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Denebola » Article » Hurricanes overrated, time and time again
Editorials and Opinions

Hurricanes overrated, time and time again

By Helen Holmes
Published: September 2010

In the broad spectrum of natural disasters, none is quite so destructive, finicky, or fascinating as the hurricane. Of course, hurricanes are not to be underestimated: Hurricane Katrina decimated New Orleans and the Galveston hurricane of 1900 killed 8000 people.
However, in the past few years, it would seem that New England, specifically, is almost entirely hurricane-proof. When a hurricane approaches, it must see some giant flashing sign saying something along the lines of “Sorry, you must be THIS tall to rip up trees and destroy homes. And, every time, New England escapes almost completely unscathed!
Now, in no way am I saying that I want people killed and neighborhoods destroyed. But, we cannot deny that the place we live in offers little to no extreme weather, and I for one, think this is kind of lame.
The West Coast has earthquakes. The Midwest has tornados. The Southeast has hurricanes. We’re so freaked out by even a hint of snow, schools are shut down and let out early. Last year, for example, South enjoyed a half-day, supposedly because earth-ending snowfall was supposed to bury us all in for days. I’m pretty sure I saw around four snowflakes.
Every few years, our local news stations warn us of the deadly tropical storm that is making its way up the coast, and that we will surely be encountering gale-force winds and torrential rain. So, once again, we cancel our vacations, lock up our patio furniture, and stock up on candles and raincoats, all for a little drizzle.
Let me make it clear that I’m only referring to the immidiate Newton area when I say this; I can’t speak for the rest of Massachusets. But when I Googled “New England hurricanes’ some catch phrases that popped out at me were “no effects were reported, below tropical storm force, and “light rainfall.
The most recent example of a hurricane fail is, of course, Hurricane Earl. I was actually scared about this one: the ominous humidity in the days preceding, the magnitude of damages foreseen, that horror movie-worthy name…
I scoured the news for days for updates on its path and helped my family water proof the basement. I shivered every time I saw a dark cloud.
But, once again, the hurricane hit hardest on the most coastal parts of Massachusetts, and didn’t even scrape our cozy suburban haven! I would even perk up a bit when I’d hear a rush of raindrops against the windows, stopping whatever it was that I was doing to to cheer Earl on.
But my efforts were made to no avail. According to my local news station, Earl passed about 90 miles offshore; He didn’t even come close. I mean, that was more anticlimactic and ridiculous than Britney’s VMA “comeback performance. I was left feeling just as disappointed and let down.
The fact is, Newton has it easy, and I think a little high wind every once in a while would help us appreciate what we have.

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