2010 Predictions

Massive flooding throughout North America and Europe, due to the winter’s above-normal precipitation. The UK is going to have horribly strange weather patterns, as are areas such as Oklahoma, Missouri and North Carolina.

A series of SMALL earthquakes will rattle the Midwest area, with people becoming nervous about it. I dont think it is the big one, but it will cause nervous feelings.

Hurricane will hit Eastern Canada in the summer.

I do not anticipate disclosure in 2010. What I do expect is that people in the “know” regarding aliens and UFOs will have their beliefs solidified.

Another spiral-type light in the sky, in the Northern US.

Anger is starting to reach the boiling point. We are getting to the point of no return. The populace will demand their voices be heard, even via violence.

That is all I have…for now.

Only What’s Actionable

*From UrbanSurvival*

If I had a crystal ball, I’d be tempted to cover the damn thing up because the next several weeks are looking downright crappy.  So much is drifting around in the predictive linguistics that Cliff at www.halfpasthuman.com is planning to put out a “Shape of Things To Come” report around the 15th.  But, beyond that, after swearing off ‘short term immediacy values’ there are three that I outlined for Peoplenomics subscribers on Sunday that you may as well put them on your refrigerator door so you can play along at home.

The three high immediacy values indicate the increased chance of a major earthquake this week (Sep 2-5, more likely 3-4) which will be large enough (>6.8 to 8.0+) that a couple of weeks after the quake we’ll still be watching imagery of buildings falling into their foundations.  Might want to bookmark the USGS global seismograph page here.  Oh, and the global quake list here.  Along about Thursday or Friday is when the data seems to peak.

Quake could be Turkey/Pakistan/Asia/China because of the time delay in the pictures, or around latitude 34 north but that data’s very broad, so anything south of the SF area latitude-wise seems possible.  And may not be North lat.  See the problem?

Then about a week later (shading toward September 7-11 there’s an increased risk of ‘terrorism’ events (explosions, no further detail or clarity yet) and then around September 13-15 a ‘sudden/surprising’ hurricane coming ashore in the Southeast USA.

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Actionable?  Maybe not.  Let me explain:  The problem with all of this is that these are statistical probabilities based on shifts in language and may or may not actually happen.  Secondly, they are not specifically actionable except insofar as people in SoCal and around New Madrid may wish to have earthquake kits topped off with fresh water.  That comes up on my list this week, even though we’re nowhere near a quake-zone.  At least yet.

Same thing with terrorism risks elevating around September 7-11th:  Not enough clarity to be actionable and may not even be in the US, since only the terra entity has been processed so far, so it could be a few days before we find out if that shows in the PopUSA data when that portion of the model is run.

Then there’s the ‘sudden/surprising’ hurricane around Sept 13-15 in the SE USA.  Again, about all you can do is buy a couple of blue tarps and have the generator ready; this one threatens to cause some degree of Diaspora and we should be treated to visuals of FEMA’s response in KatRita kind of fashion by say the 20th or so.

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Beyond these three immediacy value pops it looks like the “Shape of Things to Come” report will be out around September 15th, and by then many of these short term values/aberrations in the data will be passed and they’re not really the point of the work, anyway.

My advise to anyone is to focus on those things which are personally actionable and blow off most of the rest of the news.  Toward that end,  next week’s Peoplenomics report is a kind of step-by-step report (workbook?  Don’t know how wordy I will get…) which explains how to set up your own cross between a radio or TV assignment editor-level information platform at home and personal recording studio.  Hope it won’t go ebook length, but that sometimes happens when it’s a subject that I really enjoy.  Not that  the budget for such a creation (About $1,000) could be better spent on other things, but it’s at least a primer on how to get access to non-corporate media and get some sense of how the rest of the world is operating.

You are what you think – and getting control of your own electronic sheep leash is at least a first step on the road to independent thought.

Having laid all that out, the markets really fade into insignificance, since fall market declines are nothing new and we’re almost at fall now.  In the linguistic work, fall in America may be described any number of ways:  The classic version would be through September 20/21 which it ‘officially’ arrives, but in contemporary language it’s from Memorial Day to Labor Day which means next weekend we’ll be edging out of it.

