Early death toll reports in Florida

Feb 19, 2021
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Wichita
The last NWS Service Assessment was four years ago for Hurricane Michael. It is here:

If you go to page 11, you will find the names of the people involved in the assessment. Every single one of them is a NOAA employee or associate. How critical are you going to be of your fellow employees and of the organization that signs your checks?

That is why we must have an independent National Disaster Review Board.

Addition: Because a number of people have asked questions, I have updated my blog piece on this topic: Hurricane Ian's Forecast Fiasco
 
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May 10, 2007
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North Little Rock, AR
Here's another jewel of a quote from someone who should know better, a county commissioner in DeSoto County, Florida. This one was in an Associated Press article in this morning's newspapers:

The county was prepared for strong winds after being hit by Hurricane Charley in 2004, but it was not prepared for so much rainfall, which amounted to a year’s worth of precipitation in two days, DeSoto County Commissioner J.C. Deriso said.

Let's see - the average annual rainfall in DeSoto County is about 52 inches. Does anyone recall any rainfall amounts anywhere CLOSE to such a total in Hurricane Ian?
 
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Jul 5, 2009
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Newtown, Pennsylvania
Here's another jewel of a quote from someone who should know better, a county commissioner in DeSoto County, Florida. This one was in an Associated Press article in this morning's newspapers:

The county was prepared for strong winds after being hit by Hurricane Charley in 2004, but it was not prepared for so much rainfall, which amounted to a year’s worth of precipitation in two days, DeSoto County Commissioner J.C. Deriso said.

Let's see - the average annual rainfall in DeSoto County is about 52 inches. Does anyone recall any rainfall amounts anywhere CLOSE to such a total in Hurricane Ian?
Crazy - that statement not only exaggerates the amount of rainfall as you noted, but also is ridiculous on another level: How could anyone claim to be unaware of the heavy rainfall threat from Ian?!?

These types of media statements are not only frustrating and laughable to the more meteorologically astute among us, but are damaging to the public’s perception of the weather enterprise.
 

Warren Faidley

Supporter
May 7, 2006
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Mos Isley Space Port
www.stormchaser.com
I just returned from the event.

Here are some important notes: 1: Local news stations were providing extremely accurate, continuous, pre-storm information days out, especially within 24 hours. At one point I turned off the news because it was an overload of information. 2: Surge forecasts of over 10 feet were also being suggested / adjusted with every model run and NHC forecast hours in advance. I pay VERY close attention to this information because the surge forecast is my number one concern for where I end up chasing. Never did I feel any information was lacking or inaccurate. 3: People had PLENTY of time to evacuate. Most of the "sandbar" communities can reach safe inland locations in less than an hour. It's not the kind of situation where you need hours to "get out of town." I was still driving along the coast the early AM of the event! 4: News broadcasts were continually interviewing people who commented, "they were aware of the danger, but did not want to leave." 5: Many people do not want to suffer any possible "discomfort" if they evacuate, e.g., sleeping in their car or a public shelter for a night if they cannot find a motel.

This is also classic example of A: people ignoring information / warnings / evacuations and not wanting to take responsibility. B: A large population of residents who are new to the area and do not understand / underestimate storm surge and other hazards. C: Some people expressed they were "afraid to leave their homes" because of "growing crime problems," in the US (post-event looting / crime). I did capture scenes of people looting via my drone footage in the AM. I am getting permission from the FAA and Air Force to install air to surface missiles on the drone for future looting. (;

I did witness some of the fatalities in Fort Meyers Beach. Some (many?) were elderly individuals who were either unaware of the severity of the situation because of normal communication issues associated with the elderly, and /or they were ignored.

FortMyersPano-WS.jpg
 
Aug 25, 2022
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Fairfax, Virginia
I think one of the things that gets glossed over too often is the cost of evacuating. Yes, people don't pay attention to the strength and impacts of the hurricane, but a lot of people can't afford to evacuate. I personally would like to see the percentage of people who evacuate in wealthier/middle class areas opposed to areas with more poverty.
 
Feb 19, 2021
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Wichita
Warren, you wrote:
1: Local news stations were providing extremely accurate, continuous, pre-storm information days out, especially within 24 hours.
When you say, "accurate information days out" are you reporting that local meteorologists were differing with NHC? If so, that is great and I congratulate them.
 
Jul 5, 2009
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Newtown, Pennsylvania
I think one of the things that gets glossed over too often is the cost of evacuating. Yes, people don't pay attention to the strength and impacts of the hurricane, but a lot of people can't afford to evacuate. I personally would like to see the percentage of people who evacuate in wealthier/middle class areas opposed to areas with more poverty.
This point is relevant to keep in mind not only on the individual level but also on the state, county and local level. It is a huge economic cost to order an evacuation. Should the entire west coast of FL in the entirety of the cone been evacuated? Maybe the answer is yes, I am just asking the question. But we should always have enough intellectual humility to recognize there are unknowns and probabilities in *both* directions. It is always easy to say in hindsight that an area should have been evacuated sooner, but if an area was evacuated unnecessarily there would be criticism of that too.
 

Warren Faidley

Supporter
May 7, 2006
2,068
2,299
21
Mos Isley Space Port
www.stormchaser.com
Warren, you wrote:


When you say, "accurate information days out" are you reporting that local meteorologists were differing with NHC? If so, that is great and I congratulate them.
They (the local NBC affiliate), explained to people two days out that although a Tampa area strike was expected, the models were trending more eastward and people on the coastal areas near Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, Marco Island, etc., should be prepared to evacuate, since the Gulf floor was much shallower in that region and it would not take much to create a "10-foot+" surge -- especially with a strengthening cyclone. Those areas, including Fort Myers Beach had evacuation orders early on. Part of the problem is that people want 2-3 days warning. It does not always work that way, especially with coastal-hugging storms. Again, the situation down south became more obvious the day before, but it's only an hour drive inland from most coastal locations and gas stations were still open in many areas.
 
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