Here I am, rock you like a hurricane (Sandy)
Seeing the East Coast’s devastation from Hurricane Sandy should make us realize how lucky we are to live here in Colorado where the only tragic, life-altering disaster we’ve ever had occurred when the Broncos hired Josh McDaniels.
Yes, we get tornados. But those happen on the Eastern plains, which really isn’t a part of Colorado, otherwise the glossy official state travel magazines would show less Steamboat and Telluride, and more Lamar.
We do get wildfires, which, technically, are a natural disaster.
But unless you have a second home in the mountains, this only affects you in the sense you can’t barbecue some weekends and fireworks shows are delayed 60 days. Here in Colorado, we often celebrate Independence Day and Labor Day together.
I don’t classify forest fires as a natural disaster because they often occur in remote, uninhabited areas, where hundreds of thousands of acres are destroyed, and the total estimated cost of damages turns out to be like $14.
My dad fought fires for 20 years for the U.S. Forest Service, so all I know about disasters I learned from him, which is that whenever there was a devastating forest fire, he got overtime.
And when he got overtime, we got to go to Disneyland. Back in the ‘70s, my brother and I could often be found wandering the woods, carrying cans of gasoline and a blowtorch.
We’re very lucky here, in that Grand Junction is one of the safest places in the country. So I say this with the smugness that can only come from a resident in a safe, landlocked area when I say: I don’t get the whole hurricane thing.
First off, hurricane news coverage is boring. Winds blow, waves crash. People are shown stocking up on toilet paper and Spam, rather than doing what most of us would do in that situation, which is: drive as fast as we can to a Motel 6 in Bismarck, N.D.
I only watch it to see the live reports from the windbreaker-clad reporters, standing seaside, bravely risking their lives to provide their fellow citizens with updates.
One day, though, one of these heroes will stay out there too long and be sucked up violently into the eye of the storm, never to be heard from again.
That’s my dream, anyway.
I also don’t get how any able-bodied person could get stranded in the storm. The warning “LEAVE NOW OR DIE” doesn’t seem to need much clarification.
I pretty much hate the government, but if they told me that a natural disaster is going to hit Grand Junction and I should leave or risk death? Well, I hear Phoenix is pleasant this time of year.
That’s what I never understood about Hurricane Katrina: People who willingly purchased a home BELOW sea level in a hurricane-prone area — who ignored two warnings and a mandatory evacuation order — spent a week in the Superdome calling FEMA stupid.
I do feel for the folks on the Eastern seaboard dealing with Sandy’s aftermath.
Have you seen the photos? I always thought the term “mortgage underwater” was just an expression. Plus there are reports of six-hour-long lines to purchase gas. Six hours spent waiting to buy something is excruciating — as anyone who has ever bought a hot dog at a G.J. Rockies game can attest.
As this is written, power remains out in some sections of New York. Unfortunately, this does not include the section where “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” is filmed.
Fallon appeared on last Friday’s NBC fundraiser. He performed for some of the victims, which sort of seems like rubbing salt into their wounds.
The show’s headliners were Sting, Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi. In addition to electricity, the storm apparently knocked out all music created after 1988.
I don’t know if they were victims, but the image that sticks out in my mind is the photo showing a bunch of 20-somethings sitting around in a Chase Bank ATM kiosk in Manhattan, engaged in that most essential of life’s necessities: charging their laptops. One hopes the soon-to-be-operational Dells and iPads would be put to noble use — saving babies, for example. My money says a Facebook status update is more likely.
As the cleanup continues, questions about the cause are being asked. Was this just a freak storm? Global warming? How could this disaster happen?
I don’t have the answers. But the fact that Josh McDaniels now coaches in Massachusetts should not be discounted.