04.30.08

Enjoyed The Nice Weather On Wednesday In New Jersey? Well, It’s Not Gonna Last For Long!

Posted in General, GWC News at 11:52 pm by gmachos

Good evening everyone. Well, I stayed a bit later at work on Wednesday. I had some mandatory courses and exams to take as a part of the company policy. Nevertheless, there wasn’t anything noteworthy as far as severe or inclement weather was concerned on Wednesday. As a matter of fact, it was quite a nice day for the hump day. The sun came out for the first time since Friday. After a freeze warning was issued for some parts of New Jersey as the skies that had cleared out during the afternoon on Tuesday had provided the environment for radiational cooling.

Consequently, the mercury read 36 degrees at about 6:00 AM EDT this morning in South Plainfield. The actual low temperature for the day here in Northwestern Middlesex County was a bit lower at 35.5 degrees, which occurred at 6:50 AM EDT. According to the latest data from the GWC WX station, there was no measurable rainfall during the overnight. So April went out much like March should, like a lamb. Looking at the forecast courtesy of the National Weather Service office in Mount Holly, New Jersey, the rain is expected to come back at some point over the next four days.

The high temperature on Wednesday reached 58.1 degrees at 4:00 PM EDT. The mean temperature for the day was 46.8 degrees, and that was only the second time since April 17th that the mean temperature was below 51 degrees. For the day, there was no measurable rainfall at all, and that occurrence was for the first time in five days. For the month, there was a total of 2.93 inches of rainfall (unless there is something that occurs before midnight). Looking at the statistics for the year, the mean temperature for the entire month of April was 53.4 degrees with the mean max being 63.4 degrees while the mean max was 43.3, which made the average diurnal range for the month, 20.1 degrees.

Starting Thursday, and continuing through the weekend, chances for showers or rain ranges from 30 to 60 percent with the greatest chance expected on Thursday and Thursday night as well as Sunday and Sunday night. High temperatures are projected to fall between 62 and 66 degrees so the mercury will moderate somewhat from earlier in the week. Lows will range from the upper 40s to the low 50s. The lows are anticipated to be warmer than it was overnight on Wednesday since there will be clouds during the evening, which will prevent any infrared radiation from the ground to escape into the atmosphere.

According to the latest forecast summary for the Northeast from The Weather Channel, the foul weather that is to come on Thursday is the result from an approaching warm front. Showers and even some isolated thunderstorms are expected to develop to the north of and along that warm front New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and portions of Virginia. This weather is just the tip of the iceberg as TWC indicated the presence of another storm system that is gaining strength and organization over the Great Plains and Midwest. Consequently, the low is expected to bring a variety of weather from snow to severe thunderstorms in the nation’s heartland before moving eastward in our direction.

04.29.08

Twisters Touch Down In Virginia On Monday

Posted in General, GWC News at 11:56 pm by gmachos

Storm System Also Responsible For Heavy Rains Throughout Garden State

It was a stormy day in the Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast as a storm system that was much anticipated for several days came through the regions. The result was heavy rains for New Jersey, and even worse weather a bit further south in Virginia. The Commonwealth State, which is more known for being impacted by tropical storms and hurricanes than for tornadoes, got a taste of weather more typical of the Great Plains and Midwest as several twisters rolled through the Southern portion of the state near Norfolk.

The twisters ripped through such towns as Suffolk, which has a population of 80,000 people. The tornado that struck this town had tore a path that was some 25 miles long. Meanwhile, the National Weather Service, indicated two other tornadoes had struck in Brunswick County, which is located some 60 miles to the west of Suffolk, and Colonial Hills, which is located some 60 miles to the Northwest. According to the Weather Channel web site news article on the story, the Brunswick County twister produced winds that were estimated to be between 86 and 110 miles per hour.

