Quiet weekends and hurricane season

We had a fairly quiet weekend, which was just great. I slept late on Saturday and then spent most of the rest of the day running errands on the far side of town. Saturday evening mass and then off to eat some seafood at a casual beach restaurant with two other couples. Sunday was spent cleaning up the yard and the pool, doing laundry and other equally exciting chores. We have such an interesting life.

As the summer winds down in this part of the country, there is a mix of emotions. You hate the see the summer end, but on the other hand the college football season is right around the corner. Around here, that is about as exciting as Christmas is to a small child.

Here on the coast, there is another issue that raises its head this time of year – hurricane season. Every day, people who for the rest of the year, are only casually interested in the weather make sure they check in on the Weather Channel or Weather Underground every day. Although they are thousands of miles away, cloud formations off the west coast of Africa are the topic of conversations in the aisles of the grocery stores. There is a little edge — a little anxiety — that sticks with you all the time.

When a storm actually does hit somewhere else, you have mixed emotions. “Gee, I’m really sorry you were hit by a hurricane, but I’m even happier it didn’t hit me!

Hurricane Floyd September 1999

Hurricane Floyd September 1999

It’s been ten years since Hurricane Floyd threatened this part of the coast before making one of those famous right hand turns and heading north to North Carolina.  The evacuation is legendary among Savannahians. It is fortunate we weren’t hit by a major storm in the ensuing couple of years. I know many people, Mrs. Poolman included, who said, “I’d rather sit here and suffer through a hurricane than spend another 23 hours stuck on the road to Atlanta.”

There is a local myth that Savannah is protected from hurricanes by the curvature of the coast. There is actually a little truth to the legend, but it certainly isn’t a bullet-proof shield. The rotation of the Earth tends to make hurricanes curve to the right (north.) They also feed off of warm water, and the north-flowing Gulf Stream runs about 100 miles off shore here. Both of those will give a storm a tendency to turn to the north, but they are only two of lots of other factors, most of which  I do not understand.

So as of this evening, we have a tropical storm in the Gulf that appears to be heading for Alabama, and another out in the Atlantic, heading who-knows-where.

I guess I’ll be joining everyone else watching the Weather Channel for the next two and a half months.

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4 responses to “Quiet weekends and hurricane season

  1. Your weekend sounds similar to many of mine. Excitement is fun, but there’s something to be said for just relaxing and enjoying a mellow weekend.

    A hurricane would scare me to death and I’m not sure how you deal with them. It sounds like you regard them with a similar wariness as I do the winter snow storms we get here.

  2. We get hit with those “right-turning” tropical storms…

  3. I have a friend who lives in FL and works at an insurance agency. Her busiest times are May and October. Why? The clients increase their coverage in May and decrease it in late November so that they have max coverage during hurricane season.

    She has sent some spooky e-mails before, during and after being hunkered down for a hurricane.

    I lived in Western MA my entire life before moving to Southern CA 4 years ago. In MA we had all kinds of weather but nothing devastating. Here in CA I have a “grab-‘n-go” bag ready in case of evacuation, a list of what to do in each evacuation scenario (earthquake vs fire) and a list of what additional stuff to grab, room by room, if there’s time.

    Stay safe this hurricane season!

    • Judy–

      Thanks for the kind thoughts. The whole storm insurance picture is so messed up. I have no sympathy for someone who tries to work the system.

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