Sunday, November 08, 2009

Say what?

We are preparing for a hurricane in November. Not fair!

Right now my lovely hometown is right in the center of Ida's projected path cone. School has been canceled through Thursday (Bella's teacher was almost jubilant when she called to tell me). There's a run on ice and bottled water at the grocery stores, gas stations are mobbed, and insanity reigns. The good thing about hurricanes is that you do have the notice, but you have a lot of tough decisions to make, like whether or not to evacuate.

I'm not planning on leaving, although after Hurricane Ivan in 2004 I decided I would leave for a strong category 2 or higher. I was genuinely scared going through Ivan. We were in good spirits at first, but as the night progressed things got bad - there were leaks that turned into downpours, ceilings started collapsing, and the huge oak tree in the front year developed an ominous lean. I remember huddling in the hallway with my then two-year old little girl, praying, and being distracted by droplets of water on my face from yet another roof leak. We were running around pulling pictures off the wall, dragging furniture out of rooms whose ceilings had fallen, putting pots and pans under the contained was really scary. And we were lucky compared to some, compared to many, really.

Evacuating is a mixed bag - you can get out of town, but traffic can be horrible and, unless you're headed north, there's always the chance that the storm will change direction and you'll be driving into the bad weather. A neighbor of mine told me a horror story about getting stuck on the interstate trying to evacuate during Hurricane Opal, and trying to dodge tornadoes, drive with zero visibility, etc.

There's also the choice about battening down the hatches. How far do you go? For this storm, I'm going to take in the items on the patio and move things away from windows and doors (in case of wind-driven rain). You have to decide whether or not to board up windows, among other things. I am employed by a small business that sells high-end grand pianos and church organs, among other things. Preparing for a hurricane there is no fun. Lots of heavy things to put up on blocks, lots of moving and shifting and hoping for the best.

This will be a tense night. Things can change overnight, maybe for the better. Or maybe not. I'm thinking that we will get rain and blustery wind and hopefully that will be the end of it. I have to decide where to stay tomorrow night. Depending on how things look, we might go stay at my in-law's house. I don't really trust the construction of our apartments - if noise passes so freely between the walls, I can't help but wonder about wind and rain. Plus, at my in-law's house, I can be there to help should more roof issues arise. I don't know what my grandparents are planning to do, and I'm worried about that.

And I just saw that the weather channel is sending Jim Cantore here, which anyone who lives in a hurricane zone knows means that YOU ARE GOING TO GET HIT. Jim Cantore is like a hurricane magnet - where he goes, storms follow. Dang it.

I was going to start pulling things off the patio earlier and I encountered a snake. A small-ish snake, but still a snake, so I hastily retreated inside the house and decided the clearing the porch is my husband's job.

You just never know. But, having the notice is vastly preferable to just being slammed, so I shouldn't complain. Sigh. A hurricane in November. Boo! The upside: if we lose power, it won't be as hot. There we go. I'll cling to that while I'm watching the tropical update on the weather channel all night. If you pray, I know whoever is in the path of this hurricane would appreciate a word or two, so keep us (or whomever!) in mind.