Story Weekend Theme: Storms
Well, what else? That’s what’s on my mind right now as we batten down the hatches here in the Raleigh, North Carolina area. So far, it’s quiet out there. I only wish it could stay that way! The image at the left is not from Hurricane Irene, but rather from last October when a friend and I were stranded on Topsail Island for three days by a storm that was not a hurricane and not even a tropical storm but rather, an extraordinary bout of rain that left us blocked from escape with a jar of pickles and a dwindling supply of our necessary medications (you can read about that here). Needless to say, I’m a bit worried what a hurricane like Irene can do to to my place at the beach, but it’s out of my hands. We just have to wait and see.
So since storms are on my mind, I’m putting them in yours as well. Tell us your storm story, and if you’re new to Story Weekend, here’s how it works: I pick a theme and you share something from your life that relates to that theme, however you interpret it. Thanks to all of you who’ve been contributing. I’ve loved reading your (very short!) stories. As always, there are a few “rules”:
- The story must be true.
- Try to keep it under 100 words. That’s about six or seven lines in the comment form. I want others to read your story, and most people tend to skip if it’s too long. I know how tough it is to “write tight” but I hope you’ll accept this as a challenge.
- Avoid offensive language.
Since I cheated and told you my story in the body of this post, I won’t start the ball rolling with the first comment, as I usually do. I hope one of you will jump in. I look forward to hearing your stories. I just hope we have the electricity necessary to read them this weekend! Stay safe, everyone.
I think I will write about Hurricane Charley! You talk about a hell of a storm. I lived in Pt. Charlotte, Florida ( a Category 5 storm) at the time it hit (right in the middle of it) but thankfully we had hardly any damage to either of our homes. I swear my guardian angel was watching over us that day. We lost a couple windows and a few tiles off the roof, nothing compared to the devastation we saw in town. It was the scariest thing I have ever been through in my lifetime! Plus we had 4 dogs at the time and they were as frightened as I was. You would not believe the destruction in our little town. We were hit with a hurricane AND tornadoes. Boy, Mother Nature was angry that day. I truly pray for all that are in the path of Hurricane Irene this weekend, my prayers go out to them. Stay safe everyone!!!
My storm story happened when I was a freshman in high school, January 1977. I dont know how many inches of snow we got….wait i could google it. Nope, I can mention of the storm but not details for Michigan. Any way, the temperature was below 0, we had so much snow and ice that everything closed down. We didnt have school for over a week. Of course we loved that part. My mom was in the hospital and a daughter of one of her friends was caring for us. I wish I could share more details. What I remember most is that it was FUN….but probably not for adults.
I was just finishing college. I wanted a PhD, I wanted to marry my college sweetheart, I wanted to live in Haight Ashbury. I retreated to a house on LBI, Holgate, to meditate. I knew the history. This part of the island had almost swept away in the great storm of 1962. “Move your car to higher ground. Now.” The clouds rolled in. I sat in the upstairs apartment shaking as the steel cabinet walked across the kitchen floor in the sway. I tried to sleep but the cat awakened me as the water surged below the floor boards. I survived. I chose. I moved on.
Hurricane story- I guess it was in the mid 80’s and I lived right outside of Goldsboro, NC in a small town called Dudley. Hurricane Dianna was on her way in. My sister and I were really scared. We lived on a lake in two story house with a basement. It started lightning and we lost our power. My parents were trying to keep us calm and not fight which was rare for them. So my dad got out an Encyclopedia and looked up “Sheet Lighting” and read to us all about it by candle light. Then my mom told us a story about Hurricane Hazel and how it hit her home when she was a little girl. Now as an adult, I am not scared of hurricanes because I always remember the night my mom and dad got along and taught my sister and I all about “Sheet Lighting” and the beauty of Storms and Nature.
