Wow! Wind speeds of 70km/hr. Is this a weather station under Hurricane Irene? Nope it’s from down the valley this weekend when Suz and I climbed Doorjam Mt. When I wasn’t enjoying the outdoors with Suz, I was tracking the hurricane through the online weather stations. Strangely, even though the National Hurricane Center and the news channels were reporting a Cat 1 hurricane, the weather stations were recording wind speeds half of the official stats. These were not back yard recorders but the same MADIS stations NOAA uses to gather it’s information from. NOAA’s wind speeds were derived not from ground data but from high up perhaps causing the large discrepancy. As near as I could see, Irene made landfall with winds around 55km/hr. Here is Norfolk VA:As you can see, Suz and I experienced more wind that day! Compare the data to this screen shot below. At 5pm, double wind speeds are being claimed. I scoured dozens of nearby stations as the hurricane moved north with the same results.
I don’t have a problem with being prepared for the worst and suggesting others do likewise. I do have a problem with reporters and government officials lying for what they decide is other people’s well being. Here are some comical clips from 2 news reports. The first clip shows how people in the background are not being blown around and are in fact riding bikes and strolling around. The second clip shows a dejected Anderson Cooper discovering that the misty breeze around him IS the hurricane! This appears to mark the point where the charade can no longer be held up. The scroll says “intense rain and wind CAT 1 HURRICANE” as Anderson appears to be enjoying a pleasant afternoon.
Now it’s true that there were some heavy rains that have done damage. But the news outlets are now trying to find ways to excuse their failed “historic storm” ravings. Their excuses fall into the better safe than sorry category which is not what they did wrong. Their crime is one of not questioning the official line and failing to report the facts on the ground by instead reporting their own narrative. Part of the narrative of those excuses comes in the form of quoting how many people were killed by the storm.
I’ve heard 27 people by some accounts. But looking more closely at these deaths reveals many things. For instance, unlike the media outlets, I wouldn’t call surfers or windsurfers out in the storm hurricane deaths! Nor would I refer to guys out in a dingy exploring floodwaters hurricane victims. Ditto with the victim in his canoe paddling a flooded creek. 11 people were killed by falling trees and 3 people were killed by car accidents, one in an intersection without powered lights.
Measure those no doubt tragic deaths with any other weekend on the east coast. According to the US CDC accident stats for the latest year 2007, I note the following yearly stats nationwide:
drowning-4086, traffic accidents-46250, residential fires-2902, natural/environmental-1449, struck by-1009, fall-23,443
I took these stats and divided by the number of people affected by the hurricane (65 million) then figured out how many of these accidents can be expected over a random weekend. The results are 130 accidents from exactly the kinds of things that are being attributed to Irene. This doesn’t include the 50 homicides that occur each weekend in the same population size! Not sure if those homicides occurred or not this weekend but it would be ironic indeed if the hurricane ended up saving lives!
I’m not suggesting that there weren’t hurricane related deaths, but in a sample size of 65 million, there will be many people struck by falling trees, drowned and driving into trees due to every kind of reason without a hurricane present at all.
Media sources that do not provide this context are rightfully guilty of distorting the truth or excusing their alarmist rantings.
So what? Media towing an official line despite all evidence to the contrary- nothing new you say? It isn’t new. I just hope when a real hurricane hits, people will have learned to get their own information and plan accordingly and cut out the attention seeking statesmen and their media shills.
UPDATE: It appears I’m not the only one who noticed there was no hurricane. Here’s a weather blog with some more data: