Unless, of course, weather forecasters chart a course for the super-sized frankenstorm that goes straight over our little town.
Add in a giant red “EXTREME THREAT” overlay graphic that covers the entire state, and yeah, I’m a bit on edge.
Today, those along the southern coast get to watch a major storm unfold from the comfort of their dry family rooms, and not from a shelter or rowboat on Main Street. I’m not saying they’re breaking out the popcorn to marvel at Mother Nature’s entertainment, but it must feel relaxing to not have to board up windows, fill sand bags, or plan evacuation routes.
We’re not too sure what to expect, but from what I’ve read, this thing could turn out to be a pretty big deal. When you see words like “historical,” “worst ever,” and “this storm could occupy a place in the annals of weather history as one of the most extraordinary to have affected the United States,” it’s difficult to believe that we’ll just see a couple of downed leaves.
If this were just some simple tropical storm, those in the south who have weathered countless Category 3, 4 and 5 hurricanes would probably be once again shaking their heads at the naivety and overreactions of their northern brethren. This time? it’s a different vibe.
In the past, with Irene for example, there were smatterings of “stay dry!” and “hang in there!” while Southerners tried in vain to keep us all calm and grounded as we scrambled around hoarding everything from gas to gobstoppers in anticipation of weather Armageddon. With Hurricane Sandy, however, I’m hearing things like “we’ll miss you!” and “add me to your will!”
Quite obviously, those in the south recognize the severity, and this time, none of us are being perceived as Chicken Littles. To be honest, this has me the most rattled. More so than any weather report, the fact that those in the south are super worried for us leaves me concerned.
It’s kind of like when I’m on a bumpy flight at 30,000 feet above the earth. As the plane bobs and weaves its way around turbulence, I look to the flight attendants for serenity. If they are wobbling up and down the aisles or taking the 20-foot plunges with a smile on their face, then I feel relaxed. But if I were to look up to see a frantic white-knuckled flight attendant clutching her seat and whispering prayers for the afterlife, then I know we’re probably mixed up in something serious.
And right now? from the north to the south to the east to the west, people think we’re mixed up in something serious.
We’re fortunate to not live in the coastal regions, which is one of the perks of not being rich, but our area is expected to see substantial rain, wind, flooding, and power loss. We’ll see what comes of it all but we’re not expecting a grand result. All we can do is hope and pray that we stay relatively dry and that Hurricane Sandy takes mercy on us.
I just hope she realizes that we’re all rookies up here. There’s really no need to hit us full force like she’d have to do to strike fear in coastal southerners. One 40-mph gust and we’ll all be under our couches.
Except for some guy in NYC who went to work in the midst of the shutdown. Predictably, he used to live in Florida, and his quote will do nothing but anger Sandy. “This is nothing. There’s been worse days. I don’t believe in letting the weather dictate life.”
This is the kind of reckless statement that motivates a storm to elevate itself from Tropical Depression to Category 5 Hurricane. In fact, based on the charts, I believe the barometric pressure dropped 700% moments after these irresponsible words were spoken. In case we weren’t clear after Irene, there’s no room for weather bravado in these here parts.
For those among the estimated 50 million affected populous, stay safe, stay dry, stay hopeful. And remember, once we get through this, we’ll be able to wear this storm like a badge of honor. Thus putting us in the position to ridicule the storm paranoia and preparations of those who live further to the north.
Like, the penguins.