Monday, July 11, 2005

Hunker Down

Hurricane Dennis has moved on and we finally saw a little sunshine today. The state of Florida was well-prepared for this storm. After all, we've had a lot of practice recently. There was a 98.8% evacuation rate in the areas with a mandatory evacuation. Law enforcement doesn't actually make you leave but they will take down your next of kin info or leave a toe tag if you refuse to cooperate. It's good to see that people listened to the warnings.
Hurricane Neon Sign

After three days of incessant channel surfing Hurricane Dennis news coverage, we were starting to go stir crazy. The national news weather eejits who go on location are something else. We always root for them to get blown into the sea.

Watching those guys play "Chase the Hurricane" is like watching small gangs of 10-12 year old, neighborhood
boys trying to one-up each other. You can tell they really want to get blown over or have a piece of sharp metal whiz by their little hoodie heads. The more vain ones worry about rooster hair and make sure the wind is blowing into their part rather than across it. They report with great glee whenever something large like a roof or house gets blown away or trashed.

Being out in a hurricane is much worse than it shows on TV. Having been through quite a few, I am always surprised that the storms look so mild on TV when in person, all hell is breaking loose. I am amused by listening to the pitch of the reporters voices rise as the storm gets closer and stronger. They wouldn't have to yell a the top of their lungs if they would stand where the wind is blocked but of course, that's not dramatic enough for the network ratings. Still, the news teams appear to be enjoying the adrenaline rush and excitement of the whole thing and often take very foolish risks. I believe their main objectives are:

  • To try to lean at least 45 degrees into the wind without falling over.

  • To come as close as physically possible to getting seriously hurt without actually drawing blood.

  • To drive though flood waters just high enough that it doesn't actually swamp the SUV and wash them away.

  • To foolishly traverse bridges after they have been officially closed.

  • To report in front of sea walls and hope they get some good wave action shots before the road or wall washes out.

  • And the best coup, to have the wind blow you completely off camera.

  • This year, CNN had Hurricane One, a Hummer with a three man crew cruising about like 16 year old boys on a small town Saturday night. They were having so much fun that the anchor couldn't even keep a straight face. I bet they had a few cases of beer in a cooler in the back of that HumVee.
    hurricane cooler

    We watched all the local channels plus,
    The Weather Channel, CNN, MSNBC, Headline News, Fox and anything else that was showing hurricane news. The catch phrase of the weekend was "Hunker down!" Every channel, every network, every announcer, said "hunker down," ad nauseum, at least once every minute all weekend long. I figure they said "hunker down" over 2800 times. W4D and I would scream in unison right back at them every time they said it.

    "There's nothing left to do but hunker down!"

    Hunker Down!!

    I wonder why we are hoarse today? I can also only hope that they come up with a new catch phrase by next weekend when the next storm reaches us.


    Anonymous said...

    Did you see Mike Seidel, of the Weather Channel hunker down when he ALMOST got struck by lightning?!?! He basically got hunkered down right out of the camera angle, well, more like he BLEW off the camera angle, no, it was more like he EXPLODED off the camera angle. Yes, that was it. And yet, the camera operator didn't even tremble .... I guess he was just kissing his *** goodbye!
    appie p

    Flaurella said...

    Yep, much hooting and laughter at Casa Flaurella! I think the camera operators must all be EXTREMELY Professional (or deaf and totally stoned!) to ignore all the flying debris, sand, etc., that is swooshing about their personal space. I liked it when the clay roof tiles were chunking the newscaster and crew in the Destin square. Ha!

    jackie said...

    god people are stupid! glad you made it through OK though. here's to you guys successfully hunkering down!

    today we are getting your leftover rain, which i am hoping will get out of here before the weekend comes. hate hurrican season just for what it does to the humidity.

    Randell said...

    No doubt, the chap is totally fair.
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