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Fighting Mother Nature

 
 
Reply Wed 30 Oct, 2002 10:22 pm
Here on Long Island, out in the famous Hamptons, is a road called Dune Road. It's located between the ocean and the bay, and there is very little land there but people have built houses (on stilts) anyway. Every year or two we have a good old fashioned nor'easter and one or more house crashes into the surf. Inevitably, the house is rebuilt. One would think people would get tired of rebuilding again and again, but apparently the draw of living right on the ocean (and the availability of flood insurance) keeps the process alive.

Then there is Mount Etna. From what I can gather it is a very active volcano with frequent eruptions. Why then would anyone build a house (or a ski resort) directly in the path of the lava?????
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 4,861 • Replies: 20
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Oct, 2002 05:47 am
bandylu2- I think that it is an issue of hope outweighing reality. Where I live in Florida, there is a long hurricaine season. Every spring, we are sent a map with evacuation routes. There are many categories of evacuation, according to where your home is. There are certain places, usually around rivers and bays, shown on the map, that you have to leave, even after a relatively minor deluge. These areas just flood whenever there is any heavy rain.

In spite of that, people are building the most expensive houses in the most dangerous areas. Seems that everybody likes the water, and boating is a big thing here!
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Merry Andrew
 
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Reply Thu 31 Oct, 2002 01:26 pm
Bandylu -- you might as well ask, why hasn't San Francisco been abandoned yet? It's suffered several devastating earthquakes already, everybody knows it's sitting smack atop the SanAndreas fault, and yet people keep on not only living there, but increasing the population. Bizarre? Well, if you really like a place, the positive seems to outweigh all the negatives. Tornado Alley would be another example. Why do people continue to live in an environment where they know a twister could come along any time and lift the roof off the house, or even lift the whole house and crash it to the ground? Some do it because they have nowhere else to go, but most do it because they love where they are. Same thing with the houses on stilts at the strand.
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Merry Andrew
 
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Reply Thu 31 Oct, 2002 01:28 pm
...and, of course, everyone knows that Southern Cal. is slowly sliding into the sea. Yet people continue to build houses right on the hillsides, overlooking the oceaan!
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Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Oct, 2002 01:30 pm
That's 'ocean.' I promise I'll learn how to use spellcheck one of these days. (Might even start previewing my submissions.)
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Oct, 2002 01:32 pm
(M.A., didja know you can edit? There's a button over on the upper right of your response... if nobody has read your response yet, none are the wiser. [If someone has read your response, a little italicized message appears saying that you edited, and when.])
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Merry Andrew
 
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Reply Thu 31 Oct, 2002 05:56 pm
Thanx for the tip, Sozobe. I'm such a newbie I don't know what any of those cute little buttons in the corners do. What's PM stand for? I'm afraid to click it to find out.
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Oct, 2002 06:30 pm
Merry Andrew wrote:
Thanx for the tip, Sozobe. I'm such a newbie I don't know what any of those cute little buttons in the corners do. What's PM stand for? I'm afraid to click it to find out.


well i'm not afraid, so you're about to find out Laughing
hope your speakers are on
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roger
 
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Reply Thu 31 Oct, 2002 06:41 pm
PM is personal message. It will go to the person whose post contains the PM option. A window will open on the receiving member's monitor notifying them of the message when they log in. Depending on the settings in your profile, they also go to your email.

Wait a sec - I'll show you.
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bandylu2
 
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Reply Thu 31 Oct, 2002 07:57 pm
Actually, almost every place in the world probably has a reasonable chance of being hit with mother nature's force at some time or another.

The key, I think, is that in most weather related problems, there is always the hit-or-miss element, the chance that the hurricane/tornado/nor'easter won't strike in any particular area. San Francisco has had some devasting earthquakes, but they really don't happen all that often.

But Mount Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. It would seem inevitable that anything in its path is destined for destruction.

I guess it's just a testimonial to man's refusual to cave in to the forces of nature -- or, perhaps, to our arrogance.
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Noddy24
 
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Reply Thu 31 Oct, 2002 10:26 pm
I've read that lava--after a certain amount of cooling and weathering makes elegant top soil.

Much of the western land that is irrigated (because of inadequate rainful) is adobe dirt--well aged lava.

Mount Etna is on an island--an old island that has been home for thousands of years.

My guess is that houses on Dune Road in the Hamptons are not only precarious, they are terribly fashionable. A number of conservation groups are lobbying for legislation that after a second house on a site is destroyed by rampaging waves that the insurance companies pay up--but that the money cannot be used for rebuilding on that site.

The Fashionable Landowners are screaming about the rights of private property.
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bandylu2
 
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Reply Thu 31 Oct, 2002 10:30 pm
Noddy -- it's not the insurance companies that have to pay up. Flood insurance is paid by the federal govt. (i.e. our taxes) which is another reason why I get irritated by their rebuilding. Yes, they are most fashionable and expensive and yes, they are trying to prevent people from rebuilding but it is a losing battle cause the owners have big bucks and probably big influence as well.
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Noddy24
 
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Reply Thu 31 Oct, 2002 10:42 pm
Bandylu--

If you really want to get upset, consider that in order to afford a beach house, you must have accumulated considerable cash--which takes time.

During this time you have undoubtedly perpetuated your vain and reckless genes through some offspring.
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bandylu2
 
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Reply Thu 31 Oct, 2002 10:44 pm
You do know how to press the right buttons, noddy.
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earthmother
 
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Reply Sun 3 Nov, 2002 12:17 am
GOOD QUESTION
i live on the mississippi gulf coast and i'm sick of worrying about the hurricanes and tornadoes every year. i'd love to go back home to west virginia. there's a flood every once in a while but live on top of a mountain so it never bothers us.
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roger
 
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Reply Sun 3 Nov, 2002 12:44 am
Well, this is kind of low key by comparison, but here in the southwest everyone (nearly) has to have a lush green lawn. Believe me, that's fighting mother nature too.
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Merry Andrew
 
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Reply Sun 3 Nov, 2002 07:21 am
Roger, when I was down your way last May, there was a news report that a car dealership in, I think, Albequerque, had actually spray-painted its lawn a lush green because water use restrictions had browned it out. But, as you say, that's minor. When it does rain down your way, thunder and lightning and flash floods are the major worries, I hear.
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Misti26
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Nov, 2002 06:31 pm
earthmother: I've often wondered why people stay in those places where they're constantly bashed by hurricanes.

We've been fortunate the last few years ... they tease us and tinker with us all up the coastline, but they don't quite come ashore.

One of these days (hopefully note) they're gonna mean all those threats and scare the bejesus out of us!

Ah well, let's have another Drunk
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Nov, 2002 09:29 pm
I think those flash floods are somewhat south and west of here, Andrew, but you're right about the rain. Three to six inches doesn't sound like much, but it can be real entertaining the day you get it.
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Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Nov, 2002 10:10 pm
Well, you're up high there in Farmington, Roger. But down in the flatlands of both Arizona and NM, when the rains come, those dry gulches ain't dry no mo'. They fill up faster than a 4WD vehicle can move out of the way.
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