Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Weather Center

Big news from the Atlantic Ocean: Hurricane Bill is now a Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds up to 135 mph and its sights set for Bermuda. Well, almost. In the next 24 hours Bill is expected to begin a gradual turn northwest, but most models suggest the storm will veer just west of the island (see above). We’ll definitely get some rain, and the swell on the south shore should be head-high or bigger (hear that surfers?), but the chance of a direct hit seems pretty slim. That’s great news for Bermuda although most people I’ve met today aren’t buying it. Having just returned from my local hardware store preparedness is the order of the day. It was amazing. Or amazingly scary, I should say. Hordes of people were snapping up batteries, tarps, flashlights, rope—and whatever else they could fit in their shopping baskets—then returning for more. It was nuts. Workers could barely keep the items on the shelves but no doubt Bermudians have far more experience at this than I do. I think I was just a kid in New York the last time I endured a hurricane of any strength and I'm sure it was paltry at best. There was a lesson to be learned here—so I caved and bought the fear that Gorham’s was selling: Two flashlights, a few rolls of duct tape, and enough batteries to last me through 2010. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

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