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Ike: Why People on the Coast Stayed

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There's an interesting article in the Montior this week about why 140,000 people decided to stay in their homes even though the NWS was warning of "certain death" when the storm came ashore.

A lot of people react based on previous experiences with storms... usually having the more recent experiences dictate what they do. People evacuated in masses for Hurricane Rite b/c they were terrified of what they saw with Katrina. Well, Hurricane Rita just missed us and many had to suffer in hours upon hours upon hours of traffic b/c too maybe people evacuated... combine that with a few other "just misses" we have seen here before Ike and you can see why this time more people stayed. They think the evacuation process will be just like Rita and also think the storm will miss us just like the others have. I guarantee you when the next storm threatens southeast Texas, more people will evacuate b/c they will "remember Ike". If that storms happens to miss us or not hit as hard, the following storm will be met w/ more people staying. :wacko:

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A lot of people react based on previous experiences with storms... usually having the more recent experiences dictate what they do. People evacuated in masses for Hurricane Rite b/c they were terrified of what they saw with Katrina. Well, Hurricane Rita just missed us and many had to suffer in hours upon hours upon hours of traffic b/c too maybe people evacuated... combine that with a few other "just misses" we have seen here before Ike and you can see why this time more people stayed. They think the evacuation process will be just like Rita and also think the storm will miss us just like the others have. I guarantee you when the next storm threatens southeast Texas, more people will evacuate b/c they will "remember Ike". If that storms happens to miss us or not hit as hard, the following storm will be met w/ more people staying. :wacko:

On the contrary, if a storm similar in strength to Ike bears down on us, I'm riding it out in Galveston just for fun. If it were a couple categories stronger, I'd probably still evacuate, though...whether I'm ordered to or not.

The memory of Ike will inform people as to what is a reasonable course of action.

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I would have to agree with you both...it seems that those ordered to evacuate should have, IMO. The way the system is designed would have allowed even the least weary person time to get out. Look at the freeways and how they were not as crowded this time because those of us (Katy area and others) didn't tuck tail as was the case with Rita. I rode the storm out in the friendly confines of my home in Katy. I was actually thinking about leaving for a time as the projected path had the eye of the storm coming within miles, if not less, to my home. I was prepared and boarded up my windows and such, but was not sure how the wife and kid would react to the amount of wind that would have come through our area. As it is, we felt hurricane force winds and it knocked power out there just as it did in the metropolitan area. I would agree that if a storm is coming that is a category or two larger than Ike, I will think about leaving. Again, my wife and daughter had a tough time dealing with the wind. My wife is from Oklahoma and is used to the path of destruction being a mile wide and 4 miles long and lasting just a few minutes at most. She has said to me repeatedly that people that have not gone through ANY hurricane don't really understand what it's like. It's the constant wind for several hours, not just minutes.

Sorry for getting off topic. I think that a lot of the folks that have now gone through this experience will either take the warnings and leave more so. I think it's the one's that have gone through two or more of these that will stay. I went through Alicia and said as long as it's a Cat. 3 or below, I am riding it out. Anything above that, and if I lived on the coast....I would bail!

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Like Niche here, people were focusing on the categories, which do not reflect the storm surge danger at all. They made a stupid comparison to Alicia, which was about the size of the state of Louisiana. Ike took up most of the Gulf, and brought a surge of 15+ feet to Bolivar (which, when they assess the damage, will probably be officially over 20 feet - some of the debris floated high up into the trees). Many of those houses in Gilchrist were designed to withstand category 5 conditions. How many in that addition survived? One.

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale is designed to assess damage caused by the maximum sustained winds, which are found only in a small part of the cyclone. Most of us in inland Harris County did not experience hurricane conditions during Ike. Most were borderline, with category 1 gusts, which is basically what is found in a strong tropical storm.

Edited by westguy

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Remember this storm was projected to hit Corpus? Then, it kept creeping farther and farther to the north. Remember also, that they held off calling for mandatory evacs until the last minute? Remember that the super-huge storm surge arrived more than 12 hours before landfall of any tropical storm winds? Anybody?

There ferry was advertised to cease service at 11:00. Does anybody know what time they actually stopped service?

