD; tornado damage still evident from July 24

I made a brief day trip today to Kent Island, MD, to Stevensville and then to Bay City, which has damage from an F2 tornado which developed from a waterspout on the Chesapeake Bay July 24. Many houses have roof tarp and at least one that was completely destroyed was still there.

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There is a house on the Queen Anne County beach park that used to offer meals to people who crossed the Bay on the Ferry in the 1950s before the Bay Bridge was constructed.  I remember that on trips to Ocean City.

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(Posted: Tuesday, August 8, 2017 at 10:40 PM EDT)

Gatlinburg visit, recovery from wildfire

Sunday night and Monday morning (July 9-10) I visited Gatlinburg, TN.  A huge wildfire took place on the mountains slopes surrounding the town in late November, 2016 (as detailed in an earlier post here May 24).

The town is encased on the western side of Great Smokey Mountains National Park, and you drive 5 miles of parkway from Pigeon Forge to get there.

The town seemed quite lively at night, with its theme park atmosphere.  10 miles to the S, Pigeon Forge has the appearance of a small Las Vegas, with a Titanic exhibit, upside down office building, and Hollywood replica.  That town was somewhat affected.

During the day Monday I took the chairlift ride and could see much more of the damage on the mountain slopes, including mountain homes that burned.  But it is true that the community is unusual in its direct exposure to possible wildfire, so building there entails some risk.

I do think that climate change has made the ferocity of the fire more likely.

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I didn’t get to the “Road to Nowhere” W of Asheville (on the east side of the mountains) but I encountered two short curved tunnels, each about 1/3 mile long (without elevation drainage like PA Turnpike has) on I-40 going Eastbound to Asheville.  This is a road to “somewhere” indeed.  The curve is to the left driving East.  There is a campground “Harmon’s Den”   Indeed, Richard Harmon is the greatest of all time.

 

(Posted: Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at 10 EDT)

A visit to Crisfield, MD, on the Chesapeake Bay, max elevation 3 feet

Today I visited Crisfield. MD. on the SW tip of southern MD in the Chesapeake Bay’s “East Coast”.

The entire city lies at 3 feet or less elevation.  It appears to have had serious flooding during Hurricane Sandy in 2012.  Tidal flooding is not much of a problem because the Bay extends much further north.

The people seem comfortable with the risk and unconcerned about climate change.  One veteran said the city was built back better after Sandy.

There is one big windmill.

There is a ferry to Tangier Island, VA, one round trip a day, no cars.

Smith Island appears visible.

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(Posted: Monday, July 3, 2017 at 10:45 PM)

 

Gatlinburg TN recovery videos (not by me, yet)

I need to get down to this area to see it for myself, but it does look like Gatlinburg TN and Pigeon Forge TN have made robust recoveries from the November 2017 fires.  Gatlinburg reopened on Dec. 9, 2016.  A lot of volunteerism was involved, even though this was “other people’s fault” (CNN story ).

Here are a few videos:

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4  (best)

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I drove through Gatlinburg (down 441 on from the pass through the Smokies, 5000+ feet elevation)  in the evening of July 16, 2013 on the way to Oak Ridge, to take the energy facility tour.  The town was very crowded and I didn’t stop for pictures.

Update: June 30, 2017

Prosecutors have decided they do not have enough evidence against the teens in the CNN story to successfully prosecute them for causing the wildfire and have dropped charges.  Wind conditions, drought, and slow response were major contributing factors.

(Posted: Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 8:45 PM EDT)

Update: July 6, 2007

Here is some new dashcam video from the fire.

Source:  WATE in Gatlinburg (http://wate.com/2017/07/06/gatlinburg-business-owner-retraces-steps-night-of-wildfires/).

Field trip to areas in North Carolina affected by Hurricane Matthew

Sunday, I visited the areas of eastern North Carolina affected by Hurricane Matthew in October 2016.

Particularly hard hit was Princeville, on the banks of the Tar River, 20 miles from Rocky Mount, across the river from Tarboro.

The entire area seems to be poor with many buildings in poor shape, probably unrepaired foundation damage. There are not a lot of small road businesses around in rural areas of the coastal plain.

Kinston was also hard hit.

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(Posted: Monday, May 15, 2017 at 11:45 PM EDT)

 

March for Science in Washington D.C.

I attended the March for Science in Washington DC today, and did the March down Constitution Ave as far as 10th Street.  Note even the first picture above, “Truth” is part of the “eternal feminine” in the Paul Rosenfels polarity system for personal psychological growth.  But this today is about policy.

When I arrived, I found a line, which I had thought was for the March itself.  I hiked around some fences and paths to get to 17th St, on the Monument grounds, and found that the line was really set up to enter the grounds.  There were only two checkpoints, and the line did get moving.  At first I wondered if the low number of checkpoints was a way to keep the size down and reduce the political visibility of the march.

But after about an hour I finally made it to the entry point, and found they were only checking backpacks.  The crowd was huge.

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1a    the line

2      waiting in line still

3  — the speaker says, get over aversion to politics and asking for money

4    Rejection of the idea of alternative facts, and that policy must always be based on real facts; this does not trample on the personal experience of religion.

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More pictures

or “peer review”

I found later that someone made a sign of Jack Andraka’s book (“Breakthough“) quote Science shouldn’t be a luxury, knowledge shouldn’t be a commodty“.

(Posted: Saturday, April 22, 2017 at 8:45 PM EDT)

Model railroad kingdoms at the Roundhouse Museum Hagerstown MD

Today I re-visited the Roundhouse Museum and model railroading club in Hagerstown MD.

There is a large scale layout (so smaller simulated space) downstairs, and two larger layouts upstairs.  One of the layouts is under scenery construction.

But the layout on the right is one of the more intricate I have ever seen (outside of Roadside America and ChooChoo Barn in PA)   There are essentially three sections and some underground tunnels. There is a lot of industry, even coal.  It sounds like Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again”.  But we have to focus on sustainability, too.

Upstairs

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Downstairs

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(Posted: Sunday, March 26, 2017 at 7:15 PM EDT)

Cherry Blossoms in Washington got to about 40% of their potential after cold snap

I did get to the Tidal Basin in Washington late today to see the cherry blossoms.

They seemed to be only about 40% of what they should have been.  Three nights in the mid twenties last week after the snow, and one cold night this week did severe damage after early blooming starting in late February.

Occasionally, especially near the water where it was warmer, one tree would be fully bloomed.

In the mean time, the GOP was pulling the American Health Care Act from the vote.  But along the Basin, nobody cared.

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(Posted: Friday, April 24, 2017 at 11:30 PM EDT)

Gusty thunderstorms

Just to get some video work started (as a workup for some personal history videos to back up a movie proposal),  here are three videos, on a better camera (Nikon Coolpix) as a gusty thunderstorm moved through Arlington VA today.

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3  Looks like I jerked the camera, or the lens got wet

Also: Video of a shelf cloud in Laurel Mountains in Pennsylvania, Weather channel.

Midwest tornado outbreak February 28, 2017 in Missouri and Illinois;  Tornadic storms popped up out of nothing (Weather channel pictures).

(Posted: Wednesday, March 1, 2017 at 3 PM EST)