Ida's remnants pounding North and South Carolina; El Salvador flooding toll at 160

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:06 PM GMT en Noviembre 11, 2009

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The remnants of Tropical Storm Ida have pushed off the coast of Georgia, and are adding fuel to a developing extratropical storm that is pounding North and South Carolina with heavy rain and high winds. Over two inches of rain has fallen across much of the region, and NOAA's Hydrometeorological Prediction Center (Figure 1) predicts that up to eight inches of rain could fall in coastal North Carolina by Saturday. Adding to the rainwater flooding problems from all this rain will be coastal flooding from tropical storm-force winds of 40 mph expected to build tonight through Thursday along the Outer Banks of North Carolina. High tides up to four feet above normal are expected from the strong winds. North Carolina will end up getting a more severe pounding from Ida's remnants than Ida gave to the Gulf Coast. You can follow the storm with our Severe Weather Page.


Figure 1. Forecast precipitation for the 5-day period ending at 7 am EST Saturday November 14, 2009. Image credit: NOAA/Hydrometeorological Prediction Center

Invest 98L no threat
Another extratropical storm (Invest 98L), currently spinning over the Atlantic a few hundred miles northwest of Puerto Rico, is showing no signs of development, and will be entering a region of very high wind shear of 30 - 40 knots on Thursday. It currently appears that 98L will swing northward and northeast out to sea on Friday and Saturday, and not merge with the extratropical remnants of Ida currently pounding North Carolina.

Gulf Coast cleans up after Ida
Tropical Storm Ida left mostly minor damage across the Gulf Coast, with the heaviest damage being reported on the west end of Alabama's Dauphin Island. Roads there were covered with sand and water, and moderate beach erosion was reported. At Gulf State Park at Orange Beach, Alabama, the new fishing pier--the longest on the Gulf of Mexico--suffered heavy damage, and will be closed indefinitely. The pier was replaced after being destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004, and just opened in July. "We may have significant losses," said Phillip West, Orange Beach coastal resources manager, discussing beach erosion from Ida. "Not catastrophic or devastating, but significant."

In the Florida Panhandle near Pensacola, Ida washed huge amounts of sand over Fort Pickens Road in Gulf Islands National Seashore, and over heavily traveled J. Earle Bowden Way, which connects Pensacola and Navarre beaches. Both roads are closed indefinitely. Fort Pickens Road was washed out by Hurricane Opal in 1995, and moved to a new location. Hurricane Ivan washed the road out in 2004. It was rebuilt, but was destroyed and rebuilt three more times in 2005, thanks to Tropical Storm Arlene and Hurricanes Cindy and Dennis. The most recent rebuilding of the road put it at a lower elevation, to allow sand to wash over it. It is hoped the cost of this latest repair will be under $1 million.

Editorial comment: perhaps having a low-lying road along a barrier island that regularly washes out, requiring millions in taxpayer repair money to fix, is a bad idea?? Seems to me like this is taxpayer money ill-spent. The 1988 Stafford Act, authorizing the rebuilding of damaged infrastructure after presidentially declared emergencies, has resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer money being spent to rebuild infrastructure damaged by tropical storms and hurricanes on barrier islands. In an era of rising sea levels, and with the U.S. in the midst of an active hurricane period expected to last at least another decade, the Stafford Act just doesn't make sense. Those living in areas subject to a very high level of repeated coastal hazards should pay the bills for their willingness to live in harm's way, rather than depending on Uncle Sam.

In a interview in the New York Times after the last time Fort Pickens Road was washed out, Dr. Orrin Pilkey, professor emeritus in the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University and author of the excellent 2009 book The Rising Sea, said, "People say, 'What are you going to do, let the road fall in? The correct answer, of course, is yes."

Food shortages in El Salvador after floods kill at least 160
A tropical disturbance that dumped up to 17.4" (442 mm) of rain in 24 hours over central El Salvador on Sunday has triggered the need for urgent food aid after flood and landslides destroyed huge swaths of crops during harvest season, according to the U.N. World Food Program. The storm killed at leat 160 people, with dozens more still missing. About 13,000 people are homeless after the disaster.


Figure 2. Collapsed bridge at Santa Cruz La Libertad, El Salvador, with people trying to cross the river. Image credit: Wunderphotographer DiegoSagrera

For those interested in making a donation to assist in disaster relief for El Salvador, Portlight.org has a Paypal donation page set up for this. All funds raised will be forwarded to José Luis Escobar Alas, Catholic Archbishop of San Salvador, and used to assist flooding victims at the discretion of the Archbishop.

