You Are Like A Hurricane: No “Over Hype” Here

“Can’t happen here, can’t happen here. All that fear they’re telling you, it can’t happen here” – Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow

Once again, nature proves that, no matter what, she’s the boss. As I sat in my house Sunday morning looking out my window at the wind gusts and flooding rains that were Tropical Storm (formerly Hurricane) Irene, I considered my family fortunate to still have electricity, and not have a yard with a giant tree that had toppled across it.

As a weather event, there is no finesse to a hurricane. She is pure power.

As an armchair witness to Irene making rain fall history, I’m having a surge of respect for people in the states of Florida and the Carolinas who deal with big time storms on a regular basis.

The only reason I left my house on Sunday was to plug in a lead cord for my next door neighbor to run his sump pump. He had lost power, and wanted to get the two inches of water out of his flooded basement.

Why do people venture outside during a hurricane? A tree can fall and crush you. Such events occurred on more than one occasion in Virginia over the weekend.

Why would you drive your car during a hurricane? If you’re not driving an emergency vehicle, chances are you would not know how to avoid a flooded road that could sweep you away to your end.

Why taunt the power of a girl named Irene? You put yourself in harm’s way without reason. The highways are shutting down, and the malls are closed. You have no reason to go out, really. Reacquaint yourself with the definition of the word emergency.

As an advocate of the Old School, I’m of the type who thinks if you mess with a hurricane and what she brings, it’s an act that borders on foolishness.

My dog is a great indicator of bad weather. Not the biggest fan of thunderstorms to begin with, you know if he doesn’t want to go on his “bathroom run” that something sinister is in the air. Dogs are good for this.

New York City was practically shut down by Irene. While residents of this state can be prone to hyperbole and the “worst case” scenario, they had it right by regarding Irene as the monster she had the potential to be.

As a resident of upstate New York, I have only seen the remnants of tropical storms in the past. This storm was an entirely different animal.

There are many that think that the coverage of Irene was overblown, and too excessive in the monies spent to protect. With the exception of writers like Davina Brewer, who wrote about it here, I’ve been reading nothing but bad reviews of the weekend’s hurricane preparation.

For those that think this event was “over hyped”, feel free to witness the aftermath of Irene here in upstate New York: devastating flooding, with waters rising and rivers cresting. Roads and entire towns were pretty much wiped out.

In my neck of the woods, they are many, many people suffering from loss of property.

In the right circumstance, fear and over preparation is a very positive thing.

Good riddance, Irene, and let all your sisters and cousins know that they are not welcome  in this part of the world anymore.

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13 thoughts on “You Are Like A Hurricane: No “Over Hype” Here

  1. Don’t mess with mother nature. We’ve had some pretty serious wind-storms here in the Seattle area, and when it snows here, the city shuts down for days. We’re used to being wet, but not cold and can’t handle ice 🙂

    I’ve been through two earthquakes here, and a fairly big one in 2001. It was 6.8 and I was in a very old building (built in 1911) in the old part of the city, built on fill. So while my wife was at home, thinking this wasn’t much, I thought I was going to go down with that old building that day. Anyway, couldn’t get out of that lease fast enough 🙂

    Hurricanes and their aftermath are something to behold, and it is amazing how much damage a tropical storm can cause, but I do think the media goes a little crazy. My wife and I had to laugh when a guy on the Weather Channel looked like he as going to blow away, but there were people walking upright just behind him. Added drama anyone? 🙂

    Thanks, Joe sorry I’m late to the show. Thanks for stopping in at my place!

  2. I have lived in Florida all of my life (and that’s a few years) and ’04 was the worst I have ever experienced. We had 3 essentially direct hits in a 6 wk period.

    As luck would have it we were in the process of building a new house. We lost two significant trees, but none on the house that was about 1/2 finished. My old house was about a mile away and I did venture out during the eye of the storm to check on it. But I concur, inside and safe is the place to be; don’t mess with mother nature.

    Glad you kept your power and made it through safely.

