Hur­ri­cane Irma spared us its worst

The Palm Beach Post - - OPINION: THE DEBATE STARTS HERE -

We were lucky, Palm Beach County.

Hur­ri­cane Irma, af­ter taunt­ing us for days with its record-break­ing size and power, spared us its worst.

It may not seem that way to some. Not if you’re one of the roughly 300,000 res­i­dents still with­out power. Not if you’re one of the thou­sands of res­i­dents of Del­ray Beach and un­in­cor­po­rated county who still can’t flush their toi­lets. And not if you’re the par­ent of one of the school dis­trict’s 193,000 stu­dents who won’t re­turn to school un­til Mon­day — at the ear­li­est.

But we were.

You see, dozens of peo­ple here weren’t left dead in Irma’s wake as in the Caribbean. A quar­ter of our homes here weren’t made un­in­hab­it­able as they were in the Florida Keys. There was no 10- or 15-foot storm surge here as was seen in tiny Good­land on Marco Is­land.

We are in­stead left with some trees down, spot flood­ing, long gas sta­tion lines and a chance to show some grat­i­tude.

There are, of course, those who, ready to hurl the asi­nine “fake news” moniker, com­plain­ing that the me­dia over­hyped the storm. Re­ally? Yes, we should be skep­ti­cal of hype — es­pe­cially from du­bi­ous sources. But when the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice says the most pow­er­ful hur­ri­cane ever recorded in the At­lantic Ocean is headed in your di­rec­tion, the pru­dent thing is to shut­ter the house, grab the kids and get the hell out of the way.

As The Post’s Kim­berly Miller re­ported, “Mother Na­ture stepped in to tweak Irma’s plan” to de­liver a worst-case sce­nario for our county.

“By the grace of Cuba’s north­ern coast, which was abraded by Irma be­fore the strong Cat 4 hur­ri­cane reached the Florida Straits, and a tongue of dry air sucked into its mas­sive, state-swal­low­ing wind field, the storm weak­ened slightly and couldn’t re­gain strength be­fore mak­ing its first land­fall Sun­day morn­ing at Cud­joe Key,” Miller wrote.

Yes, the vast ma­jor­ity of us were damn lucky. As good a time as any to show some grat­i­tude, and vol­un­teer to help those that weren’t.

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