The twister that struck Suffolk was described as a “major tornado”, which indicates to GWC that it was at least an EF2, and perhaps an EF3 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. Officials in Suffolk determined that there were 125 houses, and some 15 businesses and other facilities damaged to the point that they were no longer inhabitable. The Suffolk tornado left some 200 people injured while the twister in Colonial Hills, which is also situated south of the capital city of Richmond, produced some 18 injuries. On Tuesday, the storm system moved into New England, which produced copious amounts of rainfall in Maine and New Hampshire. According to the storm totals produced by TWC, there was 4.30 inches of rain in Brunswick, Maine, Fairfield had 3.60 inches, Portland received 3.25 inches, and Berlin, New Hampshire reported 2.82 inches of rainfall as of Tuesday afternoon.

Returning to the storm toll from Monday, there was a great deal of rain in New Jersey. According to the rain gauge for the Greg’s Weather Center WX station, there was 1.12 inches of rain during the day on Monday (April 28th). After no measurable rainfall in South Plainfield for 13 straight days, there was been at least 0.01 inches of rain for each of the past four days here in Northwestern Middlesex County. Moreover, there has been more rain over these past four days, than there had been for the entire month of April up to this point. So, after appearing to be somewhat of a dry month, the last four days here in New Jersey have brought rainfall for this usually showery and rainy month to be much closer to normal.

Looking at rainfall data across New Jersey and the rest of the New York City Metropolitan area, courtesy of the NWS, you could see that rainfall amounts across the Garden State ranged from a quarter of an inch along the Jersey shore especially in portions of Monmouth and Ocean counties to upwards of 2 inches in extreme Northwestern New Jersey. The doppler radar analysis of the cumulative rainfall agreed with the measurement given by the GWC station for Monday (1.12 inches) since rainfall amounts across a swath of Union, Middlesex, Somerset, and Mercer Counties ranged between 1.0 and 1.5 inches. Meanwhile, portions of Central and Eastern Long Island saw over 2 inches of rain up to 2.5 inches.

04.28.08

Just When You Thought It Couldn’t Get Any Worse…

Posted in General, Commentary, Storm Preparation, Storm Safety at 1:32 am by gmachos

Report Indicates New Orleans Floodwalls Stuffed With Newspaper

Well, there is no better way to get back into writing about hurricane related issues than to write about the never ending saga of mismanagement, and ineptitude that has characterized the the rebuilding and repair of the damaged levee system in New Orleans. The Big Easy, the most vulnerable city to hurricanes along the United States coastline from Maine to Texas, is in the opinion of Hurricaneville, no better off than it was the day after Katrina blew through down. It has been almost three years since the devastating hurricane, once a Category Five on the Saffir-Simpson Scale, there has been some progress, but not enough to make one think that New Orleans is in better shape to handle another significant storm.

The Central Gulf Coast has a much higher frequency of tropical storm and hurricane impacts than say the Northeast and New Jersey. Yet, the Army Corps of Engineers, Congress, and the President don’t seem to show any sense of urgency to get this long overdue project done. This levee system was supposed to be worked on in earnest after Hurricane Betsy back in 1965. Like the Green Brook Flood Project that was proposed after devastating floods hit the Bound Brook and Manville areas as well as other parts of Central Jersey back in 1972, the New Orleans levee system has been poorly funded, and as a result, not followed through to completion. The United States was once a country with a can do spirit. In the wake of the devastation from the Long Island Express Hurricane of 1938, Harry Hopkins, of the Roosevelt Administration, got the Northeast and New England back up on its feet toward recovery.

This was the same country that not only got itself through a depression, but also fought a World War on two fronts, and saved the World from tyranny and dictatorship. Several years after that, it flew in aid to much of Europe under the Marshall Plan. Whatever was made in the USA was high in quality, and was worth the price you spent on buying it. There are still some positives that you can say about America and its democracy, but not as much as in the past. The country has been going through a gradual decline for a while now, and there is no sense that anyone in the government whether it is the President or the Congress really grasp that. None of the five candidates that I e-mailed with regard of the Growing Hurricane Problem have responded. Now, we have levees in New Orleans being repaired with what many would say is an equivalent to chewing gum and band aid on a leak in a dam.