Jeff Masters

Ida on Tuesday Pensacola Beach Pier (FatdaddyMead)
Tuesday morning as Ida passes through.
Ida on Tuesday Pensacola Beach Pier
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I was on a call with some of their higher ups Friday that was so mind numbingly stupid it was surreal...


Now imagine that conference call every single day of your disaster deployment.
And getting your arse chewed out because your daily activity report is late because you worked a damaged mobile home community, or tracked down the EMS/Fire officials to the (well-deserved) happy hour so you could get some REAL on-the-street info?

Yeah, I'm looking to semi-change occupations. Rescue animals, maybe. I understand if/when/why they bite.
Member Since: Agosto 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Quoting presslord:
there is a appx. mile long stretch of Folly Beach ...two lane road over a narrow spit of sand...called the Washout...Anybody wanna try and guess why it's called the Washout?



Ahhhh....Folly Beach....was married under the only palm tree on the beach in 1982.....prior to Hugo of course...and the divorce....lol
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Conditions at CBBV2 as of
(1:12 pm EST)

Wind Direction (WDIR): NNE ( 30 deg true )
Wind Speed (WSPD): 34.0 kts
Wind Gust (GST): 47.0 kts
Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 29.96 in
Air Temperature (ATMP): 57.2 °F
Water Temperature (WTMP): 62.1 °F

Conditions at CHYV2 as of
(1:18 pm EST)

Wind Direction (WDIR): NE ( 40 deg true )
Wind Speed (WSPD): 40.0 kts
Wind Gust (GST): 47.0 kts
Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 29.95 in
Air Temperature (ATMP): 57.2 °F
Member Since: Agosto 18, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 215
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I hate to agree with an LSU fan in public...but atmo's right...
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Quoting pearlandaggie:
reposted from last blog...

i've always felt that honorably discharged veterans should not have to pay income taxes as they've already paid their due...


Good idea, being an honorably discharged veteran, but when you consider the fact that almost 50% of the nation doesn't pay any income tax, who'd be left to pay the bills?
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I am ssoo tired of FEMA '...gathering input..." I could SCREAM!!!!!!!!!
seriously...I was on a call with some of their higher ups Friday that was so mind numbingly stupid it was surreal...

Here's some input: Shut up and go away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Quoting atmoaggie:

He has actually been putting up some decent posts and sharing some of his actual opinions.

I have given both tacoman and Dr No "+"es in the last 48 hours...

Did we untroll what had all appearances of troll? I dunno.


well heck, if they are contributing, let it happen
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Quoting tornadodude:
lol dr draino must be having a fit right now :P

He has actually been putting up some decent posts and sharing some of his actual opinions.

I have given both tacoman and Dr No "+"es in the last 48 hours...

Did we untroll what had all appearances of troll? I dunno.
Member Since: Agosto 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
feels like a ts in wilmington attm
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Quoting presslord:
...1...2...3...4...5...6...7...8...9...10...

in-hale....ex-hale....in-hale....ex-hale...

head bent down...walking against proverbial wind...
sorrreeeee, pls. see post 175.
Do twice; once say what you really want to say.
second time: cough cough diplomatic way (send to Floodman for editing, not me!)

Edit: www.fema.gov/business/nfip/nfip_listening_session.shtm

FEMA%u2019s NFIP listening sessions and public comment period will allow FEMA to gain input on the various issues and programs related to the NFIP, such as flood map modernization updates and other program topics
Member Since: Agosto 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
This event, I have heard, is expected to rival Isabel's surge at DELMARVA and in the Chesapeake...

Bay Bridge-Tunnel:


Hampton Roads:


Ocean City:


Mid-Atlantic might remember Ida's name longer than the Gulf Coast...

From: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/mdl/etsurge/index.htm?coast=me&load=memap.htm&map=0-48
Member Since: Agosto 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
lol dr draino must be having a fit right now :P
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Looks like a wedge of no rain west of Myrtle Beach and Wilmington, NC. Hard to say this won't fill in though. Seems like the precip has no rotation at all, so when is this low supposed to develop off the coast?
Member Since: Agosto 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1455
Quoting K8eCane:



i think he walks back and forth from pawleys to folly


No wonder he's gray, probably out of breath from all that walking. lol Some say it is a woman some a man. First tranvestite ghost I ever heard of.
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Quoting Patrap:


Not exactly..its the way they Determine 50% or 51 Percent.
Its a muddled road the Stafford act and every State that has dealt with it are well aware of its stranglehold on recovery from disaster.

