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Sun Times Feature Story

Weathering The Storm (season) for 2 more months


By Larry Blustein
   As we all watched powerful Hurricane Joaquin churn no more than 300 miles from south Florida this past weekend, it was indeed evident that watching the weather each and every day is still what is needed to be done.
   The very fact that a 125 mph storm like that, which could have easily affected all of us here in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, is another reason that we simply cannot let our guards down.
   While this is the beginning of October, and many places - including south Florida - are seeing the temperatures cool down just a little, it certainly doesn't mean that the hurricane season is over.
   South Florida residents like Mandy Corrigan have never been through a hurricane, she is one who listens, but she has no reference to go on. She moved here four years ago, and while we have been in that "cone," a destructive storm has not hit - in 10 years.
    But just like any other area of the country - such as earthquake zones in California, tornadoes in the midwest and crazy winter storms up north, being ready & prepared is the only thing you can do.
   "I keep hearing about how devastating these storms are, and have seen photos of Hurricane Andrew, but until you experience one, you can only go off what people say," Corrigan said. "Believe me, I have gotten everything for the season and will continue to listen to the weather, but I can understand how people tend to be too relaxed when they have never been through one."
   So far this year, it has been fairly normal - with Ana, Bill, Claudette, Danny, Erika, Fred, Grace, Henri, Ida and Joaquin - which will fizzle out this coming weekend in the northeast Atlantic.
   With recent storms that have continued to pound south Florida - with record-breaking rain totals - there are subtle reminders that we are still in a season where street flooding and coastal beach erosion continues to change the landscape of the area.
   Just last week alone, high tides brought flooding along the beach in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. Sunny Isles Beach resident Carter Castillo noticed the water when he went to South Beach. The street flooding, which has been addressed by Miami Beach officials, is an ongoing project that will last for the next two years.
   "Living so close to the coast is a bit of a tradeoff," Castillo said with a smile. "Great weather pretty much the entire year, but you always have to deal with a few negatives, but you can see that many cities up and down the coast are really making an attempt to deal with the potential street flooding."
   At the start of this season, back on June 1, many who forecast the season, predicted below-average activity, calling for seven named storms, including three hurricanes, one of which is predicted to attain major hurricane status.
   As we have until the end of November to keep a watch on the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic, have a plan, keeping supplies on hand and being ready will have all of us looking toward potential storms Kate, Larry, Mindy, Nicholas, Odette, Peter, Rose, Sam, Teresa, Victor and Wanda!