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From: fcrary@rintintin.Colorado.EDU (Frank Crary)
Subject: Re: Gov't Subsidies (weather)
Date: 13 Aug 1996 01:30:32 GMT

In article <>,
Henry Spencer  <> wrote:
>>The hurricane does more or less the same amount of property damage
>>regardless of the forecasting (the only difference I can think of
>>are windows being taped/boarded and loose objects being picked up:
>>i.e. not that much)...

>It's easy to forget that in the days before satellite-based forecasting,
>hurricanes used to kill people.  Sometimes a lot of people.  It wasn't
>feasible to evacuate the entire coastline each time, and there was no
>good way to tell just where the beast was going to hit.

Time for a personal story. When my grandfather was about 7 (~1905),
a _very_ big hurricane hit Charleston (his home) one evening.
It was big enough that a two-masted ship ended up floating along
one street. Their warning of the storm was a remark his mother
made around two in the afternoon, "We're going to have a big storm
today: All the birds are flying inland." Based on the timing
of that (~4 hours before the hurricane hit) and not knowing
how big a storm it would be (let alone the uncertainty of
forecasting weather by watching birds...) do you really think
they could or would have evacuated the city?

                                                 Frank Crary
                                                 CU Boulder

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