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Old 08-31-2011, 07:42 AM   #85
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The intent of my post was to gauge other members impression of the storm's reporting. As a past sailboat owner and blue water sailor I can read a weather map quite well. Maybe it's part habit and part interest but I follow storms closely. When I looked at the weather data of Irene before it made landfall it didn't match the intensity which it was being reported.

Storm damage and loss of life does not always indicate a storm's intensity. Irene's horrific damage was due to the track Irene took overland and in part to prior area storms not its intensity. The track of the storm merely indicates who will be effected, the intensity indicates the degree of preparation of those effected in its path. The longer Irene remained over land the more damage it caused. The resulting damage is simply the result of what we couldn't/wouldn't protect.

When a storm is hyped the media may benefit with higher ratings but it causes the citizens to spend more on preparation than what's needed. Of course the preparation we each make depends on our tolerance of risk but accurate reporting will allow each of us to gauge that risk appropriately. The danger is when the next storm comes and is truly dangerous citizens will not take warnings seriously, resulting in more damage and loss of life.

I believe Irene was hyped by the media. Responsible people will take the necessary precautions if given accurate information. But to force people into action thru fear is not prudent.

Will this turn out to be the storm of the century perhaps but not for the reason it was originally reported.
Well said. It seems that one of the lost arts today is the accuracy to which you refer. For different reasons, the groups involved (governmental, media) have their own agendas and those agendas apparently trump the public's desire for accurate, factual information.

Part of that, I suspect, comes from the fundamental thinking in those same groups that the public should not be allowed to make their own decisions.

The fact is that no organization could have predicted the level of flooding in VT from this storm. Having lived near the parts of NJ where the flooding was the worst, I can tell you that any significant amount of rain in that area causes flooding. The ground is basically rock and there is no place for a lot of water to be absorbed, particularly following significant rain events before this storm. It isn't a question of whether flooding will occur but how much. I will admit that the pictures from this week showed situations much worse that we ever saw there.

There is no question that the level of trust by the public for both the media and the government is further eroded with each situation like this.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:08 AM   #86
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Sure, your contemplating the all horrific damage and destruction left by the storm and thinking how anyone can say Irene is not a bad storm. I'm not at all trying to minimize the storm's destruction and loss of life it's just not part of the discussion I'm trying to have.

I'm referring to the forecasts and available weather data before the storm even reached land and how the media hyped the storm as the storm of the century. A storm can reach that lofty plateau in two ways, it could be based on its intensity with record breaking related weather conditions, or the result of the most lost life and property.

The media had no idea how much damage Irene would cause. The forecasters couldn't plot the final track of the storm until it reached landfall in the Carolina's. So the media's concept of the storm of the century was fixed base on its intensity. The weather data just before it made landfall indicated it was a class I storm but the media was reporting it as a class 2 storm. Why is that important? As I've already stated, responsible people will take the necessary precautions when given accurate information. But to force or coerce people into action thru fear is not prudent.

As it turns out I'm not the only one who has noticed this hyped reporting, this type of reporting could result in more damage and lost of life because people will not take future warning seriously. We will see how the media handles the next storm, tropical storm KATIA is now developing in the mid Atlantic.
Funny, all the reports I saw on TV and on the internet indicated that it was probable that Irene would drop to a class one when or before she made landfall but could also increase to class three if she veered seaward. They also said that she was a class one when she hit the Carolina coast. It's possible that some local "forecasters" may have overhyped it or received late information but everything I saw on TV and the internet came from the wire services and was accurate. If anything, the potential damage from flooding was either underestimated or underreported.

Keep in mind this century is only around 11 years old and the upper east coast hasn't seen a hurricane of this magnitude in considerably longer than that so yes, this IS the storm of the century.

You sound to me like you have a vendetta against the media that is blinding you to facts. You also seem to be forgetting , or failed to realize to begin with, that hurricanes are still somewhat unpredictable. It was equally possible that Irene could have remained as strong or intensified unstead of degrading as she did. The governments involved were wise to allow for that and take the appropriate measures to ensure public safety.

As witnessed during Katrina, not all of the public is responsible (or even intelligent) enough to take the appropriate precautions when given the facts. What we didn't need was more loss of life and a waste of resources bailing out people who didn't heed the warnings when those resources can be put to better use repairing the damage.

