In the annals of South Florida is the Legend of Hurricane Andrew. It is the Miami version of 9/11. If you lived in Dade or Broward County in 1992, you remember where you were when Andrew hit, how long you were without power, and the scenes of the damage are still burned into your mind.
I was there.
One of the things about Andrew that people who weren’t there can’t believe is the staggering amount of damage the hurricane did.
This image was typical of many neighborhoods in after Andrew.
Andrew came through like the vengeful finger of an angry god and wiped whole blocks off the map.
Sure, Andrew was a Category 5 hurricane, but Florida had some blame too.
Before Andrew, if you wanted to slap together a put up a development by slapping OSB (Oriented Strand Board or flakeboard) to studs on 24 inch spacing with a 10d framing nailer, then covering the whole thing with stucco, that was your business.
That is until a hurricane blows through and leaves only the concrete slab behind. Then 44 people die and $32 Billion in damage is done.
My home was built in the 1920’s, in an area called Coral Gables. It was brick in the front and quarry cut coral block in the back, all cemented together. We lost shingles. There is a reason the Gables has withstood Hurricanes since it was built almost 100 years ago.
South Florida changed its building codes after Andrew. No more wide stud spacing, no more OSB, your roof had to be strapped down. You had to have hurricane shutters or hurricane windows, no more plywood nailed over windows to stucco on new construction. That just flies off and through your neighbor’s window.
Florida also spent billions on the shoreline, adding breakwaters, plating beach grasses to keep the dunes from washing away, and dredging canals to control the storm surge.
EVERYONE had to buy flood insurance. My dad had to have flood insurance, on his condo, on the 32nd floor of a building.
We learned our lesson.
It’s true that after a while of few strong hurricanes, the inspection on the codes relaxes, a Category 3 comes through and exposes the shoddy construction, and the Counties crack down on building codes again. This is reason No. 1 why I hate people who employ illegals for construction. You don’t find out about where your corners were cut until the wind rips your substandard roof off and your homeowners insurance doesn’t cover it.
Living through this has made me callous to other people’s suffering of preventable natural disasters.
Everyone new that New Orleans was below sea level. I watched a Nova special on PBS about what would happen to NOLA if they got hit by “the Big One” before Katrina. I remember there was a guy standing on Bourbon street with a 20 foot pole saying the water would reach to the top of the pole he was holding up.
What did NOLA do? Jack shit for preparation, and in reconstruction, very little to improve the chances of survival of the next storm.
If you live in California, you know that that the weather cycles between wet and dry, and dry rapidly turns into fire season.
California history has been plagued with water problems, going back to the Water Wars of the early 20th century.
Plans were put in place to build dams and reservoirs as the population increased. That was killed off and the last major water reservoir was built in 1979. The hippies and environmentalists shut that down. Now that the population has about doubled in that time, people have to shower every other day and wear their clothes three times before washing them to avoid fines. Even when the people want more reservoirs, the state bureaucrats are more beholden to the fucking environmentalists than the voters (who will continue to vote for them because of the “D” after their names).
Now we get to the deadliest fire in California history with more than 42 people dead. It started when wind blew tree branches onto power lines owned by PG&E.
This is far from the first time this has happened. PG&E had to pay $2.5 Billion in damages for wine country fires from previous years.
PG&E put a plan in place to shut off power at high risk times to minimize the likelihood of causing fires. The people bitched.
As a last resort during extreme fire conditions, the utility is temporarily cutting off power to customers prevent its lines from sparking fires that turn into deadly infernos. While the recent power outages went mostly as planned and no major blazes broke out, there’s clearly room for improvement, as well as some big questions.
One is: Did PG&E jump the gun? Perhaps.
Cal Fire made clear it wasn’t involved in the shutoff and would only ask the utility to make such a decision to protect firefighters during an active fire. Customers have complained about spoiled food, lost business, closed schools and other interruptions to daily life. Some consumer groups are urging the California Public Utilities Commission to investigate.
