Thursday, September 8, 2011

DOOM! DOOM, I tell you!

Honestly, trying to get a bit of appropriate news for the area during a potential natural disaster is baffling as all get-out. The news agencies are filled to the brim, with little more than bad news, showing videos and pictures of roads that are either under water or being washed out.

The names of some of the places are the same for long stretches. Reports of flooding along the Susquehanna River can stretch across numerous counties, including the one I live in. So when they report about such flooding, it MIGHT include us...but we can't tell.

At this moment, seated in our apartment, are three guests: my neighbor and her daughters, 12 and 14 years of age. The ladies, including Becky, are essentially glued to the television, listening to the reports of our pending Armageddon. The ongoing problem is that most of the reports that they're watching have little to do with where we are.

How do I know? Because I called two agencies that would actually KNOW. First, I phoned the non-emergency line for the local police department. The cop who answered essentially said that our town wasn't in any danger. With this news, we breathed a sigh of relief. But then we kept watching/listening to the news, and we started fearing that I'd been misinformed. Thus, I called the local FEMA-esque agency for clarification. I'm told the levies are at a height of 36 and a half feet. Thus far, the river waters, (the agent checked the most recent report), was at 19 and a half feet. Local estimates say the waters should top off at about 32 feet at the most.

So we're experiencing a state of panic for nothing, really. I'm surrounded by women - two adults, two teens, and two felines (also female) - for the sake of keeping my stress levels at maximum.

This day has been an unnecessary exercise in excitement. I understand the need for the media to report what's been going on where, but a sense of organization might've been nice. Make a column of flood warnings and flood watches, then report on them individually. Then have another column under which are the names of places NOT in danger, and report on them as well. Really, we can all use our imaginations when it comes to muddy waters flooding the insides of homes, so your reporter in the field doesn't need to be showing us as many personal tragedies as possible. Life is rough for everyone in those areas, so go back to the station and shut up! Organize the news in such a way as to keep people from panicking, instead of working to be as disorganized as possible.

As for me...? My guests have gone. Becky is taking a nap, as the useless excitement has worn her out. And I am going to find something that's not weather related to relax.

Be well, and DFTBA!

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