Thursday, August 28, 2008


If you live in on the coast you know what I'm saying when I say that we're all holding our breath. Holding our breath through hurricane season every year. Checking the weather channel, stocking up on water and canned goods, listening to the radio broadcasts. We're all on alert, our ears perked up whenever we hear about a storm "out there" that could be coming our way.

Last week we were holding our breath over Gustav and now we've exhaled. Unfortunately, most of the Gulf coast residents, and especially New Orleans residents are all holding their breath.

Now we've got Hanna to watch out for. We'll be holding our breath this weekend while we wait to see what she plans to do.

The storms develop out there in the Atlantic, they approach Cuba, and we all inhale. We hold our breath, we stop, we wait... and then the storm goes elsewhere or dissipates or downgrades... and we exhale.

Fay came along and we all laughed at her. And then she did this:

After Fay

After Fay

I'm not laughing at Gustav or Hanna.

It's crazy because I never gave Hurricanes a second thought when I was growing up. We'd all heard about the legendary hurricane of 1928 that filled Lake Okeechobee and crumbled the dikes and killed close to 2000 people, but that sort of thing wouldn't happen again, we thought. Now we know they're coming, now we've got bigger and better dikes, now we'll be safe.

The only big hurricane I remember was Andrew in 1992 and that didn't affect us in Palm Beach County so badly. We had a tiny Hurricane Irene come through in 1999 when I was pregnant with Bug but it only caused a little flooding. We barely lost power.

I thought people were crazy to be so concerned about hurricanes. I mean, really, what was the big deal? We got some rain, some wind, no big thing!

Then it was 2004. Frances came and ripped up our yard, tore down our fences, flooded us, knocked over trees. We got stuff cleaned up and Jeanne came by and wrecked it all over again. We were without power for several weeks and people were fighting over gas. It was like nothing I had ever seen. We packed up and spent weeks in North Carolina where no one was thinking of hurricanes. We called regularly to find out if our power was back.

In August of 2005 Katrina came through our area as a windy storm that dumped a lot of rain. We barely noticed her as she calmly made her way across our state. We couldn't believe what Katrina did to the gulf coast... it was like we were watching the stories we had heard about the 1928 hurricane playing out on TV.

In October of 2005 Wilma came along and ripped most of our roof off. Half of the state had blue covered tarps covering their homes and it wasn't until January that we could finally get a roofer to come fix it. Again we were without power for over a month and we spent that time in North Carolina.

So now I hold my breath. Now I know what a Hurricane can do. Now I count the days down until the end of hurricane season every year. 94 more days to hold my breath.


Anonymous said...[Reply to comment]


Valarie said...[Reply to comment]

Good gracious! I hope Hanna just goes right back out into the Atlantic and fizzles out.

Willow said...[Reply to comment]

Hey, Spaz, helping you keep an eye out on Hanna and watching Gustav, too, because the storms are so damned unpredictable. I guess we're gonna get some payback for having it relatively easy the last couple of years.

mah-meeee said...[Reply to comment]

goodness... i'll keep my fingers crossed for ya.

you should come to cali ... we don't have seasons here. boring but predictable. :)

Melizzard said...[Reply to comment]

As if we can stand one more drop of rain here.

Anonymous said...[Reply to comment]

I've got my fingers crossed for you. Feel free to come hang out in Podunk with me - no hurricanes here, only tornados, flooding, and blizzrds.

Michelle@Life with Three said...[Reply to comment]

I remember 2005 so well -- all those hurricanes. My sister in law (who lives in Boca) was literally at her wits end by the time Wilma rolled in. She was so weary from "holding her breath" and preparing. I had never seen her so stressed out.

DYSFUNCTIONAL MOM said...[Reply to comment]

Yeah, Fay didn't appreciate being laughed at, did she? I'm keeping my eye out on those other 2 as well.....

Jason said...[Reply to comment]

I still think I'd prefer hurricanes over earthquakes.

Leanne said...[Reply to comment]

My dad had a holiday home and car in Florida because he and his family would've spent almost the entire summer there and in 2005 it was flattened and the car disappeared, plus because he didn't live in the country six months of the year he couldn't have hurricane insurance and lost everything, but at least they still had their home here. I can't imagine how hard it would be have to recover from things like that.

Robin said...[Reply to comment]

Stay safe my friend.