Disaster Days

Ken AshfordDisasters, Trump & Administration, War on Terrorism/Torture, WeatherLeave a Comment

It’s 9/11 again.  Seventeen years ago.  This date is starting tom make me feel old.

And we have a potential disaster by the name of Florence looming off the coast.

So what does our President do?

Well, in between tweets about 9/11 (he is watching TV), he is attacking the DOJ and the FBI.  How patriotic.

But then he left the White House to attend a 9/11 ceremony at Shanksville, PA, where he did this:

9/11!  Fuck yeah!

On this September 11, it is factual to note the following about Trump: On the very day of the attacks, he bragged that the destruction of the World Trade Center meant that he now had the tallest building in lower Manhattan…,

He later claimed – with no evidence – that “thousands and thousands” of Muslims in New Jersey celebrated 9/11. When reporters pointed out his 9/11 falsehoods, he chose to mock them – notably imitating the NYT’s Serge Kovaleski, who has a congenital joint condition

Plus this:

Turning to Florence, the news remains the same.  She’s heading this way with a powerful punch:

Mandatory evacuations are underway for parts of the U.S. East Coast, including the completes coasts of both North and South Carolina. The storm’s wet and windy punch is expected to hit the Carolinas within 48 hours. Federal, state, local officials are coordinating their efforts.

Those like me who are inland are not out of the woods. 

Meteorologists fear that Hurricane Harvey-style rainfall could deluge the Carolinas causing massive freshwater flooding reminiscent of the devastation in Texas last year, which killed 68 people and caused $125 billion in damage.

Florence, which may have strengthened to near Category 5 strength, is expected to make a direct hit in the northernmost part of South Carolina or North Carolina. Rather than continuing to churn north along the coast, the hurricane is expected to strike the coast head-on and move inland, allowing it to dump vast quantities of water—perhaps more than 30 inches in places—as it slows down.

But don’t forget about toxic sludge:

Hurricane Florence’s potential for destruction also includes increased risks for the environment and public health as torrential rains could overwhelm the pits where toxic waste from power plants is stored. Animal-manure lagoons are also at risk of flooding.

Duke Energy Corp. was ordered two years ago to clean up coal-ash ponds in North Carolina that posed risks to the environment and public health. The company won’t be done in time for the storm, leaving the sites vulnerable to spills that can unleash the waste. The state is also a major producer of poultry and hogs, and man-made lagoons that hold manure also could be at risk of overflowing into fields and nearby waterways.

Florence continues to grow in size and strength, now poised to become the strongest hurricane in almost 30 years to hit the Carolinas as more than 1 million people began fleeing the U.S. coastline.

Duke came under pressure to address coal-ash storage after about 39,000 tons spilled in 2014 from a pond near Eden, North Carolina. In 2016, the state gave the company until Aug. 1, 2019, to dig up and close some coal-ash pits and almost a decade more to deal with others. Duke has begun work at several high-risk sites