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Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Tropical Storm Ana is at 70 MPH, and predicted to not only attain hurricane strength today, but on Sunday be right at my doorstep:

What are the odds of this happening?  Historical data say probably not, for no hurricane has ever made landfall on Oahu.  Interestingly enough, the same can be said for the Big Island of Hawaii. Hurricane Iselle in August had weakened to a tropical storm when it landed.

Honolulu magazine provided a bad case scenario of a Category 4 hurricane rolling over Honolulu.  Kauai was struck by Iniki on 5 September 1992 at 145 MPH.  Power/water/phone service was not restored for months.  to quote about the same occurring in Honolulu:

Everybody else would be on their own. After the storm, don’t count on Safeway or Whole Foods to be there anymore, and don’t count on seeing policemen, firemen or anyone else from the government anytime soon. “You’ve got to be ready to help yourself and your family for seven days at the minimum,” says John Cummings, public information officer for the city’s Department of Emergency Services. “It’s not that we don’t want to be there, but with a population of a million people, it’s going to be a long time before you see assistance in your community.”

Oahu has almost six times more people and infrastructure than Kauai, so the proportional damage today would  equivalently approach $20 billion.  But that was a Category 4, and the odds are that Ana will only be a Category 1, or less.  

In any case, I was planning for an open house this Sunday, which was just cancelled.  The 12-foot ceiling living and bed rooms are all glass, and I'm on the 27th floor.  My apartment in 15 Craigside is only on the 12th floor, but, again, my living and bed rooms face the ocean and the exterior is all glass.  So just high winds below hurricane strength could well be damaging.

Hurricane Gonzalo in the Atlantic is at 125 MPH, but will not cause any problem:

On the economic front, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 173 today, but at one time was minus 460.  The volatility index jumped up to 26, but for a while had reached 30.  It was only 19 last week when I expressed some concern about the market.  The price of oil seems headed below $80/barrel, said to be caused by oversupply:

Gasoline prices should fall.  However, this is almost like a scam, for it takes time for the supply system to react to lower oil prices, and by the time your gas price is about to drop, the price of oil goes up again, so you don't gain much of a benefit:


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