Random thoughts on Hurricane #Gonzalo:
As has been stated everywhere, Tropical Storm Fay was a blessing in disguise because it cleared so much heavy vegetation out before onslaught of Gonzalo, and made people more nervous about Gonzalo than they might have been otherwise. But there’s no need to send another hurricane this coming weekend, OK weather Gods?
Great to see the traditional Bermuda spirit come out before and after – neighbour helping neighbour etc. It almost certainly won’t last, but it’s great while it is here.
It hasn’t been talked about much, but the storm has and will give the economy a bit of a kickstart. Hardware stores and grocery stored enjoyed bumper sales before the storm, landscapers and contractors are having a literal windfall of work and the money released by the insurance companies will wash nicely through the economy.
Against that, our tourism customers on the East Coast have to be reassured that this only happens about once every ten years and is a demonstration of how safe Bermuda is. You have to hope this won’t send any international business executives back home. The positive news is that Bermuda was very much back in business today, just two days after the storm. Compare that to the aftermath of “Superstorm” Sandy, New Yorkers. Some smart and quick marketing is needed now.
Michael Dunkley and his Government have come out of the hurricane pretty well. This is something of a no-win situation for governing politicians. Mess it up and you’re George W Bush after Katrina. Get it right, as Dunkley and his team have, and you’ve done what you are supposed to do. But Dunkley’s presence and tone have been good. Very calm and measured, he hasn’t gloated and he has been our and about a lot, which is important psychologically.
Alex Scott also did well as Premier during and after Fabian and then tried to harness the “spirit of Fabian” afterwards, which was less effective. Indeed, Scott’s later struggles show how short the coattails of a hurricane are. What it has done is erase memories of Fay, which most people will agree was a bit of a forecasting mess. But the other lesson is that Walter Roban’s attempt to make political capital out of Fay got pretty slated. It’s hard to come down on the Government if you didn’t even take in a lawn chair before Fay, as this writer can attest.
We were all pretty stupid last week, but not as stupid as the guy who lit his charcoal barbecue inside his house during Gonzalo and set his kitchen on fire. He needs to be nominated for a Darwin Award.