Eye of the Hurricane

There are only a few hurricanes I can remember.

Hurricane Floyd in 1999. Literally, we had just moved to North Carolina that year and already we were experiencing our first hurricane. After hearing all the horror stories about Hurricane Fran just a few years before that, we decided to board up and get out. I remember my parents had the house boarded up and we hopped in the car and drove as far as we could. I think as far as we could was Charlotte but at the time, I was just glad to get out of the car because I remember having been driving for hours.

Well, we made camp in some hotel for a couple of nights and when the rain had passed and Floyd was over, we headed back home. Some may have said that we overreacted but we didn’t know what to expect. We had just moved to NC from Texas so hurricanes we’re exactly on our radar. Anywho, we came home to a boarded house and a tree branch in the driveway. Needless to say, we would have been fine staying home but I’m happy with left because I’m sure I would have been a little freaked out being at home for my first hurricane at age 10.

Then there ways Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The storm didn’t come anyway near North Carolina but it still affected me and many others. It was the perfect storm and not in a good way. It was one that still has it’s signature on the Gulf Coast… particularly Louisiana. It was one of those storms that no one really appreciated what had happened until it had happened. I remember hearing about it on the news. But it was hearing all the stories that made it real.

I remember hearing stories of victims who were forced to take refuge on top of their roofs and who were stranded for days and weeks without help. I remember thinking that the aftermath of Katrina looked like a scene from a movie — it just didn’t seem real. I remember that years later, Louisiana in particular New Orleans was still trying to get back on their feet after Katrina. I remember reading stories about FEMA and the response time between storm disaster and storm relief. I visited New Orleans for the first time this past summer and I wish I had had more time there because I wanted to visit the areas that were still recovering from Katrina seven years later.

Hurricane Irene in 2011. I remember this just like it was yesterday. And it particularly is since it happened little over a year ago. I was actually in the Maryland area, living with family while I was in between internship and freelance work. It was a normal rainy weekend for the most part. Just lots of rain and lots of storm coverage. We are all watching the storm develop the news and I being the newly minted blogger was documenting the whole thing. But I remember distinctly that Irene didn’t hit us until that night when the winds were howling, thunder clapping and dancing with lightning and the rain pounding on the house. It was pretty scary if you ask me and I wasn’t happy about it.

When everyone went to bed that night, I stayed up to watch a movie (it was Avatar — aka a 3 hour movie) and keep my mind off the coming storm. As the windy got stronger, I remember thinking, oh crap, I parked my car right UNDER a tree. I even had a split second where I contremplated getting up and in the middle of the storm moving my car but I decided against it. While watching Avatar, I was finally a little better. Movies tend to do that during stormy nights until it happened. The TV went blank and I heard the power go off. As I was left in complete darkness, I reached for my phone and laptop. For some reason, I figured I’d be able to get on the Internet even with the power off. Obviously when that didn’t happened I remembered that power and Internet are kind of all connected. So I did the next best thing and that was use my fully charged iPhone to download the wordpress app and blog from my phone. You what they say, desperate times cause for desperate measures.

Anywho, we only lost power for the day and it really wasn’t that bad, I was probably more dramatic than necessary with all my blog posts. But now I look back on it and smile because I’m going through the same thing again. Well kind of.

Now, present day. Hurricane Sandy. Over the weekend it became official that Sandy was coming our way. She was predicted to leave a path of heavy rain and strong winds. And after learning from past hurricanes and tropical storms, the people and the government have become more prepared. Starting Friday, there were talks of Sandy and her path to the East Coast and where she would make her moves — right now it’s everyone from Florida to New York. Yesterday, President Obama met with FEMA and had conference calls with the Governors and leaders of the affected states about how to prepare for Sandy. Some were told to evacuate, mass transportation in New York and the District have been closed and even politics have paused for the moment.

Hurricane Sandy has already made landfall to several states leaving high winds and flooding in some areas. We still have power in our area and the rain is at a steady but constant rate. I was thankfully assigned to be off today and tomorrow so I’m braving the storm like most DMVers and that’s at home and on the couch because everything is closed — Metro, Bus system, Federal Government offices and even the area universities.

I hope Hurricane Sandy doesn’t do too much damage and that everyone affected stays safe.

Until next time,

KG

(P.S. This was written on my laptop, not my phone. I think this year, I’ll blog less about the storm and just enjoy the time off).

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