Dare I say that the first highly publicized storm of fall 2016 was … overblown?
It had the potential to be an historic weather event, according to meteorologists at the National Weather Service. Put simply, the storm moved a little to the west and voila! — crisis averted. Technology in predicting weather is not perfect. It turned out to be a run-of-the-mill October windstorm. But did the media overhype the dangers?
I think I speak for the entire media (full disclosure: I do not speak for the entire media) when I say, sorry if you feel that way. I ask you to reverse the situation: What if we downplayed what the National Weather Service was telling us was a potentially catastrophic windstorm — and it actually happened?
Let’s also not forget there are definitely people who will take you to task for saying this was a non-evevnt. Don’t tell Illahee resident Jim Bawers. Early Friday, a branch ripped right into his bedroom off Illahee Road. He’s going to be cleaning up from this storm for months. And you might not want to mention it to the thousands of people in Kitsap County that went without power for hours, or the droves of emergency crews who put in lots of overtime putting our power grid back together.
But what about all that time and money you shelled out, getting prepped for days without electricity? you ask.
Like many of you, I stocked up on essential supplies, to include some impulse-buys like Tim’s Cascade Potato Chips, Pitted Dates and India Pale Ale. Yes, I’ll never get that money back. But, let’s be honest: it made me better prepared for next time and I won’t have to hit the store before the Hawks game Sunday afternoon.
I just can’t seem to get that mad that I finished my laundry in case the power went out. What will I do with all that extra time? (Enjoy those pitted dates, that’s what.)
And here’s the other thing: are we really going to complain too heartily that our region wasn’t slammed with what could have been a far more life-threatening storm?
Judging by the depleted racks of flashlights and batteries at every store in Bremerton, we’re more ready for emergencies and we’ve learned a few things along the way. The Kitsap County Department of Emergency Management said it best on Facebook Saturday night:
“It was at the very least a good reminder to be prepared. We know that eventually we will get hit hard again.”
— joshfarley (@joshfarley) October 16, 2016