Banner photo of Larry Eugene Meredith, Patrick Flynn and Ronald Tipton, 2016.

The good times are memories
In the drinking of elder men...

-- Larry E.
Time II

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Ghost of John Bolaris: the Great Mid-Atlantic Nor'easter of 2015

I woke expecting today to be everything I did not want. There would be no getting out. No visiting a friend as I usually do on Tuesdays. There would be no morning walk. Instead my exercise would be found at the end of s shovel, that is if we had survived the Armageddon predicted. As I woke in the cozy warmth of my blanket and not buried in the broken remains of my collapsed roof was at least some relief. After all, just before bedtime some talking head on the Weather Channel was prattling on about the distinct possibilities of fallen-in roofs from the over-bearing weight of what was to befall us, not to mention the downed power lines flinging us into darkness and stranded motorists perishing from hyprthermia on our drifted roadways.

This was it for the Mid-Atlantic and East Coast, the white swirling equivalent to Katrina hitting New Orleans. This was a "Historic" snowstorm about to fall. Its name was Juno and it was a mean-bastard of a blizzard. Schools had already announced closings as did some businesses. Public transportation was already going to cut off early and no planes would be flying into or out of the area until who knew when, maybe never again. Philadelphia's mayor called for closing the city. New York was to be devastated, New Jersey was to wash out to sea on giant waves and New England was to be obliverated.

This was the perfect storm. First a Yankee Clipper would soften us up and then a Nor'eastern would drive an icicle through our heart.

There was nothing like this since John Bolaris announced the Storm of the Century on WCAU in 2001.

And it pretty much was as much of a bust.

We just can't blame poor John this time.

I opened the front door preparing my back for the pain to come and then stopped short. Huh…wha…?
The street looked like a street. It had a white film, looked chilly, but had no depth. Cars were not only going down our hill, but coming up it with no spinning or slipping wheels. All the sidewalks looked as if everyone had beaten me to shoveling.

There was a bit of fluff covering my driveway, but the dreaded wet, heavy stuff it was not. It was a light powdery sheen that sweep away like dandelion seed as my shovel slid through it.  I was not at all imprisoned within my house, but free to go for my morning walk after all.

I choose to go to Alapocas where I haven't traipsed for a long time and found its trails practically clear of any slipperiness. The unannounced freezing rain that hit us a week ago was a lot more troubling then this Historic Storm of the Ages predicted this week.

When I got home I put on the Weather Channel and two weather-babes were talking about the storm. They were doing their best to pretend it was as horrible as they told us it would be yesterday. The one girl was bouncing up and down on her seat, smiling and gleeful as she described the 5 inches that fell on New York City, but especially that…oh…oh…oh…there were places in new England with 20 inches and uh…uh…uh…the winds are whipping up the ocean by the shore and ah…ah…ah give me more, give me more!

What is wrong with these people?

I heard a lot of excuses today, how this gave us practice for the big one when it does come and how
there were only 11 accidents on Connecticut highways last night and how it was best to err on the side
of overkill.  Yeah, we need take precautions and we need to be warned of possible bad weather. What we don't need is several days of hype and hysteria. We don't need the threats of roof collapses and frozen corpses along the highway. We had worse storms last year than this. We have had many storms of badness last year and storms even worse than what was being predicted this time. The first year I lived in this state, February 1983, we were hit with two feet of snow.

There is an advantage to living as long as I have. I've been through these weather events all ready. I survived the deadly blizzard of March 1958, the one called the President's Day Storm, the one that dropped 50 inches of snow in towns nearby. It clogged up the roads and tore down power lines in multiple states. As for my family we were left with no electricity, no heat and no water for a week. The main highway was drifted shut and even the plow trucks struggled. No one was going anywhere for food or rescue.


Yet there was no big media circus promoting that coming disaster. There shouldn't be now either. The news should be the news and the weather the weather and not always a movie trailer of approaching terror. And when the storm arrives and underwhelms us as did this one we lose our trust in those handsome and pretty weather people. They become the boys and girls calling wolf and with each new storm we believe them less. And then one day they will warn us of real danger and won't be believed and people will die.

But I guess the ghost storm of John Bolaris is too sexy not to promote.

1 comment:

Ron said...

Lar,
Well said. When I turned on my TV last night to get my daily fill of MSNBC prattle, all they were talking about was "The Storm of the Century." Uh huh. I suspected then typical media overkill. Who in the media makes these decisions anyway to go for the Armageddon (remember the Swine Flu and Avian Flu epidemic that was supposed to wipe out millions?) scenario anyway. It would be laughable if not for the fact that when a really big storm does hit, no one will believe it because Those Who Think They're In The Know have cried "Wolf!" one too many times. And that is exactly what happened here. That plus the politicians doing a little CYA just in case it was The Big Storm so they could say "See, we were ready. We're not George Bush and Katrina."
Ron