Press-Republican

Ouellette

November 4, 2012

Strange disappointment after storm skips area

This week a terrifying storm swept up the Eastern Seaboard, causing billions of dollars of destruction and leaving millions of people without power.

Dubbed Superstorm Sandy, the rare merger of a tropical hurricane with a winter storm front and frigid Canadian air brought tragedy and devastation to several states.

Here, however, there was a strange disappointment.

You could see it in the eyes and faces of the various news crews. They were ramped up for storm coverage, with special logos, colorful maps and tones of somber urgency.

Every five minutes they would break into regular programming for an update; an ominous warning ran across the screen continuously. Murder, politics and sports were replaced with all-weather coverage.

The part-time weathermen, the retired weathermen and freelance weathermen were all called in to supplement the full-time weathermen, each of them hooked up to an IV full of Red Bull when the cameras were off.

Reporters were sent out to deserted piers and ransacked grocery stores and survival bunkers, all of them dressed in rain slickers and mukluks, with survival knives strapped to their thighs.

The region was quick to catch on to the gravity of the situation. School after school sent students home early and canceled upcoming classes. One elementary school announced that it would cancel classes forever, instead offering survival training “to allow children to survive in the post-apocalyptic world.”

Families stocked up on canned goods, bottled water, propane, flashlights, Twinkies, candles, ice, umbrellas, cell-phone batteries, beef jerky and ham radios. They boarded up windows and covered their pets in plastic.

And then … nothing.

Every five minutes I stuck a tentative hand out the door. “I think I felt a drop! And my hair was definitely tousled by the breeze!”

The North Country, however, suffered through no more than a half-decent kite-flying afternoon and 45 seconds of really hard rain the next morning.

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