October 13, 2011

Hurricanes in Mexico and fires in classroom buildings on campus

SACRAMENTO, Calif., USA - Adm. Fox and I are waiting semi-patiently tonight for word from Arroyo Seco about how the people in the village fared when Hurricane Jova came ashore Tuesday night, about 15 miles north right through the area known as Chamela.

No one has heard much from anyplace along that stretch of coast. In Arroyo Seco, Jim Monaco, who lives right on the beach, reported he was okay in a brief telephone conversation with an amiga. But the phone lines are down, power is out and the whole coastal area waiting for water to recede and/or digging out from mudslides. Full tinacos (water tanks) with 500 gallons of water blew off tops of buildings in the wind. My two RVS (Grey Goose Express and the Grey Goose II) might have taken off like Dorothy's house in the Wizard of Oz.

South of Arroyo Seco, La Manzanilla seems to have survived ok. But just south of that pueblo, the towns of Melaque and Barra de Navidad are a mess. Bridges are out, roads collapsed and shoreside restaurants partly washed out.

Highway near Manzanillo

But life continues, mudslides or not and so while waiting for the constant busy signal to stop today for calls into Mexico, I put together a video with some startling images of propane explosions. In New York, the Department of Environmental Conservation has extended the period of time for comments on the proposed environmental nightmare proposed to be built north of our Watkins Glen house.

It's a 576-acre propane and natural gas storage facilty (using salt caverns as holding tanks) right above Seneca Lake. While the entire project is about as well planned as a kindergarten opera, the potential for what gas experts call a bleve (boiling liquid expanding vapor explosion) is enough to scare the crap out of anyone. (Except developers of such projects, I suppose.)

Just one incident like the ones shown in the video could put a serious dent in the tourist traffic.

And just after I finished that video, I headed to the university to find that two buildings on campus had fires going on - one of which was in the hallway outside of my office!

Here's videos relating to the propane project and the university fires: