Avoidable Stupidity

Do you ever read an article or listen to a news story and think, “Wow. No common sense.” Quite likely. Sometimes there is more to the story (discovered later) which redeems the participants, either partly or fully. After all, not every detail makes it into a broadcast or past an editor’s pen. The people in them may have a good reason for their (apparent) lack of good judgement.

With that in mind, I would love to see the details for this particular story. I watched an interview on The Weather Channel earlier today. The reporter spoke with 2 people who plan to stay on the eastern Florida coast while Hurricane Matthew roars in. Not inland, mind you, where the governor is urging everyone to go because, and I quote, “This storm will kill you.” In a beach house, on the beach, with a category 4 (maybe 5) storm making landfall.

Their reason for staying and not being afraid? They are from Wisconsin and are used to blizzards. They mentioned the (woefully inadequate) preparations they had made to the home they are staying in and laughed at the thought of the next couple of days.

Once I picked my jaw up off the floor, I wondered if there was any validity to their claim. So, being the curious person I am, I decided to compare blizzard winds to hurricane winds. One of the first things I found was that blizzards can indeed have fearsome winds. One of the worst, dubbed the Storm of the Century, was comparable to a category 3 hurricane (for more interesting information on worst blizzards, read here).

After I had read about the absolute worst in the country, I decided to see the absolute worst Wisconsin had to endure and I noticed something very interesting. The worst storm, in March 1976, topped out with winds roughly 60 mph and turned quite a few counties into federal disasters areas.Obviously, blizzards can cause a great deal of damage and claim many lives. I don’t even like Louisiana winters and really can’t imagine going through an ice storm. Which is why if I happened to find myself in the path of a blizzard, I would be listening to the authorities and doing whatever was recommended. If they recommended I leave the area instead of staying around to have a ‘blizzard party’, I’d get myself out of town.

Staying on the coast with a major hurricane barreling towards you is suicide. The winds are at least twice the speed of the worst blizzard from their area. The storm surge from such monsters is unbelievable and will hit with frightening speed and strength. The very roofs and walls of well built structures aren’t a match for its power. At this point, I am genuinely hoping police notice this interview and strongly, strongly suggest these people move inland. Otherwise, their bodies may be found amid the wreckage that was once a beach house.



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