Yes yes yes and Stafford Act disaster reservists.
(Better start lurking...)
Member Since: Agosto 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Quoting Patrap:


Not exactly..its the way they Determine 50% or 51 Percent.
Its a muddled road the Stafford act and every State that has dealt with it are well aware of its stranglehold on recovery from disaster.
Member Since: Julio 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128236
Quoting rareaire:


Oh yea lets see you run around the building, Hold on have shery dial 91 first!! lol


Okay, I'm back...you'd ask me to run around the building now that my back is torn up...
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...1...2...3...4...5...6...7...8...9...10...

in-hale....ex-hale....in-hale....ex-hale...
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Quoting eyesontheweather:
Gothca, and I agree with you. What I would be interested in is something (in layman speak) that would be better, a proposal which would be both difinitive and offer expediancy. Any thoughts?



I have a lot of thoughts on that,,but I'd be BANNED for 22,000 Days if I voiced them here..LOL

Off to the WW-2 Museum in Downtown NOLA for a visit and Lunch-o.
Member Since: Julio 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128236
Quoting eyesontheweather:
Post 159
Patrap. It seems that the line in the sand is that FEMA is not going to pay for National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg is under something to be improved upon but for what was in place at time of loss. Is this the crux of the matter?

Please excuse me for what may seem butting in, I didn't see an answer, tho' may be missing it.
Mostly yes. But there are Mitigation Grants available for communities. And grants for firehouses, rescue equipment and stuff.
Member Since: Agosto 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Quoting Patrap:


Not exactly..its the way they Determine 50% or 51 Percent.
Its a muddled road the Stafford act and every State that has dealt with it are well aware of its stranglehold on recovery from disaster.
Gothca, and I agree with you. What I would be interested in is something (in layman speak) that would be better, a proposal which would be both difinitive and offer expediancy. Any thoughts?
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my Grandmother was born and grew up at Murrel's Inlet...and always swore...as did several of her siblings...that they frequently saw the Grey Lady up there...used to scare the crap outta me...
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Quoting presslord:


Congratulations!!! We have a new Champion!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Awesome! What do I win? Oh yes...I win in general because I know better than to build on the coast! LOL
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Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
I'm not gonna get into a tax discussion here, but it is the property owners on barrier islands who should pay for the services and infrastructure used to support barrier islands.


Hmm Don`t they already pay higher taxes and insurance than anybody else? We are going to complain about rebuilding roads every few years but let people continue to have babies while on welfare just to have there welfare checks increased not to mention all the money we spend on illegal alliens every year. You want to cut wasteful spending how about starting where there is way more money being wasted!!
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Quoting Grothar:


I thought that was Pawleys Island?



i think he walks back and forth from pawleys to folly
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Quoting eyesontheweather:
Post 159
Patrap. It seems that the line in the sand is that FEMA is not going to pay for something to be improved upon but for what was in place at time of loss. Is this the crux of the matter?


Not exactly..its the way they Determine 50% or 51 Percent.
Its a muddled road the Stafford act and every State that has dealt with it are well aware of its stranglehold on recovery from disaster.
Member Since: Julio 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128236
Quoting charlesimages:
woohoo!!

Umm what are.... Rich people lacking intelligence??


Congratulations!!! We have a new Champion!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Quoting presslord:
Very good, Charles! Daily Double!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Whines like a sick baby every time Mother Nature destroys their needless road and overpriced real estate..."
woohoo!!

Umm what are.... Rich people lacking intelligence??
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yup...the Grey Lady is at Pawley's...
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Very good, Charles! Daily Double!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Whines like a sick baby every time Mother Nature destroys their needless road and overpriced real estate..."
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Have at 'em! Just a suggestion: suggest one try to abide by Doc Masters' blog rules, tho' I'm sure some would like to rant.

Link

National Flood Insurance Program
Community and Stakeholder Input

FEMA is always striving to improve our programs and as part of that effort, we are currently gathering feedback from National Flood Insurance Program stakeholders to gain input on the challenges related to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and possible solutions to those challenges.

