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EDITORIAL: Dealing with the new normal

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor - Google Images

Remember the good old days? Wind storms with gusts up to 100 km/h or so.

Sure, there was snow piled up and getting out the lane was impossible at times because of the amount of it.

Yeah, but it was fun to get out in it afterward and do a bit of sliding and make snowmen, or even a rink, if it got a bit mild.

The Wreckhouse was an anomaly, somewhere that had winds that no other places could or would try to compete with, let alone compare with.

But it is getting some competitors, and while it will likely never be beat because of its geography and mountainous funneling effect into a valley, it seems there are many more places that are getting winds that are troubling.

Yes, there was a time when wind speeds in Stephenville were considered high when they hit in the 90 km/h range and scary when they broke 100 km/h.

In the past month there were peak winds speeds of 113 km/h and they reached more than 130 km/h on Thursday of last week, something most people don’t remember happening in the past.

During one of the storms, a seagull was tossed into a fence, a rare occurrence with these adept fliers.

Then last week, with the 130-plus km/h winds in Stephenville, trees toppled over, a transport truck was blown over and there was much other damage, including broken utility poles, flashing torn from buildings and at least one shed with its back wall blown out.

We’re not even into winter yet and these types of wind storms are becoming more frequent, with hurricane-force winds that people in that province aren’t used to.

It only goes to show that there is a more urgent need to be more prepared for storms, as ferries carrying perishable produce can be delayed for days on end and grocers’ shelves can get pretty bare before more comes in.

For the best part, this province has had a reliable power source, but it’s not immune to power losses, as was seen some years back with rotating blackouts.

While nobody wants to see those again, the stark reality is that it could happen and people need to be prepared with the right equipment in case it does.

Weather patterns have changed and there is no longer the norm. Get used to high winds and perhaps more winter storms, and be prepared in the event of property damage and power outages.

It seems they are the new normal.

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