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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Shutting Down the Coast

Gustav looks to be gunning for Louisiana. Beaumont/Port Arthur (Texas), which is a stone's throw from the Louisiana border and where Greg works, is also in the danger zone. They've been ordered to close all businesses there.

This time around Greg gets to shut down his plant, rather than stay for the duration like last time. That's good. It means he'll come up to me in north Texas sooner.

Shutting a chemical plant down is not as easy as turning off a switch, though I do kid him that all he has to do is turn off the lights. Generally, a plant shutdown requires a minimum of 24 hours, especially when you work with dangerous chemicals.

Everything has to be secured and put into safety mode should the brunt of the storm hit the plant. When you consider that the entire Texas coast is lined with petro-chemical plants, you can only imagine the logistics involved.

So far, poor Greg has been up for 24 hours. He's been at the plant since midday yesterday. He hopes to put the plant to bed by this afternoon, then he'll go home and sleep for a few hours before trying to make his way to me. All in a day's work for him. There's a reason they put him in charge.

Back in la-la land, the news media is having a field day. As usual, they are embellishing where they can to make the story more horrifying. They are paying particular attention to New Orleans.

Let me set the record straight here. Hurricane Katrina did NOT hit New Orleans. Go here to see the actual path of the hurricane. If you put your mouse over each colored circle it will give you the strength and timeline of the storm.

The media bends everything to fit its agenda. It's disgusting. I was grateful to be spared the media frenzy when Hurricane Rita hit. We were oblivious to all the hoopla, mostly because we were in the middle of the hoopla and too busy unearthing our house from debris to care what some NY suit thinks happened.