Thursday, August 25, 2011

Earthquakes and Hurricanes and...Oh my!

Since June just about every day we experienced unbelievably beautiful hot weather and sunny blue skies, with a slight possibility of thunderstorms in the late afternoon.  But the wonderful boring weather is over.
First there was the earthquake. It was only a minor jolt, but never having experienced a real earthquake, it was a phenomenon. From this week forward everyone will ask: where were you when the East coast earthquake of ‘11 struck?
Now, less than a week later we are preparing for what everyone is telling us might be one of the worst hurricanes in decades. And, as Al Roker said on the news this evening, “We can’t rule out tornadoes”.
People will ask: where were you when the Big One hit in ’11?
The earliest recorded hurricane in the United States occurred on August 27, 1667 striking Jamestown, Virginia.
We live on a barrier island three blocks from the ocean and one block from the bay.
A major hurricane hit Florida and the Carolinas on August 27, 1881. Approximately 700 people died.
We have only been in our home a year and did a lot of remodeling before moving in. As I look around at new kitchen cabinets, hardwood floors and belongings owned for years, I have to wonder if all will be intact and unharmed a few days from now.

Who would have thought the raft we bought for the grandkids this summer might be an evacuation vehicle?!
The house and stuff are just things and of course the most important issue is us. Part-timers call for an update on the situation. The older residents on our street are packing and leaving, families insisting they cannot stay. Others wait to see what happens, watching developments hour by hour.
We are debating whether or not to evacuate. We sit hypnotically in front of the TV, watching the weather channel and local news. The impact of 24/7 news amplifies everything, often making events seem worse than they actually are.
On the other hand hurricanes can be devastating. As we watch the news and the evacuation orders – some mandatory and some voluntary – we decide to leave tomorrow morning. It would be an experience to see the hurricane and the beach, but safety comes first.
Maybe the entire East coast will be lucky and the hurricane will turn further east than predicted. Irene is supposed to hit here Saturday night and Sunday. Monday seems a long way off.

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