Frankly, you sound like George Will, who wouldn't even acknowledge that Irene was a hurricane, derisively calling her a tropical storm, saying that he had lived on the coast for years and had lived through other hurricanes, as though that made him an expert on hurricanes.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:22 AM   #87
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Well said. It seems that one of the lost arts today is the accuracy to which you refer. For different reasons, the groups involved (governmental, media) have their own agendas and those agendas apparently trump the public's desire for accurate, factual information.

Part of that, I suspect, comes from the fundamental thinking in those same groups that the public should not be allowed to make their own decisions.

The fact is that no organization could have predicted the level of flooding in VT from this storm. Having lived near the parts of NJ where the flooding was the worst, I can tell you that any significant amount of rain in that area causes flooding. The ground is basically rock and there is no place for a lot of water to be absorbed, particularly following significant rain events before this storm. It isn't a question of whether flooding will occur but how much. I will admit that the pictures from this week showed situations much worse that we ever saw there.

There is no question that the level of trust by the public for both the media and the government is further eroded with each situation like this.
I think what is at work hear is some folks natural distrust of the media and government in general. I was in Waveland Miss. after Katrina, from the railroad track to the Gulf was gone, not damaged gone! Would you care to be the weather station or government agency that down plays or even work towards the low side of possibility? No one wants to be another Mayor Nagin in NOLA. Be a boy scout and plan ahead! JMO
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:39 AM   #88
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Well, it seemed like the cable/satellite news channels spent a lot of time on Irene. But it, once again, shows that many towns/cities/housing are built on flood plains/beaches. Our tax money will, once again, be spent to rebuild dwellings and businesses that will remain on the flood plains/beaches. This hurricane/tropical storm shows that current land use should be revisited and changes made to building codes. JM2óW
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:54 AM   #89
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I've lived on the Mississippi and Alabama Coast all of my life. I've been through Camille,Elena,Frederick,George,Ivan and Katrina. Having said that no Hurricane should be down played. Each area has it's own unique lay out that damages from a hurricane can be major regardless of it's intensity. For years all hurricanes were measured against Camille and the damage it caused, more recent comparisions have switched to Katrina. The damage caused by a Cat1 storm can be just as catastrophic to some areas as a Cat3 is to another. Precautions should be taken regardless and if necessary evacuations should be forced not optional.
Just to set the record straight, New Orleans suffered damage from a levee break, which the cause of is being debated still today. If the levee would have been properly maintained there would have been no flooding and possibly no loss of life in the that city. The people from Pascagoula,Ms to Slidell, La did not have that option. It was total devastation along the coast where the eye of Katrina made landfall as far as 2 miles inland.
Once again down playing any hurricane is a bad scenario. Irene could have been much worse, fortunately for some it was minimal. For the people who lost everything the Cat status of the storm does not matter.
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:13 AM   #90
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The order to evacuate must be given at least 24-36 hours prior to the storm hitting to be effective. They ( the weather service) were expecting a storm that deserved a strong evacuation message. The fact that the storm weakened just prior to land fall does not IMHO indicate that any media hyped up anything to evacuate those people. Sure they get excited , but the severity reports were just that. Reports, from the Natl. Weather Service. Thankfully the estimates did not come to the fullest that this storm could have delivered.
This storm will rank in the top ten most costly in our history and has thus far cost 44 lives. OVERBLOWN. I don't think so.
Let's look at it this way. The media was reporting Irene was going to be the storm of the century. Even if Irene was a Cat 2 when it made landfall, how can a Cat 2 be the storm of the century when Katrina was a Cat 5 occurring in Aug. 2007. The reporting didn't fit the known information at the time. Why would the media hype a storm this way?
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:19 AM   #91
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Let's look at it this way. The media was reporting Irene was going to be the storm of the century. Even if Irene was a Cat 2 when it made landfall, how can a Cat 2 be the storm of the century when Katrina was a Cat 5 occurring in Aug. 2007. The reporting didn't fit the known information at the time. Why would the media hype a storm this way?
As the old saying goes... Location, Location, Location. Having hurricanes come ashore on the southern states coasts is nothing unusual. Happens all the time. Having a hurricane come ashore in the NE US, is very unusual. Rarely happens, and as a result, there is a much bigger impact.
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:20 AM   #92
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Let's look at it this way. The media was reporting Irene was going to be the storm of the century. Even if Irene was a Cat 2 when it made landfall, how can a Cat 2 be the storm of the century when Katrina was a Cat 5 occurring in Aug. 2007. The reporting didn't fit the known information at the time. Why would the media hype a storm this way?
Katrina hit in the Gulf coast. Irene not only was on the Atlantic Seaboard, but she traveled along a much longer path and the damage was far more widespread.
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:25 AM   #93
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Well, it seemed like the cable/satellite news channels spent a lot of time on Irene. But it, once again, shows that many towns/cities/housing are built on flood plains/beaches. Our tax money will, once again, be spent to rebuild dwellings and businesses that will remain on the flood plains/beaches. This hurricane/tropical storm shows that current land use should be revisited and changes made to building codes. JM2óW
Heck, I'll raise you a whole dollar. It galled me when our tax dollars were used to rebuild areas in New Orleans prone to flooding, especially those that are below sea level. Not to mention the beneficiaries of that rebuilding didn't have the good sense to have flood insurance. Don't anyone tell me they couldn't afford it. If one can't afford flood insurance in a flood plain, then don't live there.
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:46 AM   #94
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Please, let us not forget Ike.

