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29 August 2011

one of your more boring massive Atlantic coast hurricanes / do you have a Generac? / do you have 4-wheel drive? / drowned surfers

Click map to enlarge.

Big fucking deal.

After days of the cable TV weather shows screaming that we should all flee for our lives and stock up on emergency supplies (all the stores were sold out of D flashlight batteries), the damn thing finally arrived, dumped a shitload of rain, and then continued north, We never even got our feet wet.

There was an enormous amount of rain, rivers and streams overflowing, and authentic flash flood warnings, but we live near the summit of a very short mountain, so all the water flowed downward from us, none lingered at our house. I think a corner of the basement got a little wet.

Twice there were power outages just long enough to trigger the emergency electric generator, but in less than a minute the grid power returned, and the emergency generator went back to sleep.

Up and down the USA Atlantic coast, teenage surfers raced to the beach, and about six or seven of them drowned, On the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico beaches, the waves never get big, except when a hurricane hits, so all the surfers get very excited and race for the beach, and die.

S.W.M.B.O. and I were nervous and anxious and a bit worried -- the thing, after all, packs the whollop of dozens of thermonuclear bombs -- but we got through the whole thing snug and comfy. 

The film the news and weather channels showed of Irene making landfall in the southern states, the Carolinas, Virginia (the US Navy 2nd Fleet sailed out to sea to ride out the storm) -- an English guy I know calls it "weather porn." Just like young naked women, superviolent weather events get viewers all hot and excited and boost the ratings. Helicopter rescues from rooftops and the roofs of cars sinking in rivers. Storm surges. Rubber rafts filled with bummed-out refugees floating by 29 Elm Drive.

Who gets all hot and bothered watching a sunny Spring day?

On "The Weather Channel," I saw lots of Generac  ads -- ads for my emergency electric generator. I have never seen Generac advertise on TV, or anywhere, before. I suspect there's going to be a big surge of consumer orders this week.

There wasn't much wind up here -- enough to shake the treetops and make spooky noises -- but 36 hours of unusually strong winds greatly increase the likelihood that the grid electricity will fail all over the region, and it will take two or three or four days to finally get repair crews to restore the juice.

The cats were pissed off because we locked them inside during what they felt were perfectly fine hunting and gamboling days.

I got the 4-wheel drive. If you drive anything with less than 4-wheel drive -- well, you're just asking for it, like the teenage surfers.

Okay, in our neighborhood, Irene was a bit of a yawner, but from the Caribbean to Florida to New England she did indeed do tremendous damage. There were mandatory evacuations in New York City, and the mass transit systems of NYC and Philadelphia were shut down. There were mandatory evacuations from the Carolina sea islands. 

Missed us! Hahahahahaha!


Phroso said...

The Boston TV coverage was stupifying. Local news rarely showed the path (or potential paths) and instead insisted on continually showing reporters standing outside or interviewing willing victims. What was more disturbing was when The Weather Channel insisted on doing the same thing. Why should I have to watch these fakers for more than a few minutes without learning where the storm is, how strong it is and where it's headed.
I can remember a real hurricane. Hurricane Celia (name retired) hit Corpus Christi, Texas in August of 1970. I surived with my Army communications unit locked in a vault located on the Naval base. Although it was barely classified as a major hurricane with sustained winds of just over 100mph when it reached land, it managed to create structural damage to most of the buildings in Corpus. This damage was caused by microbursts with wind as high as 160mph.
Surf on.

Phroso (formerly misterfathersir)

James J. Olson said...

Lovely places in Vermont have all been trashed. 200 roads damaged or destroyed. 100 year old covered bridges destroyed. Lots of lives lost. It was not serious here either, and we are thankful for that. But hold a thought for people along the Connecticut shore who lost their homes, and people along the flash floods who lost more than that.

Vleeptron Dude said...

hmmmm never occurred to me there was anyone else who got smacked in the face by Hurricane Celia in Corpus Christi TX 3 August 1970 (a Monday). I'll write more about Celia later tonight or tomorrow.

Jim, oh of course I feel terribly for all the destruction -- and abject fear and dread -- that Irene caused from the Caribbean to northern Maine. But we live in an interesting era of coping with such catastrophes -- predicting the track and strength of tropical cyclones has become more and more timely and accurate, and this actually makes these monstrous storms less deadly. When the sun comes out again, many fewer people die with each successive hurricane.

But deep in the core of every human being something rejoices when a cataclysmic storm hits -- and misses!

Phroso said...

"But deep in the core of every human being something rejoices when a cataclysmic storm hits -- and misses!"

I was in Baltimore when the 5.8 earthquake occured last week. I was 120 miles away and even though it was mild and harmless, there was no sense of relief. Maybe it's because there was no warning. Or maybe it's becasue that was a warning.
There's a reason they don't give cute names to earthquakes. I just hope I'm not around when and if there's ever a big event on the East Coast.