Where things have come more clearly into focus is what happens to the longer term values from September 15th out through next year and there are been some degradation in the outlook there, especially as it relates to basics like food and governmental organization and response to (nominally) free humans; just be patient and the report will be along.  Meantime…

Fires Over Glendale

The “Summer of Hell” has been a bit lighter (so far) than some of my personal expectations, although we’ve had plenty of ‘revolutionary’ imagery & revolutionspeak to contend with; everything from demonstrators practicing open-carry of fire arms at political demonstrations, to the hot language around the town hall meetings attempted by congresspersons and now the major fires out in California which are threatening the big communication towers up on Mount Wilson.

Don’t know if you have ever had the chance to take the ‘windy roads’ up northeast from Glendale, but it’s a pretty area, or at least it used to be.  A Google map of the area is here.  The reason the Mount Wilson fire is important is that there are something like 22 television stations and 25 radio outlets with facilities up on that hill, although there aren’t that many towers.  A lot of them are shared facilities with big backup generators and cooperative tower leasing.  Two firefighters dead so far.

New Broom Sweeps Japan

The first time in what, 30-odd years, Japan has a new party in power.  Gone are the (not really) Liberal Democratic Party and in come the Democrats.  All of which would be a total yawner except for the fact that the Dems want to impose a ban on temporary workers on the factory floors of the country which has the business lobbyists are twisted up in their knickers.

Monday’s action on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was muted with the N225 down 4/10th’s of one percent.  Japan’s economy has about been flatlined since 1996.

Like the US problems catching up to us now, Japan has problems that no one has simple answers for because all possible solutions will cause socioeconomic pain.  The problem can be summarized as”

  • Government has made too many social commitments

  • Government hasn’t really ‘saved’ money to meet these commitments and

  • When a recession (second depression) kicks in, guess what?  Not enough dough!

All of which leads to all kinds of teeth-gnashing and snarling among the politicos who rather than getting candid in in-your-face about the tough choices spend most of their time maneuvering for maximum personal gain/profit/wallet padding.

China was down almost 7 percent last night – way I figure it is that some of China’s hot money will be called home to cover, so I’d expect the US market to be down today.  Just a feeling.  Shanghai chart and numbers here.  A couple of big losers in Chinese steels and transports when you drill down into it.  Bummer for China’s economy.

Sick City

The headline that H1N1 has infected about 10% of New York in its rounds this spring leaves me wondering “If this stuff is so damn dangerous, where are all the dead NY’ers?”

Such reasonable questions aside (and yes, I understand it can mutate) I’m still aghast and appalled that flu hysteria is on the verge of turning the Republik of Massachusetts into a “Constitution-free Zone” by contemplating roundups and $1,000 a day fines for those who won’t roll up their sleeves.

I won’t go for the obvious jackboot and needles since the net’s full of that.

President of Columbia has the swine flu.

Like It Wasn’t Obvious Department

Faced with North Sea declines, mounting debt load on the Pound, newspapers in the UK are getting around to my view that the “Lockerbie bomber was set free for oil.”  Not being judgmental on this, mind you; depends how attached you are to driving and reliable power in the UK, does it not?

That said, Al Jazeera is reporting this morning that the Lockerbie bomb is in the hospital.

Pirate Blockades

The British government is considering new rules which would allow UK ISP’s to cut off internet file-sharing users.  As you’d expect, there are some folks who are really ticked at the proposal because it will likely add to internet costs.  But, the government’s business secretary Peter Mandelson insists it’s a workable solution

News watching tip:  If a media outlet refers to the UK biz-sec as ‘Lord Mandelson’ you can get an important insight into the old (top down/royalty model) paradigm being supported down at the unquestioned/subliminal level.

“Lord” is royal labeling scheme and we don’t do that around here as my personal clarity on the subtleties of paradigm reinforcing mechanisms improves.  Sorry for being so dense.

Slow Learner’s Department

I noticed that Russian television today is marking their pull out from Afghanistan 15-years ago.  Meantime, “U.S. fears clock ticking on Afghanistan.”  Can someone explain to me why we’re there besides the economic stimulus for the war machinery outfits, the poppy fields and pipeline routes?

