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Disaster as Measured by Body Count

First we get the POS Chumph discussion in Puerto Rico about a “real disaster” –

There are likely hundreds dead. Unfortunately the process used to certify death in Puerto Rico is held up by damage due to the storm.

Miami Herald:

On Wednesday, the Puerto Rico government, maintained that the official number of deaths as a result of the catastrophe was 16. But the Center for Investigative Journalism (CPI, for its initials in Spanish) has confirmed that there are dozens of hurricane-related deaths and the number could rise to the hundreds.

The dead are at the hospital morgues, which are at capacity and in remote places where the government has yet to go. In many cases, families are unaware of the deaths. The government’s Demographic Registry is responsible for certifying deaths so bodies can be removed by funeral homes, many of which are  not operating because of lack of resources. The agency  began to certify some of the dead Monday, Health Secretary Rafael Rodríguez-Mercado confirmed in an interview.

Public Safety Secretary Héctor Pesquera told the CPI that the names of the dead because of the hurricane will not be revealed until relatives can be notified. The continuing lack of communication has kept many people from knowing the whereabouts of their families. Since the storm’s immediate aftermath, many people have gone daily to radio stations so  the on-air personalities can announce the names of family members with whom they have been unable to communicate.

Trump contrasts Puerto Rico death toll to ‘a real catastrophe like Katrina’

President Donald Trump told Puerto Rican officials Tuesday they should be “very proud” that hundreds of people haven’t died after Hurricane Maria as they did in “a real catastrophe like Katrina.”

“Every death is a horror,” Trump said, “but if you look at a real catastrophe like Katrina and you look at the tremendous — hundreds and hundreds of people that died — and you look at what happened here with, really, a storm that was just totally overpowering … no one has ever seen anything like this.”
“What is your death count?” he asked as he turned to Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló. “17?”
“16,” Rosselló answered.
“16 people certified,” Trump said. “Sixteen people versus in the thousands. You can be very proud of all of your people and all of our people working together. Sixteen versus literally thousands of people. You can be very proud. Everybody watching can really be very proud of what’s taken place in Puerto Rico.”
 

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Surviving Irene

Well – looks like I made it through the Hurricane with no major damage. Considering my home is on the ocean in an area which took a straight on hit from the storm – that’s no mean feat. According to the local weather service we were blasted by 85-100 MPH winds, and got considerably more than the 4-8 foot storm surge predicted at High Tide.

"House Moving" on the Eastern Shore is a Little Different Than You May be Used to.

 

Result this trip was a few shingles knocked off, and about 2′ of ocean nder the house at high tide. Since the house was (actually, the mover and I re-designed it with state of the art siding, roofing, and support structures) designed to withstand 140 MP Winds and a storm surge putting 8′ under the house without serious disruption or damage. So… Other than mucking out the “mud room” on the ground floor where I keep fishing gear and tools… I think we are OK.

Unlike the Hatteras North Carolina region of the Outer Banks, after a disaster in the late 1980’s with homes being washed away by the ocean, the Federal Government does not allow building on the barrier islands in my area anymore.  My house originally was located on one of the barrier islands, where a foolish builder had built a community, much like those on the Outer Banks. After the first half dozen or so houses got washed away by a new inlet (3 years, and roughly 20 houses into the project), it occurred to some folks that the reason folks didn’t build on the Islands in the “old days”…

Is that the Islands actually move every year.

Right at the 10 second mark of this video, you can see what happened to the nice houses – (and this is before the next storm buried them to their roofs.)

So they wound up moving all the houses back to the mainland, or in several cases demolishing them and removing all the materials. The move was the subject of a Mega Movers episode, where I think there is a shot of me in a ubiquitous Golf Shirt and Baseball cap helping to get the hydraulic system on the barge to work, and setting up crib blocks to slide one of the houses off the barge onto land along a temporary “railroad” track set up for the job.

The Outer Banks have been a 50 year struggle against the propensity of those Islands to move… The Ocean always wins.

Folks up there in New Hampshire and Vermont – My heart goes out to you!

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2011 in News

 

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