Friday, July 08, 2005

Mother Nature, You Bitch!

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.


Nothing Like It said...

Nature is harsh. England is pretty much free of hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, volcanoes and that kind of stuff so my scariest encounter of nature was probably once when there was a thunderstorm and the power was out! I would be terrified if I was in your situation...stay safe.

bobo said...

Hope you are hanging in there and well stocked to get through the storm.

mommyjolle said...

I know it may have been scary for many people but I think that anyone who saw it, whether in person or even on t.v can't help but be awed by the sheer power of nature. Watching those enormous, angry waves crashing against man-made structures is sort of mesmerizing. And it sort of reminds you of how much we are really at the mercy of the powerful forces of nature.
Still, I guess that doesn't help in dealing with the aftermath. I have to admit I was totally taken aback when we came to visit Pensacola several months after Ivan and the scars of destruction made it seem like time had stood still. It was depressing to see all the blue tarps, piles of debris and un-rebuilt fences or businesses.
Well, keep up your strength...Emily is on the way

Brillig said...

Oh thanks. Jeese, like I needed news like that. "Yeah good job on getting through that hurricane. Glad your alright...oh by the way there is another on it's way. It should be there six days or so. Well have a nice week." Yeah you too.

Bert Ferkner said...

I went down to P-cola 3 times in the last year, and couldn't believe how much was still left to be cleaned up in that town. When you fly in all you see is blue roofs from all that wrap they put on. It is crazy, but thank god you are ok.

Ali said...

Jesus. I'll take the earth shakers here in Cali any day.

Good luck :(