1. #1
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    Default Batton Down the Hatches (Again)

    Hurricane Katrina Lands in Fla., Killing 2

    Hurricane Katrina churned through Florida's densely populated southeastern coast Thursday with sustained winds of 80 mph and lashing rain. Two people were killed by falling trees.

    The storm strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane just before it made landfall along the Miami-Dade and Broward county line between Hallandale Beach and North Miami Beach. Weather officials said flooding was the main concern as the storm dropped 10 inches of rain in Key Biscayne.

    Rain fell in horizontal sheets, seas were estimated at 15 feet and wind gusted to 92 mph, toppling trees and street signs. Florida Power & Light said more than a million customers were without electricity.

    An overpass under construction in Miami-Dade County collapsed onto a highway, authorities said. No injuries were immediately reported.

    Late Thursday, Katrina was centered in northwest Miami-Dade County, heading west at 6 mph. An estimated 5.9 million Florida residents were in the storm's projected path.

    The storm proved fatal for two people who ignored warnings to stay inside until the worst was over. A man in his 20s in Fort Lauderdale was crushed by a falling tree as he sat alone in his car, while a pedestrian was killed by a falling tree in the Fort Lauderdale suburb of Plantation.

    "The message needs to be very clear. It's not a good night to be out driving around," National Hurricane Center director May Mayfield. "The back side of the core of the hurricane has yet to come. It's not over yet."

    The usually bustling streets of Miami Beach, a tourist haven, were largely deserted as the storm pounded the area. The city is hosting celebrities and partygoers in town for the MTV Video Music Awards. MTV called off its pre-awards festivities Thursday and Friday.

    "It's like a ghost town out here," said Mark Darress, concierge at The Astor Hotel in Miami Beach. "I see the random, not so smart people, riding scooters every now and then."

    Tourists and others hoping to get out of town before the storm were stranded as airlines canceled flights at Miami and Fort Lauderdale airports, which both closed Thursday night.

    Three mobile home parks in Davie sustained considerable damage, according to the Broward Emergency Management Agency. "A lot of roofs are off," said Dennis Myers, a spokesman for the agency.

    When the eye of the hurricane passed over the National Hurricane Center in west Miami-Dade County, forecasters ran outside to experience the calm at the center of the storm.

    In an oceanfront condominium in Hallandale, Carolyne and Carter McHyman said heavy downpours once again pelted their windows after the eye passed.

    "It's been horrible," Carolyne McHyman said. "Basically all our windows are leaking. We just keep mopping up and taping the windows, mopping up and taping again."

    Before the hurricane struck, Floridians wary of Katrina prepared by putting up shutters, stacking sandbags in doorways and stocking up on supplies.

    At a supermarket in Hollywood, Cassandra Butler hefted two five-gallon bottles of water as well as a 24-pack of smaller bottles into her shopping cart Thursday.

    "It's not that I'm worried. I've been in south Florida all my life," Butler said. "But this is a feature of life down here, and you are smart to deal with it."

    At a Home Depot in Miami, Jose Guerrera, 68, loaded 4-by-8 sheets of plywood onto a metal cart. He and his family huddled in their Coral Gables home as Hurricane Andrew screamed by in 1993 and he has been boarding up the house during hurricanes ever since.

    "I have to protect the doors and windows," Guerrera said. His wife, meanwhile, was shopping for water and food. "That's her problem. She's gotta take care of the food. I take care of the work."

    Water management officials lowered canal levels to avoid possible flooding, and pumps were activated in several low-lying areas of Miami-Dade.

    Dozens of surfers and spectators lined beaches from Palm Beach to Miami-Dade counties to take advantage of the massive waves on the normally placid seas, and long lines didn't seem to be a problem at most area gas stations, supermarkets and hardware stores.

    "This is the best of both worlds because it'll bring great waves, but it is not at all dangerous," said surfer Kurt Johnston, 22, of Davie.

    Katrina was the second hurricane to hit the state this year — Dennis hit the Panhandle last month — and the sixth since Aug. 13, 2004. Katrina formed Wednesday over the Bahamas and was expected to cross Florida before heading into the Gulf of Mexico.

    After crossing the peninsula, the storm could turn to the north over the Gulf of Mexico and threaten the Panhandle early next week, forecasters said. Bush encouraged residents of Florida's Panhandle and Big Bend areas to monitor the storm.

    Katrina is the 11th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, which began June 1. That's seven more than have typically formed by now in the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, the hurricane center said. The season ends Nov. 30.


    Brothers in Florida Stay Safe

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    My parents live down in Coral Springs, just outside of Ft. Lauderdale. Origionally the storm was predicted to pass literally right over their house, but turned slightly south at the last moment, so they're all fine. Now they're just expecting a ton of rain.

