Lessons learned from Hurricane Dorian…or were they?

Miami's Community Newspapers

Well folks, those of us here in South Florida were very fortunate that Hurricane Dorian, that monster of a storm, passed by us with little effect on our weather. Compared with what people in the Bahamas endured, we experienced almost normal summer weather. And yet some people here, hopefully not a lot of them, were actually grumbling about the storm missing us instead of being grateful that it had…complaining about the National Hurricane Center forecasters and the television weather people using the NHC data warning us all to prepare and be ready in case it continued to head our way. We saw some examples of this in face-to-face conversations and especially on social media where some even posted memes ridiculing the forecasters by showing made-up tracking “spaghetti” lines going hundreds of different directions, suggesting that forecasters were totally clueless. In fact, the tracking and projections of approaching storms has been remarkably good in recent years as data gathering and computer systems have improved. Dorian was unusual in that the high and low pressure areas that steered it didn’t act as they normally would. No storm before has acted quite like that one did. Higher temperatures in the Arctic region have caused changes in the Jet Stream and that affects both the development and paths of storms. We’ll probably be seeing more like that, sadly. Hurricane Andrew, also a Category 5 storm, devastated South Florida and it was smaller and went through the area in just three hours. Imagine what Dorian would have done to us if it had hit us head on and sat over us for two-plus days, like it did in the Bahamas. Would anything have been left? So to the complainers—be happy, and stop picking on the forecasters who are just trying to help protect us.

Meetings in Palmetto Bay:
The Committee of the Whole Workshop is on Tuesday, September 17, at 7:00 p.m. The Veterans’ Park Task Force Meeting is on Wednesday, September 18, at 6:00 p.m. There’s a Special Council Meeting/Second Budget Hearing on Monday, September 23, at 7:00 p.m. regarding the 2019-2020 Operating and Capital Budget. All are at the Village Municipal Center, 9705 E. Hibiscus Street, Palmetto Bay, FL 33157.

In Cutler Bay: Finding Answers: 2nd Annual Education Summit—Guiding your child on their educational journey, September 12 at 6 p.m. in the Town Hall Council Chambers, 10720 Caribbean Boulevard, Cutler Bay, Florida 33189.

6 p.m. to 6:50 p.m.: Informational Booths and Light Dinner

7 p.m. to 8 p.m.: Panel Discussions and Classes

Panel discussions and classes will cover the following topics:
● How do I navigate the public school system?
● What is being done to ensure my child’s safety at school?
● How can I help my child deal with stress and anxiety?
● How do I guide my child through the college application process?
● How do I finance my child’s college education?

Meeting is open to the public. For information, contact Town Hall at 305-234-4262. Hosted by the Town of Cutler Bay Education Advisory Committee.

Adopt-a-Tree… The Division of Environmental Resources Management will be giving FREE trees to the community through its popular Adopt-a-Tree program. This event will take place at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, 10950 SW 211 Street, Cutler Bay, FL 33189. There’ll be family friendly art activities, book giveaways and storytelling at the All Kids Included kickoff event. Residents eligible to adopt trees will be able to choose from Soursop (only one per household), Marlberry, Locustberry, Green Buttonwood, Jamaican Caper, Orange Geiger and Pigeon Plum. However, tree quantities are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. PRE-REGISTER TODAY! Go to www.miamidade.gov/adopt-a-tree and save time by selecting tree preferences. Some restrictions apply. Participant must own a single family or duplex residential property in Miami-Dade County. Renters qualify with permission from the property owner. Also at this event, the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department will be exchanging up to 2 NON-High efficiency showerheads and 3 incandescent light bulbs for high-efficiency showerheads and compact fluorescent light bulbs absolutely free! (While supplies last). For complete rules or more information, call 311 or visit www.miamidade.gov/adopt-a-tree.

Photo Contest! The Village of Palmetto Bay has announced a photo contest Village for students. Got a young shutterbug in the family? The Parks & Recreation staff say,” We want to see the ‘Village of Parks’ through YOUR eyes.” The theme of the contest is Health. “The Village of Parks encourages healthy, active lifestyles and social development.” Photos with this theme may be submitted for the contest beginning September 1 and the deadline for entering is September 27, so time is running out. There will be cash prizes. The contest is open to high school students residing in Palmetto Bay. The winners will be recognized during the Mayor’s State of the Village Address. For more information call Village Hall at 305-259-1234, or visit the official website at http://www.palmettobay-fl.gov/.

Thought of the Day:
We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. – Thornton Wilder

Gary Alan Ruse contributed to this column.

Got any tips? Contact me at 305-669-7355, ext. 249, or send emails to Michael@communitynewspapers.com.

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