According to an article published in the WorldNetDaily, an individual, who refused to be identified, told reports for a local CBS affiliate down in New Orleans that floodwall panels being constructed to protect the city where being filled with newspaper rather than the rubber foam that was called for in the projects specifications. The unidentified resident then confronted the builder about the problem, and the builder replied that “when Congress sent down the money, it would be repaired in the proper way.” After all that has happened, you would think that everything possible would be done to fix the the levees in New Orleans, and make those in the Crescent City breathe with some ease. We are working against time here. The Atlantic is still in an active cycle despite the fact that 2006 and 2007 have been relatively quiet by recent standards.

Now, in all fairness to the Bush Administration, which has taken a good deal of criticism, especially from this web site in regard of how the aftermath of Katrina has been handled, Congress cannot escape culpability here. With an approval rating that is even lower than the President’s, the Congress, which was taken over by the Democrats following the 2006 mid-term elections, have not done much either. The Democratic Party, which was given a mandate by the people in terms of the War in Iraq, and many other issues that have affected the state of the country in the last eight years, have not lived up to expectations. To this web site, it seems that the Democrats have become no better than the Republicans as far as resolving many of the problems that concern Americans. All these recent elections have been is a struggle for power, and nothing more. Nothing more in the sense, of doing something that benefits the average person in this land.

Many people have found fault with the Bush Administration since things such as 9/11 and Katrina happened on its watch. There is truth to that, no doubt. With guys like Brownie running the show at FEMA, President Bush has played a poor hand when dealing with the Gulf Coast since 2005. However, the Clinton Administration, and many others before it share the blame too for not investing the money necessary to make these essential flood projects a reality. The politicians have almost always reacted poorly to these situations. For instance, I mentioned earlier how the FDR Administration reacted quickly to get help to the Northeast and New England after the 1938 hurricane, but it also blundered big time before, during, and after the 1935 hurricane that struck the Florida Keys. There have been good moments for the government such as when LBJ visited New Orleans after Betsy, and let the people know with his flashlight and bullhorn that he was there for them, but those moments have been few and far between.

04.27.08

Stormy Overnight In Central New Jersey On Saturday And Sunday

Posted in General, GWC News at 11:57 pm by gmachos

Good evening everyone. I have been working on putting together a timelapse photography video of the showers and inclement weather that occurred on Saturday here in South Plainfield. As indicated last night here in the blog, there were showers accompanied by rumbles of thunder during the overnight on Saturday night into Sunday morning. A line of strong to severe thunderstorms had formed over Western New York and Central Pennsylvania, and pressed eastward. Thankfully, the sun was setting in the east, and points eastward that were in line for the storms caught a break since the energy from the sun disappeared, and the storms also slowed.

Looking at the weather data for the month of April from the GWC Weather Station, there was about 22 hundredths of an inch of rain that fell over Northwestern Middlesex County during the overnight. Over the last two days, 0.35 inches of rain has accumulated here in Central Jersey after no rain for 13 straight days. For the first time in the past 10 days, the mean temperature was below 54 degrees as on Sunday, the mean was 48.8 degrees with the high at 53.7 around 4:00 PM, and the low bottomed out at 43.9 at 2:10 AM. With only several days left in the month, there has been 1.8 inches of rain that has fallen here in this portion of New Jersey. Considering that April is usually a wet month, the rainfall has been somewhat below normal, and that has been largely due to the dry stretch of weather that recently came to a halt.

Looking at the forecast courtesy of the National Weather Service office in Mount Holly, New Jersey, the possibility of rain overnight into tomorrow is almost a certainty. There is a 90 percent chance of rain starting after 2:00 AM tomorrow morning, and that chance increased to 100 percent during the day on Monday. Rainfall amounts are expected to range between about an inch to an inch and half over the next 24 to 36 hours. While there is still a chance for some thunderstorms on Monday, the odds are not as high as they were on both Friday and Saturday. Things are expected to start clearing out on Tuesday, and there should be some drying from Tuesday night into Thursday afternoon before the next round of rain comes on Thursday night.

