Monday, August 29, 2011

Irene Was For the Birds...Unless You're a Bird

As anybody who watched Television or surfed the net last week knows, we on the Atlantic Coast had a "Hurricane". They called it Irene. Though the Television stations did their best to bill Irene as THE STORM OF THE MILLENNIUM, without being unfeeling to those areas that did suffer significant damage, it was anything but. My experience with extreme weather is somewhat limited, but someone who has experienced both The Blizzard of '78 and Hurricane Gloria (1985), I think I can rate this as a fizzle. Or a fail, as they like to say on youtube.

Like I said the media did their best to play this up. None bigger than the New York Times was on record saying that Global Warming was the reason Irene was created and we could be sure that more of them would occur. Okay, so we can expect more Category 1-2 Hurricanes that fizzle into Tropical Downpours without wind and expect nothing more than some flooding and downed leaves. Yes leaves. Not even a tree limb around here. Everything is dry, barely even a puddle. We did have a power outage that lasted 6 hours, but by then the worst was over, we had barely 30mph winds and so-so downpours. Typical strong T-Storm stuff, but without the Thunder and Lightning.

All that was O.K. for TV. It is my esteemed media critic opinion that Storm Coverage only purpose is to get cute female girls wet. Sort of like the TV News version of a Wet-T-Shirt Contest. I dare anyone to contradict me. Graph the rise of Stormwatch Coverage on TV with the trend of having mostly young attractive female reporters in news. They should coincide perfectly. Even then things went awry. The girls were on the coast dressed in their raingear, and completely dry. Most of the rain was inland. My heart went out to one assistant at Univision. She was kneeling in the surf holding a plastic bag over the battery pack of the female reporter's microphone. She was the one getting wet. There was obviously no rain or wind. This was in North Carolina.

Vermont got it bad. Flooding and three lost Covered Bridges. Inland Virginia Farms decimated. Floods mainly. Some of the worst victims were in my own backyard. A bunch of Finches were getting battered by the rain and wind and sought shelter by our windows. We raised our screens so they could take shelter on the window ledge. The pictures were a bit fuzzy, but I was trying not to scare them and shooting through glass.
At one point we had Five of these little guys on one window ledge. They were alternately adorable and pathetic looking. But they survived, and though we didn't see them after the weather cleared, we could hear them tweeting happily in the trees. I think they were busy printing their "Good Night Irene" T-shirts