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Author: TriSec    Date: 10/10/2017 09:50:06

Good Morning.

We'll start this morning with a tale of two hurricanes, or more specifically, a tale of two landfalls.


Many days ago now, Hurricane Maria pummeled the island of Puerto Rico. It remains surprising that the death toll remains as low as it is, but this may yet be because of the total lack of communication around parts of the island. Here is a recent picture from Yabucoa:

http://news.images.itv.com/image/file/1402063/stream_img.jpg


The story below is slightly out-of-date (Oct 4), but buried deep in the story is the news that the long-rumoured hospital ship USNS Comfort has indeed finally reached the stricken island.


I’ll say straight-out: There are few obvious gaps in the federal response in the timeline. But it does make it clear that the speed and scale of the initial Maria relief effort pales next to other recent campaigns.

After a magnitude-7 earthquake struck Haiti in 2010, President Obama ordered a massive military and civilian response. As The Washington Post describes: Eight thousand troops were bound for the island within two days; 22,000 troops and 33 ships had arrived within two weeks. And five days after the quake struck, former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton joined Obama at the White House to announce the Haiti Fund, a multimillion-dollar philanthropic appeal for the foreign country.

By comparison, only about 7,200 military personnel have made it to Puerto Rico two weeks after landfall.

And while the five living former presidents added Hurricane Maria to One America Appeal, their preexisting campaign for hurricane-relief donations, five days after landfall, they have not visited the White House or gone on television. President Trump tweeted about One America Appeal once, on the day that Hurricane Irma made landfall, but that was well before Hurricane Maria formed.

This speed did not ensure Haiti had a successful recovery, and today the earthquake-relief effort is considered a failure. But the precedent suggests that the U.S. military might have responded with greater speed than it did to Maria. Unlike Haiti, Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory; unlike an earthquake, a hurricane is predictable. The National Weather Service first warned that Maria could strike the island as a “dangerous major hurricane” more than three weeks ago.

Likewise, the first public call to mobilize the USNS Comfort, the only U.S. Navy hospital ship on the East Coast, came from Hillary Clinton on Sunday, September 24, four days after landfall.

The Comfort was not deployed until Tuesday, September 26, six days after landfall; did not leave port until Thursday, September 28, more than a week after landfall; and did not reach Puerto Rico until Tuesday, October 3, 11 days after Maria hit the island. A Pentagon official has told The Washington Post that the Navy considered sending the Comfort before the storm but decided Puerto Rican ports could not immediately handle a ship that large.


I will personally dispute that last sentence, as I was fortunate to see the USNS Comfort with my own eyes this summer. Earlier this year, she was in drydock in South Boston, across the pier from our cruise ship terminal. I did some math.

USNS Comfort is roughly the size of the Titanic - about 890 feet long, and 100 feet on the beam. The Cruise ship "Oasis of the Seas" was also here in Boston this year, just a couple of weeks ago, and I saw that one too. "Oasis" routinely makes ports-of-call in San Juan and other resort locations around the Caribbean. Here are the two photoshopped together:

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/G-bDDnsSLhc/hqdefault.jpg


So make of that what you will.

But there is more - yesterday we had the lingering aftereffects of Hurricane Nate passing through New England. It was sultry most of the day, some gusting winds, and a passing shower or two that were really no big deal. (They were able to "play" baseball at Fenway yesterday.) Nate made landfall back in Louisiana as a category one hurricane. Of course, the response was quite different from Puerto Rico.


Hurricane Nate made landfall at about 8 p.m. local time at the mouth of the Mississippi River and again at about 1:30 a.m. Sunday morning near Biloxi, Mississippi, as a Category 1 storm with sustained winds of 85 mph.

By Sunday afternoon, Nate had weakened to a tropical depression with sustained winds of 35 mph as it moved inland over Mississippi and Alabama, the National Hurricane Center said.

More than 70,000 in Alabama and 30,000 in Mississippi were without power Sunday in the storm surge and flooding but the region appeared to have been spared the kind of catastrophic damage that Texas, Florida and the Caribbean suffered in the recent series of hurricanes. New Orleans, which had feared a major hit, on Sunday lifted a curfew that had been in effect over the weekend.

"We are very fortunate this morning and have been blessed," Gov. Phil Bryant, R-Mississippi, said while noting that there had been damage to homes primarily from the storm surge produced by Nate.

On Saturday, the amphibious dock ship Iwo Jima and the transport dock New York -- both with Marines aboard from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, left port in Mayport, Florida, to be in position behind Nate if they were needed.

U.S. Northern Command, which was coordinating the military response with the Federal Emergency Management Agency along the Gulf Coast, as well as in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, set up an Installation Support Base at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, over the weekend to stage supplies and personnel as Nate arrived.

The Defense Department also readied relief for states potentially impacted by Nate by putting on standby a search and rescue package of light, medium and heavy-lift helicopters, an Air Expeditionary Group (for support operations), and an E-3 Airborne Early Warning and Control System along with trucks and general purpose boats, NorthCom said.


There doesn't seem to be too much more to say, but I bet we're really good at reading between the lines most days. I can leave you with a musical interlude that may be relevant as well.