04.26.08

Severe Weather Rolling Through Upstate New York And Pennsylvania

Posted in General, GWC News at 11:43 pm by gmachos

Good evening everyone. I took a stroll late this afternoon after taking some certification tests on my computer earlier today, and it was cloudy and breezy, but no rain. There had actually been some brief bouts of sunshine, but the clouds ruled the day. In the morning, there were some rumbles of thunder along with some rain. According to the weather data for the month of April on the GWC web site, approximately 0.13 inches of rainfall fell, which represented the first significant rain in almost two weeks here in South Plainfield.

As stated on Friday evening, the weather is beginning to change. After having some 13 days without any measurable rainfall, and temperatures in the mid to upper 70s for about half of that good weather span, the next five days or so are forecasted to be rather inclement. The first salvo occurred on Saturday morning with the showers and rumbles of thunder mentioned earlier. It is expected to continue this evening as a frontal system is heading this way. Embedded within this system is a long line of potent thunderstorms stretching from Syracuse in Upstate New York all the way through Central Pennsylvania. This line is also quite wide. As of the latest forecast that I saw on ABC 7 Eyewitness News (WABC 7 New York), this line of storms was about five hours away from the Central Jersey area.

With the sun going down, these storms are expected to weaken, and even slow down in forward momentum. So by the time this bad weather reaches Northwestern Middlesex County as well as the rest of the Tri-State area, the storms should be just mere showers with perhaps some rumbles of thunder, and it should begin around midnight. Following the storms on radar, one can see that the severe weather appears to be already easing a bit. The colors on the radar, which had more red earlier, it showing more yellow and green, which is an indication that the coldest cloud tops, a characteristic of severe weather, are warming. According to the latest news report from TWC, some of these storms could bring hail and gusty winds in the Mid-Atlantic. However, the best chance for severe weather in Central Jersey is expected to be on Monday when an even stronger storm system is expected to move in with heavy rain and thunderstorms accompanying it.

04.25.08

Plenty Of Rain On The Way Here In Central Jersey

Posted in General, GWC News at 11:36 pm by gmachos

Good evening everyone. I was just checking out the latest weather data from Greg’s Weather Center, and the latest forecast from the Mount Holly office of the National Weather Service, and the bottom line is that the great weather that we’ve been having is going to come to an end. Looking at the current GWC data for the month of April 2008, one can see that there has been no measurable rainfall in South Plainfield over the past 13 days. However, looking at the area forecast from the NWS, there is a chance of rain from tonight all the way until Tuesday afternoon.

The greatest chance for rain is on Saturday night (60 percent) and Monday and Monday night (70 percent). There is even a chance for Thunderstorms during the day on Monday. During the forecast period, high temperatures are expected to range between 58 and 64 degrees with the max temperature occurring on Saturday and the minimum happening on Tuesday. Meanwhile, lows are expected to range between 38 and 52 with the minimum low temperature occurring on Tuesday night as things clear out, and more infrared energy is expected to escape into the atmosphere. Looking at the latest radar courtesy of the Weather Channel, there is a line of showers in the central portion of Pennsylvania stretching from the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre from the northeast portion of the state to southwest of the capital of Harrisburg near Hagerstown, Maryland.

Fortunately for South Plainfield and the rest of Middlesex County, and the rest of the Central Jersey region, this line of rainy weather looks very weak, doesn’t appear to have enough legs to withstand the rugged terrain in Eastern Pennsylvania, and eventually reach New Jersey intact. However, if you look out into the rest of the country, the radar of the Eastern Central United States shows a line of strong to severe thunderstorms stretching from Wisconsin through the outskirts of Chicago down through Illinois into Missouri, Arkansas, and Eastern Texas. Numerous tornado and thunderstorm watches are in effect in Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, and extreme Southeastern Oklahoma. The rough weather from this region is pushing eastward, and will eventually make it into the Central Jersey region over the next few days.

