Ernesto on Wednesday rampaged across Cuba like a two-year old would stomp across my living room knocking over knick-knacks and staining my carpet. The tropical storm could have gust of winds as much as 60 miles per hour which is basically as much as any other storm. According to Fox News and CNN, the storm could become a strength two hurricane by the time it reaches Florida.
Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center said Ernesto could reach hurricane strength by the time it makes landfall on the Florida mainland. The storm was expected to strengthen as it approached the Keys and southeast Florida as early as Tuesday night ? exactly one year after Hurricane Katrina pummeled the Gulf Coast.
“Make sure you have the supplies for the 72 hours after the storm,” Gov. Jeb Bush warned residents Monday in Tallahassee, a day after declaring a state of emergency for all of Florida. “A hurricane’s a hurricane, and it has a devastation we’ve already seen. All you have to do is rewind to last year and see.”
Currently, Ernesto is breaking up over Cuba with winds around 45 MPH. It will reintensify slightly as it reaches the Florida Keys, but it will never reach hurricane status and all of these news shows know it.
It is exactly one year after Hurricane Katrina tragedy. Why not memorialize the occasion by scaring the old folks in Florida? Yes, even a tropical storm can be dangerous, but it doesn’t require panicking people, making them run to the grocery store and then filming them as they riot over milk and bread. The media will hype every storm over a drizzle for the next year, then they wonder why people become so cavalier when real hurricanes begins to form. Let’s keep the weather data in perspective and save the panic button for when we might actually need it.