As we enter this Thanksgiving, the weather has been disagreeable. Although southeast Louisiana is generally blessed with mild temperatures at this time of the year, many of us have had to crank up our seldom used heaters as temperatures have plummeted and we have been kept damp by a steady mist.
Although this makes being outside unpleasant and driving hazardous, it is the least of Louisiana’s worries when it comes to weather.
In fact, we should all be very happy and thankful for this year’s hurricane season, which was the mildest since 1982. Although there were predictions that as many as 20 storms would form in 2013, there were only 13 named tropical storms and two hurricanes.
One of those storms, Tropical Storm Karen, seemed to be aimed in our direction in early October and was anticipated to become a category 1 hurricane, prompting St. Charles Parish President V.J. St. Pierre to issue a state of emergency.
However, the storm broke up before it struck and those in St. Charles Parish had a sunny weekend with a only few showers and nice breeze to cool us off.
Of course we should feel lucky for this as only last year Hurricane Isaac, a category 1, hovered over the area for a day and a half causing heavy wind damage, widespread and long lasting power outages and severe flooding to our neighbors in St. John the Baptist Parish. When it was all said and done, the storm caused $2.39 billion in damage in the region.
So while we were spared this year, we know it is only a matter of time before we are hit again. In fact, atmospheric scientists just this year said Louisiana should anticipate getting hit by a hurricane every three years rather than every four as was previously predicted. This makes the recent action on the West Bank Hurricane Protection Levee even more important.
So this Thanksgiving as we sit down to dinner with our families and friends, we should be thankful for a good year weather wise and developments in flood protection that should provide us a higher degree of safety for years to come.