Apparently, there is a tropical storm bearing down on us this holiday weekend in the Northeast US, and watching (mostly listening to) the news has me wondering how serious this storm really is.  The weather service reports:

Ernesto is expected to weaken and become a tropical rainstorm within the next 6 to 12 hours, but will still pack strong winds on its trek northward Friday into Friday evening. ... The system will spread very heavy rain north across the mid-Atlantic states from North Carolina and Virginia Friday morning and during the day Friday, then into Pennsylvania and parts of mostly central and western New York state later Friday night into Saturday. ... Life-threatening flooding will occur across parts of North Carolina and Virginia and possibly north into Pennsylvania.

I'm not convinced that the weather service is above hyperbole for the sake of safety, but haven't we weathered tropical storms before? Was all of this hysterical panic present with all prior storms, or is it just overinterest caused by last year's bout with Katrina?  I'm going to need to see some photographic evidence of the flooding they're getting in North Carolina and Virginia before I start to get concerned way up here.

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