The Sudden, Shocking Growth of Hurricane Michael

Author Rick Coates

In case you needed another reason to get out of your carbon dioxide generator (AKA automobile) when you travel consider Hurricane Michael.   It’s the burning of fossil fuels in our cars that causes climate change.

Author
On Wednesday afternoon, Hurricane Michael became the second major storm to make landfall this year. Michael is an incredibly dangerous, history-making storm, bringing catastrophic high winds and deadly storm surge to Florida’s Panhandle. It ranks among the most ferocious land-falling hurricanes in American history.

“THIS IS A WORST CASE SCENARIO for the Florida Panhandle!” said Louis Uccellini, the director of the National Weather Service, in a statement. Officials urged local residents who have not already evacuated to stay inside or find shelter on high ground.

Michael, which will churn across the Southeast over the next several days, has already broken records. As a powerful Category 4 storm on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale, Michael is the strongest hurricane ever recorded making landfall on Florida’s Panhandle. It is also the strongest October hurricane ever known to come ashore in the continental United States, according to the historian Philip Klotzbach.

And by one important measure, Michael is the third strongest storm ever to come ashore in the continental United States. Only the Labor Day Storm, in 1935, and Hurricane Camille, in 1969, had a lower barometric pressure than this storm.

This intensity could spell potential disaster for Florida’s Panhandle. On Wednesday morning, Air Force Hurricane Hunters measured sustained, minute-long winds of 150 miles per hour near Michael’s eye. Winds that strong are capable of snapping trees in half, sending telephone poles flying through the air, and tearing the roof off of well-built homes. Such powerful gales often leave the area “uninhabitable for weeks or months,” according to the National Hurricane Center.

Gov. Brown signs bill paving way for 300-mile North Coast trail

Author Rick Coates

The California North Coast is moving ahead with a beautiful trail through the scenic Eel River Canyon and extending the potential route of our new Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit(SMART).  The commuter/tourist train has been both a financial and transportation success.  California’s Governor Jerry Brown has just signed legislation that creates a new trail authority and transfers ownership of neglected rail right-of-way to SMART.  This is an exciting development for those of us who are fans of trails and rails.  It will provide another way for tourists to travel without their car, extend the SMART train potentially as far north as Willits linking three large counties, and get freight out of big trucks and onto rails.  EcoRing encouraged State Senator McGuire to move this legislation and pressed the Governor to sign it.  It resolves many economic and environmental problems simultaneously.

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Clipper Card Transit-Payment System May Get $461-Million Update

Author:Bay City News Service

The Clipper card transit-payment system, originally designed in the late 1990s and used by San Francisco Bay Area commuters for BART, bus lines and more, may get a major update to improve equipment and technologies, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission announced today.

The commission’s operations committee has recommended approval of a $461 million contract proposal from the Clipper system’s creator, San Diego-based Cubic Transportation Systems Inc., to develop and implement a comprehensive update.

The proposal will go before the full commission Sept. 26.

The current Clipper system was originally launched in the Bay Area in 2006 under the TransLink name. Aging equipment and old technologies have made the system increasingly obsolete.

The update would modernize station card-readers in hundreds of stations and on thousands of buses and trains. It would offer mobile phone apps for reloading accounts, improve the system’s privacy protections and integrate with other transit providers like bike-share programs and Paratransit.

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