Friday, October 7, 2016
Hurricane Matthew and why we can't have nice things
I've spent enough time in Florida that I could vote there. That would be illegal as I'm still a New Hampshire resident. Apparently that's not such a big deal in Florida. People do it all the time.
My lovely wife and I have spent time all over the state. This storm is not just something happening 1500 miles away. We have favorite places and people we know down there.
Someone tried very hard to sell us a condo that is now very close to the predicted landfall area. We did not buy one, but their final offer was tempting -to my wife. I held firm and it didn't hurt to be tight on funds at the time.
We were seriously considering storing our sailboat at one of the boatyards in the path of disaster. Imagine if we'd have hauled the boat out, repainted the bottom, replaced and installed hardware. Then we'd have paid storage for 7 or 8 months. Matthew could have destroyed our boat. Good thing we lost it in a shipwreck back in February. That's right folks, get your disaster over early and avoid the rush.
A free house trailer was offered to us in an area that's at least in the tropical storm band. If the winds don't get it, flooding might.
Once the storm moves on, the damage remains. The bigger the area that's affected, the longer it will take to get things fixed. Take electric power for example. If damage is limited, workers come from outside the affected area and restring the lines. For example, Georgia power workers could come down to help Florida crews. However, if Georgia is also affected they will have nobody to spare.
The storm surge could flood salt water into fresh water supplies. Imagine if a major city lost its water supply. Sewage systems will be overwhelmed: knocked out then raw sewage will pollute the flood waters. Someone will have to clear downed trees, fix roads, check bridges for damage -the list goes on.
On top of that, now imagine if the storm loops around and hits everything all over again. Frankly, if I was in charge of restoring infrastructure, I would not budge until I knew for sure that danger had passed. Why fix something only to lose it a few days later?
There is a lot of potential for civil disturbance. Most people pull together in a disaster, at least in the short term. The longer the disaster lasts, the less good will there is to go around. When supplies get short with no end in sight, it could get ugly.
Here's a thought. I wonder what will happen to all those Zika mosquitoes? At the very least, eradication efforts are on hold.
Pray hard folks.