First Person: Reaction to the NOAA Hurricane Season Predictions

I live in Lake Charles, La. It was hit by Hurricane Rita in 2005, Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and Hurricane Audrey in 1957. There have also been many other hurricane warnings and mandatory hurricane evacuations throughout the years. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released the predictions for the 2011 hurricane season Wednesday.

Back to Average

NOAA claims this hurricane season will be “above average.” That may be true for what is considered average for a hurricane season, but it is really more like average. The average hurricane season has around 11 hurricanes. If there are 12 to 18 predicted, the only way the hurricane season can truly be considered “above average” is if 15 form in the Atlantic. With the predicted numbers, it seems that people living along the Atlantic coast will be expecting the same amount of warning as in most years. In fact, the Atlantic hurricane season of 2010 produced 19 hurricanes.

Not So Lucky

NOAA says the U.S. was lucky in the hurricane season of 2010. They are correct when they say this. No damage was done to the United States by hurricanes in 2010. If 2011 is like previous years, at least one city will most likely receive major damage from a hurricane.

As most people know, New Orleans is still recovering from the 2005 storm, Hurricane Katrina. However, most people do not realize that Lake Charles is still recovering from the 2005 storm, Hurricane Rita. KPLC reported that there are volunteers in Lake Charles and from around the country that come to help repair homes damaged in Hurricane Rita. One such group is the First Christian Church of Lake Charles. There is more damage in Cameron Parish, the parish south of Calcasieu Parish, where Lake Charles is located.

Hurricane Names

NOAA always picks out hurricane names for the upcoming hurricane season. While these names are only chosen because they follow a pattern of how to choose hurricane names, a name of a hurricane can mean a lot to people. When anybody mentions Rita in Lake Charles, people know that they are mentioning the hurricane unless a person is mentioned. The same goes for Katrina in New Orleans.

There are people who go through different things during a hurricane. Some are able to evacuate while some do not have the means. Others choose to stay in the city, even though it is dangerous to stay. Some stay until city officials say that it is okay to return. Others come back to the city through routes they find in the back even though they are not supposed to come back. They do this in order to check o their houses and perhaps their other properties.

These actions by people inspired Mr. Charles McNeely III to write the play “Our Hurricane Kaleidoscope.” It opened the 71st McNeese Theater Season in September 2010.

Sources:

American Press, from http://www.americanpress.com/lc/blogs/wpEntertainment/?p=1186

KPLC TV, from http://www.kplctv.com/story/14133713/volunteers-help-rapair-a-home-destroyed