Taking a look again at the weather for the month, the high temperature on Friday reached 72 degrees at 2:10 PM EDT. Although the weather was quite wonderful on Friday, it wasn’t as warm as it was over the past couple days with temperatures ranging in the mid to upper 70s. Within the past 15 days, the mercury has climbed to at least 72 degrees eight times. Furthermore, the mean temperature for the day has been 54.5 degrees or higher over the past nine days. Through the first 25 days this month, the average mean temperature has been 53.8 degrees in South Plainfield. The mean temperature for the year so far is 40.8 degrees with the January mean reaching 33.7, the February mean climbing to 34.4 degrees, and March’s mean topping 41.7 degrees.

04.24.08

Foreshadowing Of Katrina Debacle Seen In Florida In 2004

Posted in General, Commentary, Storm Preparation, Storm Safety at 6:08 pm by gmachos

Good afternoon everyone. It has been well documented over the past nearly three years about the debacle that took place in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in August and September 2005. What people don’t know, and honestly, this even sneaked under my radar, was that this actually should have been expected. During the course of the 2004 season, which is now overshadowed by what happened in 2005, there were four significant hurricanes that rolled through Florida over a six week period between the middle of August and the end of September.

Starting with Hurricane Charley, a Category Four storm that made a sudden right turn into the Punta Gorda area of Florida near Port Charlotte in mid-August, and followed by Frances, Ivan, and finally ended with Jeanne, the Sunshine State was ravaged like it had never been before. However, a story that should have been more of a harbinger of things to come at FEMA, was getting started. In an episode of the PBS series, Expose, The Sun-Sentinel, a major newspaper of South Florida located in Fort Lauderdale, began investigating the misallocation of funds for people that were apparently affected by Hurricane Frances in September 2004. During the course of the investigation, the Sun-Sentinel discovered that money was being sent to residents in Dade County, which hardly got any damage from the storm.

These findings was just the first layer of an onion that was peeled, which led to a number of other findings. You can see all the details of this investigation online at the Expose web site. In the wake of Katrina, a lot of the same things happened in terms of mismanagement and fraud. Another similarity was how this and the aftermaths of both Rita and Wilma never seemed to catch on in the media and the general public. It was as if these matters were just swept under the rug. The point of all this though is that FEMA should have had a major overhaul well before Katrina, and the Sun-Sentinel had shined the light on it. However, nobody in the government with the exception of some in Congress such as Maine senator, Susan Collins, really followed through on this, and demanded the ouster of then chief and former Bush ally, Michael Brown.

Perhaps this was just overlooked due to the fact that it was an election year, and the Iraq war was foremost on everyone’s minds. Unfortunately though, many more people suffered because of this out of control agency, which actually hired ex-convicts to perform damage assessments in the wake of these storms in Florida according to the Expose show. Most importantly though, these revelations as well as what happened in 2005 should serve as a reminder that people throughout the United States should strongly consider what they are voting for on Election Day 2008. Do fringe or wedge issues such as guns and religion really that important? I say that because look what has happened in the last eight years. President Bush was elected on the mantra that he was a “Compassionate Conservative.” He was the choice of many Americans largely because he believed in so called values issues that many identify with even in the face of economic hardships such as those we are presently seeing.

States such as Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida were states that went Republican in 2000 and 2004 largely because of these wedge issues. And, in light of these findings on an agency in a Republican administration that these people gave their trust and faith to, I find it very perplexing to see how people could vote that way knowing that despite whatever assurances the government has given, they’ve not come through for them. Just ask those in South Florida still trying to find adequate housing nearly three years after Hurricane Wilma, or people in Lousiana and Mississippi, who may be dealing with health issues from FEMA trailers that had too much formaldehyde. It just doesn’t make sense.