Why can't we get any good information on where the true devastation happened? I figure that my beach house in Gilchrist is probably on the south coast of Goat Island or Smith Point. I'm sure many bodies were washed out to the back as well. Gators will certainly take care of that.

There was an announcement that High Island would be open this morning and a meeting would be held. People drove up to two hours to attend only to be told that they could not go a few miles to Gilchrist. No Galveston County officials were present. When asked when they would be allowed to get to Gilchrist, the DPS officer said "As soon as the bridge is open." Every GD person that was in attendance of that meeting had to go over the bridge to get there!

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Like Niche here, people were focusing on the categories, which do not reflect the storm surge danger at all. They made a stupid comparison to Alicia, which was about the size of the state of Louisiana. Ike took up most of the Gulf, and brought a surge of 15+ feet to Bolivar (which, when they assess the damage, will probably be officially over 20 feet - some of the debris floated high up into the trees). Many of those houses in Gilchrist were designed to withstand category 5 conditions. How many in that addition survived? One.

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale is designed to assess damage caused by the maximum sustained winds, which are found only in a small part of the cyclone. Most of us in inland Harris County did not experience hurricane conditions during Ike. Most were borderline, with category 1 gusts, which is basically what is found in a strong tropical storm.

I'd point out that as a precondition for going to Galveston for a hurricane of similar intensity to Ike, my shelter must be substantial, well above the level of any possible storm surge, and also behind the seawall, so as that the wind really is my primary concern. I would also point out that given the same forecasts as were projected for Ike as of late last week, I still in hindsight would not have gone to Galveston. The potential for a much more intense storm was still well within reason.

I am a thrill seeker. I am not suicidal.

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I've heard that two friends stayed in their home that made it through the 1900 storm when there was no seawall and suffered no damage from Ike. Also, I'm told that their business on Seawall Blvd. did not suffer either. Let's face it, the seawall saved this town and it needs to be extended westward. Now is the time to get this motor running.

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I've heard that two friends stayed in Let's face it, the seawall saved this town and it needs to be extended westward. Now is the time to get this motor running.

I disagree. It is time to do away with the NFIP and with community-oriented disaster relief programs sponsored by the State and Federal governments. Take away all the incentives to develop unproteced coastline and other high-risk areas. Then more low-intensity coastal development will shift back to behind the seawall, and that which is left unprotected will have to be built to such standards as flood and windstorm insurance becomes reasonably-priced so that banks will lend on them.

Edited by TheNiche

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I disagree. It is time to do away with the NFIP and with community-oriented disaster relief programs sponsored by the State and Federal governments. Take away all the incentives to develop unproteced coastline and other high-risk areas. Then more low-intensity coastal development will shift back to behind the seawall, and that which is left unprotected will have to be built to such standards as flood and windstorm insurance becomes reasonably-priced so that banks will lend on them.

But it so unlike you to disagree. I said nothing about government paying for any or all of protection for the west end. It's already poplulated. Maybe the rich folks that live out there could come up with a private solution. What do think?

In Gilchrist, the GeoTubes still seem to be pretty much intact, but was no match for the 15'-20' surge. See NOAA satellite images.

Edited by rsb320

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I said nothing about government paying for any or all of protection for the west end. It's already poplulated. Maybe the rich folks that live out there could come up with a private solution. What do think?

You suggested that the seawall be extended. As the seawall presently exists to the easternmost tip of Galveston Island, I can only conclude that you mean to extend it westward so as to protect the west end. And as such an endeavor would be infeasible for a private entity to initiate within the existing legal and financial framework, it would require some form of government sponsorship; some entity from within some level of government will have to approve an allocation of resources to this project. You are correct that you did not say anything about government outlays; it does not seem like you even thought about this implication of your opinion.

Provided that a supermajority of property owners along the west end with votes weighted by the value of their holdings were to approve it, I would suggest that the most efficient way to bring about an extension of the seawall would be to create a Public Improvement District (PID) funded much in the same way as a Municipal Utility District (MUD). Property taxes from those that are directly benefited by the project would be assessed to pay for the project. If I were a state legislator, however, I would prefer to not grant the same kind of bond guarantee that is provided to MUDs, however. The area is excessively risky and I don't even like the guarantee of regular MUDs to begin with. Let the PID purchase casualty insurance from the private market at the prevailing rates.

