“Irene claims 40 lives”, and “Hurricane responsible for 40 deaths” are just two of the headlines I’ve seen in the past twenty-four hours. Wow, one thinks, that must have been a real killer storm.
- In Bristol, CT 46-year-old Shane Seaver died after he and another man went canoeing down a flooded street and the canoe capsized. Seaver’s body washed ashore late Sunday in Plainville.
- In Hockessin, DE police found the bodies of two men who had sent a text message to a friend saying they were running through Irene during the height of the storm.
- In Volusia County, FL 55-year-old Frederick Fernandez died Saturday off New Smyrna Beach after he was tossed off his (surf) board by massive waves caused by Irene.
- In Flagler County, 55-year-old tourist James Palmer of New Jersey died Saturday in rough surf.
- 68-year-old Joseph Rocco of East Islip drowned while windsurfing in Bellport Bay. (Really? Windsurfing in a freaking hurricane?)
- A man died after his inflatable boat capsized on the Croton River.
- Katherine Morales Cruz, 15, of Manassas Park, Va., died Saturday in a two-car collision at an intersection where Hurricane Irene had knocked out power to the traffic lights. (Is stop, look, yield suspended during a hurricane?)
- Jose Manuel Farabia Corona, 21, of Dover died in a Pitt County traffic accident after his SUV went off a road and twice slammed into trees Saturday as Irene’s began to make landfall. (I wonder if they bothered to do a blood alcohol level.)
- Deputies recovered the body of Melton Robinson Jr., who had been missing since jumping into the Cape Fear River as storms reached North Carolina. (Ditto Mr. Corona above.)
- A 58-year-old Harrisburg man was killed Sunday when a tree toppled onto his tent. (Is camping in a hurricane that much different from sleeping on a railroad track?)
- A body recovered from the Deerfield River is believed to be that of a woman who fell in while watching flooding in Wilmington.
- 57-year-old William P. Washington of King William County was killed when a tree fell on him as he was cutting another tree Saturday night. (Just had to give that new chainsaw a tryout, huh?)
So there you have it folks. I do not mean to poke fun at anyone’s early demise, but to claim that any of these idiots was killed by a hurricane is comparable to blaming gravity for the death of someone jumping off the roof of a twenty story building.