Nan’s Post-Hurricane Irene Report

Post-Hurricane Irene Report

So I went down to Shelburne Falls to see all the looters. Big shopping baskets full of well-made crafts being pushed up the hills, disappearing into random houses – but there weren’t any. And I thought, “BOY, these people DO NOT know ANYTHING about hurricanes!”

The only person I saw get in trouble was a guy who walked across the iron bridge when it was blocked off. The cop kind of acted like he had stolen the bridge – he was darn sarcastic in his questioning about why the man thought he was better than anyone else and could walk across the roped-off bridge, but even then the mocked pedestrian was quiet and respectful in his answers. He didn’t shoot anyone, didn’t scream or do anything that would actually get him arrested. I don’t know about this place. Before the next hurricane I’m going to have to whip you guys into hurricane shape!

And so you can now add to your list of things not to trust:

  1. Creeks
  2. Hurricane forecasters who tell you EXACTLY what is going to happen! Because THEY DON’T KNOW! Hurricanes are capricious as creeks and, when you are looking for wind, they’ll turn a creek into a bulldozer. When a cataclysm is forecast for New York City, they’ll tiptoe past that and move an innocent quilt shop that never hurt anyone to the brink of a dam just for fun.

It may make sense now why so many people stayed in New Orleans for Hurricane Katrina (that changed the American natural disaster vocabulary and insurance business exactly six years ago yesterday.) You go through one or two (or more) of those kinds of alarms per summer and you finally think, “Yeah, whatever.” You evacuate over and over again; (and down there they have to drive a couple hundred miles away – not just over to Sanderson Academy and back,) you run out of time and money, or you think, “This house is so old, it’s withstood a score of hurricanes. It’ll be fine!” And then the big one comes and it ain’t.

But I am glad for all the good things that happened yesterday and, if anyone did lose everything, write to me. I have good advice on how to get through that.

But next time I’m evacuating to Louisiana, where it’s safe.


Nan Parati - Elmer's StoreNan Parati

Nan is the proprietor of Elmer’s Store in Ashfield, MA. A New England transplant from the Deep South following Hurricane Katrina, Nan shares her southern wit, wisdom and charm in her column, “Notes from Nan.”

2 Comments on “Nan’s Post-Hurricane Irene Report

  1. So … I’m with the cop on that one. I have no qualms with a cop who is trying to do his job and protect human life. I can understand his anger and clarity.

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