RUSH: Hurricane Florence continues to churn toward the Carolinas. Looks like the latest forecast track has it hitting landfall near Wilmington, North Carolina, as a Category 3. The danger of this hurricane — besides just the fact it’s a Category 3 and you have the wind and the rain — is it’s supposed to slow down significantly after reaching landfall. Now they’ve got it speeding up a little bit, but if they’re right on this forecast, it’s a significant flooding event and a number of people are trying to figure out what to do. Stay, ride it out, get out, what have you.
You know, this is one of the — and, by the way, this is made-to-order for the climate change/global warming crowd. This is, they tell us, one of the most powerful hurricanes this far north, ever. And, of course, why is that? Well, that would be sea surface temperature. And why is that warmer than…? (Snort!) There you go! Climate change. It’s being accepted as a non-argumentative fact. I don’t care what meteorologist you watch or read, website or what have you. All of this seems to be acknowledged fact. So we’re keeping an eye on that.
We have exhaustive experience with hurricanes here at the Southern Command, and we have great empathy for anybody who is in the pathway of one of these things. You remember the hurricane that hit Houston. It stopped shortly after hitting landfall, and you saw people with their speedboats and rowboats on the streets in front of their homes. This is one of the things that has everybody alarmed for the Carolinas. Not to mention if you get far enough into the state, you go far enough west in North Carolina, you have mountains.
Did you know that people in south Florida go to North Carolina for the summer? I didn’t know that until I moved here. Even after I moved here. “What do you mean North Carolina? Isn’t that a humid hellhole?” “No, no, no, Rush. You get up in the mountains and it’s gorgeous up there. Tom Fazio’s built some golf courses. You ought to go.” Well, I haven’t but a lot of people do. Well, that elevation with this kind of rain is gonna cause torrential mudslides and just water pouring down those mountains into the valleys below.
Also, these things have become very politicized as you know, folks. Hurricanes and hurricane forecasting is much like much else that the left has gotten its hands on, and they politicize these things. For those of you asking, “What’s the politics of a hurricane?” Climate change is the politics of hurricanes. The forecast and the destruction potential doom and gloom is all to heighten the belief in climate change. My experience is that the storms are bad; you don’t want to get into arguments over degrees.
But look at the latest hurricane that was headed for Oahu. Do you remember the forecasting about that? The first thing it was gonna do is it was gonna take out the Big Island. You have Hilo on northeastern side, then you got Kila Kona on the eastern side, a big mountain range in the middle of the Big Island. Do you know it can be 85, 90 degrees on the beach — well, it’s not beach; it’s lava rock — and up on the mountain where the telescopes are it can be snowing and 25 degrees on the Big Island of Hawaii.
It was gonna level that. Then it decided to go a little bit further… What would it be? I guess northwest. Then it was gonna level Oahu and I have a bunch of friends in Oahu ’cause I’ve been going there a lot and they were taking it seriously. I talked to my buddy. “Rush, I know what you saying about these things, I know, but I got my friends at the Hurricane Center.” I know Mr. Hawaii, by the way. Mike Hartley is his name.
I was talking to him. Everybody’s thinking, “This is the big one!” This was it — and, of course, it fizzled. It just dissipated before it hit Oahu and Honolulu and nobody saw it. Nobody saw it coming four hours out. There was not one forecast, there was not one indication the thing was gonna fall apart. But it did. It went from what would have been, for Honolulu, a devastating event to a tropical storm to basically just a moderate amount of rain.
My point is that nobody saw it, and this not a criticism. It’s just hard to predict these things. Nobody saw it dissipating. They had it staying at full strength all the way through leveling Oahu. Now, I’m not saying this is gonna be the case with Hurricane Florence, that it’s gonna magically dissipate before it hits the coast. But I’m gonna rely on intelligence guided by experience and hope that it’s not nearly as bad as what is being forecast.
