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Hurricane season barreling down upon us once again

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By Laura Lewis, Reporter

Can you believe 2011 is almost halfway through?

Can you believe hurricane season has officially begun?

That’s how it goes.

Just when we’re finally out of the woods of a long, somewhat coldish winter (forcing some of us weather-wimps to don socks and jackets and baby-striped knit caps), we enter into warm-weather season. It always brings its “four H’s” downside—heat, humidity, hurricanes, and horrible summer TV.

I’d also like to add mosquitoes, sunburn, and striving to find a parking place at Sunset Beach. You may have heard there’s a new, improved way for travelers and privileged locals to get to the island (and evacuate) this year.

But as soon as the deluxe high-rise bridge was going up, the town began planning and ultimately implementing fewer places for ordinary, average-Joe day-trippers to park. (For more information, see numerous “no parking” signs the town recently erected on every numbered street and others running perpendicular to Main Street, along with previous curmudgeonly critiques published in this space.)

Now town committees and town council have been discussing, on occasion, where to place all the pretty future landscaping and “Welcome to Sunset Beach” sign as traffic descends off the state-taxpayer-built, multi-million-dollar bridge toward the beautiful island. (Or it will be beautiful once sewer work is completed.) My question is, why bother?

As for the weather outlook, hurricanes are definitely not welcome. But we really can’t complain about the possibility. Not yet.

How can we, considering what Joplin, Mo., and many other places devastated by tornadoes have been going through this spring?

Best advice for this region: Fasten your seat belts, stock up on hurricane supplies, and stay tuned to that horrible summer TV (or www.brunswickbeacon.com) for any breaking weather news as long as the power’s still on.

Bear in mind it’s been a long time since “horrible hurricanes” Hazel (1954) and Hugo (1989) wrought havoc around here (more H words). And, all things considered, we’ve had a number of relatively mild hurricane seasons in recent years, so how much longer can our luck hold?

Forecasters recently have been forecasting (as they’re paid to do) these could be interesting times and an active season, with 12 to 18 named tropical storms, six to 10 hurricanes and three to six major hurricanes emanating sometime, somewhere, during the season, which is June 1 through Nov. 30.

Yeah, yeah. That’s what they say every year, right?

Be on the lookout, be vigilant, and especially be grateful Mother Nature offers a longer warning period for hurricanes than it does for tornadoes.

 

Laura Lewis is a staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or e-mail llewis@brunswickbeacon.com.