Pat Shingleton: "The Peak Period"
Through September 10th, we will remain in the absolute peak portion of storm season as today marks the half-way point. There are many ironies of late August and early September storms that come to mind. Looking back, North Texas was on LSU’s schedule in 2005, 2008 and 2012, the same years for Katrina, Gustav and Isaac. When analyzing the worst storms that have hit Baton Rouge, Hurricanes Lili and Rita had sustained winds near 38 miles per hour with gusts nearing 52 miles per hour. Katrina’s sustained winds in Baton Rouge were 45 registering gusts of 49 and Andrew in 1992 placed 70 mile-per-hour gusts on us. Another damaging storm for the city was Betsy with sustained winds of 58 and gusts of 92. The Labor day Storm of September 1, 2009, Hurricane Gustav, placed the highest sustained winds of any storm ever recorded on our doorsteps at 61, gusting to 91. Many experienced power outages for three weeks as the storm also caused $ 4.3 billion in damage and 48 state-wide deaths. Katrina’s sustained winds in Baton Rouge clicked up to only 45 m.p.h. with gusts at 49 and Andrew, in 1991, recorded 70 m.p.h. gusts. Finally, the "1898 Hurricane" claimed 190 lives, was one of the worst in New England history and sank the steamship, The Portland. The ship was designed for flat coastal bays, regularly making runs from Boston to Portland, Maine and the ship's captain was known as a "storm racer." In winds of 90 miles per hour and 30-foot seas, the Portland went down at 9:30 pm that was verified by pocket watches that came ashore. One hundred and fifty ships went down that night and in 2002, the wreckage of the Portland was located.