I caught a bunch of grief over the weekend when I posted on Facebook that Louisiana’s governor is pretty fired up about Marco and Laura, the two hurricanes puttering around in the Gulf of Mexico which are expected to pass through Louisiana this week.
What I said was this…
Was that over the top?
Well, no sooner did I say it but this turned up…
And now there’s this…
Is he wrong?
Well, we certainly know that hurricanes are nothing to trifle with. And having more than one of them bearing down on Louisiana is the kind of adversity this place could certainly do without.
But in New Orleans, people are looking skyward and noticing it’s a beautiful Monday morning. And elsewhere in the state it’s the same thing.
This despite the fact neither one of these storms are hurricanes.
And here’s Laura…
Laura is the more dangerous of the two, as some dry upper-level winds coming in from Texas are tearing Marco apart. But if Laura runs into the same path as Marco the chances are pretty good the same shear will knock it down in the same way. If not, yes – Laura could be a Category 3 hurricane. The water in the Gulf is pretty warm right now, so if the current cone is correct it could be fairly dangerous for the western side of the state.
Marco is bringing storm surge of two to four feet, winds of 30-40 miles per hour and a lot of rain over not all that long a period of time. And it’ll skirt the coast on its way westward. As storms go this isn’t a big deal.
But Edwards is talking as though this is the biggest disaster of all time…
“What we know is there’s going to be storm surge from Marco, we know that that water is not going to recede hardly at all before Laura hits, and so we’ve not seen this before and that’s why people need to be paying particular attention,” Gov. John Bel Edwards warned at a Sunday briefing.
A minor tropical storm and a hurricane in the same week is somewhat remarkable, yes, but 15 years ago Louisiana had Katrina and Rita at the same time.
Storm surge is a real thing here, especially for places like Morgan City or even Lake Charles, where Marco could back up Gulf water into bays and rivers and then Laura could push even more. There could be a decent-sized flood event as a result. Assuming, of course, that Laura actually shows up in the same place Marco visits.
It’s certainly worth watching, and it’s worth being careful. Not losing your mind.
There’s a difference between preparedness and panic. Edwards is a fan of the latter.
Everybody in Louisiana knows what to do during a hurricane. Just do it. And don’t let your elected leaders, who can’t help themselves but to moon for the TV cameras at every opportunity, make you hysterical. By now you should know that’s all they’re good for.