Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hurican* (for Hurrican*)

I can no longer foolishly regard the unprecedented hurricane we experienced recently as just a thrillingly and exceedingly windy and rainy day, with the occasional flooded cellar, roof damage, and annoyance of no Internet connection or temporary loss of power to deal with—but see it instead as an unbelievably cold and cruel act of nature. The wife of a former coworker was killed in the normally placid creek behind their home as she and her husband prepared to evacuate, after warning all their neighbors to do the same. A loving eleven-year-old boy in Virginia was killed as he slept in bed next to his mother when a tree crashed down upon their house. At least 44 people were killed in this horrific storm, which like a Nazi storm trooper simply annihilated everything and everyone in its path. A family member in Vermont described her town's nearest river as a "raging roiling monster." And, while it doesn't compare to the tragic loss of life that's occurred, I felt utterly disheartened when I heard about the destruction of the historic Old Blenheim Bridge in nearby Schoharie County. (Wikipedia is already referring to it in the past tense.) Old Blenheim Bridge in North Blenheim, New York, was the longest covered bridge of its type in the world. The sign at its entrance had read: "$500 fine to ride or drive this bridge faster than a walk." I wish we could consign that goddam gale to eternal Hell for tearing down our beloved bridge faster than you could walk over it, and for the pain and suffering it has caused up and down the eastern seaboard. My thoughts and prayers are with all victims everywhere of what I can no longer bring myself to call "Mother Nature." (Five cases of Hurican* in OhioLINK and 89 in WorldCat.)

(Old Blenheim Bridge, photographed March 11, 2008, from up the hill on the eastern shore of the Schoharie Creek, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

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