For days, the Miami residents watched as a seething mass of destruction crept closer and closer. Then, early Saturday, word began to filter out that new forecasts predicted that the city might get some rain and high winds, but would be spared a brutal hammering.
While many had already evacuated and some remained cautious in their hope, at least one Miami resident wanted to celebrate, and that caught the attention of an MSNBC crew trying to cover Hurricane Irma’s approach.
MSNBC host Alex Witt began the segment by summarizing the situation in which reporter Mariana Atencio, standing on a mostly empty Miami beach, found herself.
“Winds have clearly picked up, as has the surf, which means that the storm surge would be approaching,” Witt said.
Enter kite surfer, stage left.
“Mariana , before you get reporting, is that somebody kite-surfing behind you? Oh, come on!” Witt exclaimed.
— Alex Witt (@AlexWitt) September 9, 2017
Atencio had been waiting for that opening.
“That’s exactly what I wanted to show you, Alex,” she said. “This is not the scene that officials here, first responders want to be looking at. Because the storm has shifted slightly west, you’re starting to see people here in Miami Beach — which is under a mandatory evacuation order — doing water sports.”
Atencio said the forecast change that seemed to spare Florida’s southeast coast spurred a mood change in Miami residents, even if it was far too early to be celebrating.
“There are onlookers taking photos. There are also about a dozen people in front of me. It’s a similar scene over on the other side. This is not, again, what the mayor of Miami Beach who called this a ‘nuclear hurricane,’ wants to be seeing right now,” she said.
Witt wondered what could be done about Miami residents acting in ways contrary to their best interests.
“Can I just ask, are there police or security around to tell people to stay out of the waters?” she said. “Because we know that they have said once the winds hit a certain speed, and it would look like they have hit them already, that they’re clearing the streets themselves.”
Atencio said the police were almost everywhere, but not quite.
“Right now, on this stretch of the beach, I’m not seeing any police around. But I have seen them on every corner of Miami Beach,” she said.
Writing on Young Conservatives, John S. Roberts noted that while one Floridian might be breathing easier, millions more were not.
“While the kite surfer makes light of the situation, we can’t forget about all those people who have been affected or who will be affected in the near future by this impending natural disaster,” he wrote.
“Send your thoughts and prayers. Be prepared to make a donation if you can. Craziness!” he added.
What do you think? Scroll down to comment below.
source: Western Journalism