Russian TV is also reporting about the growing number of political prisoners in Georgia – evidence they say that democracy is dying there.  Still looks like a Moscow vs. the West flashpoint to me.

New Kind of Eye Surgery

One more from our scan of Russian headlines?  Sure, how’s this one:  “Cutting-edge laser surgery – with no cuts” is coming along.

Immunity Card?

I’ve been wondering if former veep Dick Cheney might have gotten a ‘get out of jail” card from his former boss George Bush before leaving office.  At least that’s one question which crosses my mind upon reading how “Cheney may snub detainee probe.

Linguistic note: If you or I did that it would be contempt.  That Cheney might do it being called just a ‘snub’ is curious, isn’t it?

http://urbansurvival.com/week.htm

This thing developed when? Rare Hurricane Jimena exploding

I can’t recall one hurricane off the top of my head that became a category two within 24 hours of being upgraded to a tropical depression.  Even Hurricane Alicia in 1983 didn’t develop this fast.  I honestly cannot recall of the top of my head any Atlantic or East Pacific storm that has gone from being classified a tropical depression to a category two hurricane within 24 hours.  If anyone knows an example, please let me know.  So, why is Jimena doing this?

Size Does Matter

To get with the basics, Jimena is a tight system.  In fact, hurricane-force winds only extend about 20 miles from the center.  Add in the tropical storm-force winds and the estimated diameter of the eye and Jimena is only 120 miles wide.  In comparis, Hurricane Katrina covered that same distance with hurricane-force winds alone.  Another rapidly intensifying hurricane, Bret, was 165 miles wide (tropical storm-force wind radii) after it’s intensification cycle.  Charley was 175 miles wide.  Seeing a pattern?

Hurricane Jimena Visible - Credit NRL MontereyHurricane Jimena Visible – Credit NRL Monterey

This isn’t to say a storm must be small to intensify rapidly.  But, it helps.  The smaller the storm, the faster it can strengthen.

What’s Your Thermocline?

Jimena is currently located over water temperatures above 30°C (celsius) or 86°F (farenheit).  That is extremely warm for tropical development.  Consider the minimum sea surface temperatures supportive of tropical cyclones is 26°C or 80°F.  Six degress may not sound like much.  But, for a tropical system that lives on the release of heat energy, that’s tremendous – like spinach to Popeye.  Even more incredible is that Jimena will be passing over or very near water temperatures pushing 32°C or 89°F.

Would you like steroids with that spinach?

Hurricane Jimena SST - Aug 29, 2009 - Credit CIMSSHurricane Jimena SST – Aug 29, 2009 – Credit CIMSS

Would you like some water with that spinach?

How about thousands of square miles of over 50mm of h20/in2.  In essense, it’s humid.  Very humid.  And it won’t dry up anytime soon.  Jimena has more than enough moisture to work with.  And the moisture, thanks to the water temperatures and air temperatures, is over 85°F.  Hurricane Jimena is drawing in all of this warm abundant moisture and processing it into energy, dropping pressures and increasing wind speeds.  As you can see from the image below, there’s plenty of it around for the next several days.

Hurricane Jimena - Total Precipitable Water - Aug 29, 2009 - Credit CIMSSHurricane Jimena – Total Precipitable Water – Aug 29, 2009 – Credit CIMSS

What goes up must go out

Jimena is beneath an anticyclone or an upper-level high pressure system.  This leads to upper-level winds that are more than enough to pull the used energy from the center of Jimena.  Yet, the winds aren’t too strong to pull the convection away from the system.  This system will remain over Jimena for the next several days – possibly up until landfall.  As long as this anticyclone stays over Jimena the hurricane will be able to draw in ample amounts of energy, process the energy to help strengthen the storm, and dispose the energy through the upper levels.

Surely, there’s a catch

The catch is Jimena can destroy itself.  Not to the point of dissipation, but certainly the system can trip up over itself.  Primarily, this comes in the way of eyewall replacement cycles.  The more intense a hurricane is, the more likely the eye collapses under the pressure of the storm itself.  These are unpredictable and could happen at anytime.