    1. Like I mentioned—after witnessing this storm, and its incredible aftermath—I have one big ol’ new level of respect for you folks down south that deal with hurricanes on a regular basis. I couldn’t imagine our region here in the NE sustaining several times a year after the type of rainfall that we’ve had. It was crazy!

      Thanks for the comment, Bill!

  3. Seriously interesting points Joe,

    I had to stop by after reading you comment on JK’s site, but there were some crazy people out during the hurricane.

    I saw one video of a reporter interviewing a guy dressed up as Spider-Man who had been surfing right before the hurricane arrived. What happened to his Spider Sense?

    Great post and great lesson.

    Thanks Joe, be back again soon.

    Bryce

    1. Thanks for the comment, Bryce. I hope that Spider Man costume got that guy enough web power to get out of a hairy hurricane situation…sheesh!!

  4. I have been through more than a couple of earthquakes and have learned first hand just how small we are. The raw power that mother nature brings is incredible and like you said- dangerous.
    The best part of not being a kid anymore is being smart enough to avoid placing myself in stupid situations.

    1. Jack—-

      As you know, before the hurricane we had an earthquake here in the NE as well. I was in my office at the time, and I thought one of my workmates was screwing around and shaking my chair. I turned around…and saw my friend at the desk next to mine with his mouth agape, saying “Did you feel that??” Needless to say, we beat street and got out of the building. A week after Irene, we also had tornadoes touching down locally. If nothing else, it’s been interesting around here.

  5. Let me be completely honest here Joe. My biggest fear wasn’t Irene…it was our governments response. They (FEMA) created such a disaster with Katrina, so I was fearful that the same would ensue on the east coast.

    “In the right circumstance, fear and over preparation is a very positive thing.”

    People think I’m crazy when they see my supply of preparation materials. I believe that it can’t hurt one bit. I have a family that I plan on feeding and protecting in any circumstance.

    Great stuff Joe! Glad that you’re safe!

    1. Jk, I think that the govt learned its lesson (hopefully) with Katrina. Irene seemed to have an over abundance of preparation. The only problem is, there is no prep good enough for the floods that hit. Dams broke, rivers crested higher than they have in hundreds of years locally. Just doesn’t happen much in this area.

      Things are getting better, though. Businesses are reopening and the clean up has begun.

  6. Hi Joe,

    Very true indeed. I live in a flood zone, and was taken out of my home Saturday night, right before the hurricane hit. I got very lucky. Pictures of the flooding in my hometown are all over Facebook.

    I plan on going home tonight. What I am coming home to, I have no idea.

    I have a word for anyone out driving in the hurricane – morons.

    Nice post Joe. Have a good day.

    1. Hope your house is OK, very nerve wracking to not know what you may be walking in on. There are so many people here with feet of water in their homes, affecting many possessions. Some have lost everything, very sad.

      Thanks for the comment, Nancy!

  7. Are those bad reviews local? Just curious b/c one post I read, linked to in mine was from a New Yorker. Hype will vary; there’s official hype then media. Did the storm warrant 24/7 coverage? Probably not. I remember a skit the Daily Show did a few years ago.. covering the storm coverage, a “weather watch storm watch” that was pretty funny, mocking the hype but it’s a ratings grabber, people watch.

    Weather patterns shift, flood plains change as communities develop, etc. I know my grandfather’s house wasn’t touched by Camille – the 60s version of the storm of the century – but Katrina basically took it out. So the officials these days have one optional, to err on the side of hype as hope is not a plan. Hope you and yours are safe, dry out soon. FWIW.

    1. Davina, I should clarify—I’ve read a blog post or two that poo-pooed the evacuations and such, but seen many more interviews on news programs where individuals have thought Irene was overhyped because of their unique situation. That was understandable in NYC, but not too far away, there was devastation. It really did depend where you were located as to the storms effects.

      My house was unscathed save a little moisture in the basement, but just a couple of miles down the road, Irene triggered a mudslide that destroyed three properties. Scary!

      Thank you for stopping by, and the comment!

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