    We in Gainesville, on the other hand are keeping an eye on it just in case. They say it likely wont come too close this way, and will probably go back up into the panhandle. Looks like our MA team and I might be taking a trip back up there in a few days. Hope everyone in the Miami area is keeping safe.
    IAFF - Fire/EMS

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    My dad is on the Red Cross Disaster Team for Ohio. He has been to Florida's pan handle for the last two hurricane's through there. He just got deployed to the same town again for this hurricane. He leaves early next week.

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    Looks like the panhandle may be spared this time .. the storm has not made the north turn yet and now New Orleans is dead center in the projected path. A catagory 3 hurricane hitting a city that sits 12 feet below sea level and surrounded by the Misssissppi and Lake Ponchotrain will be a very, very bad thing. Looks like they are going to call for mandatory evacutions in NO by this afternoon .... this will be a bad deal for south Louisiana .. all of which is not more than 20' above sea level.

    Going to find out tonight if we are going to be assembling a standby crew to respond down there.

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    I'm scheduled to work in LaPlace, just West of New Orleans, Monday evening. Guess I'll have to call Monday afternoon and find out if I'm still going to be able to get there.
    I cancelled my plans for going to the final day of the EMS Expo down there today. I wanted to take care of preparations here at home. My cars are all gassed up, batteries are charging and I'll have plenty of water and grub. Now I'm just monitoring the local Public Safety freqs on my scanners and playing with my Ham radios while keeping an eye on the news.
    Steve
    St Gabriel, La.

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    If you know me, you know I have many friends in South Louisiana. If Katrina hits N.O. dead-on, it will be a huge catastrophe. Hurricanes do funny things. Lets hope this one peters out. Before it hits land again. But when all is said and done there Mother Nature will do what she pleases. Good Luck.
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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    Good luck 'n safe travels to all who are down that way. Stay safe down there.

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    Stay safe...
    May we never forget our fallen, worldwide.

    I.A.C.O.J. Safety/Traffic Control Officer

    E6511

    "Who's Who Among American Teachers" - 2005, 2006 Honoree

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    Here we go again, I just couldn't handle living on the coast! We are well north of the coast and yet we still have a huge amount of problems when a hurricane comes through. Just can't imagine being on the FD down on the coast right now....

    The 1 PM Tuesday "dot" is just about on top of us, I hope they miss the forcast like last time!

    To all those on the coast, Stay safe and good luck!
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    In Memory of:
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    "Rest in peace James, you now have the ultimate set of wings on you."

    Thanks, LeuitEFDems

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    Hmmm I guess that picture explains why we are getting a lot of rain up this way this weekend eh? Oh well at least it ain't killer hot 'n humid.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

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    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

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    Katrina just moved from a Category 4 to a 5. Boys in the south get your waders on. Hope all goes well for you. Stay safe!

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    Cellblock and DM ...

    Be careful brothers ... we have put together a crew, as well as Shreveport and Bossier City, to head down there once things clear out. Things with get very ugly for the big easy ...

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    The thing keeps drifting west. A few hours ago they were telling us here in the Baton Rouge area that we'd only get strong winds and rain. Now they moved the track just a bit West and we may see hurricane force winds here by tommorrow morning. Just when I thought I was far enough from the path of this thing.
    My main worry at this point are the large trees I have on the East side of my house. Those pecan tree limbs, or the entire tree, could cause me some real damage. I videotaped and photographed my home inside and out to have someting to present to my insurance company if necessary.
    I've been scanning the local police and fire department channels and they have been BUSY.
    I talked to my supervisor from work and he was heading down to LaPlace from Gonzales. I asked him if that was such a good idea and he told me that they HAD to have an EMT at the plant and he had to go. He'll call me tommorrow, if he survives, and tell me what to expect for work tommorrow evening. As it stands now I'm scheduled to drive down there to do the EMT thing Monday evening.
    For those outside of the area who want some good new coverage should tune into the live streaming broadcast of WWL-TV in New Orleans at- http://www.wwltv.com/perl/common/vid...props=livenoad

    Take care everyone.

    Steve aka cellblock
    Steve
    EMT/Security Officer

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    Wow, that's a scary thing. I've heard it described on the news and by weathermen as being 'doomsday' or 'armaggedon scenarios'. My thoughts and prayers are with the people of New Orleans and Louisiana.
    "Captain 1 to control, retone this as a structure and notify the fire chief...."

    Safety is no accident.

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    This evening a St Gabriel Police officer knocked on my door and said that there was a mandatory evacuation of all mobile home residents. As many of you know, I'm sitting here in a Fleetwood 16x80 foot manufactured home. I hadn't planned on leaving but was offered shelter at a friends home. Though they are in the same storm area, their brick home is less likely to be dammaged by the high winds or trees as mine is. So it's late and the cars are packed. Me, my spousal equivalent and our catson are headed out to safer accomidations.
    Be Safe everyone.
    Steve Raacke aka Cellblock,
    formerly of St Gabriel Fire Department
    Steve
    EMT/Security Officer

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    Default I Get A Lot Of Different News Feeds....

