August 26, 2011

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Irene is starting to lash the NC coast with wind and waves, and if I don't miss my guess, some of the guys I went to high school with (I'm looking at you, Jon and Grady) are now on surfboards.

The good news is that Irene has decreased a little in power, with sustained winds of 105 MPH and gusts of up to 125 MPH. That won't make a whole lot of difference when hit hits land between Atlantic Beach and Cape Hatteras as it will still deliver punishing winds and a dangerous storm surge, but it may translate into a little less damage in the mid-Atlantic and northeastern states.

The best news so far is that the majority of the computer models show Irene avoiding a direct hit on major cities in the northeast. This means the maximum storm surge threat may be lowered a bit around New York City, though high winds, torrential rains, and the inevitable threat of tornadoes spinning off from the hurricane still insures it is a very lethal threat.

Sadly, I can just about promise that a dozen or more people will die in this hurricane as they do in every hurricane, mostly by ignoring common sense guidelines that would keep them safe.

Some idiot tourist is going to drown in the waves. Several somebodies are going to drive into flood waters during the storm itself and drown.

These deaths always happen.

Odds are that someone is going to be outside when they shouldn't and be struck with flying debris, and odds are that someone will electrocute themselves, die in a fire cause by candles, or succumb to carbon monoxide from using a grill indoors. You can post all the warnings you want, but there are always idiots and know-it-alls that refuse to respect the power of nature, or are simply dense. Darwin has no mercy on the stupid.

Aside from the deaths of idiots (which cannot be helped), the greatest threat we face from Irene is the economic damage, which is impossible to predict at this point. Our economy is so fragile at this point that it takes very little to plunge us into a deeper depression.

Keep your fingers crossed, folks. Irene may be hundreds or thousands of miles from your home, but it will still impact you in ways we don't fully understand or have the ability to predict.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at August 26, 2011 10:40 AM