Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Storm Coming, Booms Going

Late this morning the State Emergency Response Team announced the temporary "removal of supplemental Tier 3 boom within the next 72 to 96 hours in the Panhandle counties." In a formal statement [available here], it is said:
The removal is in light of the potential tropical activity in the Gulf of Mexico.

“During a tropical storm boom can cause additional damage to the natural resources that we are trying to protect from oil spill impacts,” said [state] DEP Secretary Michael W. Sole. “Given the current oil spill trajectories and the tropical activity in the Gulf of Mexico we think this is the best decision for Florida’s communities.”
* * *
Following the tropical activity, should further oil spill impacts be projected, officials will redeploy the boom.
"Tier 3" boom are those deployed by state and local governments at their own expense in areas additional to sensitive coastline areas approved by the Unified Command under the U.S. Coast Guard’s Area Contingency Plan (ACP).

No appreciable change has been made in the earlier forecast of the National Hurricane Center. It continues to state:
A tropical depression is not expected to form today but environmental conditions are still favorable for some development as the system moves toward the west-northwest at about 10 mph away from Hispaniola into the Bahamas on Thursday. There is a high chance...60 percent...of this system becoming a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours.
Bloomberg News reported at mid-morning that "heavy rain showers over the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Puerto Rico" were diminishing the chance of strengthening. But Bloomberg also quotes a meteorological consultant for businesses as predicting that Invest 97L would become a Category 1 "by the weekend."

If so, the next tropical storm name on the list is "Bonnie." We have a good friend by the same name. She's a gentle, humorous soul who wouldn't hurt a sand flea. We'll take that as a good omen.

No comments: