Editor’s note: This column was written in advance of Irma. I’m going to leave it mostly be, but added some post-Irma remarks in italics and parenthesis. Thanks for reading.
Just so you know, much of this issue of the Bryan County News was put together early. With some exceptions, the inside pages were done Saturday amidst continuing preparation for a hurricane that might never come (Irma went the other way, but was so large and powerful we still felt the impacts in terms of rain, wind and storm surge).
We’ll know more once this paper’s done, and that we’ll post on our websites and social media. Ted O’Neil’s fantastic at keeping folks up to date on what’s happening (We know that both Ted and Mark Swendra and others among our staff did a good job covering this storm and keeping people updated).
But these pages weren’t the half of it. (They never are, in the internet age).
Once we finished, we held the front page to at least have some post-Irma coverage, whatever post-Irma might be. (And, we managed to hold back a few other pages to help tell the story in photos. Thanks, Bryan Browning and others).
Hopefully, it’ll be a big sigh of relief, and those of us who remember Hugo and Floyd will add Irma to the list of near misses (Don’t know about most folks, but I’m relieved. Especially when compared to what happened in Florida, and what folks in Texas are still dealing with).
Or, as is looking more likely, we’ll get something, but it won’t be as bad as it could have been — though in any storm, "bad" is a relative term (My house flooded a bit, but see above italics).
Remember, whatever happens, that we’re all dealing with similar issues. That includes those in government, and law enforcement, and public safety, and health care, and those who work to get the power back on (My hat’s off to those folks, again.).
It’s easy to blame when things go wrong. It’s easy to make decisions when you aren’t responsible for them (So far, there’s been little second guessing the evacuation order, but there are always those who know more than those doing a job).
Understand too that dealing with more than two people at the same time can be akin to herding cats, to use an old cliche. It’s certainly that way dealing with reporters, who are generally an independent minded bunch who don’t like being told what to do and when to do it.
That’s what makes reporters reporters, and I bring it up because it’s also what makes us Americans. Most of us want to know why we’re being told to do something, and even then there’s no guarantee that we’ll agree with it, or understand it, or follow instructions like evacuation orders, mandatory or otherwise.
But hindsight is 20-20. Herding cats is always easier after the fact, whatever that fact is (Fact: we’re in pretty good shape, overall).
There’s really nothing you can do, sometimes, except the best you can with what you have. That, and try to be nice to one another. and help where we can (That applies more than sometimes, actually).