As with most storms that hit land and
do considerable damage, all kind of stories and photos came out of
Hurricane Sandy (though it had been downgraded from a hurricane by
the time it came ashore, but never mind that).
Like most people, I read the stories,
watched the TV news coverage, looked up pictures online and basically
was thankful that all we got around here was the tail end of the
winds. Yeah, they were cold winds, but it could have been so much
I saw the 74 story high crane that was
knocked over and the house where the water was at the midway point of
a window. I saw cars disappear into rushing water and TV reporters
who never seem to learn standing right at the edge of the ocean as
the waves crashed into the shore.
But my "hold on a minute" instincts
kicked in when I saw the pictures of sharks swimming down a "Jersey
street," in someone's front yard and through a New York Subway
Now, I know that sharks have been found
in rivers and lakes and probably ponds, for all I know, due to storms
that throw huge amounts of ocean water onto land and sometimes there
are fish, including sharks, in that water.
That's not what made me lean back and
cast a jaundiced eye at the computer screen. No, it was the crispness
and almost professionalism of these photos that made me want to cry
foul. This wasn't somebody saying, "Oh my God, look at that!" as they took a shaky picture with their cell phone.
It wasn't just a black, blurry mass
in the water that somebody was trying to convince the viewer was a
shark. These pictures, and the sharks, were so sharp and crisp, you
could almost smell the seawater. Also, one of them appeared to be
taken from the front seat of a car, even though it looked like the
shark was swimming in five feet of water.
Be honest. Would you still be in your
car if the water was five feet and rising? And there were sharks
floating around? Even if you were, would you be so calm that the
picture came out looking like something in a coffee table book?
But they could be real. With cell
phones having cameras that can take pro style pictures with a tap on
the screen, anything is possible. I guess we'll find out sooner or
Sandy is the latest in a string of "storms of the century," or lifetime if you prefer. For the most
part, we're spared these storms because we're just far enough
inland, but occasionally we do get a whopper.
Believe it or not, next March will mark
20 years since the blizzard of 1993. For those of who were old enough
to live through it and remember, it doesn't seem possible it's
been that long. I wonder if anyone's ever done a story to see how
many kids came into the world nine months later?
Anyway, it probably doesn't seem that
long because every March, when the first breath of warm weather hits,
somebody will say, "Don't get too comfortable! Remember the
blizzard of '93!"
I always like to point out that this
was the only time in history something like that happened, so it's
much more likely to never happen again than it is to repeat itself
every March. People also seem to forget that snowstorm hit on March
13. I've heard it described as an unexpected spring storm, but
March 13 is still winter, at least for another week or so.
I'm sure Sandy will leave behind
billions of dollars in damage, and even though it didn't land in
Tennessee, my homeowners insurance will somehow go up.
Which makes me wonder, if an insurance
office gets hit, who pays for that?
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