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I received the following message on my phone a little after 8 o’clock this morning:
National Weather Service: A FLASH FLOOD WARNING is in effect for this area until 11:30 AM MDT. This is a dangerous and life-threatening situation. Do not attempt to travel unless you are fleeing an area subject to flooding or under an evacuation order.
Dangerous and life-threating? A bit of rain?
I’ve somehow managed to survive 48½ monsoon seasons in Arizona — 1 in Phoenix, 47½ in Tucson. I think that I know what a bad rainstorm looks like, and I’ve never seen one that is particularly dangerous or life-threatening. I mean, you have to have the sense of a moderately bright elementary-school kid, and stay out of washes that are too deep. I think that I understood this well enough when I was a novice driver back in 1983.
This is not the first such warning that I’ve seen this year. I think that it was the fourth. I almost wrote about it before, but when I press the wrong button on my phone, the warning disappears, and I don’t know how to get it back. I guess that I don’t know how to operate my iPhone very well. On the bright side, I do know how to handle a bit of rain.
I get the impression that our public officials are hysterical. They warn us of moderate risks as if the Mongol Hordes are about to descend on our little desert pueblo. It’s strange, to me. It’s as if they never read that story about the little boy crying wolf.
Maybe they were too busy reading about Heather and her Two Mommies.
So I ignored the National Weather Service warning, and went to church this morning, as usual. And there was no problem, as usual.
The NWS didn’t help its credibility with the reference to the FLASH FLOOD WARNING (their caps) being in effect “until 11:30 AM MDT.” MDT? Seriously? We don’t do daylight savings time in Arizona. Well, except on the Navajo res, but that is about 200 miles away from Tucson. I’m not inclined to listen to someone who doesn’t know how to tell time. Though I do have to admit that I wouldn’t have listened to them, even if they had known that I’m operating on Mountain Standard Time, as always. MST.
These overblown, histrionic warnings do have a downside, I think. When I get such a warning, and suspect that it is a wild exaggeration, and am proven correct, again, I file that information away in my head. There’s a box in there labeled something like hysterical people who you should ignore. There seem to be more and more names in that box.
The thing is, I need to know that, when my government officials issue a serious warning, it’s real. They seem to be failing at that. Like that little boy and his imaginary wolf, they are teaching sensible people to disregard them. This is not a good thing.
On the bright side, I ended up teaching our Bible study this morning, winging it from my buddy Ron’s notes, as he stayed home due to the FLASH FLOOD WARNING (their caps). I haven’t been to his house myself, but I understand that he lives in an area with some access issues, so I trust his judgment on this.
It worked out well, I think. I’d generally prefer more than 70 minutes to prep for a lesson — including my shower and drive time — but Ron prepares fine notes, and I actually enjoy winging it. One of the ladies in the class said that it was the best lesson that I’ve given. Maybe I should have Ron prepare the notes for my usual lessons, but I think that the part she liked was a departure from his notes, and a departure from any notes that I would have been likely to prepare. The Spirit was in charge, probably. I wish that I knew how to listen to Him more consistently.
God bless, everyone, and fear not. Not even a bit of rain in the desert.Published in