Tag Archives: hurricanes

We humans are such pipsqueaks

The story that is playing out in the Midwest is one that we see and hear about constantly.

Human beings seek to employ all their technological skill, know-how and expertise to corral Mother Nature.

So, what happens when levees burst? What happens when Mother Nature tells us in a voice so powerful that we cannot comprehend it? We experience tragedy, misery, mayhem. Many of us scratch our heads and wonder: How did this happen and what can we do to prevent it?

Look, I have no answer to any of that. I don’t farm the land. I don’t raise livestock. I do not seek ways to keep my land dry or to avoid the kind of flooding pictured in the photo attached to this blog post.

I simply am left to marvel at humankind’s continued effort to subdue forces that we cannot control, no matter how smart or knowledgeable we think we are.

Sure, we can count some successes in that effort. They built a seawall along Galveston Island in response to a 1900 hurricane that destroyed the growing town along the Gulf Coast of Texas. The seawall has essentially done its job.

Yet we hear about other attempts that fail. In recent years we have watched the Missouri River spill over levees in the Dakotas, destroying thousands of acres of agricultural production land. Then as now, it was the result of our meager effort to control the flow of a mighty river.

The lesson here? The river is going to go where the Almighty intended for it to go, no matter what we do to prevent it.

It’s just good to keep our human power in its proper perspective.

Feeling oddly ‘guilty’ as Michael thrashes Florida Panhandle

Call it a form of “survivor’s guilt,” if you wish.

I am feeling oddly out of place today as I watch the news out of Florida, Alabama, Georgia and possibly the Carolinas. Our fellow Americans are enduring Hurricane Michael’s unprecedented wrath.

Here? In North Texas? Oh, my. Our weather is postcard-perfect: 70 degrees, bright sunshine, a light breeze. Fall has arrived in the Metroplex.

Not so for our friends and fellow citizens way down yonder, southeast of us!

The Carolinas are still recovering from the havoc that Hurricane Florence brought ashore. Now it’s Hurricane Michael’s turn to become flood Americans with indelible memories of just how savage Mother Nature’s wrath can become.

It blasted ashore after being spotted only a few days ago. Hurricane preparedness officials had little time to plan how to cope with it. To its credit, federal, state and local authorities mustered their first responders who — as is their custom — reacted heroically in the face of the storm’s savagery.

Meanwhile, those of us far away are basking in sunshine. We’re also sending all the good karma and prayers we can to those who at this moment are fighting for their lives against forces far beyond mere humans’ meager limits.

If all of that assuages my feelings of guilt, well, it doesn’t matter. I just want this storm to do what it will do … and then vanish.

Heroes are answering the call again

Here we go yet again.

Fires explode across tens of thousands of acres, driven great distances by hurricane-force winds. Homes are incinerated. People’s lives are put in extreme jeopardy. Prized possessions vanish in the extreme heat.

Who answers the call to help? The firefighters, police, emergency medical personnel. That’s who.

It’s happening yet again in southern California. Those dreaded Santa Ana winds are devastating a region and imperiling the lives of millions of Americans.

It should go without saying, but these men and women are the truest heroes imaginable. They run into the firestorm. They fight these unspeakable forces from the air and on the ground. They expose themselves to heat, flame, smoke and utter exhaustion.

And then we have neighbors helping neighbors. They, too, deserve our prayers and good wishes as they all — every one of them — battle to save what they can against forces far stronger than anything they can ever hope to control.

This has been a tough year for so many Americans. The Texas Gulf Coast and Florida are still battling to recover from the savagery of hurricane wind and rain. Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands residents cannot yet get full power and potable water restored after enduring their own misery from yet another storm.

The Santa Rosa fires up north from the inferno that is engulfing southern California at this moment brought their own measure of agony to beleaguered residents and the responders who rushed to their aid.

We should salute them all. We should pray for their safety. We should hope for as speedy a recovery as is humanly possible.

Thank you, heroes. All of you make the rest of us so proud.