Hurricane Jimena - Visible - Aug 29, 22:00 UTC - Courtesy NASAHurricane Jimena – Visible – Aug 29, 22:00 UTC – Courtesy NASA

Don’t be surprised at all if this thing gets to cat 5 status.  The hurricane, however, will likely go through a “calming” phase where all equal parts of the hurricane try to catch up to each other.  Once the system becomes in-sync with itself then it will continue to grow until:

  • an upper-level trough approaches the storm as expected in a few days and increases shear over the system;
  • the storm approaches a drier air mass – possible in a few days;
  • the storm makes landfall – likely in a few days.

In the meantime, watch Jimena grow.  This is a truly rare occurence.

http://www.personalhurricanecenter.com/3484/hurricane-jimena-extremely-rare/

Caribbean getting pounded by Hurricane Omar

A weakening Hurricane Omar veered away from the northern Leeward Islands in the Caribbean Thursday morning after crossing over them as a Category 3 storm.

The storm, with sustained winds of 185 km/h, is moving north of St. Martin, said the U.S. National Hurricane Center in a 7 a.m. ET update.

Hurricane warnings for the Leeward Islands, the northern islands of the Lesser Antilles, have been discontinued as the storm moves farther into the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean and weakens.

The storm could still produce up to 500 millimetres of rain in some areas, particularly across the Leeward Islands, the centre said.

Waves could be large, with storm surges of more than a metre above normal tide levels.

“These rains could produce life-threatening flash floods and mud slides,” the hurricane centre warned.

Overnight, the storm passed between St. Martin and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It knocked down trees, caused mudslides and flooding, said Mark Walters, director of the U.S. Virgin Islands disaster management agency.

A 55-year-old man in Puerto Rico died of a heart attack Wednesday night while preparing his home for the approaching hurricane.

The nearby British Virgin Islands also emerged largely unscathed, said Deputy Gov. Inez Archibald, noting there was little damage beyond some mudslides and scattered debris.

“We did reasonably well actually,” Archibald told the Associated Press. “We did not get what we expected.”

The hurricane, which dumped heavy rain on islands in the southeastern Caribbean this week, knocked down trees and blew a roof off a school in Aruba, about 30 kilometres north of Venezuela.

Hurricane Omar forced at least three cruise ships to divert course. Flights were cancelled on several islands.

http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2008/10/16/omar-hurricane.html

Heat costs going up this winter

WASHINGTON (AP) — Although global oil prices have plummeted, the cost of heating your home this winter will be a lot more expensive, especially for households that depend on fuel oil, the Energy Department predicted Tuesday.

Households that use fuel oil can expect to spend an average of $2,388 – or $449 more than last year – for the October-April heating season. Users of natural gas will pay less than half that, $1,010 on average, still $155 more than last year.

The department’s Energy Information Administration emphasized that the cost figures should be viewed as “a broad guide” comparing this year’s expected heating costs to last winter and said actual expenses can vary depending on region, local weather and the energy efficiency of individual homes.
Higher costs all around

But across the board, whether one uses heating oil, natural gas, propane or electricity, costs will be higher, said the agency.

Users of electricity to heat homes will see the smallest increase, about 10% on average, followed by propane, 11%; natural gas, which is used in more than half of the nation’s homes, 18%; and heating oil, used widely in the Northeast, 23%.

That’s not good news for a country where people have been reeling from a summer of record $4-a-gallon gasoline, a booming credit crisis and a struggling economy.
Increase in shutoffs

Energy experts say some people have yet to pay last winter’s heating bills or the summer’s air conditioning costs. A recent Associated Press survey found that utility shutoffs because of unpaid bills have been running 17% to 22% higher than last year in some parts of the country.

The Energy Department said it expects the price of fuel oil will average $3.90 a gallon, 60 cents more than last winter.

While the cost of crude oil has declined from a high of $147 a barrel in July to just under $88 a barrel for delivery in November, the department said “oil markets are expected to remain relatively tight because of sluggish production growth.” Barring a worse-than-expected global economic decline, prices are likely to edge back up to about $112 a barrel, the agency said.

