Hurricane Ida updates

Two 19-year-old linemen died in an electrocution accident in Jefferson County, Alabama assisting with storm recovery. Cause under investigation.

at least 66 deaths confirmed:
25 in New Jersey (at least 8 died in vehicle flooding),
17 in New York (at least 11 died in basement apartment flooding),
12 in Louisiana (4 died from CO poisoning),
5 in Pennsylvania,
2 in Mississippi,
2 in Alabama,
1 in Maryland,
1 in Virginia,
1 in Connecticut (state police officer vehicle flooding)

Power outages (

756,173 Louisiana
9,615 Pennsylvania
7,256 Mississippi

Entergy New Orleans no expects most power to be restored by September 8, 2021. Reminder, Puerto Rico is still experiencing rolling blackouts after 2017 hurricanes destroyed its power grid.

There were over 374 Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) issued nation-wide between August 26, 2021 (initial Hurricane warnings) and September 2, 2021. I'm still digging into how many WEA messages are related to Hurricane Ida (HUW event codes) versus other severe weather events elsewhere (e.g. FRW event codes - wildfire warnings in California).

Remember your Roku, Amazon Firestick, Google TV, etc. streaming devices don't alert you to emergency warnings. Amazon Alexa does have an option to activate severe weather warnings on its Echo/Echo Show devices.

Wireless Emergency Alert messages by EAS event code (codes don't appear in the message itself)

Event Count
CAE 7 Child Abduction
CDW 1 Civil Danger
CEM 3 Civil Emergency
DSW 3 Dust Storm
EVI 11 Immediate Evacuation
EWW 4 Extreme Winde
FFW 102 Flash Flood
FRW 10 Fire Warning
HMW 1 Hazardous Material
HUW 47 Hurricane
LAE 3 Local Area Emergency
LEW 5 Law Enforcement Warning
SPW 1 Shelter-in-Place
SSW 29 Storm Surge
SVR 7 Severe Thunderstorm
TOR 142 Tornado

Grand Total 376

The FCC disaster reporting is limited to only 3 states (AL, LA, MS)

2 public safety answering points (9-1-1) partially re-routed

FCC is not reporting any other states.

Wireless providers had open roaming and waiving overage charges through Friday. I don't know how much longer they will keep open roaming activated.

20% cell sites in Louisiana out of service (statewide average)
Louisiana counties: 55% of Plaquemines, 52% of LaFourche

1.4% in Alabama, 0.8% in Mississippi.
FCC not reporting any other states.

Cable and wireless outages (subscribers) in AL, LA, MS.

1,119 Alabama,
427,587 Louisiana,
2,157 Mississippi

FCC not reporting any other states.

2 TV, 9 FM and 4 AM stations reported out of service in AL, LA, MS.

FCC not reporting any other states.

During the peak of the rain storm in NJ+NY (see flooding deaths referenced in previous email), the wireless emergency alert systems were sending, simultaneously:





The National Weather Service uses pre-scripted templates, with some customization. The problem with pre-scripting is it never covers every situation. On the other hand, NWS keeps precise records of the exact text used in every weather alert sent. There are sometimes lawsuits about weather warnings.

The NWS tornado script does mention sheltering in a basement or interior room.

The NWS flood warning script mentions travel and fleeing flooding (no mention of basements or higher ground).

I did check the actual NWS alert messages sent. One problem was the WEA message did not use the FLASH FLOOD EMERGENCY template, only the WARNING script. Although I doubt that made much of a difference in this case.

The pre-scripted message templates Wireless Emergency Alerts (360 characters)

I don't know if other alerting sources did. Android and IOS emergency alert warning interfaces are amazingly bad, considering Google and Apple hire some of the best user interface designers in the world. Its very confusing which alert message came from which App, SMS or WEA. I also don't know why Android and IOS sends the WEA Attention Tones through headphones instead of using the external speaker or ringer for the Attention Signal. A lot of people complain about their ears being blasted by the attention signal when listening with headphones. The attention signal is to get your attention when your phone is across the room, not when you are wearing headphones.

The NWS is also getting better, activating WEA only for more targeted, destructive weather events. In 2017, during Hurricane Harvey in Houston NWS issued a 157 tornado warnings and 134 flash flood warnings in the same hurricane warning area. While a few warnings during Hurricane Harvey were for very destructive weather events, most were not. The very destructive warnings got lost in the noise.

I don't have a final count for NYC for Hurricane Ida, but there were a lot fewer warnings for catastrophic/destructive events (maybe a dozen). Now the less destructive warnings don't activate WEA.