Tag Archives: Florida

Tropical Storm Karen Gets Weak As It Approaches Louisiana

Tropical Storm KarenUPDATED NEW ORLEANS (October 5, 2013) –

                                 LATEST WARNINGS AND WATCHES

KAREN EXPECTED TO MOVE OVER SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA TONIGHT AND EARLY SUNDAY

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Morgan City, LA. to the mouth of the Pearl River.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the entire New Orleans metropolitan area, Lake Maurepas, Lake Pontchartrain, and from east of the Pearl River to Indian Pass, Florida.

The National Weather Service lifted hurricane watches along the Gulf Coast on Friday, as Tropical Storm Karen ran the gamut from a potential Louisiana-bound  possible hurricane with 65 mph winds, to a slight change in course, to stationary, and now appears to be weakening – with winds of up to only 40 mph – as it gets closer to land.

A 10:00 AM advisory today indicated the storm was hesitating about 180 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River, moving north at 7 mph, with a slow turn northeast expected Saturday night, then another, faster turn east-northeast on Sunday night and Monday.

UPDATED NEW ORLEANS (October 3, 2013) — 2013 will likely go down as one of the most uneventful hurricane seasons on record, but it’s not over ’til November 30th. Thursday evening, forecasters were predicting that Tropical Storm Karen could possibly become a Category 1 hurricane as it nears the coast of Louisiana Saturday morning, and make a direct near the mouth of the Mississippi River.

At 10PM, Karen was located about 340 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River, The National Weather Service said Karen continues to move slowly northwest at 10 mph, with winds of 65 mph

Along the Gulf Coast, high winds, power outages, along with storm surges of anywhere from 2-5 feet are expected in some places, and a state of emergency has been declared by the Governors of Louisiana and Mississippi, while Governor Scott declared a state of emergency in 18 Florida counties.

Tropical Storm Karen (photo courtesy noaa)
In Alabama, Governor Robert Bentley is encouraging residents to be prepared. “Our state agencies are monitoring the track of Tropical Storm Karen, and Alabama families should do the same,” Governor Bentley said in a statement earlier today. “Understand this storm can affect people inland as well, not just on the Coast.

In Louisiana, a Tropical Storm Watch was issued for St. Tammany, Ascension, Livingston, assumption, St. James. St. John the Baptist, Upper Lafourche, St. Charles, Upper Jefferson, Orleans, Upper Plaquemines, Upper St. Bernard. Upper , lower Terrebonne, lower Lafourche and Southern Tangipahoa.

A Tropical Storm Warning and Hurricane Watch was issued in Louisiana for lower Jefferson, lower Plaquemines, lower St. Bernard, and for portions of Southeast Louisiana and Mississippi Coastal Waters, and a Hurricane Watch is in effect for the Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties in Mississippi. The Hurricane Watch extends west all the way to Destin, Florida.

                      fema_logo

FEMA has activated a Liaison Team embedded at the National Hurricane Center in Miami and, in a statement, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate said “Gulf Coast residents in potentially impacted areas should take steps now to be prepared and follow the direction of local officials.”

The amount of resources re-activated by FEMA in the midst of an ongoing government shutdown would depend on the magnitude of projected need. CNN reports the about 86% of the agency’s workers were furloughed because of the shutdown

On August 28 last year Tropical Storm Isaac brought a storm surge that caused at least nine deaths, five in Louisiana and two each in Mississippi and Florida.

                                                      DEFINITIONS

A HURRICANE WATCH MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA. A WATCH IS TYPICALLY ISSUED 48 HOURS BEFORE THE ANTICIPATED FIRST OCCURRENCE OF TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS, CONDITIONS THAT MAKE OUTSIDE PREPARATIONS DIFFICULT OR DANGEROUS.

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED SOMEWHERE WITHIN THE WARNING AREA WITHIN 36 HOURS.

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA…GENERALLY WITHIN 48 HOURS.

How A Hurricane Started Stand Your Ground Laws

Stand Your Ground laws started because of a hurricane. Or actually because of what happened after a hurricane. You see, after a hurricane, human emotions, rationale, or analytic skills don’t always gel. Confusion, miscommunication, and lack of basic needs can sometimes cause an environment of anxiety, fear, and apprehension for even veteran hurricane survivors and can blur a clear comprehension of complex situations.

After any hurricane, scores of recovery workers arrive, but also looters and itinerants, who sometimes take shelter in damaged houses.

What happened after one hurricane started a movement to enact stand your ground laws. What happened after this hurricane was that 77 year-old James Workman and his wife Kathryn encountered a perhaps disoriented, 35 year-old temporary FEMA contract worker from North Carolina named Rodney Cox, who had wandered onto their waterfront property in Pensacola, Florida. It was about 2AM on November 3, 2004.

