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Monday, July 11, 2005

Hurricane Dennis: Afterthoughts

I and those I care about came through the storm unharmed.  I was very glad that his maximum sustained winds weakened 15 mph before landfall.  The difference between a moderate Category 3 and a low-Category 4, in the damage it causes, is significant, and while I'm very sad for those who were adversely affected by Hurricane Dennis, that sadness is tempered by the knowledge that it could very easily have been far worse.  Living in any part of the Gulf Coast, you live with the knowledge that, in any year, it may be your time for a big storm to hit.  It's a fear we all live with, and one with which we have all become unhappily accustomed.

Those in the affected areas will once again have a tough time rebuilding after this storm, and with this only being July 11, more than 3 months from the end of hurricane season, the anxiety of those along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States and other nations will only continue to rise.  As for me, I hope any storms that do form move so fast that they shear apart as we've seen in the past, go into the shipping lanes in the Atlantic, far from land, or, if they do make landfall, arrive only as a minimal Category 1.

Tropical Depression 5 is currently in the Atlantic and expected to organize into Tropical Storm Emily, possibly as early as this evening, with possible upgrading to hurricane status on Thursday.  Nothing would please me more than for this to be inaccurate, but as I've said time and again during Dennis, when it comes to the safety of yourself and/or those you care about, it's far better to be wrong and alive than it is to be wrong and dead.

For those reading this in the Southeast and elsewhere, stay safe, and keep a watchful eye on the skies.  You never know when they can turn ugly.

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