Friday, September 5, 2008
This has been a total weather related week. First watching Hurricane Gustav pour over the gulf coast and into surrounding states. Knowing what all that rain and wind can do. It is very scary. I have learned one thing about mother nature and that is - water is a very powerful source of energy. Combined with wind, look out. I think we all breathed a sigh of relief that poor New Orleans with its rich history was not devastated again. All the while saying small prayers that everyone else in Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi would be alright.
Then, the first of the week wondering what Hurricane - oops now Tropical storm Hanna would do. By Tuesday it was fairly obvious it was heading this way. Definitely on Wednesday, when the weather channel showed up. It is always a bad sign when those guys show up. That's when you start worrying.
Living in coastal North Carolina you just know that sooner or later you will be hit by some storms. You just hope it won't be "a big one." Living on the coast isn't the only place they hit either. These storms can be very wide and strong.
My first adult experience was Hugo in 1989 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Talk about unprepared. We watched it hit Charleston, South Carolina and realized it was not stopping. Charlotte is 200 miles inland and we got knocked on our butts. They took weeks to get power restored and school was out for over six weeks or more. It was total devastation.
My second big experience came in September 1996 with Fran in Raleigh North Carolina. I knew what to expect and to be prepared. Everyone thought I was crazy when I suggested they might want to stock up on batteries, ice and food you can prepare on a grill, plus cash is always nice since they can't run your ATM card without power. It was as bad if not worse than Hugo. For us property wise it was worse. Hugo was just debris pick up. Fran was major tree damage. Again, no power for weeks, no school, and a lot of helping your neighbors.
These storms are scary. Even the small ones can cause immense flooding and tornadoes. Till you have experienced a few, and by now I have more tropical storms and hurricanes under my belt than most people should, it is hard to understand their power. Some of the small storms because they move so slowly cause massive erosion to our coast lines. Low lying areas are flooded and become breeding grounds for all sorts of yucky stuff. Floyd was one such Hurricane. It flooded a whole town here in North Carolina - Princeville. Water damaged is horrible. Think wet, muddy, and MOLD.
So tonight I check my favorite weather predictor - myfoxhurricane.com- and try to figure out the spaghetti map. How soon to get up to finish the last minute preparations? Has the storm intensified? Have I thought of everything? So pray for us here along the coast and inland in North Carolina. It is a wide storm - 600 miles - slow right now...........
Posted by Elizabeth Golden at 12:02 AM