Irene Post-Mortem

Ken AshfordDisastersLeave a Comment

The talk this morning seems to be, "Well, it wasn't as bad as predicted for NYC and other areas.  So did local officials over react?"


First of all, the North Carolina coast saw some heavy damage, and so did Vermont.  So if NYC and other areas in between managed to go relatively unscathed, then it was only a matter of luck.

Second of all, at the risk of sounding obvious but apparently some people need to be reminded, weather forecasting is not an EXACT science.  I mean, the number of factors that go into whether there will be coastal flooding on any particular beach are huge.  There's the wind speed, the timing of the tides, the amount of rain, the topography of the beach, the topography of the ocean floor, etc.  There's absolutely no way any forecaster can predict exactly how it will be for every inch of coastline.

Which brings me to the local officials, some of whom are being criticized for exercising an overabundance of caution by calling for evacuations, etc.

Don't listen to your critics, guys.  You are supposed to exercise an overabundance of caution.  We learned that from Katrina, if nothing else.