When watching Florence, think of our good fortune

Amazing, isn’t it? Florence, that is. You likely have seen the imagery taken from outer space of the sheer might and depth of what is being called a monster hurricane. It was actually mesmerizing to behold — almost like something from a science fiction movie featuring high-tech graphic wizardry. Looking Florence in the eye was like looking straight down into a gigantic swirling cotton candy machine. You have seen all the ground reports. Weather Channel ratings must be soaring through the sky. Florence is the main headliner. She is the marquee grabber of news fronts across our nation.

For good reason. It will be catastrophic. That comes from those in the know who often temper sensibly their projections — avoiding Chicken Little proclamations that many fear-mongering false alarmists revel in during times of disaster.

Florence is the real deal, the experts are all saying. You have to believe those who know best. You have to pity those being impacted. Make that feel abundantly sorry for those heeding ample warnings that came as calling cards way in advance. Not so sympathetic toward those ignoring warnings. They were deaf to all of those “get out while you can” pleas from safety officials. Let’s face it. For some, there is no stupidity ceiling. They may be paying or have paid a dear price already from Florence which was expected to arrive early this morning with full ferocity.

Remember Harry Truman? No, not that Harry Truman. Speaking while standing near a smoldering Mount St. Helens located near his home, the stubborn and cantankerous 83-year-old said defiantly: …“the mountain ain’t going to hurt me.” Well, it did and then some. On May 18, 1980 the mountain blew its top. Lost among others in the volcanic devastation was one Mr. Harry Truman, effectively vaporized. With every major natural disaster comes a Harry Truman or dozen. It is hard to feel sorry for someone who deliberately — call it pride, arrogance, plain lollygagging or dimwittedness — remains entrenched in harsh harm’s way. Not to mention putting safety forces members in danger trying to save them.

You can only begin to imagine what havoc Florence — especially its surge and follow-up unrelenting rain — will wreak. You can bet waves of battered commerce will be felt way up our way with increased costs in something or other. Happens all the time following a natural disaster. Think about how domestic energy costs escalate following a Gulf storm.

What about homes washed away and health issues that will emerge including sanitary hygiene posed by raw sewage going where it is not suppose to go? Think what the waters will do to industrial sites and waste landfills. To farms. Even something you would not consider at first, like cemeteries. And so on. Buying a used car in the near future? Be careful. Often with hurricanes comes a flood (sorry) of vehicles from other parts of the country passed along by unscrupulous sellers. Learn how to look for signs of a washed-out vehicle before being foisted upon. Buy from a local dealer. They are reputable.

So while Florence meanders along our eastern coastline doing its best Harvey impersonation while plying soon-to-be waterlogged millions with cascades of soaking rain, feel sorry for them. Really sorry. Perhaps even help in a small way, via the Red Cross or the like. Then consider the good fortune weather that we really do have in northeastern Ohio. Think about it. Hurricanes? Of course not. Widespread — think California — wildfires? Nope. Earthquakes? With a nod, however extremely slight, to the anti-frackers, no. Not even close. Granted we get tornado threats, primarily in the spring. But the last deadly tornado — thank goodness for that — in our parts came way back in 1985 when a deadly twister tore through Newton Falls just up the road a bit. So this area isn’t to be confused with our midwest country’s famed Tornado Alley. We do get our share of snow. Sometime a good foot of it all at once. We slip, slide and fall in snow each and every winter. Our vehicles get stuck in it. We plow and salt roads. We deice. We shovel and then shovel again. It is annoying. It can be a hardship. But widespread life-threatening blizzards? Research reveals the last major blizzard to hit around here — called, ironically, the “White Hurricane” — struck us a long four decades ago during late January 1978. We get localized flooding. Just ask the folks around places such as Franklin Square and down along the Ohio River about that. But no lives are in peril. Very little property is lost. Such flooding is more of a nuisance and not a tragedy.

So while you watch the captivating scenes from the Florence-impacted region of our nation, be in awe while you are being sympathetic. Be thankful too that we have it pretty darn good weather-wise in our own neighborhood. Today’s forecast is calling for spotty rain and high in the mid-80s. That’s not too bad. Enjoy it.


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