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In The Path of a Storm

On June 11, 2008 an EF4+ tornado touched down in Manhattan Kansas. Not coincidentally, Kansas State University in Manhattan Kansas is the proposed site for the new National Agro and Bio-Defense Facility. On that night, the campus of Kansas State University was in the path of the tornado. The damage from the tornado that night was extensive. Reportedly, the design plans for the facility call for it to be able to withstand an EF2 level tornado.

Not coincidentally, two events relate to this event that occurred nearly ten-and-a-half months ago. The first is that violent storms and tornadoes are once again threatening sections of Kansas. The second is that the group of facilities that came in second in the competition for the NBAF in San Antonio, Texas, have lodged a suit to reverse the decision, claiming, among other issues, that "grossly irresponsible, the equivalent of playing Russian roulette with Mother Nature," due to the frequency of tornadoes in the state.

In defense, the Kansas delegation states that the decision was not influenced in any way, and that San Antonio is not immune to tornadoes. Without addressing whether the decision was influenced in any way, I can say that despite pretty strong winds when hurricanes have hit the Gulf Coast, nothing close to an EF4 tornado has struck San Antonio, by some memories, ever. Further, it is important to note that San Antonio is the FEMA location for evacuation of Gulf Coast residents in the event of a hurricane. In addition, the recent outbreak and spread of Swine Flu (strain A-H1N1), among the zoontic diseases to be studied at the NBAF, has already impacted on the San Antonio area.

Mother Nature is unpredictable and definitely not something to tempt.

DISCLAIMER: I live in San Antonio, and have supported the location of the NBAF at the proposed site in town.


Do you think that the swine flu "outbreak" in San Antonio is a little over-hyped? With financial crises being good justification for nationalizing banks and auto companies, will this become a good panic to drive an "emergency" overhaul of the national healthcare system?

No, I don't think that the Swine Flu "outbreak" is being over hyped by anyone. As for using this to overhaul US healthcare system, that sort of sounds like someone I heard this weekend attribute the sudden appearance and rapid spread of the new strain of Swine Flu to the CIA. Besides, the flu really wasn't the subject.

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