Partly because of refinery shutdowns caused by the two recent Gulf coast hurricanes, distillate inventories – fuel oil and diesel – are expected to be lower going into the heating season than last year, said the agency. Fuel oil is used by about 7% of the nation’s households.

Natural gas supplies will be plentiful this winter, with storage in November expected to be well above the five-year average, the gas supply industry said earlier this week. And wholesale gas prices have dropped to nearly where they were a year ago after soaring this summer.
Record-high natural gas

Still, the retail cost of natural gas for heating is expected to be 18% higher this winter.

“Much of the natural gas utilities will deliver to households this year was purchased when prices were at or near these historic highs,” said Chris McGill of the American Gas Association, which represents 202 local natural gas utilities across the country. That higher price will, for the most part, be passed on.

Meanwhile, people are using much less oil this year because of high prices at the gasoline pumps and the weakening economy, the Energy Department said.

Total U.S. petroleum consumption this year is expected to average 19.8 million barrels a day, or 830,000 barrels fewer than in 2007, followed by a further 100,000-barrel-a-day decline expected in 2009, according to the EIA report.

On the other hand, the agency said, domestic oil production this year will drop below an average of 5 million barrels a day for the first time since 1946 because of declining fields and the disruptions caused in the Gulf of Mexico by Hurricanes Ike and Gustav.

http://money.cnn.com/2008/10/07/news/economy/winter_heating.ap/index.htm?postversion=2008100709

Ike death toll increases as two bodies found along shore

The death toll from Hurricane Ike reached to at least 31 over the weekend, with the discovery of two unidentified bodies that were found along the Galveston County shore.

“The more people that are out and about going places, the more likely they are to find folks,” said D.J. Florence, chief investigator at the Galveston County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Both remains are greatly decomposed, but authorities are hoping to find more clues to their identity during autopsies scheduled for today.

Since the storm, more than 530 people have been reported missing, with more than 400 of the cases still unresolved.

As for the latest bodies, the first, believed to be a Caucasian male, was discovered on the rocks Saturday at about 3:15 p.m. by a fisherman two miles west of an area known as Severs Cut.

Texas Parks and Wildlife game wardens recovered the body.

The other, believed to be a Caucasian female, was spotted about three hours later in a debris pile by all-terrrain vehicle riders roaming among the flats on the northwest side of Pelican Island, about 300 yards from Pelican Cut.

The ATV riders called Galveston Police.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/morenews/6029478.html

Hurricane Kyle races north toward Nova Scotia

EASTPORT, Maine – Heavy rain drenched Maine on Sunday as Hurricane Kyle plowed northward across the Atlantic, triggering the state’s first hurricane watch in 17 years.

Kyle could make landfall in the Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia or New Brunswick sometime during the night or early Monday, according the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

A hurricane watch was posted along the coast of Maine from Stonington, at the mouth of Penobscot Bay, to Eastport on the Canadian border, and for southwestern Nova Scotia, the center said. Tropical storm warnings were in effect from Port Clyde, near Rockland, to the coasts of southern New Brunswick and southwest Nova Scotia.

“Since Saturday, it has picked up in intensity, but it has also stabilized,” said Joseph Hewitt, a Maine-based senior forecaster for the National Weather Service.

Canadians used to rough weather
There were no immediate plans for evacuations in Maine.

Near the Canadian border, residents along the rugged coast are accustomed to rough weather, but more often that comes in snowstorms rather than tropical systems, said Washington County Emergency Management Agency Director Michael Hineman.

“Down East we get storms with 50 to 60 mph winds every winter. Those storms can become ferocious,” he said. Down East is the rugged, sparsely populated area from about Bar Harbor to the Canadian border.

Many lobstermen moved their boats to sheltered coves to ride out the storm, said Dwight Carver, a lobsterman on Beals Island. Some also moved lobster traps from shallow water, but most were caught off-guard by the storm’s short notice.

“I’m sure we’ll have a lot of snarls, a lot of mess, to take care of when it’s done,” Carver said. “It’ll take us a few days to straighten things out.”

Heavy rain lashed the state Sunday for a third straight day. As much as 5.5 inches had already fallen along coastal areas. Flood watches were in effect for the southern two-thirds of New Hampshire and southern Maine through Sunday evening.