Another Warm Day Here in Central Jersey

Posted in General, GWC News at 3:52 am by gmachos

Good evening everyone. Well, it was another great day weather wise here in Northwestern Middlesex County. As predicted earlier in the week by the National Weather Service, and the Weather Channel, temperatures crossed over the 70 degree barrier, and were even a bit higher than originally expected. Looking at Wednesday’s data from the GWC Weather Station here in South Plainfield, the mercury climbed to nearly 78 degrees (actually 77.7) for a high at 2:40 PM while the low of 45.4 occurred at 6:20 AM. It marked the sixth time in just the past two weeks that the thermometer recorded a high temperature of at least 73 degrees.

Wednesday was also the 11th straight day of no measurable rainfall in the area. The month of April had started out very wet with at least one hundredth of an inch of rain in 9 of the first 12 days for a total of 1.45 inches. Furthermore, for the past seven days, the mean temperature has been at least 54.5 degrees. The combination of the lack of rain and increasing temperatures may be an indication that Spring is finally here to stay. At least I hope so. However, you never know about the weather this time of year. All it takes is a back door cold front, or a pesky system like the one that has hovered over the Mid-Atlantic for the past several days to turn the weather on its head, and bring back the raw and rainy conditions that characterized the early portion of the month.

Looking at the latest forecast outlook courtesy of the National Weather Service office in Mount Holly, New Jersey, the dry spell we’ve been having is projected to come to an end. However, not before there is some more great weather. Both Thursday and Friday are expected to be carbon copies of the weather on Wednesday with sunny skies and highs reaching up into the mid to upper 70s, and lows falling between the mid 40s to low 50s. Clouds are expected to move into the area on Wednesday night keeping the low from falling into the 40s while Thursday night is expected to be clear with winds becoming calm. Consequently, there could be some radiational cooling into early Friday morning.

Showers and thunderstorms are expected to then factor into the prognostication with a 30 percent chance of showers on Friday night followed by a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms on Saturday, and a 50 percent chance on Saturday night. A 30 to 40 percent chance of showers is then expected for Sunday through Sunday night.

Tri-County Red Cross Get Together At Cafe Vivace In Plainfield–April 23, 2008

Posted in General, Storm Preparation at 2:53 am by gmachos

PLAINFIELD, NJ–On Wednesday night, the Tri-County Chapter of the Red Cross here in New Jersey that covers portions of Union, Somerset, and Middlesex Counties, held a monthly happy hour at Cafe Vivace on South Ave in Plainfield. Greg Machos of Hurricaneville, who gave a donation to the organization in the aftermath of the flooding that gripped Bound Brook and Manville in April 2007 when a rare Spring Nor’easter brought a ton of rainfall, was contacted by CEO Nathan A. Rudy, and came down to take part in the festivities.

Rudy, who had served on the Borough Council in nearby North Plainfield at the time of Hurricane Floyd, has only been on the job for nine months, but already has made a tremendous impact in the local chapter in terms of morale, organization, and renewed energy and excitement. This chapter of the Red Cross covers much of Union County with the exception of the towns of Westfield, Mountainside, Springfield, Summit, New Providence, and Berkeley Heights, several communities in Middlesex County such as South Plainfield, Piscataway, and Dunellen, and Somerset County towns such as North Plainfield and Watchung. Two offices cover this region including one onf West Front Street in Plainfield, and another over on Jefferson Avenue in Elizabeth. One of the new initiatives that Rudy has started is the happy hour, which is once a month alternating between Cafe Vivace in Plainfield near the Fanwood border, and Suspenders in Union near Kean University.