You might find that the "rich folks" that live out there got rich by knowing when not to throw good money after bad.

In Gilchrist, the GeoTubes still seem to be pretty much intact, but was no match for the 15'-20' surge. See NOAA satellite images.

GeoTubes are not intended to withstand large storms. They are intended to be an inexpensive solution to deal with smaller storms and they do a pretty good job at it. Protecting a land area area of very low population density with a more substantial barrier is very costly; it probably is not worth the cost of such substantial protection.

Edited by TheNiche

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I guarantee you when the next storm threatens southeast Texas, more people will evacuate b/c they will "remember Ike".

I was thinking the exact same thing today - that the next time a storm is "bearing down on Houston" (cue the foreboding channel 11 music) it's going to be hell getting out of town. Amazing.

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You might find that the "rich folks" that live out there got rich by knowing when not to throw good money after bad.

You had to say that on today of all days.

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Most of us in inland Harris County did not experience hurricane conditions during Ike. Most were borderline, with category 1 gusts, which is basically what is found in a strong tropical storm.

i guess the national weather service was wrong when winds of 100 were measured

cue the foreboding channel 11 music
trust gene....but bring back dr neil frank

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It kind of ticked me off that so many people stayed on. What part of "Mandatory Evacuation" did they not understand? :wacko: People typically aren't good at assessing risks themselves. I hate to think of the resources that were diverted the first couple of days to rescue the hundreds of people who decided that staying on wasn't a good idea after all. Personally I would like for each one of them to be invoiced for the cost of their rescue, secured by property liens if necessary. Maybe next time they won't be such stupid idiots.

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It kind of ticked me off that so many people stayed on. What part of "Mandatory Evacuation" did they not understand? :wacko: People typically aren't good at assessing risks themselves. I hate to think of the resources that were diverted the first couple of days to rescue the hundreds of people who decided that staying on wasn't a good idea after all. Personally I would like for each one of them to be invoiced for the cost of their rescue, secured by property liens if necessary. Maybe next time they won't be such stupid idiots.

I agree wholeheartedly, they should be invoiced and assessed for the cost of staying on and I think that many of them will be if I remember correctly.

But on the flip side, I am getting a bit hacked listening to the City of Galveston acting like property owners and residents are a nuisance to their benevolent recovery efforts. One reason why so many people never leave in a situation like this is because they know they might not be allowed back in and kept from their property, which is exactly what is happening. That's why so many people ignore evacuation orders in Florida and I suspect even more people will stay on the Texas coast next time for the exact same reason.

Yeah, I know that asking people to accept responsibility for themselves (ie "you can come back in but we won't help you if you hurt yourself") is an impossible ideal, and even if they did the handholding TV news crowd would put the government in a can't win situation. Regardless, I still feel strongly on the subject that the government shouldn't be able to keep people from their property.

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You had to say that on today of all days.

And the ones that are still rich still prove my point. Regardless of whether some fraction of them were an accomplice to the financial crisis, if they still have such wealth as they can be considered "rich folks", they obviously know how to handle their personal finances.

...personally, though, I suspect that most of them in the Houston area got that way by way of the energy industry. We aren't really a very big mortgage banking epicenter.

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And the ones that are still rich still prove my point. Regardless of whether some fraction of them were an accomplice to the financial crisis, if they still have such wealth as they can be considered "rich folks", they obviously know how to handle their personal finances.

...personally, though, I suspect that most of them in the Houston area got that way by way of the energy industry. We aren't really a very big mortgage banking epicenter.

I know I am sanctioning this OT digression by replying, but it's really funny to me how people elect stupid officials who put bad regulations in place (eg the California wholesale power market in 2000 or the Community Reinvestment Act) and then blame other people for taking advantage of the bad regulations instead of the elected officials who put the regulations in place to begin with. Enron didn't cause the lights to go out in California, bad regulations did. Similarly, Lehman Brothers and Bear Sterns (or even Fannie and Freddie) didn't just decide to start making bad loans to people with bad credit, they were encouraged to do so by regulators who put expanded home ownership ahead of prudent lending standards and rated the businesses they regulated according to such standards.

The people who were smart enough to take advantage of the whole mortgage/finance/equity bubbles in the first place already got paid and are still rich today, regardless of whether their particular institution is bankrupt or has been sold.

Niche is right that they've already moved on to the next game.

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I agree wholeheartedly, they should be invoiced and assessed for the cost of staying on and I think that many of them will be if I remember correctly.

But on the flip side, I am getting a bit hacked listening to the City of Galveston acting like property owners and residents are a nuisance to their benevolent recovery efforts. One reason why so many people never leave in a situation like this is because they know they might not be allowed back in and kept from their property, which is exactly what is happening. That's why so many people ignore evacuation orders in Florida and I suspect even more people will stay on the Texas coast next time for the exact same reason.

Yeah, I know that asking people to accept responsibility for themselves (ie "you can come back in but we won't help you if you hurt yourself") is an impossible ideal, and even if they did the handholding TV news crowd would put the government in a can't win situation. Regardless, I still feel strongly on the subject that the government shouldn't be able to keep people from their property.

Promoting public health and safety is EXACTLY what the government is supposed to be doing! If it means keeping people from their property for a while I'm sorry, but they're trying to do their job! It's a public health emergency! Good grief, they're not keeping people away out of spite or something. :wacko: Like I said before, a lot of people are simply incapable of assessing health and safety risks. They need to be protected from themselves. It's unfortunate, but such is life.

Again, I'm sorry for everyone who lost so much, but is it so much to expect them to obey the authorities? The last thing we need right now is people thinking they're above the law.

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Promoting public health and safety is EXACTLY what the government is supposed to be doing! If it means keeping people from their property for a while I'm sorry, but they're trying to do their job! It's a public health emergency! Good grief, they're not keeping people away out of spite or something. :wacko: Like I said before, a lot of people are simply incapable of assessing health and safety risks. They need to be protected from themselves. It's unfortunate, but such is life.

Again, I'm sorry for everyone who lost so much, but is it so much to expect them to obey the authorities? The last thing we need right now is people thinking they're above the law.

Please define objectively and in no uncertain terms what constitutes "Public Health & Safety".

Like I said before, a lot of people are simply incapable of assessing health and safety risks. They need to be protected from themselves.

The National Hurricane Center claimed that the approximately 20,000 people remaining on Galveston Island faced "Certain Death". Only a handful of people actually died there (5 as of a couple days ago, with no updates since). It would seem that the federal government is far worse at gauging risks than are locals...even the ridiculously stupid and irresponsible locals.

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I wouldn't want to be anywhere near the bay or Galveston if I heard a storm surge of any magnitude was approaching. A hurricane is one thing, but a wall of water? Where are you gonna go to get away from that? I have a lot of respect for Mother Nature & her water's strength. Especially now that she's destroyed several buildings/landmarks I grew up with. The aerial shot of Galveston really brings home how vulnerable the peninsula is. Best thing Islanders can do is have a plan ahead of time (somewhere to stay - relatives, friends - inland) and don't wait till it's too late to execute it.

I know, ultimately, it will always be an individual's choice.

Edited by NenaE

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Promoting public health and safety is EXACTLY what the government is supposed to be doing! If it means keeping people from their property for a while I'm sorry, but they're trying to do their job! It's a public health emergency! Good grief, they're not keeping people away out of spite or something. :wacko: Like I said before, a lot of people are simply incapable of assessing health and safety risks. They need to be protected from themselves. It's unfortunate, but such is life.

Again, I'm sorry for everyone who lost so much, but is it so much to expect them to obey the authorities? The last thing we need right now is people thinking they're above the law.

What is "the law" that people think they are above? Whatever the city government of Galveston decrees?

Are not property rights (defined through the years as the right to control and exert your will on your property, which is hard to do if you're being kept away from it by force) also part of "the law?" In that sense, isn't what the city government of Galveston is doing "above the law?" Why not? You can't do anything with your property that puts other people at risk or infringes on someone else's property rights, but that's not the same thing as being restricted "for your own good."

I think Niche is hitting at the heart of it: what's the objective standard for keeping people away from their property? What will constitute "public safety" next time the government wants not to be interfered with?

