Lots and lots of times, these precautionary plans to keep people from dying are met with incredulous disbelief, jeers, anger, and obstinate refusal to obey. Usually, this comes from seasoned, Born and Bred Coastal residents...they've been through Category One or Two Hurricanes, and know that the winds and storm surges aren't always as life threatening as they're made out to be. But what they (we) always forget is this:
|Photo: Getty Images.|
Those steps are all that's left of Stinson's Ranch -a century-old cottage in Nags Head, NC. This is what it looked like last year, when it was photographed for an article in Our State magazine:
|Photo: Jimmy Williams.|
There was lots of damage in the Outer Banks:
Photo of Hwy. 12 in Nags Head - courtesy Reuters.
|Rodanthe, NC. Photographer: Chuck Liddy/Raleigh News & Observer/MCT/Getty Images|
Same Lesson. Use your common sense. Be safe, not Fierce and Independent. No awards for that.
|East Haven, CT. This is on the shore, but remember that Irene was barely a Category One when it hit here.|
Those concrete pilings used to hold up someone's home - probably the house in the background.
One of the most powerful lessons we learned, years ago, from Hurricane Floyd was that sometimes the catastrophic damage, and the deaths, are inland...miles away from the vulnerable coast. That is exactly what happened this time...
|South St. Bridge in Windham, NY, where the Batavia Kill overflowed its banks and roared through the town. Photo: ABC News.|
|Rotterdam, NY. Photo from AP.|
But perhaps most shocking is Vermont - they don't even HAVE a Coastline:
|Waterbury, Vermont. Photo: AP.|
Over and over, The Weather Channel warned of catastrophic flooding that would occur inland from Hurricane Irene. When you know there is the possibility of historic flooding in your inland town as a Hurricane or Tropical Storm roars up the coast miles away from you, what is your plan?
Life is all about lessons. And whether you learn from them, or not. As my brother, Roger, would say,
Pause, and Think of That.