Living in Tornado Alley, we have had our share. With the May 3rd, 1999 tornado with the highest winds recorded, and a good part of our city leveled, that could be a great start to a story. But the strangest storm we had was Tropical Storm/Hurricane Erin in 2007. I remember that it sort of flopped around in the Gulf of Mexico and finally made landfall somewhere in south Texas. The strangest thing happened… Some how it made it’s way over Oklahoma…redeveloped and we had a hurricane. That night it rained and stormed and my husband woke me in the early morning hours standing at the end of the bed yelling about the hurricane. Well, I thought he was crazy. Satellite photos of the storm showed a very organized storm with the eye right over Oklahoma City. In the Gulf it was barely a tropical storm. Over Oklahoma, we had hurricane force winds, an eye and it killed 7 people with the winds and flooding.
February 2, 1976 The Ground Hog Gale struck east coast Canada and lasted for days. The cyclone boasted winds of 188km/hr and 39 foot waves. We already are home to the highest tides in the world but this was castrostrophic. I was at uni when it hit. The air raids sirens sounded for the first time since WWII and they tried to shephard us into the basement for safey. As I am claustrophobic , no one was putting me into a room with no windows so 5 of my friends linked arms and formed a human chain as we battled our way to the car. Circumnavigating downed power lines and roofs being blown off houses, we headed to the only McDonalds in town and got the last hamburger for days before the power went out and stayed out for 5 days in the dead of winter. Back at the residence were we lived, we farmed ourselves out to the police station to field emergency calls and to the hopsital to help where we could. That night 44 young women pulled their mattresses out into the hall, cranked up our battery operated 8 track and taught each other how to do The bump to the strains of K C and the Sunshine Band. The city was destroyed and took years to repair but weathered that storm with the innocence of our youth. We will never pass that way again.
LOL 8 Tracks… Yes …I have to say I remember those.lol
The ‘Whiteout’ was mystical and beautiful at the same time. My parents didn’t dare try and go out in the storm where snow was higher than our roofline. We all knew we HAD to get the dogs in so they tied ropes around my sister & me and we battled our way through the blizzard, up the hill & reached the kennels where we rescued our 5 Collies & 1 Irish Setter, bringing them back to the safety of home. That night we had dinner by the fire, thankful for all of us and our dogs. Worst blizzard in Iowa’s history.
My most recent story was in 2005’s 4 hurricane season. Hurricane #3 was the strongest of them in my hometown of Gainesville but I was down there visiting my mom for Jeanne, #4. It was windy and wet, but nothing we weren’t accustomed to around there. The power had gone out. I was reading by candlelight at the table, Mother was bathing. I heard a big crash from the library/TV room. I ran out there with my candle to find a tree had crashed through the roof, with rain pouring in, trying to put out my candle… Mother appeared, found a flashlight and I went exploring. A 60 year old hickory, undermined by storm #3, uprooted in this storm, falling smack dab on the electrical panel & the library wall. Somehow both cars in the adjoining carports were untouched. 8 months and $70,00 from State Farm later, Mother was home again!
July 1981-an early morning storm blew with tornado-like winds through our part of Michigan. Our house didn’t have a basement, so I pulled the mattress from my daughter’s bed and she and I and one of our dogs hid beneath till the storm was over. She was six and slept right through it; the dog and I were terrified. I expected any second the roof would blow off but the house sustained little damage. Lots of trees went down around us. We were very lucky that day.
Hurricane Hugo left me, a DSS CPS supervisor at the time, in charge of tree removal the first week of the aftermath! My job, “in the nerve center “of the county building, was to match those who called in with chainsaws with those who needed help with the removal of fallen trees. The next two weeks were spent as “crowd control” for those applying for emergency aid. It was hot, we had no electricity for 4 weeks, but those evenings at home with friends and family were great as we cooked out and entertained each other. I also loved my pass that allowed me to ride thru the National Guard checks after curfew as I worked 12 or more hours a day for 22 days in a row. It was a year of extremes: a cat 4 hurricane, a white Christmas, and all thanks to God for a glorius spring in ’90 as Hugo stripped all the trees so there was no color, even greenery for about 6 months.