I'm not saying that it's not dangerous for people to return or that the city government isn't sincere in its desire to keep its residents safe or that this truly isn't an extraordinary circumstance, but the residents should be given the opportunity to objectively evaluate those risks for themselves. Otherwise they don't truly "own" the property in a natural law sense, they just practically own the property at the city government's discretion.

Yes, it's a theoretical argument I am trying to make, but it's an important one I think.

Edited by cottonmather0

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I'm sorry, but I hold true to the argument that the people they interview are idiots. They're like "well, I lived here for 60 years and something never happened like this", not taking into account that there have been major hurricanes every half decades or so. I can go on and on, but I give no sympathy to the fools that stayed.

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Please define objectively and in no uncertain terms what constitutes "Public Health & Safety".

The National Hurricane Center claimed that the approximately 20,000 people remaining on Galveston Island faced "Certain Death". Only a handful of people actually died there (5 as of a couple days ago, with no updates since). It would seem that the federal government is far worse at gauging risks than are locals...even the ridiculously stupid and irresponsible locals.

You mean this: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/20...ricane-ike.html

""Neighborhoods that are affected by the storm surge

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I wouldn't want to be anywhere near the bay or Galveston if I heard a storm surge of any magnitude was approaching. A hurricane is one thing, but a wall of water? Where are you gonna go to get away from that?

Behind the seawall and up.

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Behind the seawall and up.

Probably between Broadway and the seawall (and up) since the water came from the back side or washed over the seawall and then down toward the back.

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I think Niche is hitting at the heart of it: what's the objective standard for keeping people away from their property? What will constitute "public safety" next time the government wants not to be interfered with?

Actually, I can justify the concerns over safety, specifically. My chief concerns are to what is fitting in terms of the "Public Health". The concept of health can be viewed in functional terms; that is, it can be measured in terms of life expectancy (physiological quantity), by the extent to which individuals are able to utilize their body (physiological quality), by the efficiency which individuals are able to produce in an occupation (economic quantity), or by the error rate associated with that production (economic quantity). And certainly to the extent that enhanced public safety preserves these criteria--ceteris paribus--it contributes to the public health. But the concept of "public health" must be inclusive of the public welfare. It must allow for the fact that a person may be blessed with physiological and economic ability, and still not live a happy life, thus still not a healthy life.

And this cuts to the core of my argument, whether applied to pre- or post-disaster governmental response. Government must be willing to accept the fact that deaths and injuries or even effort on its own part may be averted by forcibly removing people from a disaster area but that it is not necessarily the best course of action. In my opinion, their highest obligation is to provide the public with reasonable and reliable information with respect to the situation as it is and also the range of possible outcomes. That is not all that should be done by any means, but if sane people are willing to take risks with their lives, that's their prerogative.

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Actually, I can justify the concerns over safety, specifically. My chief concerns are to what is fitting in terms of the "Public Health". The concept of health can be viewed in functional terms; that is, it can be measured in terms of life expectancy (physiological quantity), by the extent to which individuals are able to utilize their body (physiological quality), by the efficiency which individuals are able to produce in an occupation (economic quantity), or by the error rate associated with that production (economic quantity). And certainly to the extent that enhanced public safety preserves these criteria--ceteris paribus--it contributes to the public health. But the concept of "public health" must be inclusive of the public welfare. It must allow for the fact that a person may be blessed with physiological and economic ability, and still not live a happy life, thus still not a healthy life.

And this cuts to the core of my argument, whether applied to pre- or post-disaster governmental response. Government must be willing to accept the fact that deaths and injuries or even effort on its own part may be averted by forcibly removing people from a disaster area but that it is not necessarily the best course of action. In my opinion, their highest obligation is to provide the public with reasonable and reliable information with respect to the situation as it is and also the range of possible outcomes. That is not all that should be done by any means, but if sane people are willing to take risks with their lives, that's their prerogative.

:huh: Niche, how do you feel about being told you could look and leave (Gilchrist) only to be refused entry upon arrival?

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:huh: Niche, how do you feel about being told you could look and leave (Gilchrist) only to be refused entry upon arrival?

Not good. But I'm altogether uncomfortable with property owners and their guests not being allowed full access.

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No sanitation + houses and streets soaked in raw sewage = high risk for water-borne illnesses such as dysentery. There are no functioning hospitals or medical facilities on the island. Why should people be allowed to put a strain on very limited resources?

