Week in Lewes
NOTE: Sussex Beat is a mix of news, analysis and commentary by Eric Magill, publisher of Sussex County Online.
With hurricane season starting a week ago, the City of Lewes proclaimed the week of June 5-9 as Hurricane Awareness Week.
The proclamation came as Dr. William Gray, the noted hurricane forecaster from Colorado State University, upgraded his hurricane forecast for 2000 to include 12 named storms including 8 hurricanes, 4 of which he says will be major hurricanes.
How Dr. Gray can make predictions on weather that won't get within 2,000 miles of his office in Colorado is a mystery, but his uncanny accuracy in the past makes him a formidable forecaster that even coastal meteorologists pay attention to.
We haven't had a major hurricane strike on the Delaware coast for a couple of decades thanks to the shield that North Carolina provides us. Typically, we see more damage from Nor'easters than hurricanes.
But history tells us that major hurricanes can strike here, and thus, Lewes Mayor George H.P. Smith's proclamation is designed to remind everyone on the coast not to be too comfortable when hurricane watches start.
Lewes has been designated a Project Impact community by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Lewes is one of several hundred communities across the nation that now participate in the initiative that brings government, individuals and the private sector together to reduce the toll from disasters.
"The most important lesson to be learned from the 1999 hurricane season is that the best way to help victims of nautral disasters is to help them avoid being hit by a disaster in the first place," said James Lee Witt, director of FEMA. "We know what hurricanes can do, but we also know how to reduce their destruction. That's why we created Project Impact. The destruction brought by the hurricane season should be a wakeup call not just for coastal communities but for all communities everywhere."
Mayor Smith reminds eveyone of four steps to take to prepare for hurricanes, or any other type of disaster:
Sussex Central High School senior Keenon J. Mann of Millsboro won the Greater Millsboro Chamber of Commerce's annual scholarship at an awards ceremony at the school.
Mann, selected from a pool of students from Sussex Central, Sussex Tech and Cape Henlopen, received a $750 stipend and a certificate of achievement from Denise L. Matz, the chamber's vice president of community enhancement.
Mann will attend Wake Forest University in the fall as a psychology major. He plans to be a child psychologist.
Man is the president of the Sussex Central senior class and student council and is a four-year honor roll student and member of the National Honor Society. He is also active in many school activities and church.
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The complete hurricane forecast of the Colorado State University team headed by Dr. William Gray is available on the Colorado State University site.
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