Hmm. - promoted by Bob_Neer
Well, Matthew ain’t coming to New England at all according to the most recent forecast.
But the forecast for the Palm Beach and Boca Raton areas of Florida could not be worse at this point. [Update: as the hurricane bounced off Grand Bahama the path turned further north, meaning that storm surge, not wind, will be the big danger and it will affect Daytona, Jacksonville, and Savannah Georgia especially. That's a more conservative area of Florida than Palm Beach County, though in Jacksonville and metro Savannah the demographics are mixed.]
Below is the expected position of the storm around midnight [it moved about 25 miles east of that track]. Undoubtedly, the federal government’s response to the impending disaster will have an impact on the voting in the election. Two recent polls show Clinton up by 5 points, and Trump up by 1 point. And the hurricane may disrupt voting in relatively liberal areas of the state. I expect both parties to try to make political hay out of this disaster.
In the months leading up to the general election, Governor Rick Scott has been winning points for Republicans by making repeated and silly requests for disaster relief money for a relatively benign problem, the growth of algae in lakes: Obama has done the right thing to turn down these requests and leave funds in the coffers for real disasters like what is about to unfold.
Not only is the storm expected to put 15-20 feet of water on the immediate coast, but the area near the St. Lucie nuclear plant could experience the worst impacts.
The highways in the area are unlikely to accommodate the whole population of Palm Beach county and metro Fort Lauderdale, and the hurricane could make a sudden left turn at any time and strike areas where people are evacuating to. To make matters worse, the hurricane warning in Palm Beach was provided well under 24 hours prior to the expected onset of tropical storm conditions.
On the Weather Underground site, one reader “Arnoldsw” raised the possibility that Matthew could blow out the major dykes holding back water in Lake Okeechobee. If that happens, 20 feet of water could be seen well inland, and the President and the Army Corps of Engineer would be held responsible. Arnold writes:
“Any news on Lake Okeechobee? Dike failure would be catastrophic. A few days ago, The Sun Sentinel reported “The lake level on Tuesday was 15.78 feet. Erosion problems and other stability threats are more of a risk when the lake level rises above 17.5 feet, according to the Army Corps. The problem is, the lake fills up much faster than South Florida’s vast system of canals and pumps can drain water out to sea. Just one tropical storm can boost the lake 3 feet.
I remind you of the 1928 Lake O hurricane. “Early on September 17, the storm made landfall near West Palm Beach, Florida with winds of 145 mph (233 km/h). In the city, more than 1,711 homes were destroyed. Elsewhere in the county, impact was severest around Lake Okeechobee. The storm surge caused water to pour out of the southern edge of the lake, flooding hundreds of square miles as high as 20 feet (6.1 m) above ground. Numerous houses and buildings were swept away in the cities of Belle Glade, Canal Point, Chosen, Pahokee, and South Bay. At least 2,500 people drowned, while damage was estimated at $25 million.
If those dikes fail, we have a New Orleans Katrina on our hand. ..Why aren’t we evacuating this area?”
New reports this morning also suggest a real possibility that Matthew could do a complete loop and strike Florida yet again, five days from now! Please share any new developments. At least it is a break from constant news about Donald Trump!