But that isn’t the only problem.
Once again, we have to deal with the fucking environmentalists.
Is PG&E going too far in cutting trees for fire safety? A Sacramento group says yes
This article is from October 3rd, 2018.
Criticized for its role in several catastrophic California wildfires, state utility giant Pacific Gas & Electric is on a mission to clear trees near power lines that could topple and hit lines causing fires.
But is the giant utility going too far? A group of Sacramentans is saying yes.
Some members of the Save the American River Association and the American River Parkway Coalition and others are fighting to stop PG&E from cutting down what they estimate could be 100 cottonwood and oak trees near a major electricity transmission line that runs through the parkway near Discovery Park.
That includes trees flanking the paved recreation trail, they say, based on blue dots the utility appears recently to have sprayed on trees. Saying they fear the utility company is overreacting, the group’s representatives say they want the utility company and the county, which oversees the parkway, to show evidence that trees need to be cut down rather than pruned.
“We do not think that process and planning should be thrown to the wind in a panic over the global problem of dealing with wildfires in California,” the river association’s Betsy Weiland said. “What is the real fire risk here?”
The disputed treeline in Sacramento runs for about a half mile along the north edge of the parkway, south of the Garden Highway and east of Discovery Park.
Weiland’s complaint echoes one earlier this year by some Napa residents who felt PG&E was overzealous in cutting trees there.
The Camp Fire has killed 42 people (so far), destroyed over 7,100 homes, displaced a quarter of a million people, wiped out the city of Paradise, California, and has done almost $7 Billion in damage.
And the fire is only 30% contained.
At this point, I’d be happy to clear cut the fucking state, or at least a 500 foot wide easement around every power line.
Nope, the fucking environmentalists are going to win again.
The governor is blaming global warming.
That means the fix isn’t extra wide fire breaks or better forest management. It means doubling down on zero emission vehicle mandates and wind turbines.
Ultimately, that means that the Camp Fire won’t be the last or even the most destructive fire California sees because of trees hitting power lines.
Since this is the way California thinks and votes, all I can say, is fuck ’em.
If they would rather focus on banning gas powered cars by 2040 but not cutting the trees and burning out the undergrowth near power lines, let the state burn. I have no more interest in protecting the Left from the ramifications of their own terrible, ideological decisions.
When an illegal steals a gun and murders a woman and they let him go, but fucks a citizen sideways for trying to comply with the confusing network of gun laws, that’s California.
When they rather let a person deliberately infect someone with HIV than “stigmatize” the HIV+/LGBT community, that’s California.
When they give more of a shit about a bait fish than farmers in Americans fruit basket, that’s California.
When they rather burn a city to the ground than take a chainsaw to some trees, that’s California.
If that’s the way they want to live: on fire, with AIDS, and being shot by illegals, I don’t care anymore.
What I do care about is that shit staying in California and not being exported elsewhere.
3 thoughts on “As burns California so burns the nation”
But you know the end result is that shit will get exported. Just look at Texas and Florida.
The seasonal nature of Southern California has always been rain in late winter/early spring leading to rapid growth of desert adapted scrub brush. Hot, dry summers drying out the recent brush growth. Santa Ana winds turning the dried undergrowth into tinder that will ignite if you look at it crosseyed. The bare hillsides then lead to mudslides when the rains returns. This has nothing to do with “climate change” or any other man made causes but is part of California’s ecosystem.
The destruction of homes and business, and the loss of life are attributable to building where common sense would say hell no, environmental regulations that preclude clearing trees and brush to form fire breaks (before the fires begin), water restrictions that preclude having well watered grassy areas surrounding residential areas, and an arrogance that somehow hundreds of years of historical records mean nothing. This arrogance fosters the delusion that somehow this year will be different and no one will die.
California has too many people, too little water, and too many idiots who think they can ignore the facts.
I live here and can’t wait to get out. I’m looking for my exit strategy.
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