The NFIP is a Federal program that was created by Congress in 1968. The program was designed to ensure that communities across the country have access to affordable flood insurance as well as encourage community floodplain management to reduce future flood damage.

Flooding is the nation's most common natural disaster, and can happen in every region, state, and territory across the U.S. While some floods develop over extended periods of precipitation, flash floods can occur quickly and with no warning. It only takes a few inches of water to potentially cause extensive damage to a home or structure.

FEMA kicked off a 30 day comment period with the launch of a two day listening session that began on November 5, 2009. FEMA invited nearly 175 stakeholders representing environmental and historic preservation groups, fair housing groups, and representatives from the lending, insurance, emergency management, real estate, land use, planning, and engineering industries, as well as representatives from State, Local and Tribal governments.

FEMA’s NFIP listening sessions and public comment period will allow FEMA to gain input on the various issues and programs related to the NFIP, such as flood map modernization updates, reducing repetitive loss properties, and other program topics.

FEMA’s NFIP listening sessions and public comment period will allow FEMA to gain input on the various issues and programs related to the NFIP, such as flood map modernization updates and other program topics

Your comments will be included in a final compendium of input.

For more information on the National Flood Insurance Program please visit www.floodsmart.gov.
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Member Since: Agosto 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Quoting K8eCane:
i'm gonna have to bring out the flashlights if this keeps up because i know we are gonna lose power...Ptress, isnt folly beach where The Gray Man resides?


I thought that was Pawleys Island?
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Post 159
Patrap. It seems that the line in the sand is that FEMA is not going to pay for something to be improved upon but for what was in place at time of loss. Is this the crux of the matter?
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K8e..lottsa hauntins at Folly...the film "Glory" was based on events which happened there...I've been on that part of the island at night...it's utterly undeveloped./..beautiful and creepy at the same time...
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Quoting presslord:
Yes, Charles?
What is... storm surge and coastal flooding for $1000
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Quoting eyesontheweather:
Exactly...my point is the gov't(fed, state, local) sets up toll roads (and many other things)and sets a fee that will not cover expenses


You could always try something like Goldsboro NC did.
Member Since: Octubre 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Yes, Charles?
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i'm gonna have to bring out the flashlights if this keeps up because i know we are gonna lose power...Ptress, isnt folly beach where The Gray Man resides?
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Quoting presslord:
there is a appx. mile long stretch of Folly Beach ...two lane road over a narrow spit of sand...called the Washout...Anybody wanna try and guess why it's called the Washout?
*raises hand*
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there is a appx. mile long stretch of Folly Beach ...two lane road over a narrow spit of sand...called the Washout...Anybody wanna try and guess why it's called the Washout?
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Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
I'm not gonna get into a tax discussion here, but it is the property owners on barrier islands who should pay for the services and infrastructure used to support barrier islands.


agreed...and the tourists...
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163. DrNo
#162:

Agreed.
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From '07; don't know if info/prices still current. But looks like there's more than one way to make ferries financially feasible.
Plus; Cape May is lovely, Victorian town.

The Cape May-Lewes Ferry launched a new service on June 19 called "The Luck Package" that allows ferry foot passengers to be taken by boat and bus to the Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City. Lion Trailways has entered into an agreement to provide transportation to the resort city from the pier in Cape May. The ferry from Lewes departed at 7 a.m. and the return ferry trip left Cape May at 6 p.m. A round-trip ticket on the ferry and the bus was $7, and the service ran on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays through August 30. The program was created following a recommendation from a marketing firm, according to a ferry spokesman. Similar shuttles take passengers from the terminal into Cape May and to the outlet stores in Delaware near the terminal.

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley directed the Maryland Department of Transportation in August to study the possibility of a network of ferries on the Chesapeake Bay in lieu of another bridge crossing. The governor had earlier said he opposed another bridge for fear that it would create more traffic and contribute to sprawl. There are currently two bridges across the Bay -- one from near Annapolis to Kent Island and one across its mouth, linking Cape Charles with the Norfolk-Virginia Beach area. The governor's order addressed the question of vehicular ferries, but did not rule out passenger-only vessels, said an MDOT spokesman. The first step, said the spokesman, is to review previous ferry studies to determine where to begin. There have recently been several studies of privately proposed ferry services; one that would have linked Crisfield, Maryland, with Reedville, Virginia; and another that would link Kent Island, Maryland, with Annapolis. A study questioned the financial viability of the former, and the latter is still under study.…
Member Since: Agosto 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
Hey tornadodude---how are things up there? And they say y'all in Indiana? ;)


well the weather is pretty nice, and I am originally from Texas, guess it's in my blood (:
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Inflexible Stafford Act deserves a fresh look
By Annette Sisco
March 10, 2009, 2:56AM

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is new to Washington. What she knows about the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which falls under her jurisdiction, stems mainly from her last job as Arizona's chief executive.

