Hysteria grips local officials
Who should be making the decision to shut down Cape Cod?
By Walter Brooks
No one is more cautious and weather conscious than the Brooks family, but scaring away business on one of the biggest weekends of the year, and doing that days before it is necessary, is unconscionable.
Dennis officials closed their beaches days before it was remotely necessary - and told thousands and thousands of potential visitors to stay away this weekend.
Chatham officials urged evacuation due to possible flooding without apparently realizing the storm would hit their town at low tide greatly reducing that possibility.
"If I lived Off-Cape I'd grab a pillow and a blanket and drive down to one of those free shelters, have a party, and save a bunch of money.\
These decisions were made by the wrong people. As a chamber director said to me yesterday, \we have to take these decisions away from people who carry guns."
He meant that police and firemen are supposed to react that way, while elected officials would more likely consider a wider realm of possibilities.
Jaws redux, and free rooms on Cape Cod
Unlike that silly mayor in the film "Jaws" whose only concern was losing tourism despite the obvious danger to his community, our selectmen come from diverse backgrounds and should be making decisions about when to shut down our economy.
In 1991 when Bob was the hurricane, we had far less time to prepare, and did a better job of it. This time most of the bad decisions made by our official should have waited until today.
At 9:30 this morning the yoga class at Chatham's Lighthouse Beach is just ending, and the water is flat calm up in Pleasant Bay in South Orleans and Harwich.
Don't get me wrong - I believe in preparedness. My home faces Pleasant Bay and we have 16 sheets of plywood cut to size for our 8 double sliders stored in our garage. We'll decide around 1PM today whether it's necessary to spend the hour needed to put them up, but as of this minute we expect 35-45 MPH winds from the northeast switching to 65MPH from the north after midnight, and we get those here four or more times a year without hurricane warnings.
Opening shelters on Labor Day Weekend when the storm will be over by early Saturday drew this response from my wife whose family came here in the 1600s, "If I lived Off-Cape I'd grab a pillow and a blanket and drive down to one of those free shelters, have a party, meet new people, and save a bunch of money."
That's the Cape Cod spirit I admire.