Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Joe Sixpack (aka Sarah Palin) vs The Volcano (Mt. Redoubt)

Imagine an eruption FIVE TIMES IN ONLY TWO HOURS!

Last night, at 10:30 PM, Mt. Redoubt in Alaska erupted. Actually, it erupted five times within two hours. Its plume was 50,000 ft. high. Although 103 miles southwest of Anchorage, the ash could settle in Anchorage if winds shift from north to northwest. With that ash, the chemical words that come up most often are: chlorofluorocarbon pollution, radiation balance, acid rain, carbon dioxide and sulfuric acid.

And the political name that could come up is: Sarah Palin. Isn't it rather scary thinking of Sarah Palin in charge after a disaster?

From Anchorage Daily News:

Ash is not expected in Anchorage or Wasilla at this time, the Weather Service said.

An ash cloud is headed up the Susitna Valley west of Willow and is expected to arrive in the Talkeetna area around 3 a.m., said Dave Stricklan at the Weather Service's Anchorage office.

“It looks like (Anchorage) might dodge the bullet,” Alaska Volcano Observatory geophysicist Peter Cervelli said.

We should hope so, but what about any people directly north of the eruption?


In 1990 The eruption also caused an airliner to have all four engines die after it flew into a cloud of volcanic ash. Damage from the eruption was estimated at $160 million, the second costliest volcanic eruption in United States history.

Hmmm. $160 million. How much did Sarah refuse from the stimulus package that would go to education? Maybe God's telling her something! Will the Alaska state legislature support her, saying "Go Sarah, Go - in 2012!" Or will they just say to her: "You gotta be kidding, Palin, we need all the goddamned money we can get right now!"

So far, there are three villages directly affected: Skwentna, Trapper Creek and Talkeetna, total population of all three: 1306. Since she has been criticized extensively for paying no attention to depressed and distressed areas of Alaska, I wonder of Palin will break down and send a fruitb asket. Or maybe she'll have Thomas Muthee exorcise evil spirits from the area. You can rest assured that Palin will weigh if a photo op is worth any largesse the governor dishes out. How will it help her in 2012? How would she do during a catastrophe like Katrina but with a volcano as the culprit? Would she like to fly over the houses covered in ash.? Would she slap the back of the Alaska FEMA-like agency head and say,

"You're doing a heckofa job, ah, whoever you are."

Just a thought.

UPDATE: As of 7:28PM, Redoubt erupted AGAIN, making it the sixth eruption and possibly the most dangerous: the plume of ash reached its highest point at 60,000 feet.

(Anchorage Daily News)

High-elevation winds above 40,000 feet are beginning to veer toward Anchorage, but no ash is expected to fall on Alaska's largest city at this time, Bob Hopkins, the meteorologist-in-charge of the National Weather Service office in Anchorage, said.

"Eight miles up -- that's going to stay there," Hopkins said. "But that will affect aircraft at that altitude."

It's the lower-elevation winds between 10,000 and 20,000 feet, currently blowing north by northeast, that are most likely to carry ash to the ground, Hopkins said.