I will say this for not only the economic sector of the United States, but also the hurricane; I am beginning to believe this country is like the cat with nine lives. Once again, what could have been with Kyle will not be as bad as thought due to it staying east. Maine will certainly have a wet and windy day, but Cape Cod and nearby areas were spared—this time.
With each “near miss”, whether New England, North Carolina, Florida or New Orleans; there builds a mistaken assumption that the “really bad one” will ever hit. This is exactly what led to the whole Katrina debacle and perhaps the Ike disaster in Galveston. When it comes to nature, one must respect that as humans, we do not control it.
If a few meteorological details would have been slightly different, the two storms (Kyle and the unnamed storm) which flirted with the country the past few days could have resulted in a much worse scenario. The headlines would be quite different today if a category 1 hurricane had ripped into Wilmington, North Carolina on Friday and a category 2 hurricane tore across Long Island last night. Just as most people do not have any idea how close we came to total economic meltdown this week, so they don’t know how close we came to two hurricanes hitting the coast within two days of each other.
Congressional action prevented the economic hurricane from crushing the United States economy. Atmospheric changes in winds and pressure prevented the two hurricanes from buffeting the coastline. The economic mess is still there and after the initial hoopla over the accord reached by Congress and the White House, the underlying problems will result in another crisis down the road. Weather conditions still favor the development of tropical systems over the next few weeks.
The moral to the story is simply that we must not become complacent either in regards to the financial mess or the potential for future storms. Perhaps there is cause for rejoicing that the world’s financial markets will not crash tomorrow, but there is no reason to sit back and think “all is well” either. There is good reason to rejoice in that Kyle snubbed Martha and her vineyard and decided to check out the sights in Nova Scotia. But, Laura is bound to pop up somewhere soon and where she goes, at the moment nobody knows.
Perhaps, if we are still around to talk about it, down the road we can look back on the last weekend of September of 2008 as NOT the weekend of devastating economic storms and double hurricanes; but rather as the weekend we were temporarily spared, as a country, from the pain and suffering of three storms hitting at the same time. However great the rejoicing is today, I pray it does not lend itself to apathy in the future.