Saturday, September 1, 2012

Isaac hits Chicago! And we’re happy. What a difference a couple of days make

Isaac is the one-time hurricane turned tropical depression that is going to hit the Midwest and the Chicago area this weekend in the form of heavy rain.

We’re going to get soggy weather both Saturday and Sunday – if the weather forecasts are correct. Of course, considering that the days of 100-degree-plus heat we had this summer has burned its memory into our brains, the idea of some cooling rainfall may well be a relief.

IN FACT, MOST Midwestern-oriented officials are praising the fact that we’ll get a bit of wet weather. We’re in drought conditions all across Illinois – with the southernmost tip of the state getting hit the worst.

Everybody thinks we could use the remnants of a hurricane that swept through New Orleans and the states of Louisiana and Mississippi seven years to the days after Hurricane Katrina left its historic devastation.

This time around, the harm isn’t quite so intense. Many businesses already are reopening, and people who had to flee just a few days ago are returning to their homes.

Although this weather story is just like many other weather stories – its significance depends on how it personally affected you.

I CAN SIT back and write this commentary from a detached perspective because all I’m getting hit with is some rainfall this weekend that may well wash some of the grime that has accumulated on my car.

I’m sure there are some people who got wiped out by Katrina who got whacked equally hard by Isaac. They’re going to forevermore equate the two storms equally – even though all the reports coming from the south indicate otherwise.

I do know a few people who live in (or near) New Orleans who have some personal stories to tell of Katrina, and I’m sure Isaac will give them some more tales to tell.

Perhaps I’ll be able to get something from them that I can share with readers of this web log in the near future. They are stories we, personally, should take into account. Unless we really want to be gullible enough to think that what we’re going to experience this weekend is the extent of Isaac.

BUT UNTIL THEN, my experience with Isaac will have to deal with this weekend, which may well center around the fact that I’ll have to dig the raincoat out of the closet for the first time in several weeks.

We’re coming up on Labor Day, we’ll soon have the sight of college football dominating the television on weekends, and the presidential campaign season is about to kick into high gear.

Summer is coming to an end. We really are coming up on autumn. So perhaps a heavy, but cooling, rainfall is ever so appropriate.

I did find it reassuring to learn that officials at the southern end of the Chicago area (Will County and the part of metro Chicago that stretches into Indiana) are convinced they’re ready to handle the rain that they say could increase the Kankakee River watershed with 5 inches of rain – compared to 1 inch that would be expected from a rainfall.

BECAUSE THE LAST thing anybody wants is some flooding. Even though it wouldn’t compare to the flooding that has hit greater New Orleans, it still becomes an inconvenience – particularly for the few individuals who get devastated by the water worse than the norm.

Although I can think of one benefit to having such rainfall this weekend.

A part of me feels like the rhetoric from the Republican National Convention dirtied us all up a bit. We can use the cleansing effect of a natural shower – otherwise that and the combination of next week’s Democratic nominating convention would just be too much trash talk crusted onto our souls for anyone to take.


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