Most people forget about Ike because there was no wine and cheese being passed out.

Ask Galveston Island residents, or Bolivar Peninsular residents. I believe the storm surge there was 25 feet. The only saving grace for Texas City, TX, where I live is the seawall that was put up after Hurricane Carla, around 1962. This city was virtually an island.

Not to take away from Irene, as for where she was, she was a bad place to be if you were in her way.
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:15 AM   #95
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I'm waiting for the drum beat to begin, after Katrina, on many of the sites I post to, all you could here was blame the victims. The stories about their disasters, and how they pulled themselves up by their bootstraps and nobody helped them. ALL BULL! This is the USA we need to help those in need period!!! END OF STORY
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:40 AM   #96
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RJay,

Minor correction. Katrina was in 2005, followed by Rita on the other side of the state about a month later.

Then there is the Gustav/Ike pair in 2008...

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Old 08-31-2011, 12:30 PM   #97
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Let's look at it this way. The media was reporting Irene was going to be the storm of the century. Even if Irene was a Cat 2 when it made landfall, how can a Cat 2 be the storm of the century when Katrina was a Cat 5 occurring in Aug. 2007. The reporting didn't fit the known information at the time. Why would the media hype a storm this way?
Katrina came ashore in August 2005 not 2007. Not only are you wrong about the year, you are wrong about the category on the Saffir-Simpson scale. It was NOT a Cat 5; it was a Cat 3. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr! Get the facts straight. Still the most deadly hurricane ever was the Galveston hurricane in 1900. It claimed about 8000 lives.

Irene will make history because of the impact to so many states with such widespread flooding. The fatalities are certainly low. RJay, you need to get over yourself and wait for the next hurricane to hit the Dakotas. Then let's talk "overblown."
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Old 08-31-2011, 02:12 PM   #98
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Funny, all the reports I saw on TV and on the internet indicated that it was probable that Irene would drop to a class one when or before she made landfall but could also increase to class three if she veered seaward. They also said that she was a class one when she hit the Carolina coast. It's possible that some local "forecasters" may have overhyped it or received late information but everything I saw on TV and the internet came from the wire services and was accurate. If anything, the potential damage from flooding was either underestimated or underreported.

Keep in mind this century is only around 11 years old and the upper east coast hasn't seen a hurricane of this magnitude in considerably longer than that so yes, this IS the storm of the century.

You sound to me like you have a vendetta against the media that is blinding you to facts. You also seem to be forgetting , or failed to realize to begin with, that hurricanes are still somewhat unpredictable. It was equally possible that Irene could have remained as strong or intensified unstead of degrading as she did. The governments involved were wise to allow for that and take the appropriate measures to ensure public safety.

As witnessed during Katrina, not all of the public is responsible (or even intelligent) enough to take the appropriate precautions when given the facts. What we didn't need was more loss of life and a waste of resources bailing out people who didn't heed the warnings when those resources can be put to better use repairing the damage.

Frankly, you sound like George Will, who wouldn't even acknowledge that Irene was a hurricane, derisively calling her a tropical storm, saying that he had lived on the coast for years and had lived through other hurricanes, as though that made him an expert on hurricanes.
When people talk to me I don't see labels, I actually listen to what they're saying and then use my God given ability to exercise the proper organ located north of my neck to determine if what I'm being told is fact or fallacy. Based on the content of your post I don't see where we can establish a conversation based on a single fact.
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