Monday, August 29, 2011


ONE THING ABOUT EARTHQUAKES LIKE THE TEMBLOR THAT RATTLED D.C. AT THE BEGINNING OF LAST WEEK IS THAT THEY CANNOT BE HYPED FOR DAYS IN ADVANCE. A HURRICANE IS ANOTHER MATTER. And the newsies and the "authorities" were in full dudgeon about what a major disaster was about to befall us.

TO BE FAIR, memories of Isabel - and the lady was a stone bitch - are still pretty fresh around here; and among other things Old Town Alexandria was flooded clean up to Fairfax Street. But Isabel was a brush with the eye of a tropical storm, a storm that was still pretty damned organized when it got here. I was driving when the onset of the storm proper introduced itself with the falling of a tree I had just driven past. (I then charted the most tree-free route I could plot and drove home and battened down for the night).

But what's-her-name -- oh, yeah Irene -- was starting to fall apart about the time she got to Ocean City. The doppler maps showed the eye to be all raggedy, and although the sky turned black as pitch an hour ahead of schedule, the sum of the effect on Northern Virginia was less than a squall line that came through here earlier this spring. This, however did not prevent the news folks from treating this minor inconvenience as a Very Big Thing. The Washington Post published a front page photo of PEPCO crews sawing up a tree that took out a power line to accompany a story that was written to imply that scenes like that were all over the landscape. In fact, such scenes were not much more common than what occurs in the aftermath of any old middlin' line of summer squalls around here.

Oh, yeah. But you couldn't swim in the ocean for a few days due to heavy surf and rip currents.

Heavens to Betsy. How tragic. (We are so starved for drama....)

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