Hurricane Irene And The Fog Of War

They believed their eyes though they couldn’t see through the fog of war.

The fog of war is a term used to describe the uncertainty in situation awareness experienced by participants in military operations. – source Wikipedia.

We’ve just had a collective fog of war experience. We’ve just been through a strong tropical storm or weak hurricane.

As it came through people were already complaining about the hype. They believed their eyes. They didn’t realize how much was hidden by the fog of war!

When the fog lifted things looked pretty awful.

There are trees down everywhere. There is power out everywhere. Tonight over half the state is without electricity.

There will be no train service into the city Monday. It’s probable some tracks were damaged and might have to be relaid.

We showed some scary and sad flooding video on-the-air. Houses and cars were underwater. In Bristol two guys put a canoe in a flood swollen river then hopped in! One is dead.

Helaine and I spent last night in Hartford. Tonight we drove home. We suspected there was power at our house based on a neighbor’s report.

I turned off Route 10. The road darkened. On this moonless night the electricity was off.

We made a right and noticed we wouldn’t have been able to go straight. Wooden sawhorses were blocking the road. A very large tree in a horizontal position was not far behind.

There was wooden shrapnel everywhere!

We were very lucky. We have power. We lost a tree or very large limb, but it fell harmlessly across the driveway. It missed our connection to the local transformer by around ten feet. A peach tree I’d planted unsuccessfully 20 years ago was felled as well. There is a carpet of leaves and branches in our yard and driveway.

I went down to the basement. Dry.

I still know the family of the man who dug my foundation. Thank you John. It’s the best basement ever.

I am glad to be done with Irene whom I first met as Invest 97 over a week ago. It has been like watching a car accident in slow motion.

The weather forecast in the week leading up to the storm was pretty good. Exactly right? Of course not. It never is. The forecast was actionable and in that regard had great utility. You listened. You prepared. That saved lives.

Saturday at 9:30 pm on my blog and on the air at 10:00 pm I lowered my forecast for Irene’s specifics. What I changed came true, but by that time the die was cast. It didn’t make much difference from a practical standpoint. In Connecticut you prepare for a little hurricane like you prepare for a big one! We really have no choice.

Right now I’m in the family room typing this. The crickets are loud. The night air is cool and dry. We move on.

10 thoughts on “Hurricane Irene And The Fog Of War”

  1. Geoff,
    Thanks for all your hard work this week and for giving us the best info possible. Some will complain because it they were not inconvenienced by this storm. Those people need to see how bad others got hit.

  2. I think you did a Great Job on this Geoff. You got the word out, Mother nature Changes her mind on her own scedule, it’s up to us to keep up.

  3. I’ve never followed the track of a hurricane like that before. I told my husband “Geoff was concerned about this a week ago”.
    It has made me realize weather is a crazy thing and you all do you best to read the signs and provide us with the information we need – thanks!

  4. Geoff, you did an awesome job reporting this week. The only one who told it like it is, didn’t jazz it up, no drama, just science and good data. Thanks!! You were right on!

  5. Geoff – I think that there are many more folks who appreciate the efforts of our weather forecasters. (although I could skip the onsite pics of the news guys and gals flapping in the various breeze location shots). Having been through several major storms, including working them as a police dispatcher, I know there are always going to be the naysayers and groaners. But if you put it in perspective, how many people are prepared, do listen, and appreciate – albeit silently- the updates and warnings. I for one would rather be overprepared and safe. Thanks for a job well done.

  6. Hey,GEOFF! You and the FOX weather team did a terrific job!! Kudo’s all around! I was lucky, didn’t lose power or, cable,but many here in west haven, did. A big tree fell right next to our post office on campbell ave,not much damage, though. Heared a few burglars were lurking sunday morning, looking for homes where the people went to the shelter. Our west haven alert system really helped during this storm. I want to thank ALL first responders,for their efforts during AND after this storm,god bless you all. 🙂

  7. Geoff, great job with the forecasting. Sadly, on Wednesday or Thursday Cablevision took Fox 61 off the air for good, so I couldn’t watch the crucial forecasts. Cablevision covers most of Fairfield County. I am not sure why they did this but I don’t bother calling them anymore to ask b/c you don’t get an answer.
    Anyway, wish I could have seen your late night Saturday prediction of the weakening – I woke up at 6 am and it really seemed like the winds had died down vs 4 am when they were crazy, so I sensed something had changed. Went to a few websites but no one was really reporting the weakening until around 9 or 10 am. Given my street lost 3 huge trees in just those few hours, we’re really lucky it didn’t last longer.
    Am curious what led to the rain being so much less – we got 3-4″ in Stamford I believe (thats my guess, correct me if I’m wrong) and as late as Saturday afternoon the forecast said 10″ – was this just from the storm getting bogged down in NJ?

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