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The National Hurricane Center says that Hurricane Katrina has sustained winds of 165 mph.  People are throwing around lots of statements about what that will do to buildings.  Suffice it to say that most of the modern construction and all the weaker buildings will be heavily damaged if not leveled.

I did some quick research to put this wind speed into perspective.  Making lots of assumptions about weight and control, it would theoretically be possible to fly a Boeing 747-400 like a kite in Katrina's winds.  The average takeoff speeds for such an airplane is between 160 and 180 knots with a near-full load.  In a lighter condition, it would be less, so my brash comparison may stand up.

All the talking heads will continue to pontificate until we can see the devastation.  Of course, many of those pontificating will be weatherdudes like I mentioned before.  This will be a good storm with plenty of opportunity for one of them to kill himself.

Katrina killed nine in Florida.  Let us hope that not too many more will die.

Posted on Sunday, August 28, 2005 2:57 PM & Etc. , Hurricane | Back to top

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