Sunday, August 28, 2011
I was almost done removing the tape from the windows this afternoon when the wind started up again.
Trees were bending, dark ugly clouds tumbled through the sky, and I thought, here we go...
Hurricane Irene had been busted down to a tropical storm and was heading off to New England with her head hanging low.
But, of course, now that I had removed the protective tape from my windows, she would make a bloodthirsty U-turn and come roaring down my block shrieking “I ain’t done with you yet, skinhead!”
All right, so maybe I’m a little oversensitive, but it’s been rough couple of days.
I was trying not to worry about the storm, but it seemed like every five minutes we were getting reports of Irene’s destructive progress as she stomped her way up the East Coast.
Friends from all over the Internet wished me well, including one in Florida, which was kind of spooky since I always thought of the Sunshine State as a hurricane haven. If a Floridian is worried about you making it through a hurricane, you know you’ve got trouble.
We had a tense night with pounding rain, mandatory evacuations, and tornado warnings. I was getting pretty worked up until I finally decided that it was all in God’s hands and sat done to view the UFC fights on Spike.
There’s nothing like watching a bunch of heavily tattooed men pounding each other senseless in a cage to take your mind off a killer storm.
New York seems to have been spared any serious damage, but the latest news reports are blaming Irene for at least 21 deaths.
The victims included a man who was killed in a fire in Prospect, CT, which is just a short ride from my old place in Waterbury and another man who was killed in the Poconos, where I lived for five years, after a tree fell on him. Police said the man pushed his son clear of the falling tree, but could not get out of the way himself.
Live From Armageddon
The storm coverage was nonstop, of course, and it included lots of live scenes of reporters standing in middle of the hurricane and yelling over the storm that the wind was very strong. Yes, and in other news, water is wet.
Honestly, I’m in favor of melodramatic video footage as much as the next shameless news hack, but this is getting a little tedious.
There was a time when if you wanted to say someone wasn’t too bright, you’d declare that “he’s doesn’t know enough to come in from out of the rain.”
Apparently not coming in from out of a hurricane makes you a journalist.
One Fox reporter in D.C. really got dumped on when he was showered by raw sewage. Better him than me.
Years ago I recall seeing Dan Rather clinging to a palm tree and yelling into his microphone as he covered a hurricane.
I could barely make out what he was saying so I switched over to Tom Brokaw, who sat in a studio and reported on the very same storm. He looked warm, safe, and sane.
Okay, so Hurricane Irene didn’t come back to level my house. I’m glad that very long night is finally over and my heart goes out to those who lost loved ones.
And I’m especially thankful for all the support I received from my friends. They held me together better than any tape ever could.