Jamie and Shannon at the Kickin’ It Old Skool Blogathon give us this today
Day Thirteen: My First…
A first attempt, yYour first souffle, your first rodeo, your first job, your first pet?
Share a first.
My first real hurricane was Hurricane Katrina in August of 2005. There had been one a few months earlier, but having never been through a hurricane, I was a bit on the skittish side. When they said school was closed, I packed my bags, the kitties and myself into the car and headed north to my best friend’s in Missouri.
When Katrina rolled around, there was what folks in hurricane country call “evacuation fatigue” – meaning that they had evacuated before and there wasn’t any major storm. So they stayed. And if you remember the news, you know how well that worked out.
Here in Hattiesburg, we are about an hour and a half north of the Gulf of Mexico. Having left for a hurricane that was nothing, I elected to stay for a Hurricane that was indeed something. My now-mother-in-law but then friend of about a month called and asked what I was doing for the storm. When I told her staying at my place, she said that would never do – I had to come out to their house and party with them. No one expected what was coming.
A hurricane is kind of surreal. Growing up in the midwest, I know tornadoes. Our location in Hattiesburg meant that our main danger was going to be from tornadoes. As Katrina raged through the Pine Belt, every one stood out in my in-law’s carport, watching the storm roll through. The pine trees on the ridge came down one by one, and we could hear the roaring of tornadoes all around us. I paced at the back of the carport, saying to no one in particular, “Shouldn’t we be inside in an interior hallway?”
With each gust of wind, we could watch the massive oak tree at the corner of the house lift. The ground buckled as she tried to break free. The oak at the fence did come down, taking the potting shed and the back fence with it.
As the eye passed over, it’s just like every one says – it’s calm, the sun comes out, the sky is blue. We all darted out to move our vehicles because we knew that when the other side of the storm came through, the wind would be blowing in a different direction and those things that were still standing would be falling differently.
And then it was all over but the clean up…which took two weeks. Without power or running water. All but one night I spent with friends that I’d really just met, planting the seeds for something wonderful and lovely years down the road.
Some pictures (not great, but hey…it was a long time ago): Hattiesburg & Gulfport (we live about two miles from where the Gulfport pictures were taken. Along the beach, there were businesses and homes the whole way. NOTHING was left. Wiped clean, like a bomb had gone off)