Tuesday, September 16, 2008

One Mystery Solved...in a Mobile, Alabama neighborhood

There was an interesting article a few days ago carried by Reuters about the hurricanes along the Gulf Coast and the effect on shipyards in the area. Here is a quote from that article:

Wed Sep 3, 2008
"U.S. Navy concerned about Gulf Coast post-hurricane workforce"
By Andrea Shalal-Esa
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Navy Secretary Donald Winter said on Wednesday he was concerned about maintaining a stable workforce at Gulf Coast shipyards after the recent evacuation caused by Hurricane Gustav.
Winter said preliminary reports showed minimal, if any, damage to the yards, but he was worried about maintaining continuity in the workforce, which took a big hit after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
"It's taken us a while to recover from Katrina in terms of the workforce, and I just worry about whether or not we're going to have another reset here," Winter told Reuters in an interview.
"It's something that we're going to have to look at very carefully," Winter said....
Winter said he worried about the impact that Katrina, Gustav and other hurricanes still expected to affect the coast would have on the "basic living environment in the Gulf area," and whether skilled workers would decide to relocate to safer, less hurricane-prone areas.
"You can do things to improve the survivability, the viability of the production facilities, but you also have to recognize that we are dependent in the long term on the ... people who make these ships, or aircraft, or whatever it is," Winter said. (Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

So, I sat on the above article for a few days, until I read the following. The following is a facinating blog entry by a neighborhood investigator from Mobile, Alabama. The writer is Nancy and she has a blog and a good flickr site. Here was her blog entry for yesterday, links to her two related flickr sets, and links to a few of her pictures after Hurricane Ike:

Sunday, September 14, 2008
"Mystery solved!"
"Does anyone remember this entry: 'Jus' Keep on Trucking'?
It took several weeks, a couple of hurricanes, some "getting 'round tuit" and finally we have discovered where the dump trucks are coming from, and where they are going!
Here again is a shot of two of the trucks going past our house.
See: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fancyhorse/sets/72157607292671167/
They go all day long, from 6:00am to 4:00pm, Monday through Saturday unless there's a storm.
I followed them, rain or shine:
I saw that they were going down the Causeway towards Mobile, but I had other things to do that day and couldn't pursue the trail until another time. On my way to Mobile a few days later, I saw that they were turning off the Causeway just east of the tunnel into town.
One Sunday after dinner, hubby and I and a friend followed the trail, and discovered their destination. Here is where they go!
To the construction site of the Austal Shipbuilding Modular Manufacturing Facility just off the Mobile Bay Causeway, on the east shore of the Mobile River, Mobile, Alabama.
One half of the mystery solved, but we still didn't know where they were digging up all that dirt. Hubby had seen them turn onto a dirt road several miles from our house, but it was muddy that day, and he wasn't in the right vehicle for "mudding!" I was unwilling to follow them on a workday, for fear of being in the way, so we waited until another convenient Sunday afternoon, when we weren't having a hurricane or a tropical storm.
That day finally arrived today. We hopped into his old Toyota 4-Runner, and down the road we went. We turned off our road onto another paved road, then another, then onto a dirt road lined with kudzu and accompanied by lovebugs swarming all around us.
As far as we could go - a No Trespassing sign and a locked gate!
See the digger through the gate?
We went around to another road, and found another locked gate with a little bit better view:
You can actually see the top of the pit from here. I bet this is a busy place when they're digging and filling all those dump trucks! There must be hundreds of them.
Mystery solved, but I'm still no match for Jessica Fletcher or Miss Jane Marple!"

No match for Jessica Fletcher or Jane Marple? Don't sell yourself short, Nancy, this was good. Nancy has two flickr sets with pictures from this 'episode':



The last twenty pictures of the above second set show significant flooding in the Mobile area after the most recent Hurricane Ike. Here are the links to some of them:






I think U.S. Navy Secretary Donald Winter has a good point.

Aloha, Brad

1 comment:

FancyHorse said...

Oh, wow ... I didn't know you had done this! I'm speechless, thank you.