Conch fishermen unload their harvest during a break from the rain. Timothy Johnson

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Jose had been the talk of coffee shops and offices around the Island since last week. By Wednesday morning, most Islanders knew that the leading edge of a cool front extending up the East Coast would direct the storm well out to sea. There's something reassuring about watching a storm at a safe distance — almost too reassuring. There's a false sense of mastery in the mountains of data. But all our technology cannot change the fact that a hurricane is a profoundly humbling, almost incomprehensibly powerful weather event. We've come a long way toward understanding hurricanes, and we're all much better informed of their progress and probabilities, but in the end, all our forecasts are still so much whistling on a midnight walk through the graveyard.

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