The gulf’s hurricanes have been ignoring Alabama for a couple of years now, hitting states on either side of us. I can’t say that we mind, but the windy hiatus is over. One is expected to roll in tomorrow right over the top of the Blackbelt, and flood warnings are currently in effect. I don’t think anything serious will happen, but I can’t help but note that tomorrow is also the anniversary of Hurricane Ivan hitting the state, and that one was a whopper.
I was attending the local community college, and my parents were both in California, visiting my mother’s family, and when we lost power for over a week, I was left largely to my own devices as to what to do. I’d sheltered from the storm at my grandmother’s house, along with several other family members, listening to the wind howl through the trees in utter darkness. I can still remember the bizarre popping sound trees made when they strained and fell. Radio stations were largely off the air, but a few combined services onto one channel to offer period updates. It was all very surreal.
I arrived home to find a tree on the house, I could only be relieved that it wasn’t worse. The tree was a little gumball (sweetgum) tree, and the front porch had absorbed most of its weight, sparing the house itself. Because I was the sound engineer at my parents’ church (my church, then, for another year or so) and had keys to the building, I decided to ‘move in’ there until my parents returned. The church had power — lights! — but more importantly, air conditioning. (Never underestimate the value of AC near the gulf coast.) That area of the county was rare in that it retained power: most places were without it for more than a week. The national guard or FEMA — some authority — arrived in town to distribute MREs, but I tried a couple and decided: only if I was starving. I think I mostly subsisted on what I could lug from the house to the church, lots of canned chili, soup, and sandwiches. I remember making a ‘bed’ by re-arranging six identical padded, armless chairs in the church in a 2-column, 3-row formation with the backs outward, giving me a comfy trench to place my sleeping bag in.
I don’t think Sally will do that kind of damage, but from what I’ve read it’s a slow-moving storm and so the main threat will be rain — the Alabama EMA is expecting 6-8 inches of rain, and river flooding until Saturday. Poor drainage in town is more of a threat than the river, though! If there are power disruptions, fear not…I have one review lined up for tomorrow, and if I’m able to finish Becoming Wild tonight, I may be able to schedule one for later in the week.