RUSH: I know from my own experience that people that don’t live in hurricane paths really don’t get invested in ’em and don’t care much. But I’m telling you, you should. The potential damage from this one is off the charts, which I’ll get to in just a second. I want to share a headline with you here from CNBC. “Florence Could Hit with a Punch Not Seen in More than 60 Years.” Really? What was going on 60 years ago that caused such a “massive punch”?
“Florence Could Hit with a Punch Not Seen in More than 60 Years.” So something must have been going on 60 or more years ago to cause the massive punch that happened then. Just curious what it was. And try this headline, folks: “Hurricane Risks Include Toxic Sludge and Lagoons of Pig Manure.” Let me tell you what this headline is. The media is, as we speak, getting ready to portray Hurricane Florence as Donald Trump’s Katrina. Do not doubt me. No matter what happens in the aftermath here, Trump is going to be blamed for this hurricane and its aftermath, and they’re gonna be calling it Trump’s Katrina — even, maybe, before it hits. You watch.
RUSH: Okay. Now, look, I’m not gonna do a minute-by-minute hurricane update thing here. But for people in the line of fire of this thing, believe me — do not doubt me — every morsel of information matters. It helps determine whether they’re gonna leave, whether they’re gonna stay, any number of things. The latest is that it’s slowing down and is now gonna not make landfall ’til Friday. Now, that could be good if it dumps a lot of its strength over the ocean, if it dumps a lot of rain over the ocean. If it actually stalls over the ocean, that would be a great thing. As a hurricane expert and veteran, that would be fabulous.
If it dumped its load offshore, if it stalled there and in the process weakened, that would be a pretty good thing to hope for.
RUSH: Ah, you see, this is the kind of stuff that starts happening. The latest Hurricane Florence update: “New Reports from NOAA Aircraft Show Sharks Have Been Lifted into the Hurricane.” So those of you in the target path in North Carolina, South Carolina? In addition to the pig manure, in addition to the slop, in addition to the floods, in addition to the cars rolling around on the waters in front of your house — in addition to the mudslides and the landslides — now you might end up with a shark in your front yard.
I’m telling you right now… (interruption) You think I’m making this up? This appeared somewhere. “Florence Now Contains Sharks.” I’m telling you. You want to tell me this story is not true, that this is the one thing I cite…? Let me find the headline at the bottom of the Stack. “Hurricane Risks Including Toxic Sludge and Lagoons of Pig Manure.” I’m telling you, they’re getting ready to call this Donald Trump’s Katrina! How many times did they…? You know, after George Bush had seen Katrina, how many other Katrinas did Bush have for the remainder of his term?
They’re setting this up. Now, there was a story about pig manure and slop during Katrina, and the state of Louisiana had to debunk it. There were not oozes and gobs of pig manure floating around in floodwaters in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. They had to debunk the myth. These are predictable things that the media has in their Nexis database. A hurricane hits, you go to the Nexis database and you look for stories that might look good to run and you run them. You just repeat them. “Florence Now Contains Sharks!”
So sharks are being lifted out of the Atlantic Ocean and dumped into the storm because it’s so strong, it’s sucking ’em in there — and then they’re gonna be in the waters. Of course, the only water that might contain sharks would be storm surge — it isn’t gonna be raining sharks — and that’s the predominant water source in a hurricane is rainfall. Now, over at the Fox Business Network they have been running some — and this is understandable for a business channel.
They’ve been looking at the potential financial damage and destruction that could be wrought here. Look, let me stress this again. I am not a weather forecasting or hurricane expert. I am an expert in debunking this whole leftist political argument of man-made climate change, but I am not a hurricane expert. I just have a lot of experience with them because of where I live, and that experience contains a lot of experience with hurricanes being mis-forecast, over-forecast. There are two things at work here.
