Damn it! I went through hurricane Ivan down here. The aftermath was more than I ever expected and certainly more than anyone else who didn’t live here had ever expected. I would talk to people on the phone 8 months afterward and tell them that Pensacola was still a mess. Most people had no idea. Once the story is off the news everyone forgets. I’d been guilty of it too, but who could know? To anyone who doesn’t know, the hardest part of a hurricane isn’t living through it, it’s the rebuilding after the storm is long gone. Pensacola still isn’t 100%. There are still signs that never got replaced and homes that never got rebuilt. There are many buildings that have just gotten to the point where they could start reconstruction, yeah a year later.
I lived in Georgia most of my life. I am only in Pensacola to finish school. In Georgia all you have to be worried about is occasional flooding, lightning and tornados. A tornado wrecked an area near where I lived once. The devastation was pretty bad, but it was very localized. Nothing could have prepared me for how bad a hurricane is. Let me give you a picture:
The hurricane has past. You wanna hear what’s going on by listening to the radio? You can’t, no towers for miles. You wanna watch TV? Nope, not unless you can pick up a signal from somewhere far enough away from the damaged area which can be a hundred miles or more. Maybe you wanna call your family or friends to tell them you’re ok. Well just hope you have a cell phone whose towers aren’t all down because the landlines are mostly gone. No stores are open for anything, no power, and no clean water. You can’t even flush a toilet for God’s sake. There are trees and debris everywhere, I mean everywhere. The town is, literally, like living in the 1700’s.
Ivan was a category 3, though if you ask anyone here they’ll tell you it was a four. This new hurricane, Denis, could be a solid category four and looks like it is taking the same path as Ivan. Am I worried? No, not really. What’s to be worried about? Yeah, there’s going to be plenty of property damage and a long slow rebuild…again, but I don’t feel like my life or my family’s is in any danger. Most deaths that occur from hurricanes are due to being in a bad location (aka the beach or flood zone). We will be far away from that so I am pretty sure we’ll be safe. Still, my wife and I just don’t want to go through the whole process again. Damn you nature, why must you give with one hand, and bitch-slap with the other.