 

19 comments (Latest Comment: 10/10/2017 17:21:27 by Raine)
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Comment by wickedpam on 10/10/2017 12:46:55
Morning

Seriously, they thought the port couldn't handle the Comfort? Do they not know that Puerto Rico gets cruise ships all the time. I've been lucky enough to have been to the island (and it is beautiful!) and in Old San Juan when the tourist from the ships disembark. They handle it just fine. Eessh



Comment by Scoopster on 10/10/2017 13:17:04
Mornin' all..
Quote by wickedpam:
Morning

Seriously, they thought the port couldn't handle the Comfort? Do they not know that Puerto Rico gets cruise ships all the time. I've been lucky enough to have been to the island (and it is beautiful!) and in Old San Juan when the tourist from the ships disembark. They handle it just fine. Eessh

Yeah there's no way it wouldn't be able to dock there. For fuck's sake, every time they cite that bullshit propaganda about truck drivers being on strike they keep showing pictures of the SHIPPING CONTAINER TERMINAL and those ships are just as large as the Comfort.

Comment by Raine on 10/10/2017 13:23:56
Good Morning!

Great point, Tri.

Comment by Mondobubba on 10/10/2017 13:29:25
Let me fix that for you Tri,



Not a single person in brownface. I saw this version of the show when the touring company came to town a couple years back. Fantastic.

Comment by Mondobubba on 10/10/2017 13:33:03
Quote by Scoopster:
Mornin' all..
Quote by wickedpam:
Morning

Seriously, they thought the port couldn't handle the Comfort? Do they not know that Puerto Rico gets cruise ships all the time. I've been lucky enough to have been to the island (and it is beautiful!) and in Old San Juan when the tourist from the ships disembark. They handle it just fine. Eessh

Yeah there's no way it wouldn't be able to dock there. For fuck's sake, every time they cite that bullshit propaganda about truck drivers being on strike they keep showing pictures of the SHIPPING CONTAINER TERMINAL and those ships are just as large as the Comfort.



They are way larger. Container ships are huge.

Comment by Raine on 10/10/2017 13:47:28
Comment by Raine on 10/10/2017 13:51:04
and this, jeebus.

Trump would impulsively want to fire someone like attorney general Jeff Sessions, create a new wide–ranging policy with far–flung implications like increasing tariffs on Chinese steel imports or end a decades–old deal like the North American Free Trade Agreement. Enraged with a TV segment or frustrated after a meandering meeting, the president would order it done immediately.


Delaying the decision would give Priebus and others a chance to change his mind or bring in advisers to speak with Trump – and in some cases, to ensure Trump would drop the idea altogether and move on.




Comment by wickedpam on 10/10/2017 13:59:14



I skimmed it until I couldn't stand it anymore.

https://media.tenor.com/images/707aaeb37446abbc46cf6237c9fd57fe/tenor.gif


Comment by Mondobubba on 10/10/2017 14:06:09



I can't read this slow sloppy BJ of an article. I started, but no.

Comment by Raine on 10/10/2017 14:38:43



Comment by wickedpam on 10/10/2017 16:21:58


Signerllo winery and Paradise Ridge were gone yesterday afternoon. Chateau St Jean (one of ours) is reported burned but they aren't sure if it the vineyard is ok or if its just the house.

Kunde, Chimney Rock, Stags' Leap and a ton more all in danger.

But the worst of it all - seeing the pictures from the communities when there used to be a house and now only a concrete pad foundation and an occasional burned out car. My heart breaks for all of them.


Comment by Raine on 10/10/2017 16:31:48
Quote by wickedpam:


Signerllo winery and Paradise Ridge were gone yesterday afternoon. Chateau St Jean (one of ours) is reported burned but they aren't sure if it the vineyard is ok or if its just the house.

Kunde, Chimney Rock, Stags' Leap and a ton more all in danger.

But the worst of it all - seeing the pictures from the communities when there used to be a house and now only a concrete pad foundation and an occasional burned out car. My heart breaks for all of them.
I cannot comprehend seeing entire Communities gone, Just totally gone.


Comment by livingonli on 10/10/2017 16:40:57
I will be MIA for a little bit. I woke up to what I thought was the A/C not working. But then I noticed the power went out. I took a look out the window and noticed the street light was bent over. Apparently, an SUV went off the road and knocked down not only my pole, but another pole south of it since I saw a vehicle sitting there in the grass near the second pole. Which leaves me unable to do anything at home because I have no internet.

Comment by Scoopster on 10/10/2017 17:00:54
Comment by wickedpam on 10/10/2017 17:04:14
Quote by livingonli:
I will be MIA for a little bit. I woke up to what I thought was the A/C not working. But then I noticed the power went out. I took a look out the window and noticed the street light was bent over. Apparently, an SUV went off the road and knocked down not only my pole, but another pole south of it since I saw a vehicle sitting there in the grass near the second pole. Which leaves me unable to do anything at home because I have no internet.



Oh no! I hope everyone is ok.

Comment by Scoopster on 10/10/2017 17:07:46
Quote by livingonli:
I will be MIA for a little bit. I woke up to what I thought was the A/C not working. But then I noticed the power went out. I took a look out the window and noticed the street light was bent over. Apparently, an SUV went off the road and knocked down not only my pole, but another pole south of it since I saw a vehicle sitting there in the grass near the second pole. Which leaves me unable to do anything at home because I have no internet.

OH yikes.. Hope no one was hurt in the accident. It shouldn't take too long to get the utility lines & poles back up, maybe a day or two.

Comment by Raine on 10/10/2017 17:14:07

I think that's hysterical!

Comment by Raine on 10/10/2017 17:21:27
So the NY Mag article -- tell me again why Cy Vance isn;t charged with corruption at this point?

TRIGGER WARNING AUDIO.