Hurricane Ian was a hurricane. Yeah that’s a tautology but it’s important to point that out right off the bat. It was a hurricane. It was not a climatecane or a hurriwarm or any sort of weird or unique Frankenstein’s monster made of air conditioning and coal.
It was a hurricane. A powerful, devastating, furious storm.
This category four beast is not the biggest or worst to ever strike land, but it is a contender in the great hall of hurricanes. It took trees and sand. It took lives and homes and livelihoods. It took entire communities.
Normally we’d start Sunday with a political post at Right Scoop — and in a way I suppose the climate change alarmism is a political aspect of this story — but as a Texan familiar with the devastation that nature’s great and horrible power to destroy (and a watcher of weather like anyone my age), I wanted to start out by acknowledging what has been lost.
Sen. Marco Rubio this morning put it blunty. Fort Myers Beach is gone. It was a business and tourism community, a lovely one, very old school. We visited in-laws there many times and even tossed around the idea of retirement nearby. But it is flattened. Wiped off the map.
Floridians will rebuild, but that does not mean the loss isn’t keen and shocking.
Describing it is one thing, but seeing it is another. Thee first two videos here are during the storm from a storm chaser, putting the wind and storm surge in shocking perspective.
The aftermath is equally shocking.
Fox’s Stuart Varney on the destruction of Florida’s economy from Hurricane Ian.
This is a storm that will live in the memory of Floridians the rest of their lives, like Andrew and others before it.
And for a touch more politics: Nationally, this won’t be treated like Katrina was, for three reasons.
- Democrat President – This is pretty self-explanatory. The person in the White House isn’t a Republican so the media can’t get any traction playing finger-point. They didn’t ask where Biden was as Floridians were suffering (Doing fundraisers against Republican governors). They won’t ask why he isn’t there already surveying the damage. He’s a Democrat so free pass.
- Too big, too many victims, too racially diverse. – The storm was too big. It hit too many places, crossing all demographics of income, politics, and most importantly, race. You can’t make a race game out of it for ratings and fundraising because there are too many White victims. And Florida voted for Trump and DeSantis. And Florida didn’t covid hard enough.
- The press need time to focus on shilling for Democrats – Too much hurricane coverage would distract from their job of villainizing Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott, acting like th4e end of Roe v Wade is the Handmaid’s Tale, and telling everyone that democracy will end if Republicans win.
Okay I actually did end up saying a bunch of politics, fine. Ya got me. But that doesn’t change what I said, the devastation in Florida is massive and terrible, and the people there will live with that destruction for a long, long time. They aren’t thinking about whether the press are being jerks about it, they are wondering how to put their lives back together. Let’s try to remember that more than the political football, at least for a few days. It’s hard for me, too, obviously, but I plan to offer what I can in the way of donations and prayers.
OPEN THREAD I