The purpose of the get together is to bring together all the volunteers, donors, and other key people that help the Tri-County Red Cross execute its mission for the people they serve. Not only does the Red Cross, which has gone through a great deal of upheaval in recent years, put in resources to help those recovering from floods, severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes, and blizzards, but also more common and localized tragedies such as fires. It was a great opportunity to not only discuss the latest news, especially concerning State Farm’s decision not to renew policies for some Jersey shore homeowners as well as the possibility of a $500 billion dollar hurricane by 2020, but also things in everyday life such as TV shows, restaurants, and other personal interests. Some volunteers shared stories about their experiences helping those in Texas in the wake of Hurricane Rita back in September 2005, and memories of the disastrous floods from Floyd. There were about flooding in some of the nearby towns such as Plainfield, South Plainfield, Bound Brook, and North Plainfield while the topic of helping those in South Florida, who are still recovering from Hurricane Wilma was also brought up (by Machos).

It was a very nice atmosphere in the restaurant with the hors d’Oeuvres, pasta, and chicken as well as the cash bar. All in all it was a great experience, and a fun way to get to know some of the people, who try to help others in a time of need. If you live in the Tri-County area of Union, Somerset, and Middlesex counties in New Jersey, and are interested in either becoming a volunteer, or giving a donation, you can contact Nathan Rudy at either rudyn@usa.redcross.org, or via phone at (908)-756-6414 extension 17.

04.23.08

State Farm Not Renewing Policies For Jersey Shore Homeowners

Posted in General, Commentary, Storm Preparation, Storm Safety at 1:24 am by gmachos

Good evening everyone. Hurricaneville has continued to read articles concerning hurricanes and weather on the internet, and happened to stumble across a very important topic, especially for those in New Jersey. Yesterday, the site took a gander at an article from Newsday in New York that talked about how State Farm Insurance was looking to minimize risk, and decided not to renew home insurance policies for clients that live along the Jersey shoreline. Over the next five years, the insurance company is planning to drop two percent of its customers.

This story is the latest in a series of incidents since Hurricane Katrina’s devastating impact on the Central Gulf coast in August 2005 where insurance companies are trying to minimize risk by either changing homeowner policies, or dropping them completely. And, it is not only limited to the more frequent places such as Texas, Florida, and North Carolina, but it is also for those, who choose to live by the water in places such as the Mid-Atlantic and New England like New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Maine. The situation has not only developed because of Katrina, but also due to the fact that the Northeast is long overdue for a major hurricane, and the population in this part of the world is somewhat apathetic to the possibility of such a scenario happening. Back in 2001, a report by an insurance group indicated that a Category Four Hurricane making landfall in Asbury Park would cause some $52 billion in damage.

Recently, a news article indicated that by 2020, a possible storm scenario could have a hurricane leaving behind some $500 billion in damage, and some fear that price tag could come about with a New York and New England major hurricane event. Even the newly appointed director of the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida has indicated some concern about a possible Northeast hurricane scenario. Bill Read stated in an interview that the combination of the lack of such a storm in recent years, densely populated areas, apathy in this part of the world, and that major hurricanes move up the coast very rapidly, leaves a very scary outlook for this part of the world. The insurance companies see this, and don’t want to have to flip the bill for such a scenario, especially in light of 9/11. They are looking to cut down on possible losses, and be able to still function as a business.

As a result, it is imperative that New Jersey gets a Statewide Catastrophe Fund in place as soon as possible. The effort for such a fund began in the summer of 2006 when a bill was introduced in the Garden State’s Assembly. However, the financial situation in the state has become the primary concern, and the fund’s bill was stuck in committee during the last session (2006-2007). However, recently, Hurricaneville was informed by Assemblyman, Patrick Diegnan of South Plainfield and Middlesex County, that the bill was re-introduced for this session, and that Diegnan himself has been asked to be a co-sponsor. Following the model created in Florida back in 1992, NJ’s CAT would be a big boost to coastal residents since insurance companies would be more inclined to stay in the game, and continue providing coverage. While there are some concerns regarding the Florida CAT in light of the present financial crisis and credit crunch, it could be a big plus to have such a fund, especially if the kinks can be worked out to provide a safety net to both the insurance companies and homeowners.

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