Hurricane Ivan had damaged the couple’s house so they left for a few weeks, and had just returned, sleeping inside a FEMA trailer in their driveway.

waterfront home of James & Kathryn Workman in Pensacola Fla. (photo credit: Google Maps/referenced at Escanbia County Assessor's Office)

Workman house, Pensacola, Fla

Kathryn awoke to the sound of a stranger at the door of their vacant home, and woke James up. In a news interview, Mr. Workman said they hollered through a window at the stranger, then James went outside to confront him. During the confrontation, Workman reportedly fired a warning shot. He said Cox appeared to leave, but instead headed for their trailer as Kathryn was inside calling 911.

A few hours before he made it about the mile and a half to the Workmans’ place, Rodney Cox had called police, reporting some type of “domestic” incident on private property he had settled into, after arriving that day. An autopsy later discovered Cox had a skull fracture, and it’s unclear if he had been injured at that time, which could possibly have caused him to appear disoriented to the Workmans.

“After I saw him enter that trailer, then I naturally went in there behind him. And so he was between Kathy and me. And we got into a scuffle, and I could tell it wasn’t going to be easy. And so I just had to shoot him”, Workman is quoted as saying.

During the scuffle, Cox had wrapped Workman in a bear hug. In fear for his safety, Workman pulled the trigger of his .38 caliber on the father of two, setting off a firestorm of controversy.

photo: Rodney Cox of North Carolina

Rodney Cox

The FEMA contractor was dead on arrival. A shot to Cox’s abdomen traveled through his left kidney and intestine, lodging in his pelvis; another shot went through an artery and lodged in his right thigh. Workman said he fired in self-defense.

But to the police and the state attorney, the circumstances were unclear. It took almost three months for the state to decide whether Workman would face charges. In the end, he didn’t. Yet, the waiting period was unacceptable to some Florida lawmakers.

Just weeks after that decision, Dennis Baxley & Durell Peaden co-sponsored the Stand Your Ground bill in the Florida House of Representatives.

By the time Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast months later, with evacuees from other Gulf Coast states rolling in, Florida was all set to handle anyone who had thoughts of looting or breaking the law on other people’s property.

The Workmans reportedly were keeping up with their case status through the media, and were never called to testify in the legislature considering the stand your ground law, which was signed into effect about a month after Katrina, on October 1, 2005 by then-Governor Jeb Bush.

It initiated a wave of legislation in other states, spearheaded by the National Rifle Association (NRA), relieving the duty to retreat inherent in the Castle Doctrine. And stand your ground laws were born.

TAKE A QUICK 2-MINUTE SURVEY: “How do you feel about Stand Your Ground laws”

Katrina Survivor Vows To Return

A Katrina survivor recently sent this e-mail:

When the levees broke I was watching cnn in a motel outside of jacksonville, fl. I was living in biloxi for the past two years and thought n.o. was ok. I was worried about my “home away from home”.Then all hell broke loose when i found out the levees breached. My family all lived in arabi/st.bernard parish. Most evacuated but I wasn’t sure which ones stayed, if any. No connection with anyone for days. The longest 5 days of my life. I even called cnn for days leaving messages for someone to rescue my people in da parish. All they showed was the 9th ward. I didn’t know if anyone was there to help them. Most were ok. My aunt drowned. I’m thankful she was the only one that was there. Then the day Rita hit, my grandmother passed away. She was in southwest la in a shelter. We suspect she quit taking her medication. She couldn’t go through another storm. Now I live in long island, ny (lucky me) and don’t know when I’ll come home. I miss it dearly. There is no soul and no spirit here. N.O. is really a one of a kind place and I’m so proud to have been born and raised there. Now I make sure I cook my gumbo, red beans, crawfish pies (yes you can get frozen cra!wfish up here), and shrimp creole. We are a dying breed and I feel obligated to keep up the tradition for my children who won’t get the pleasure of growing up in n.o. I did have the pleasure of attending the last two mardi gras. This year I won’t be able to because of the date being so early. Its gonna KILL me not to be there. I’ll watch as much as I can on tv. I’ll be back soon before they demolish my childhood home in arabi. Everytime I’ve been there to see my old neighborhood, I make sure I take my Xanax. I’m also on anti-depressants. I’ve taken them for ten years but since Katrina I take ALOT more. So I’m kind of numb when I visit but I walk around with that knot in my stomach every day. I know you all know that feeling too well. God bless everyone and good luck!! I WILL return! No doubt about it! I was born in n.o. and I plan on dying there too. Til then its a waiting game. By LOST IN N.Y.