    We've all been concentrating on what's happening on the home front, but here is another perspective to the same problem - Hurricane Katrina, from the Combat Front. I hope all goes well for those involved - at both ends of the world!

    New York Daily News August 29, 2005

    Louisiana G.I.s' Turn To Worry By Nancy Dillon, Daily News Staff Writer

    BAGHDAD - Hundreds of Louisiana soldiers in harm's way in Baghdad had the tables turned on them last night, fretting and agonizing over their family members back home in Katrina's path.

    "I'm very worried. My fiancée said the wind was picking up to 180, 185 miles per hour," said Army Spec. Gerard Lawson, 21, of New Orleans.

    "What? I talked to my wife an hour ago and she said it was 175 miles per hour," said Sgt. Roger Sanders, 31, of Baton Rouge.

    "I heard if the levee breaks, New Orleans could be under 27 feet of water," said Cpl. Micah Golmon, eliciting horrified looks from other soldiers hungry for information in their Spartan tent here at Camp Liberty.

    "I live 3 miles from that levee," Lawson said with his brown eyes opened extra-wide.

    As the soldiers sat around trading updates, they couldn't help but acknowledge the irony of the situation.

    "It's weird now that it's them running from danger and not us," said Spec. Mario Mendizabal, 23, from Houma, La., about 40 miles southwest of New Orleans. "I'm worried for my wife, my family, my brother, my sister. It's a good thing we're not on a mission right now because we wouldn't be able to concentrate."

    All four soldiers have spent the past year working with New York's Fighting 69th. They've run countless patrols around Baghdad in Bradley tanks and now comprise a quick response team that reacts to attacks.

    "I just want to know my family is okay, but they don't want me to worry so they're not telling me much. I guess it's my turn to wonder and worry," Lawson said.

    Golmon, 27 and also from Houma, pulled out a photo of his wife and four daughters wearing matching pink dresses.

    "I'm concerned about the stress this is putting on my wife. Here she was preparing for me to come home, and now she has four kids, two dogs and a guinea pig in a motel room in Texas," he said.

    "I hope I actually get to go home to a home," Lawson added.

    http://ebird.afis.mil/ebfiles/e20050829388436.html RETURN TO TOP


    That was posted on our office web notice board. Good luck and God Bless.

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    I'm back home. Just got lights and phone back on. Pulled up in the driveway yesterday evening to find most of an Oak tree laying in my yard and across my front porch. My neighbor had checked the house then tried to contact me but all lines were busy or down. The family that we sheltered with had a chainsaw and we spent a couple of hours cutting the tree back.
    All in all I'm pretty lucky here. Everyone here is OK. My home is still standing except for the skirting under the trailer which was blown off and minor damage to the porch/deck from the tree which fell on it.
    I got a cellphone call from my supervisor, the EMT who when down ride out the storm at the Steel Mill in LaPlace. He said, "You better be down here to releive me by 6pm. I don't care if you have to float your fat *** down the river to get here just come to work." At least he said it in a good way with a bit of humor. I talked with St John the Baptist Patish EOC via my Ham Radio and they assure me that Airline Highway is open through LaPlace and I may be stopped by Police at the Parish line but as long as I show them my plant ID I should be able to get in.
    I talked on the Ham radio today to an evacuee who had seen footage of his home in the New Orleans area. It was totally flooded. He's at his wife's sisters home in Baton Rouge with 2 days worth of clothes and no idea what to do.
    My only concern is that nobody has heard from my sister and her family since the strom began. They live in Ponchatoula near Lake Ponchatrain and planned to ride it out thre. Last anyone heard from them they were headed to my Tangi Finance, where my sister works, in downtown Ponchatoula since it's a brick building. I hope they are alright but I haven't been able to reach them by landline or cellphone. yet. My Father was at a Horse show in Tennessee and he's checked in and said that the roads back home are blocked and it may be some time before he can get home.
    Lots of distruction just east of here. It's gonna be tough on lots of folks here in the next few weeks.
    Take Care,
    Steve aka cellblock
    my webpage- http://www.geocities.com/cellblock776
    My Ham Radio based vehicle tracking location (APRS) - http://www.findu.com/cgi-bin/find.cgi?call=kc5sas
    Steve
    EMT/Security Officer

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    Glad to see you folks made it through OK (relatively speaking.)

    Just remember after all of this physical destruction, there is going to be a lot illness coming due to the sewers and corpses.

    You folks be safe.
    "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

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