Authorities expect wind gusts in Maine to reach up to 60 mph and waves up to 20 feet, said Robert McAleer, Maine Emergency Management Agency director. He said coastal and small stream flooding could be a problem.

Evacuations urged for ill, sick
Residents of coastal islands were advised to evacuate if they depend on electricity for medical reasons, because ferry service was expected to be shut down Sunday, McAleer said. Power failures also were likely over the north coastal region of the state, he said.

Maine hasn’t had a hurricane, or even a hurricane watch, since Bob was downgraded as it moved into the state in 1991. For the rest of New England, the last time a hurricane warning was posted was September 1996, for Nantucket Island off the coast of Massachusetts, the weather service said.

At 8 a.m. EDT Sunday, Kyle was centered about 165 miles south-southeast of Nantucket, or about 440 miles southwest of Halifax, Nova Scotia, the National Hurricane Center said.

It was moving toward the north-northeast at roughly 24 mph and expected to continue that track for the next day or so.

Kyle’s maximum sustained wind speed had strengthened to nearly 80 mph, with hurricane-force wind of at least 74 mph extending up to 200 miles out from the center.

However, it was expected to weaken during the day Sunday as it moved over colder water, the hurricane center said.

Hurricane Bob caused problems in southern New England but lost steam as it headed northward into Maine.

The deadliest storm to hit the region was in 1938 when a hurricane killed 700 people and destroyed 63,000 homes on New York’s Long Island and throughout New England. Other hurricanes that have hit Maine were Carol and Edna in 1954, Donna in 1960 and Gloria in 1985.

A hurricane watch means hurricane conditions, with wind of at least 74 mph, are possible within 36 hours. A tropical storm warning means conditions for that type of storm, with wind of 39 to 73 mph, are expected within the next 24 hours.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26893171/

Tropical Storm Kyle forms in Atlantic

MIAMI, Sept 25 (Reuters) – Tropical Storm Kyle, the 11th of the Atlantic hurricane season, formed on Thursday from a weather system that pounded Puerto Rico and other northern Caribbean islands for days, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

Kyle finally gained tropical storm strength, with sustained winds 45 mph (72 kph), as it moved through the Atlantic Ocean east of the Bahamas, on a path that could take it to a landfall in Maine or Canada’s maritime provinces as a minimal Category 1 hurricane.

The storm was located about 645 miles (1,038 km) south-southwest of Bermuda and was moving to the north at about 8 mph (13 kph), the Miami-based hurricane center said.

The system drenched Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Hispaniola for days before moving north into the Atlantic.

Authorities in Puerto Rico said at least four people were killed and scores of homes were flooded.

Forecasters warned people in Bermuda to closely monitor the progress of the storm. Computer models indicated it could reach hurricane strength within a couple of days.

It was the first tropical storm to form in the Atlantic-Caribbean region since Tropical Storm Josephine on Sept. 2, a lengthy lull in what has been a busy and destructive hurricane season so far.

As many as 700 people were killed in impoverished Haiti when four storms, Fay, Gustav, Hanna and Ike, hit the island of Hispaniola in a month.

Gustav and Ike forced the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people and disrupted oil and natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico before slamming ashore in Louisiana and Texas respectively.

Forecasters had predicted the six-month season, which runs through Nov. 30, could produce up to 18 tropical storms and hurricanes.

Long-range forecasts indicated that Kyle would likely move north through the Atlantic well to the west of Bermuda and approach the U.S. state of Maine and the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia as a Category 1 hurricane on the five-step hurricane intensity scale, with winds around 75 mph (120 kph), by Sunday.

Forecasters were also watching a weather system near the North Carolina-South Carolina border that could develop into a cyclone. They said the storm was producing flooding, a heavy surf and strong rip current along parts of the U.S. east coast. (Reporting by Jim Loney, editing by Xavier Briand)

http://www.reuters.com/article/bondsNews/idUSN2553555520080925?sp=true

Some of Ike’s missing may have just washed away

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) — The death toll from Hurricane Ike is remarkably low so far, considering that legions of people stayed behind as the storm obliterated row after row of homes along the Texas coast. But officials suspect there are more victims out there and say some might simply have been swept out to sea.

