Weeks like this bring one of the great benefits of Twitter to the fore: You can track news events as they unspool in real time. It's like an open market of folks working their heads around what's going on, and reacting long before the news shows up on a nightly broadcast or in tomorrow's paper.
So when the wet tentacles of Hurricane Sandy started slapping around Northeast Ohio, we decided to keep an eye on what Clevelanders were saying about their experiences online. The result was comedy, tragedy, and every stop in between. Consider this a 21st century man-on-the-street segment —particularly useful when no one is actually on the street, but tucked away inside trying to stay dry.
Of course, there were the sincerely concerned:
@FreshBrewedTees Sandy is hitting hard in Cleveland. Stay safe, everyone!
Then the storm opened up plenty of opportunities for low-hanging Cleveland jokes:
@zba45 After noticing Cleveland would be next target, #Sandy decides to turn north realizing that no more possible damage could be done #realnews
Some people were indignant:
@Coin_Banks I do not support violence against women in anyway, but sandy, I will Cleveland bus driver mortal kombat yo ass. #luvfromoz
Men tried to put the whole thing in terms they could understand:
@klbivens hope all my cleveland bros n fam stay safe while this bitch #Sandy PMSing n shit cause she aint get shit 4 sweetest day
Fan girls used the storm to reaffirm their devotion:
@mgcathrine Cleveland Ohio? No no no, sandy needs to stay away from my boy @machinegunkelly
And those faithful to Cleveland's sports teams didn't blink an eye:
@PBRMcCarthy No girly hurricane is going to stop me from going to the Cleveland Cavaliers HOME OPENER tonight!!! #San dy #GoCavs @cavs #HappyinCLE
Barstool wits fired off jokes:
@JJW521 Snow goes in Cleveland. Hurricanes go in Florida. Mother nature, you drunk asshole. #annoyed #sandy
As did Twitter cynics:
@TheGNovot Hope my friends in Cleveland, Toledo, BG, Chicago, & Kansas City are doing okay during Sandy. #ridiculous #overreacting #ucanceledhalloween?
Others used the opportunity to rail against certain institutions:
@keemhova Fuck Sandy Fuck Cleveland State I still have school
Or provide trenchant commentary on the state of the city's infrastructure:
@ltz_Dkid92 For the ppl that have Cleveland public power . . . Sandy laughs at you
While some soberly considered the effects of climate change on global weather patterns:
@Schimizzle Fuck you Hurricane Sandy you're drunk — knocking out Cleveland's power. Dick move.