Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"Mangled Message?"

Just getting around to reading a blog posted by TWC's Brian Norcross back in early September. Brian stated..."another hurricane, another mangled message."..."We knew for a week that Isaac's huge circulation was going to move a lot of water...so why would people stay behind..?"   "People heard on the media, it's only a tropical storm, it might not make a Cat. 1...there's tremendous uncertainty...blah,blah, blah."..."The media has to man up."

Now, Brian and I go a long way back (25-30 years) as friends and he is well aware that I have given several talks at past hurricane conferences regarding this problem.  What I have said is" How can we be responsible for the ir-responsible?"  I believe the message with Isaac was VERY CLEAR.  I remember stating that I had my wife leave for Atlanta.  I recall saying over and over..."don't tell me you didn't know it was going to be this bad"...yet that's what we heard.  NEVER did I say " it's just a tropical storm".  And FOX 8 had the highest ratings of any local channel before the power went out.  What Brain and the various social scientists don't want to believe is...It's not "how well their/our viewers understand the message", it's that a SMALL percentage just doesn't care about or want to believe the message. In the case of Isaac, most of southern Plaquemines did get out, but many in LaPlace didn't leave because they had NEVER flooded before, even during Katrina,Rita, Ike, Gustav etc. Could the flooding have been worsened by the new structures the Corps of Engineers just finished?  Quite possibly.   But someone living in Atlanta wouldn't know that.  It's easy to fling wild criticisms from afar.  Personal responsibility is often overlooked.   I'm proud of the job FOX 8 News did with Isaac and wouldn't change a thing.   I stressed the "angle of attack" of Isaac would bring in more water and the NHC forecast was pretty good...EXCEPT they did not stall the storm for 18 hours over Barataria Bay.  That's what surprised southern Plaquemines and LaPlace.  The Corps $14+ billion risk reduction system functioned beautifully, except the water must go somewhere.  In Isaac we discovered it was LaPlace. 

TWC needs to get off its high horse and realize most of their viewers are weather geeks who really care. My question stands..."How can we be responsible for the ir-responsible?"  What say you?

3 comments:

AlbanySnowMaker said...

Actually I do recall Chris Franklin down playing the effects of Isaac a day or so before landfall... It was during the morning show...

Nashette said...

Well, anyone that has lived here all of their lives knows how unpredictable a tropical storm or hurricane can be. If you are not prepared then leave!!! If you are not safe from floodwaters, which Laplace has NEVER been (even though they have never flooded) look at where they are...built in the middle of swamp land, then leave!!!!! Everyone has to be responsible for themselves, don't blame the media!

Wayne Watkins said...

Spot on Bob...