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Just in time for football season, I’m taking a line from Brunswick County Emergency Services Director Anthony Marzano’s Facebook page: “It’s Monday morning…and everyone’s a quarterback.”
Yes, Anthony, I’m sure they are.
He, of course, is referring to the interesting human phenomenon of Monday-morning quarterbacking—the rare condition in which everyone has an opinion (usually of the would’ve, should’ve could’ve variety) about how the game should have been played.
Nine times out of 10, these people have never stepped foot on a football field in their lives, but they just would have done better, well, just because.
In this case, substitute football for hurricane preparation and response, and there you have it.
Word on the street and (and on the World Wide Web) is we were too prepared for Hurricane Irene, who a mere 24 hours off our coast, was a massive Category 3 hurricane, with tropical storm-force winds stretching nearly 300 miles from her center.
Emergency officials made too big a deal of the impending storm, and the manipulative media was too sensational with its coverage, they said.
On Thursday evening, which was also the eve of Irene’s arrival here, I was updating the website and our Facebook page, when the National Hurricane Center issued the following warning for its 11 p.m. briefing: “Hurricane Irene aims its fury toward the North Carolina Coast.”
That was my story. But those weren’t my words (hence, the quotation marks.) I am extremely cautious by nature, but when the National Hurricane Center uses such words as “fury” it tends to catch my attention.
So I, and a lot of folks around here, braced for her fury. Here at the Beacon, we stayed on top of every national and local update and warning. We worked incredibly hard to make sure we gave you all every morsel of information as it became available.
But we couldn’t have done it without the hard work and dedication of the folks at the Brunswick County Emergency Services Department, helmed by Marzano.
Want my Monday-morning assessment? Marzano is a fine quarterback and his team is fantastic.
Crews with Brunswick Electric Membership Corp. and Progress Energy worked through dangerous storm conditions to get people’s power back up and running.
Beach town officials closed bridges and issued evacuations for the safety of their residents and their tourists. Residents took the warnings to heart and prepared appropriately.
Everyone, and I mean everyone, handled this storm like a true professional. As disasters go, I’d give everyone in Brunswick County an A-plus.
There may be some room for interpretation or opinion in the old saying, “You can never be too skinny or too rich.”
But there’s no wiggle room in the next statement: “You can never be too prepared.”
You cannot. You simply cannot.
The Wall Street Journal has reported 2.4 million people evacuated for Hurricane Irene. At least 27 people died as a result of the storm, six of whom were in North Carolina, one of whom was in New Hanover County, and more than 5 million people were without power.
Too prepared? Too sensational? Tell that to the families of the 27 people who lost their lives.
Catastrophic damage was reported from Cape Hatteras north to Connecticut. Early reports of damage are around the $10-billion mark.
We were so lucky to have been spared from Irene’s fury in Brunswick County.
It’s a rare occasion when I have the opportunity to report good news, but this week’s Beacon really is one of good news—everyone in Brunswick County deserves a pat on the back for preparation and response to Hurricane Irene.
And for those of y’all who think you could have done better, save it for football season. It’s almost here.