There’s bound to be a great deal of second-guessing about various aspects of Hurricane Irene. Did forecasters overly frighten residents along the nation’s East Coast? Did the massive pre-hurricane coverage create a “cry wolf” situation? Were the mass evacuations needed?
Those in the hurricane forecasting business were right on target concerning several predictions, including the track and size of the storm, but they missed on the severity or strength of the storm.
There is sure to be some criticism of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who didn’t pull any punches in warning residents about the dangers of the hurricane and called for major, unprecedented actions. Some will say these two elected officials overreacted in their no-nonsense calls for pre-storm preparations and evacuations, but the old saying “better safe than sorry” certainly applies in this situation.
Everything is clearer in hindsight, but do you suppose Vermont’s governor now wishes he had been more forceful in urging those in his state to prepare for the terrible flooding that occurred?
There’s no perfect formula on how to prepare for massive storms such as Irene, but Christie and Bloomberg deserve far more thanks than criticism.
Chances are there will be more hurricanes in the next several months, and, hopefully, professionals in the hurricane forecasting business will be as accurate in predicting the track of these storms as they were with Irene, but a bit more on target concerning the strength and severity of the hurricane. Also, the public must not be careless or lackadaisical in preparing for the storms. The states likely to be hit by these massive natural disasters need and deserve the leadership of officials such as Christie and Bloomberg.