Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Eye On The Storm

I love watching weather coverage. It could be of tornadoes, blizzards, hurricanes, whatever. If there's live coverage of heavy weather, I'm watching it. That's why I was so excited for Hurricane Gustav to make landfall. Certainly I didn't want New Orleans devastated again (nor the oil rigs in the Gulf damaged), but there's something about watching potential disasters as they're happening that holds a twisted allure for me. The hurricane was scheduled to make landfall around 8am pdt on Monday, and having the day off of work meant it was all set up perfectly for a day full of destruction. That said, Gustav was a disappointment.

There's never been a more routine hurricane in recorded history. It rained a lot. Lots of wind. Some flooding. Portions of rooftops blew away. There was absolutely nothing special about it. Oh, and you know the networks were hoping for Katrina 2. They wanted chaos, looting, swift water rescues. I don't blame them a bit. Ratings were through the (leaky) roof for Katrina and Rita coverage. I split my time between CNN and Fox, and both were equally good, though I got a little tired of hearing how the levees might break (which they didn't) and how oil production would be hurt (which it wasn't). I loved how the CNN anchor even had his sleeves rolled up at the desk like he was about to throw sand bags around a nursing home. Compelling TV, even if there wasn't really a payoff at the end. Then again, with oil prices dropping because the damage wasn't as severe as anticipated, maybe there is a payoff after all.

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