« Home | The Calm » | Rock Me Like a Hurricane » | CREAMERY » | Free Agent Results » | You Can't Fight Science » | Don't Forget Your Glove on the Way Out » | Remake made bad » | Milestones » | The immortal Edgar » | Theo-cracy » 

Saturday, August 14, 2004 

The Aftermath

Around 2 Friday afternoon, Charley was upgraded to a Category 4 and things started to get a little dicey. Then, it suddenly hooked right, away from Tampa. At first, though, it only shifted slightly and looked like it was still heading for us (a little east of Tampa). In the end, it veered more northeast than expected and missed us entirely. We got a little rain, much less than what we normally get courtesy of our daily afternoon thunderstorm.

That said, the storm shredded the town of Punta Gorda and everything else in its path. I'm sure you've seen some of the damage and I feel very fortunate to have avoided its wrath. This is the first time I've really understood the power of a hurricane. Not fun.

Indeed, the hurricane is a mighty, misey-inducing aspect of the awesome power of nature. What amazes me most is its caprice. For days and even hours before the expected impact, everyone knows it will hit one place, and then, suddenly, just a few hours before landfall, it makes a completely unpredictable shift and destroys poorer areas, reducing them to rubble. I suppose of course, that from a large picture, "we" were very lucky that the storm track changed--as a much less densely-populated area was struck. But I am sure that Tampa's buildings, like those of NYC are engineered to withstand a Category 4 hurricance (not that such engineering requirements are perfect); the area that was struck had neither the resources nor the political-social pressure to have such requirements.

How little we matter in the large scope of things, no?

The greatest fear for downtown Tampa was water surge and flooding. Like lower Manhatten, the beauty that comes with sitting so close to a big body of water hides a huge danger. And there is no telling what damage the high winds could do sweeping through the corridors between tall buildings.

But, at least we know what happens when a trailer park gets hit. All the people who live in the ritzy island and beachfront communities around here better realize their good fortune. When they get back from taking their boat out for a spin or gassing up their Hummers, of course.

Post a Comment