Thursday, August 25, 2011

All together now ... goodbye irene

It's turning out to be an interesting week on the east coast.

First, we have a 5.8 earthquake.  By California standards, a hiccup.  I imagine their newspaper cartoons have been making quite fun of us the last few days.  And now, we have Hurricane Irene marching across the Bahamas today before she begins her northerly trek along the eastern seaboard.  She's looking mighty strong and angry.

I think many of us are in for some nasty weather.

Being a midwest girl, I never had to worry about hurricanes.  Tornadoes, yes.  But not hurricanes.  Besides, at least with a hurricane, you have plenty of notice to take cover .... or not.

Back in the 90's, I lived in a beach town in Florida.  Whenever there became a threat of a hurricane, you would see signs popping up here and there promoting Hurricane Parties.  I may have attended one or two.  My memory is a bit hazy ... I think alcohol may have been involved.  ~smile~

The one party I will never forget was in August '92.  While on vacation in Key West,  Hurricane Andrew came flying through.  A mandatory evacuation was ordered but I couldn't get a flight out.   So I joined the hotel's 20 or so other guests at the bar for some hurricane drinks (yes, alcohol was involved again) and watched as the hotel's lower glass windows were boarded up.   We were all moved to safer inside rooms, told to fill our tubs with water and handed several large candles. 

I watched the news until midnight, peeked out my window into the stormy night to watch violently swaying palm trees and then turned out the lights and went to sleep.  When I woke the next morning, yep, I slept right through it, the sun was shining and the storm had passed.  We all had survived.  Except we had no electricity, no phones, nothing.  The power lines had been destroyed.

Later I learned that the Coast Guard had sent body bags down in belief that the Keys had been hit as hard as Homestead with a 17 foot surge.  (This was all before cell phones and fancy schmancy satellite tracking systems that we have today.  No one could get in touch with us.)

But Key West was spared.    Homestead was not so lucky. 

Days later when I was able to return home, we flew over the devastation.  Tornadoes can do just the same damage, but with a hurricane comes flooding.  Adding insult to injury.


Let's hope Irene will not be too harsh on our coastal friends.  Between the tornadoes, flooding and severe heat this year, I think we are all pretty tired of Mother Nature and her moods.

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