Exactly how many is anybody’s guess, because authorities had no sure way to track those who defied evacuation orders. And the number of people reported missing after the storm, whose death toll stands at 17 in Texas, is fluctuating.

Search-and-rescue crews cleared out Wednesday after plucking survivors from Galveston and the devastated Bolivar Peninsula, and authorities are relying on Red Cross workers and beach patrols to run welfare checks on people named by anxious relatives.

“We don’t know what’s out there in the wilds,” said Galveston County medical examiner Stephen Pustilniks. “Searchers weren’t looking for bodies; they were looking for survivors.”

As the hurricane closed in, authorities in three counties alone estimated 90,000 people ignored evacuation orders. Post-storm rescuers in Galveston and the peninsula removed about 3,500 people, but another 6,000 refused to leave.

Nobody is suggesting that tens of thousands died, but determining what happened to those unaccounted for is a painstaking task that could leave survivors wondering for months or years to come.

Authorities concede that at least some of those who haven’t turned up could have been washed out to sea, as at least one woman on the peninsula apparently was, and that other bodies might still be found.

“I’m not Pollyana. I think we will find some,” said Galveston County Judge Jim Yarbrough, the county’s highest-ranking elected official.

Pustilniks’ office brought in two refrigerated tractor-trailers to store bodies until autopsies are performed. One sat in front of the medical examiner’s office Wednesday morning with a sign on the side: “Jesus Christ is Lord not a cuss word.”

By the afternoon, five deaths had been reported in Galveston County: one man who drowned in his pickup, another found inside a motel, two dialysis patients who could not get to their treatment, and a woman with cancer whose oxygen machine shut down.

The stench of rotting animals and livestock polluted the once-picturesque community of Crystal Beach, where about two dozen people stayed behind. One survivor told of seeing a friend wrenched from the rafters by the storm’s fury and swept out to sea.

In evacuation shelters hundreds of miles from the coast, displaced residents — like the loved ones of victims of 2005′s Hurricane Katrina — scrolled through address books and blog postings and anxiously dialed relatives, friends and neighbors not heard from.

On an Internet forum where survivors listed notes giving their whereabouts and asking for news of the missing, the messages revealed the growing anxiety and frustration of those desperate for some word about their loved ones.

“Anyone know Rosa who lived on the end towards the bay in gilchrist on Dolphin rd? She didnt have a vehicle and last we heard she was staying?”

And this message: “If ANYONE KNOWS WHERE MY FATHER IS OR KNOWS IF HE IS ALIVE AND WELL, PLEASE PLEASE LET ME KNOW. I AM HEARTBROKEN!!”

In Galveston County, where about 15,000 residents stayed behind, officials did not have an exact number of missing residents. The Red Cross is helping track down the missing by setting up registries at shelters and sending workers on welfare checks, Yarbrough said.

At Galveston’s emergency management center, 12 phone lines rang constantly with calls from people trying to find relatives. As the calls came in, the city’s beach patrol would go to the homes and check.

Sometimes, the searches end in relief. The Red Cross quickly found an elderly Galveston couple reported missing Wednesday morning by relatives in Wyoming, Yarbrough said.

The search echoes the chaos following Katrina in 2005, when bodies were turning up more than a year after the storm as ruined homes were dismantled and families returned after months away. Katrina killed more than 1,600 people.

In that storm, there was no way to track people who left the city. The situation worsened when more than 100,000 New Orleanians who took refuge in Houston had to scatter again a few weeks later for Hurricane Rita.

Authorities opened a center in Baton Rouge, La., to take reports of people who were missing. And just as Ike survivors are doing now, volunteers there turned into amateur detectives — digging through Web sites that sprouted for missing families and calling nursing homes and hospitals.

The center for the missing closed nearly a year after Katrina, when authorities said they had finally exhausted leads.

Brownsville resident Amy Woodside has posted several messages online trying to track down friends who may have succumbed to Ike.

“I’m worried about everybody who is still unaccounted for,” she said. “We may never find some of them.”

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5iGMMtnFZHl98JcNtk9G_9MSay_KAD938S9H80