Volume 13, Issue 36 ~ September 9 - 14, 2005


Looking Hurricanes in the Eye

This is a Bay Weekly issue to hang on to.

Herein we bring you the most authoritative Chesapeake Bay hurricane guide we’ve seen at a time when we’re still caught up in the tragedies of Hurricane Katrina.

We learned a great deal from Katrina, both from the tragedy of the storm and the human-made tragedy afterward.

We learned that, despite what the White House debunkers tell us, global warming is changing the proposition of risk on our planet by heating the oceans and making storms more ferocious.

We found out that a lot our infrastructure (we hate that word, too) from levees to bridges are old and in need of repair.

We were reminded how wetlands protect us against flooding and storm surges and of the danger we bring on ourselves by deliberately altering our natural systems, as we did in channelizing the lower Mississippi River.

And in the rescue debacle in New Orleans, we saw that the concept of homeland security is just that: a concept. Four years have passed since 9/11 and tens of billion of dollars have been spent, but our nation still lacks the capacity to respond in timely fashion to a disaster in the homeland.

In short, we learned that it’s wise to know how in a disaster to fend for ourselves.

As we’ve just seen, there’s no better time for protecting family and property than before a disaster.

Often there’s confusion before a hurricane or tropical storm strikes about its path and the threats it poses. That’s why we see great value in understanding storms from the inside out and why we’re bringing you Kat Bennett’s primer on hurricanes and Chesapeake Bay as well as Steve Carr’s column and Barbi Shields’ Reflection.

Her feature-length piece answers all the questions you might have about hurricanes Chesapeake Bay style and some you might not have thought of.

Which side of a hurricane that strikes us, left or right, poses the most danger? Why is a hurricane that comes ashore just south of the Bay especially bad news? Why is barometric pressure such a big deal? And what are the factors that govern storm surges, the way Isabel nailed us two years ago?

By the time you finish Bennett’s piece, you’ll understand the relationship between wind and water. You’ll be in a better position to look out for yourself and your family, including your pets. You’ll feel like sending your resume to the Weather Channel.

So save this issue for a stormy day. You may need it: the most dangerous part of the hurricane season arrives soon.

© COPYRIGHT 2004 by New Bay Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.