Category Archives: wildfire or flood recovery

Damage debris still remains in much of Florida Keys from Irma — today’s visit

Here is some footage I took of Hurricane Irma damage and recovery in the Florida keys today.

1   Between Islamadora and Marathon, a condo that appeared to be replaced by mobile homes

2 Deer Key

Linemen repairing still

From Islamadora to 30 miles from Key West there were many piles of debris along the road, some with parts of buildings

Cell videos

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(Posted: Sunday Nov 19, 2017 at 11 PM EST)

Florida East Coast seems OK after hurricane Irma (2 months)

Well, Fort Lauderdale, FL, even on the beach, seems to be in good shape two months after Hurricane Irma, whose eye apparently stayed 60 miles to the west. They were buffeted by weak tornadoes (east side of storm) and had some trees blown down and some minor damage, but a lot of flooded roads.

More beach bars:

 

Wilton Manors — I hear the power never went off, and that many power poles in Florida are made of cement rather than wood, which seems a reasonable alternative to going underground.

Yes, the draw bridges work.

And the freight trains run (and so does the Miami Metro).

Recall,  however, the nursing home in nearby Hollywood Hills that had a number of deaths due to lack of sufficient backup generator air conditioning, NBC story.

(Posted: Saturday, Nov. 18, at 6:30 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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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)