Whilst I agree with the need to make sure that people are safe during a storm – think hurricane, cyclones and tornadoes – I am amazed at the overblown hype that we have just witnessed in relation to what turned out to be a category 1 hurricane, named Irene. Katrina was much worse than Irene!!
Earlier this year cyclone Yasi hit the north-east coast of Australia. Its effects were felt all the way down the coast, and yes even in Canberra we got a lot of rain!! It was a category 5 cyclone.
My whinge here is about Østupid declaring that this was going to be an historic hurricane. What a load of mushroom fodder as far as I am concerned. Just like in any approaching wild storm people needed to exercise caution. That there were some deaths is totally regretable in my view. Perhaps the man who was out driving when the storm approached should have had the common sense to pull over into a sheltered area, or should have not traveled in the first place!! Either way as far as New York was concerned it looks to have been an absolute non-starter with just a bit of wild weather.
Here in Australia we saw the same thing when Queensland Premier Anna Bligh tried to talk up the emergency situation as Yasi approached. Now, I am the first to agree that the people in the affected area needed to get their butts into gear!! However, did you know that one of the designated shelters was destroyed in the cyclone? Fortunately, the people who were supposed to have been there had moved somewhere else prior to Yasi hitting. The region itself had been hit by another very serious cyclone a few years previously and the damage wrought will take a long time to repair. It almost wiped out the banana industry in the region.
Coming from a country where floods are quite common, even though we have had the drought years, I guess I am hardened when it comes to hype like that.
When I was in the USA, I lived in Fairborn Ohio. A few years before we came to Fairborn a tornado had wiped out Xenia, which is a village close to Fairborn. As a result Fairborn had set up an early warning system, and we had lots of practice warnings!! During the summer there were lots of thunderstorms, and yes they were very severe storms. One storm followed me home as I was bringing my sons home from T-ball practice at the Wright Patterson Air Force base. I arrived just before the storm hit. That particular storm cloud kept on forming and it went on to be a tornado that touched down in the Tri-State corner where it hit the Amish community. It was very severe. What I am stating here is that the warnings were adequate at the time, without the overblown hype!!
A few years later, when we were posted to Townsville for a year, cyclone Aivu struck. We had plenty of warning to prepare for the storm, and since my husband was at the Air base we sheltered in a cyclone proof building on base. I remember walking out of the building in the eye of the storm. The cyclone touched down 50 miles away at Ayr where one man, who did not evacuate his caravan died. We had lots of rain for several days.
This past year we saw the breaking of the drought here in Australia. You heard about the floods in Queensland, and Brisbane in particular. Did you know that the council in Queensland had allowed the building of shopping centres in a flood plain? Did you know that in one town where the death toll was quite high, that the authorities believed that there would be no more floods so they built over the spot where two rivers intersect, without providing proper drains? Yes, that tsunami or wall of water that rushed down Grantham could have been avoided. The backed up water had nowhere to go.
My point in telling this part of the story is to show how the belief in globull warming has caused really disastrous mistakes. The building over the rivers as a beautification of the town was quite stupid, especially when the council failed to allow for adequate drains. The water backed up, the rivers swelled, and it was fatal. A similar mistake was made with regard to the operation of the Wivenhoe dam. This dam was built to ensure that Brisbane never flooded again, after the floods of 1994. The operators were of the belief that they should maintain as much water as possible because they believed that there would be more drought etc. etc. They failed to release adequate amounts of water prior to the flooding of the Brisbane river, and then when the Wivenhoe dam was overfilled they had to let go too much water that caused the flooding of the Brisbane river. In other words their belief in the crap known as Globull warming led to those disasters.
Where I live, the Molongolo river in Queanbeyan flooded. This river flows into the Murrimbidgee River. The flood took place in the December rains and floods, at the time that we were on a cruise. (Storms at sea are such good fun – NOT!!). There were many areas of Australia affected by floods last December – NSW, QLD and Vic in particular were affected by the floods. I certainly remember that Victoria was often flooded as I grew up, but I never really experienced the effects of floods until I lived in NSW.
The worst situation that I faced was in March 1978 when the rains brought about the flooding of the Hawkesbury-Nepean river. The Warragamba dam opened the flood gates, and since we were in the Windsor district at the time we ended up right in the middle of a flood. However, we were on high ground and remained unaffected, even though only a short distance away there were floods. To me, floods are a normal consequence of the summer rains. It is nothing new or amazing or even historic about it.
This is why I feel quite a bit of contempt about the hype and the overblown claims that Irene was going to be historic. As it has been proved – the claim of historic was just mushroom fodder.
If Østupid thought that he was going to gain in popularity with this form of hype then it would show people to be extremely fickle. Østupid did nothing of consequence, and considering that it was only at category 2 level, then downgraded to category 1, even the gathering of the navy vessels offshore was overblown hype. It was not necessary because it was just a tropical storm that was in its last throes.