Saturday, November 19, 2005

Watching Gamma

Tropical storm Gamma is in the western Gulf of Mexico near Honduras. Gamma is projected to make a turn similar to the one that Wilma made after stalling out for three days over Mexico's Yucatan peninsula. The three day track forecast brings the storm a little south of its previous track, but Key West, the lower Keys and south Florida are well within the cone of error. Its closest approach if it follows the forecast track exactly would be 50-60 miles to the south. Gamma is a tropical storm and is not expected to strengthen substantially. Winds are currently 46 miles an hour. It is also expected to become fast-moving once it makes the turn to the northeast. Rain amounts over western Cuba are predicted to be 6-10 inches.

The 'event', whatever it turns out to be, should take place here starting early on Monday and be nearly over by late Monday.

It's the rain that has people worried here. There are still many roofs unrepaired. Some are under FEMA's Blue Roof program and have been tarped, but many are open. Even without a surge, which isn't expected, that amount of rain would re-flood some neighborhood streets. It would also slow down the clean-up from Wilma .

Marty joked this morning at the coffee shop that the City has issued an emergency visitor non-evacuation notice. In fact, there are those who are leaving as early as today in order to escape any heavy traffic that might result from a visitor evacuation order. The Superboats are racing today and there are races scheduled for tomorrow as well. As long as Gamma only brings rain and tropical force winds, there's no obvious risk to Thanksgiving, Goombay or Fantasy Fest.

I don't intend to pay very much attention to Gamma beyond what the local TV stations will carry. There's too much else to do.

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