Fay Fizzles

Well, I didn’t expect to be able to get out for a walk this morning, and in fact I didn’t walk, though in truth I could have. When the radio came on at 6, I looked at the sliver of gray sky visible through the high windows in our bedroom and rolled over and went back to sleep. At 6:30 I did get up, and when I went out for the paper, it was obvious there had been rain in the night: water was standing in the dip at the end of our driveway, and the paper was double-bagged and tied, with water droplets on the outside. But it wasn’t actually raining, though the streets were wet and the overcast skies didn’t look encouraging, and in fact it didn’t start to rain till 8, so I could theoretically have fit in my 40-minute walk.

But I didn’t. Instead, I tucked into breakfast and the (dry) Press-Register, whose main headline, “Fickle Fay,” sums it up. Sure enough, T.S. Fay, now downgraded to a tropical depression, has veered north of us and is inundating central Alabama instead of the coast. It’s raining pretty hard here now (after 9:30), but the prediction is that we’ll probably get only an inch or so of rain, far less than the four inches being forecast last night, much less the 12-inch deluge that was earlier feared, causing the City of Mobile to open shelters and the University of Mobile to shut down for the weekend, sending resident students home (actions that both struck me as overreaction even at the time).

Elsewhere in the paper, Frances Coleman writes about the danger of becoming blasé about storms, but it does seem inevitable when every storm is blown out of proportion by wolf-crying media, not least of which is the Weather Channel, whose business model depends on severe weather. I worry, though, about the long-term effects of triggering everyone’s “fight or flight” response numerous times every summer. This kind of emotional stress can’t be good for us in the long run.

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2 Responses to Fay Fizzles

  1. Luc Sanders says:

    Glad to hear you escaped the worst. No hurricanes here, the worst thing we get is a strong whirlwind that can be quite destructive. As a matter of fact there was one not so long ago in France which devastated more than 20 homes and cost three lives.
    Those whirlwinds are short lived but can be very destructive.
    But torrential rain we do know. Last year we went on holiday to Budapest, Hungary. Left in the early morning, very calm weather. A few hours later there was a cloudburst that flooded the street where I live. Result, more than 1 meter of sewagewater in my cellar.
    Luckily for me, my neighbours alerted my family, who cleaned up the mess. Not to spoil our holiday they did not tell us. So when we go back it was quite a surprise I can tell you.

  2. Glad to hear you weathered the storm. I’m a former flood victim looking to help some of the victims whose homes were damaged. I lost my home to a flood 2 years ago and had to rebuild it from scratch. It was awful. I now have a Web site at http://harvardtohardhat.com/ where I am posting advice on how to deal with insurance companies, rebuild your home, etc. If you know of any friends or community groups that could use my assistance, please pass on my Web site or drop me a line. I live in Rhode Island but am planning to come to Florida on a volunteer trip to help however I can.

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