30 August, 2011


Irene claims 40 lives”,  and “Hurricane responsible for 40 deaths” are just two of the headlines I’ve seen in the past twenty-four hours.  Wow, one thinks, that must have been a real killer storm.

But it wasn’t, really.  It was nowhere near Katrina’s blow to New Orleans  nor Andrew’s destruction of South Florida.  Andrew struck the area south of Miami with 165 mph winds, Irene never reached 90 mph except for a few gusts.

Irene was a bit more than your average thunder storm to be sure, but a killer hurricane?  Let’s review a few of the deaths blamed on the unfortunate lady, and you tell me if the storm was at fault or if it was merely a case of the shallow end of the gene pool being culled: 
  • In Bristol, CT 46-year-old Shane Seaver died after he and another man went canoeing down a flooded street and the canoe capsized. Seaver's body washed ashore late Sunday in Plainville. 
  •  In Hockessin, DE  police found the bodies of two men who had sent a text message to a friend saying they were running through Irene during the height of the storm.
  • In Volusia County, FL  55-year-old Frederick Fernandez died Saturday off New Smyrna Beach after he was tossed off his (surf) board by massive waves caused by Irene.
  • In Flagler County, 55-year-old tourist James Palmer of New Jersey died Saturday in rough surf. 
  • 68-year-old Joseph Rocco of East Islip drowned while windsurfing in Bellport Bay.  (Really?  Windsurfing in a freaking hurricane?) 
  • A man died after his inflatable boat capsized on the Croton River. 
  • Katherine Morales Cruz, 15, of Manassas Park, Va., died Saturday in a two-car collision at an intersection where Hurricane Irene had knocked out power to the traffic lights. (Is stop, look, yield suspended during a hurricane?) 
  • Jose Manuel Farabia Corona, 21, of Dover died in a Pitt County traffic accident after his SUV went off a road and twice slammed into trees Saturday as Irene's began to make landfall. (I wonder if they bothered to do a blood alcohol level.) 
  • Deputies recovered the body of Melton Robinson Jr., who had been missing since jumping into the Cape Fear River as storms reached North Carolina. (Ditto Mr. Corona above.) 
  • A 58-year-old Harrisburg man was killed Sunday when a tree toppled onto his tent.  (Is camping in a hurricane that much different from sleeping on a railroad track?) 
  • A body recovered from the Deerfield River is believed to be that of a woman who fell in while watching flooding in Wilmington. 
  • 57-year-old William P. Washington of King William County was killed when a tree fell on him as he was cutting another tree Saturday night. (Just had to give that new chainsaw a tryout, huh?)
So there you have it folks. I do not mean to poke fun at anyone’s early demise, but to claim that any of these idiots was killed by a hurricane is comparable to blaming gravity for the death of someone jumping off the roof of a twenty story building.  

My name is John Shuey and I approve this message.

1 comment:

  1. God forbid (sorry) Hurricane Irene come near Ranger's Ballpark. They couldn't build the railings high enough.


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