Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Hurricane Wilma

Easily the worst part about the hurricanes is the waiting. Sure, it’s conceivable that the storm will make a direct hit on your house and it will be as bad as it could be but just playing the odds, even if your town gets hit, it won’t be as bad as it looks.

But the panic has already set in here in South Florida. It’s panic in a strange way because everyone is still going about their lives – it’s too early to cancel any plans or do anything other than maybe buy food at the supermarket

The helmet heads on the TV news are already breathless. The school has already informed us that they’re monitoring the storm (no kidding) even though it’s at least three full days away. Everyone I know goes online to check the latest advisories every three hours to see by how much it’s shifted.

We all know by now it’s the most powerful hurricane ever. So was Katrina before she hit land as a category 1 storm (remember, it was the flooding that destroyed New Orleans; not necessarily the storm).

She’s now in the gulf. Wilma is veering to the northwest. The last couple of advisories had Wilma moving even more north and more west, which means it was moving away from South Florida. But only slightly.

Oh yeah and don’t forget that the Herald last week had a 5-day series about how the National Hurricane Center is always wrong because it’s underfunded and has outdated equipment. If you distill about 50,000 words into one sentence, it’s this: the National Hurricane Center is just as clueless as you are about where the storm will hit.

So basically no one has any clue what Wilma will do. But we’ve all decided the best thing to do is go into full-scale panic mode anyway, just in case.

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