One thing is they want everybody prepared. On the good side, they want everybody in the line of fire prepared. So at times, they overplay the strength and damage to make sure everybody gets the message that something bad is headed their way. Well, this has negative side effects. This causes runs on gasoline and water and food. So in many places in North Carolina, the shelves are empty. You can’t find bottled water today or gasoline in certain places. So it has its downfall.
But the political aspect? There is a political aspect to this — I have seen it, I have witnessed it I can’t tell you over how many years — and it’s climate change. And there are people who… We’re talking about the left here, folks, and it’s undeniable. There are people here who are dead set on convincing everybody this hurricane is the result of climate change. So it could lead then to overplay or exaggerate the strength, the size, and so forth. My experience has been — and I just want to say: It’s my experience. I’m not making a comment on this hurricane.
Everybody understand that? I’ve got witnesses here. I got people who can back me up! Of all the hurricanes that we have lived through here, two of them were what we were expecting. The others never got as forceful, damaging, or as big as we were led to believe. Many of them did not hit where we were told they were gonna hit. They hit, but not where we were first told. My experience with hurricanes is that they are… By the way, no matter… If it’s a Category 1, it’s still devastating. I don’t want anybody misunderstand me here.
But my experience is the storms, when they finally get to where they’re going, are not nearly as big and powerful or strong or as wide as original warnings lead people to believe. I think part of that is just making sure people are ready. It’s shouting “fire” in a crowded theater because even with all the news, there are people that still don’t know what’s coming their way because they just miss it, don’t pay attention. But this one is… As it sits now and as it sat out there, if it is what they’re reporting it to be, it’s devastating.
It’s a Category 3 or Category 4. The worst part of it is… Look at Hurricane Hugo. Hurricane Hugo in a 24-hour period went from the South Carolina coast all the way up to Canada. This hurricane is not supposed to. In a 24-hour period, it isn’t gonna move a hundred miles. It could dump 30 inches of rain on people if they are right about everything they’re saying. There’s no place that can handle 30 inches of rain without a bunch of trouble, without a bunch of damage. Now, the latest is this hurricane’s starting to slow down.
Well, it wasn’t supposed to slow down until it reached land, according to previous forecasts. The latest is, it’s starting to slow down now. It was gonna hit sometime late Thursday or Friday. Now it may not hit ’til Saturday. That could be good. If it slows and stalls offshore, that could be good, ’cause that could contribute to it weakening. Now, the Fox Business Network: Estimated damage cost from Hurricane Florence $27 billion. I have a question. Is that good or bad for the economy? That $27 billion in damage means that that’s $27 billion in repairs.
So whoever gets contracts to do the repairs, they’re gonna be sitting pretty. But then there are the people are gonna be losing whatever they have to lose to equal $27 billion in losses. That would be a lot of property, a lot of assets. “Is this a net plus or minus for the economy?” This is how political consultants look at it. In the forecast path of this hurricane — I think within 30 miles of landfall — 750,000 homes are at risk with a reconstruction price on all of them at $170 billion.
Now we have to start talkin’ about hurricane or wind insurance and how hard that is to get and how expensive it is and thus how many people have it and how many don’t. In certain parts of the country, you have to have it if you’re gonna live within a certain distance from the shoreline. So assuming the insurance pays off, it isn’t gonna be immediate. This is all gonna take time. It’s $170 billion to rebuild 750,000 homes at risk, with a total estimated damage cost at $27 billion.
These are estimates that I saw on the Fox Business Channel today. So there’s quite a bit at stake, and everybody’s got their eyes on this, especially those that are in the area, ’cause when they tell you it’s gonna stall and dump 30 inches of rain on you, then you have serious decisions to make as to whether you leave or not. If you stay? (chuckles) Where do you go to avoid 30 inches of rain in a relatively short period of time? We just sit here and hope that it’s not as bad when it hits, that it’s not as big, that it’s not as powerful, and it’s not as damaging.
RUSH: I have a claim that a parody site is claiming that the sharks in the hurricane story is not true. I don’t believe it.