Blog of a ‘weather nerd’ gave early warning of Katrina (IHT)

By Andrew Adam Newman The New York Times
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2005

NEW YORK One of the earliest and perhaps clearest alarms about Hurricane Katrina’s potential threat to New Orleans was sounded not by the Weather Channel or a government agency but by a self-described weather nerd sitting on a couch in Indiana with a laptop computer and a remote control.

“At the risk of being alarmist, we could be three-four days away from an unprecedented cataclysm that could kill as many as 100,000 people in New Orleans,” Brendan Loy, who is 23 and has no formal meteorological training, wrote on Aug. 26 in his blog, irishtrojan.com.

“If I were in New Orleans, I would seriously consider getting the hell out of Dodge right now, just in case.”

Loy’s posting that Friday afternoon came three days before the hurricane struck and two days before the mayor of New Orleans, C. Ray Nagin, issued an evacuation order.

Posts over the next several days, in aggregate, seem now like an eerie rewriting of the tale of Chicken Little, in which the sky does in fact fall.

In the cooperative and competitive world of blogs, Loy’s has gotten some serious praise.

Mickey Kaus, whose kausfiles blog is featured on Slate.com, wrote on Friday that “Loy’s blog for the past week is a pretty extraordinary document.”

“It should maybe be in the Smithsonian, if you can put a blog in the Smithsonian,” Kaus added. (more…)

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