Stay out of the water around Galveston

Edited by westguy

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No sanitation + houses and streets soaked in raw sewage = high risk for water-borne illnesses such as dysentery. There are no functioning hospitals or medical facilities on the island. Why should people be allowed to put a strain on very limited resources?

Stay out of the water around Galveston

Advise people of the danger, what are the safe practices to prevent contraction of waterborne diseases, and let them take responsibility for themselves.

I've heard of fishermen that wade out into the warm shallows of Matagorda Bay getting cut up on an oyster reef, and then contracting vibrio vulnificus. Maybe we should ban wade fishing too? For the good of the sportsman? :rolleyes:

Edited by TheNiche

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Advise people of the danger, what are the safe practices to prevent contraction of waterborne diseases, and let them take responsibility for themselves.

Then they still get sick and they have to go to an emergency room, which is probably running on generator power and already full of patients suffering from heat stress. We should stretch all our resources further to babysit a few who are working on the assumption that they still have property in a disaster area. :rolleyes: How exactly would these people who are gravely ill or injured because they were poking through a hazardous area take responsibility for themselves? Would they sit around and wait to die?

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Then they still get sick and they have to go to an emergency room, which is probably running on generator power and already full of patients suffering from heat stress. We should stretch all our resources further to babysit a few who are working on the assumption that they still have property in a disaster area. :rolleyes: How exactly would these people who are gravely ill or injured because they were poking through a hazardous area take responsibility for themselves? Would they sit around and wait to die?

Whether they are property owners or emergency response personnel and contractors, people are going to have to occupy the island and clean stuff up. If emergency personnel and contractors can handle themselves, so can the general public.

From an operational standpoint, hospitals closest to the area with the greatest numbers of injured and sick people can triage the cases and send minor cases up the road to other hospitals in the region. It does have a social cost in terms of resources (but so does the renting of tens of thousands of hotel rooms on the mainland), and that is what out-of-pocket cash payments, health insurance, personal debt, or charity is for.

Some increased number of people will get sick and assuredly some increased number of people will die. But on the condition that they understood and accepted the risks, then so be it.

EDIT: Btw, I have several properties in a "disaster area". All of them have electricity, water/sewer, and telecommunications; none of them sustained damage. I'm living in one of them. They are fine, I am fine.

Edited by TheNiche

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What is "the law" that people think they are above? Whatever the city government of Galveston decrees?

Are not property rights (defined through the years as the right to control and exert your will on your property, which is hard to do if you're being kept away from it by force) also part of "the law?" In that sense, isn't what the city government of Galveston is doing "above the law?" Why not? You can't do anything with your property that puts other people at risk or infringes on someone else's property rights, but that's not the same thing as being restricted "for your own good."

I'm not saying that it's not dangerous for people to return or that the city government isn't sincere in its desire to keep its residents safe or that this truly isn't an extraordinary circumstance, but the residents should be given the opportunity to objectively evaluate those risks for themselves. Otherwise they don't truly "own" the property in a natural law sense, they just practically own the property at the city government's discretion.

Yes, it's a theoretical argument I am trying to make, but it's an important one I think.

I

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You can't always give residents the opportunity to objectively evaluate risks for themselves because frankly, a lot of people simply can't. Humans don't have talent for assessing risk. That's why rescue forces had to fetch out 900+ knuckleheads from the island who decided to exercise their "rights" before realizing it was actually a serious storm and changing their minds on the public dime. This isn't a little utopia of rational risk assessment. Get real - these are the kind of clowns we are dealing with.

A lot of people are too uneducated to make rational decisions in the voting booths. And the decisions made there have consequences on orders of magnitude that far exceed a few disaster situations. By your logic, it would seem a fair analogy that because a lot of the voting public are ignorant, incompetent, or insane, we should eliminate voting altogether. And it wouldn't be fair, after all, to only allow only some people (deemed competent by possibly incompetent people in government using rules placed into law by politicians voted into office by the incompetent) to vote.

You apparently hold human life quite cheap if you are saying that it was OK to stay on the island because fewer people died than might have been the case. Otherwise the argument is almost breathtakingly fatuous.

You are misrepresenting my argument.

And I do not presume to value any life other than my own. I am not a qualified appraiser of another man's life.

