August 26, 2005



Hey, did you hear? A hurricane hit Florida on Thursday.

Catastrowhore that I am, I feel compelled to pass this along:

MIAMI - Hurricane Katrina moved into the Gulf of Mexico on Friday after hammering Florida's crowded southeast coast with hours of fierce winds and whipping rains, leaving 2 million people without power and killing four.

Katrina, which was downgraded earlier on Friday to a tropical storm as it churned across the swampy Everglades, regained hurricane status as it moved into the Gulf.

Katrina dumped up to 12 inches (30.5 cm) of rain after coming ashore just south of Fort Lauderdale on Thursday and then began a slow and punishing trek southwest across southern Florida, said the U.S. National Hurricane Centre in Miami.

In its wake, Katrina left flooded neighbourhoods and streets carpeted with tree limbs and leaves.

By 5 a.m. (0900 GMT) on Friday, Katrina was located about 50 miles (85 km) north-northeast of Key West, Florida, and was moving west at 5 mph (7 kph). Winds were near 75 mph (120 kph) and expected to strengthen after earlier falling slightly to 70 mph (113 kph), the centre said.

I hate to burst some meteorological bubbles, but this is not a hurricane. It may be called that. People may have in fact died from during this storm. A million people may be without power. But this is not a hurricane. This is a really bad rainstorm compared to what we got last year.

Even Reuters, paragon of journalistic accuracy and fairness, felt compelled to file their 10:31 a.m. dispatch - more than four hours early. (Note the time on the story and the time in the bottom corner of the screen.)
It would be like if I took up boxing. I could spend a week, learn some technique, maybe spar a little. But it wouldn't make me Mike Tyson now, would it? (Oh, and Reuters, the most anyone got was 11 inches, not 12, and certainly not the 20 inches that was predicted.)

Even my friend Sherri, who lives on Florida's east coast and was without power last year for two weeks, sent this message last night:

It's 11:12 p.m. and I still have Internet and power. This ain't no hurricane!

What's odd is that I just walked Salad Dog (Yes, in fact, I do enjoy watering the dog at 5:30 a.m. each morning. Thank you for asking.) As I went outside, I got my first twinge that it wasn't summer. Temperatures are in the low '70s. The wind was calm and cool. Felt a little like November.

And definitely not like a hurricane.

Oh, an aside: All of you hack copy editors can stop writing your "Katrina and the waves" headlines now.

Posted by Jeff at August 26, 2005 05:57 AM | TrackBack

I like the headline "Katrina Blows Hard"

(Especially now that it's supposed to be a Cat. 4)

Posted by: Mike at August 26, 2005 12:02 PM

18 inches of rain in Perrine, almost 14" in Homestead. So not exactly sunshine and roses.

Posted by: JD at August 26, 2005 05:14 PM
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