Sunday, August 28, 2011

Irene Apocalypse?

Just a quick observation regarding Hurricane Irene hitting the Northeast this morning and the media-at-large.   Normally when there is a tropical storm bearing down on central Florida you'll see a little 15 to 30 second blurb from the national media outlets. They smile, maybe crack a cheesy storm-related joke, then cut to commercial.  Zero, none, not one iota of concern in their eyes

This morning however, I saw something completely different when I turned on the TV at work...Good Morning America, in a rare Sunday morning broadcast.  Gone were the corny jokes and friendly smiles, replaced with real fear in their eyes and anxiety in their voices. Hardly the cool, calm, and collected demeanor that one would expect from such a long-running and well-choreographed "news source".

To listen to the majority of  major media outlets you'd think Armageddon was upon it "9/11: Part II" if you will.  How easily they forget / overlook that we in the Southern states, from North Carolina to Texas, face these types of  storms every single year. I still recall 2004 when the eye of no less than three hurricanes crossed over my house, one of which was a category four hurricane.  Hell, it was like they forgot 2005's Hurricane Katrina altogether, dubbing lil' miss Irene with the less-than-deserved monicker of "storm of the century".  Then again, "storm of the decade thus far" just isn't a real sound bite attention getter.

Now, this isn't to say that a category one hurricane (now a tropical storm) is any less dangerous than a full-blown Cat-5, nor should it be taken lightly....far from it in fact.  Some times you just gotta ignore the media hype and change the channel.  Better still, just turn the damned thing off...and turn on the less-than-riveting NOAA weather radio.

In other storm-related news, I'll be taking out the stick (that's a surf board for you land-locked folks) for the second day in a row.  It ain't very often you see 8 to10 foot waves on the Atlantic coast of Florida...gotta take advantage of'em while they last.


  1. Im in wilmington NC which is no stranger to hurricanes. Awhile back we were a hurricane magnet. The eye wall passed just barely east of us, in fact i just cleaned up the yard today. Was predicted to hit Hatteras head on originally at a strong 3 or possibly 4. But all I kept seeing on tv was how new york city was going to be devastated by the cat 1 hurricane or more likely a tropical storm if that. The tv completely gave up on the nc coast where it was supposed to make landfall and focused completely on nyc. Whatever flips their flopper I guess.

  2. Ronskii: Big storm, but she weren't no Floyd or Bonnie. Hell, Floyd (nearly a cat-5 while off the coast here) got folks a little nervous...remembering the devastation from Andrew in south FL in '92. I recall Floyd getting up to New England and being referred to as "rather tame" by the northern quickly they forgot (or never noticed) that Floyd had killed 35 people and caused over $4B in damage in NC alone.

    I was rather surprised that there wasn't a whole lot of media squawk about global warming (as it relates to Irene). Oh wait, they usually mention that after the fact.

    But yes, you're right...after NC all I heard was NYC, NYC, and more NYC. Ok, there was a sound bite or two about the potential of earthquake damaged monuments in DC being blown down, but....seriously?! The talking heads were really, really over-estimating the power of a marginal Cat-1! Uprooting trees, sure. Uprooting a 91,000 ton, 555 foot high marble obelisk...not likely.