Hurricane Irene – Calm Before the Storm?

I was planning on going to The Great State of Main Air Show on Sunday, but even if they are not saying it yet, its been canceled for Sunday. Even at half a tropical storm they are not going to fly on Sunday and I’m sure they are not going to leave the aircraft at the airport when they can simply fly out Saturday evening. Instead I’ll probably spend the three hours I would have been driving to and from the show to go towards the beach and see what preparations are being put in place. Stay tuned….

Way up here in New Hampshire we’ve been bracing ourselves for Hurricane Irene. It is slated to hit Sunday morning. The media hype has already been colliding with reality and the storm is projected to only be a tropical storm by the time it hits us. For us as a state, NH will fair well against a tropical storm. Heck there is no ice and as long as the winds stay under 60mph we’ll only have minor statewide damage. We get real honest blizzards every winter, though our trees don’t have leaves when that happens.

Back in 1991 I was a Police Officer when Hurricane Bob hit. It was all hands on deck at the department where I worked. We prepared for a full response, but in the end we didn’t need one. My direct memories are that it was not a huge deal. I remember downed trees, plenty of trees on fire with wires burning, a loss of most phone lines (before widespread cell phones) and closing of lots of roads. I also recall being released early after the brunt of the storm passed. From all current indications Bob was a much stronger storm than Irene.

That all being said, there we two deaths in New Hampshire and for those two people it was the worst and last hurricane of their lives. So even if its less likely for something to happen to you, it still doesn’t matter what the odds are when its your turn. My personal plan is to no be in line and to go last. I don’t want a turn.

My preparations are that the generator is fueled up and ready to go. I’m cleaning up the yard and literally tying down anything that can’t make it inside. Then I’ll stay home with the family and ride it out.  BTW thats one great thing about not being a cop. Instead of being called out for all these major events and never being home. I get to be home with my family. It seems silly, but if you are any type of public safety employee you know exactly what I’m talking about.

I’m choosing not to name the department I worked for. That is intentional. With a little sleuthing I’m sure you can find out. I will say they were a fantastic group of people to work with. From those days in that photo there are two officers that are now Chiefs of Police, two State Troopers, two Sheriff Deputies, a Fire Marshal and I’m sure I lost track of a few others that are doing great things. I’m sure you will be able to easily spot me.

Looking back at that photo I realize what a Thin Blue Line we were. 17 officers for a town at 11,000 people. Thats one officer for every 650 people. Its a good thing only a small percentage of people actually cause problems. Of course when you are working you get called out to everyone who is causing problems, so in your world the percentage of problem people seems a lot larger.


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