"I've been a consumer of FEMA since I've been a governor, " Napolitano said during her first official trip to New Orleans last week. "I've got some ideas. Lots of ideas."

FEMA's designated top administrator Craig Fugate is even newer to Washington, so new that he's not allowed to give interviews until he's confirmed by the Senate. But it's safe to assume that, as hurricane-prone Florida's director of emergency management, Fugate will also bring a client's perspective to the job.

Which brings us to Napolitano's welcome vow to take a fresh look at the Stafford Act, which governs FEMA's actions following catastrophes such as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

A once arcane law that has become synonymous with federal intractability in post-K Louisiana, the Stafford Act clearly never anticipated situations as overwhelming as ours.

Among its controversial provisions: The feds can only reimburse local expenditures, rather than lay out the money to pay for repairs in advance.

But where Stafford has given local officials the most heartburn is in the many protracted negotiations over fixing or replacing public facilities.

The law is geared toward rebuilding these projects to pre-disaster conditions and says that FEMA should only pay the total cost of replacement if the facility is more than half damaged. That makes superficial sense, but has led to all sorts of wrangling.

FEMA initially pushed the entirely flooded St. Bernard Parish, for example, to repair its old, antiquated sewerage treatment system rather than build a modern one, prompting a lengthy delay and adding the cost of trucking raw sewage in the interim to the final bill.

The Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans had to fight to get FEMA to treat pipe networks as a system, rather than trying to figure out whether each individual leak could be traced to Katrina.

Instead of helping pay for new buses to replace an aging, drowned fleet, FEMA initially pushed New Orleans' Regional Transit Authority to buy ancient mothballed vehicles from Oakland, California, drive them to Minnesota to have air-conditioners installed, then send them to New Orleans.

"I just don't believe they will force us to knuckle under to something so stupid, " RTA commissioner Barbara Major said at the time. Ultimately, they didn't, but new, energy efficient buses didn't hit the streets until almost three years after the storm.

In perhaps the most notorious dispute, FEMA first agreed to replace two schools in Vermilion and Iberia parishes with a single new facility, then reversed its decision more than a year later, leaving officials with a sudden shortfall that was eventually plugged with an earmark from U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu. This is just the sort of Alice-in-Wonderland behavior that caused Napolitano to wonder whether some of the stories she'd heard were "apocryphal."

The projects still pending are way too numerous to recount.

They range from Tulane University's main library to the big kahuna, Charity Hospital. FEMA and the state are still $350 million apart on Charity; Napolitano plans to invite all parties to Washington soon to try to resolve the dispute.

Pre-storm condition has often been the root of the dispute, and that should certainly be a factor in determining reimbursement.

But FEMA officials also need to be realistic, and practical. There's surely a way to do it that doesn't reward lack of investment, but that does help responsible officials rebuild better, more flood-resistant, more appropriate to post-disaster population patterns, and, where applicable, greener. Also, quicker would be nice.

Not every logjam can be traced directly to the Stafford Act's restrictions. Napolitano is surely right that, in many cases, Stafford has been a convenient excuse for inaction and inflexibility.

As Napolitano and Fugate get comfortable in their new roles, hopefully they'll remember that, from a consumer's perspective, there's nothing more infuriating than that.

. . . . . . .

Stephanie Grace is a staff writer. She may be reached at 504.826.3383 or at sgrace@timespicayune.com.
Member Since: Julio 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128236
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
I think they should increase property taxes---all the absentee landlords who own houses around here who pay almost nothing.


Only problem with that is what about all the older people who have been losing their homes due to not being able to pay the taxes on them... they worked their whole life to have a home to retire in and cant even do that because they cant meet their monthly bills which are next to nothing...I know MANY who are going thru it...and only reg monthly bills...nothing extravagant...can't even pay their medical...some have such high costs in medication that it would blow your mortgage payment out the water....
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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