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No one has mentioned the possibility of damaged pipelines full of natural gas or other chemicals compromised by Ike. The closer you get to the coast, the more pipelines you find. The coast is just not a safe place to be when a hurricane and all it fury roars ashore. Not to mention the flood waters & all their nastiness.

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No one has mentioned the possibility of damaged pipelines full of natural gas or other chemicals compromised by Ike.

Is that really a possibility, or is this just speculation on your part? Any examples?

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Is that really a possibility, or is this just speculation on your part? Any examples?

It's a real possibility, I worked for many years in the pipeline services industry, most recently as a pipeline data analyst, saw lines damaged by Katrina in New Orleans. One line had an anchor from a displaced ship drug over a pipeline, sat in a swamp. Was a "top priority quick turnaround" job. The tool I worked with found dents & restrictions.

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Bolivar did not have a hospital before and will not after. They got their first full time ambulance just this spring. There is no public sewage system, no natural gas, etc. All I wanted to do is look and leave after hearing it announced on Ch 11 that we could. If you think I had intentions of wading around in the muck, that would be wrong, especially after seeing the bloated dead cows and smelling the stank on the way down. I just wanted to take a few pictures and see if, maybe, perhaps, there might be something of a memory to retrieve before being pillaged by outsiders. Instead, we were denied access to our property.

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It's a real possibility, I worked for many years in the pipeline services industry, most recently as a pipeline data analyst, saw lines damaged by Katrina in New Orleans. One line had an anchor from a displaced ship drug over a pipeline, sat in a swamp. Was a "top priority quick turnaround" job. The tool I worked with found dents & restrictions.

I don't doubt that pipelines get damaged by hurricanes. But are they in use during hurricanes? Would they have volatile or toxic chemicals in them?

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I don't doubt that pipelines get damaged by hurricanes. But are they in use during hurricanes? Would they have volatile or toxic chemicals in them?

Yes, there are natural gas and crude oil lines under pressure and sitting still during these conditions, not flowing, sealed off at both ends of the line. There is a term used within the industry called "third party damage", always the biggest risk. Many times it's a backhoe that hits one, on the top of the pipe, but can originate from many other sources. The govt. has heavy inspection requirements for these lines.

Edited by NenaE

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IRRC, during Rita, or some other storm that hit recently (last few years) there were several piplines that were compromised by barges that broke loose from their moorings during the storm. They drug across or snagged the pipelines in the Old River area were several fires started....somone may have a better recolection of when that happened...it is a very real possiblility...not sure if anything like that has occured to date from Ike...

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http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/morenews/6027458.html

"Two weeks after Ike, more than 400 are still missing"

And a quote from the beginning:

"Gail Ettenger made her last phone call at 10:10 p.m. She was trapped in her Bolivar Peninsula bungalow with her Great Dane, Reba. A drowning cat cried outside. Her Jeep bobbed in the seawater surging around her home.

Ettenger, 58, told her friend she was reading old love letters by flashlight. "I think I really screwed up this time," she said, according to Monroe Burks, Ettenger's neighbor who had evacuated to Houston.

That was Friday, Sept 12. On Wednesday — 12 days later — her nearly nude body was found face down by a huge debris pile in a remote mosquito-ridden marsh in Chambers County, about 10 miles inland from where her gray beach house once stood."

and...

"About 60 of the missing lived on the Bolivar Peninsula, stripped bare by the storm surge that felled beach houses like a bomb. More than 200 were listed as missing on Galveston Island itself, according to a city-by-city analysis of the data conducted for the Houston Chronicle by Bob Walcutt, executive director of the recovery center in Friendswood."

Edited by VicMan

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http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/morenews/6027458.html

"Two weeks after Ike, more than 400 are still missing"

And a quote from the beginning:

"Gail Ettenger made her last phone call at 10:10 p.m. She was trapped in her Bolivar Peninsula bungalow with her Great Dane, Reba. A drowning cat cried outside. Her Jeep bobbed in the seawater surging around her home.

Ettenger, 58, told her friend she was reading old love letters by flashlight. "I think I really screwed up this time," she said, according to Monroe Burks, Ettenger's neighbor who had evacuated to Houston.

That was Friday, Sept 12. On Wednesday

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