Trying to Reason With SouthCoast Hurricane Season
The problem with hurricanes is that they are so damned unpredictable. Fickle. One minute, they are lounging off the Leeward Islands, and the next, they are taking aim at Southern New England and the Greater SouthCoast area.
Just when you think a hurricane has you in its crosshairs – wham! It's out to sea.
Trying to reason with SouthCoast hurricane season is not for the faint-hearted.
While New England has seen its share of killer hurricanes, they really are not that common here, and that's the problem. Because of their infrequency and the extreme hype over weather events, it is difficult to know which threats to take seriously and which to ignore.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Safety advises that you take all threats seriously. The strength and direction of a hurricane can change quickly, and you should be ready. The American Red Cross says to plan early.
The City of New Bedford is protected, to some degree, by the New Bedford Hurricane Barrier constructed in the 1960s by the Army Corps of Engineers.
However, the barrier is intended to limit flooding, not prevent it, and it does nothing to reduce wind damage from a hurricane.
“The City is closely monitoring Hurricane Lee," Mayor Jon Mitchell said. "While it is too soon to determine whether the storm will affect our area, city departments have already begun planning and preparing for possible impacts out of an abundance of caution. I encourage residents to monitor local media over the next several days as the path and intensity of the storm becomes more clear.”
Hurricane Bob, the most recent nasty hurricane to batter the New Bedford area in August 1991, was perhaps the most costly.
While many think of the Great New England Hurricane of 1938 as the worst tropical cyclone to impact our area, historians say one of the earliest and most severe hurricanes on record was the Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635.
When hurricane watches and or warnings are issued, heed the message. Get prepared. Plan as though your family's lives depends upon your alertness and common sense because they just might.