And Then I Stepped in Gum . . .

Thursday, September 16, 2004

And There He Goes...

So. I made it through my very first hurricane. I think this completes my first-person disaster roll call -- let's see, tornadoes in NE when I was a kid, Loma Prieta earthquake (7.1), Oakland Hills wildfire, multiple blizzards . . . yep, all there, unless I should add typhoon to my list.

Some random things I noted about hurricanes:
* There is a limit to how much "coverage" I can watch of people in Gore-Tex (tm) jackets being almost blown over.

* Although it's pretty darn funny when they actually do get blown over.

* There's also a limit to how much coverage of damaged houses and boats I can watch after the hurricane, especially when it conflicts with the premiere of Survivor!!

* I've decided that The Weather Channel's new slogan should be "The Weather Channel -- It's Going to Get Worse Before It Gets Better (tm)."

* Tropical storm force winds aren't really all that big a deal. Sure, the trees are whipping around a bit, but they're not as viscerally scary as an Alabama thunderstorm. Must be the lack of noise.

* Hurricane force winds are a little more daunting, especially when you're out in them at 2:30 a.m. trying to figure out what's banging on your bedroom window.

* If you do go out into a hurricane at 2:30 a.m., you should probably wear a jacket. Apparently hurricane force winds = significant wind chill effect, which results in violent shivering even though it's 70-some degrees.

* When you stand out on your back porch, watching the hurricane, and you see flashing colored lights in the sky, don't call your tornado-paranoid husband out to ask him what they are by pointing at the sky and urgently saying, "Honey, come out here and look at this."

* Flashing lights -- red, white, yellow, blue -- in the sky during a hurricane are transformers blowing. Yikes!

* It's actually pretty unsettling to have native Floridians tell you to "Get out NOW!" after you've already decided to ride it out and the rain from the first bands has started.

* The most commonly blown over trees that we saw during our short neighborhood survey this afternoon are pear trees. My favorite trees are pear trees. :(

* Procrastination sometimes pays off. We lost two very tall trees, and one fell right on the spot that we'd designated for a swingset that we haven't yet gotten around to deciding on. Now the swingset won't be in the shade anymore, but at least it hasn't been smashed to smithereens.

* There's nothing like a disaster to bring people out of their houses. After two months, we finally met kids Katie's age, just a little ways down the street, because people were out today assessing the damage.

* My kids, who slept very poorly the first year and a half of their respective lives, can actually sleep through a hurricane. Huzzah!

* Alabama Power deserves more credit than I was prepared to give them. We had power until 11 p.m. last night (about 4 hours longer than I thought we would -- had we been in Virginia, we would have lost power at the first hint of a gentle breeze), and it was restored miraculously at 2 p.m. today. I was prepared for a week of no AC, and was packed for an escape to someplace that had electricity.

*We didn't lose phone service until shortly before the power came back. All in all, I'd rather be without phone service than without power.

* Our refrigerator and freezer are awesome! We didn't lose any food, and everything was still cold this morning. Which was great, because the thought of grilling steak for breakfast wasn't all that appealing.

* I'm going to have to say something to our builder about how impressed we are with the house. Not a single shingle missing, and the winds weren't even that loud last night.

We were fortunate that Ivan turned a bit toward the east right before landfall. Pensacola got hit very, very hard. Two downed trees are an inconvenience, nothing more, and I'm so glad that everything worked out all right. Thanks for all the thoughts and good wishes!

4 comment(s):

I'm still without power. I live in Mobile, and they don't expect to restore power until the 29th of this month!

By Blogger CypherXero, at 11:14 AM  

They said the 29th to me, too, and then it came on that day. I think the 29th is just a catch-all, so they don't have to make too-specific promises. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

By Blogger Jennifer Morgan, at 3:03 PM  

Thanks for sending me this address! Now I get to read what you're REALLY thinking :) -- Torey

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:06 PM  

Cool Blog, I never really thought about it that way.

I have a Hurricane Katrina blog. It pretty much covers hurricane related stuff.

Thank you - and keep up the thoughts!

By Blogger alena, at 8:22 PM  

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