Monday, August 29, 2011

A few thoughts on Irene

That was it...? after all that?

We'll admit to hitting our saturation point, "Irene fatigue" if you will, by Thursday of last week.

So, why was this perhaps the most hyped natural disaster ever? It was a perfect storm of instances that when added all up could not help but be the most talked about, covered, analyzed and dissected natural happenstance in history.

Before we look at the hows and whys, here's our blog buddy Harrsion on all the hype:

Every news station had wall-to-wall hurricane coverage even as Internet reports were saying Irene was barely a hurricane. Fox News even had “Hurricane Irene” listed on DirecTV all weekend for its schedule. How many ways could Shepard Smith warn people? One reporter at Washington’s Fox affiliate WTTG (where Maury Povich, Connie Chung, and Steve Doocy got their starts) was drenched in green foam/sewage to make things look dramatic.

I hope he got his shots beforehand.

The weather reports kept emphasizing it was a “Category 1 storm” as if that was the most dangerous kind. The weaker the storm got the louder “Category 1″ was yelled.

With NYC’s total shutdown of the subway and airports I was expecting Morgan Freeman to reprise his role as President of the United State in Deep Impact and tell us we were all going to die so we could have a little morality play.

OK, back to the hows and whys:

1. It's August. Always the slowest news month on the calendar. It's the "almost" month. School's almost here. Football's almost here. Congress is almost back in session. Nothing really happening at the moment but you gotta fill up that dead air time.

2. It was potentially going to wipe out New York City and lord knows how much New Yorkers love to talk about themselves and their importance to the rest of us. With all the major news networks (except CNN) based in New York, the narcissism simply couldn't be helped.

3. After what happened 6 years ago, no one... repeat, no one was going to be left holding the Katrina bag.

4. Ergo, every pol and official was going to make sure they did everything they could to order people around and they made damn sure everybody saw and heard them ordering people around.

Here's George Will putting a nice, neat bow on things Sunday.


Harrison said...

Thanks for the link.

Give people a bucket and let them decide.

Where's that Scorpians song or how about Come on Irene?

Dean said...

Dexie's Midnight Runners!

Adam said...

Irene was suppose to come up sorta my way in SC, but missed us totally

Dean said...

Adam, glad you dodged that bullet when it was a much stronger force.

Btw, spent about 2 months in Charleston a few years back and while there over a Thanksgiving, gained an appreciation for the Clemson/USC rivalry. Intense.

Harrison said...

I think there was a porn star named Gail Force. Might be germane here.

Dean said...

Harrison, second adult-themed comment in a single thread. Consider yourself on double-secret probation.

Harrison said...

What was the first one?

Road Dawg said...

Let's put some faith in the industry with the chips in the game. Since I am currently deployed as a catastrophe adjuster for Irene, I know from the deployment opportunities, the possibility of the event becoming major was indeed, very real. I was contacted by no less than a dozen firms whose livelihood is based on the credibility of storm prediction. So to your catastrophic civilians and George Will, you can bite me..... Twice. The media had a slow day and took advantage, but the real folks, "in the know" were becoming very concerned.
This morning, more deployments were made since damages were still mounting from this "tropical storm"
It could have been a whole lot worse, yes, but let’s not throw the press under the bus because it wasn't.
I had a rough time getting into the Richmond Airport Monday. Trees down on highway ramps, signals out..Etc.
There was no "crying wolf" here despite our cynical view of the press. This was a major event even as a CAT 1, and subsequent TS. As you Monday morning QB'ing the hype, please join the folks who don't heed the call for evacuation and then whine about it. May you get Scrooge for your adjuster and I hope he applies maximum depreciation to meet your cynical expectations.
To my BwD friends: Piss off and enjoy your Labor Day weekend while I try to find a hotel and adjust claims in New York during the 9-11 anniversary and such.

Hurricane Ike caused more insurance claims than Katrina. Chicago was flooded by then tropical storm Ike causing a 500 year flood that received virtually no media attention because of the devastation to the Houston/ Galvaston area.

Although a tropical storm, areas of NY, Connecticut, only had power restored yesterday morning.

Many times the strength of a hurricane is not a good indicator of the resultant damage. Ike and Irene were not strong but were very large.

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