Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Memories of the Wind.. and the rain.. and the tornadoes PART 1

Today is June 1, 2007. For those of you who don't live on the coast, it just means that your next three days weekend is over three months away (the 4th of July is on a Wednesday this year). For those of us who live mere minutes from the World's Most Beautiful Beaches it means



OK, maybe not complete and total panic, just slight heart palpitations thinking about it. Unless you have lived in Florida for less than two years, you have been through an eventful hurricane season, one that covered every inch of the state. I have lived in NW Florida for most of my 40 years and 2004 & 2005 were eye-opening, to say the least.

My very first hurricane was 1975's Eloise who managed to get me out of school for a day and convince me (at 8 years old) that napping was not a bad thing. I lived further from the coast then, so we got some wind and rain and not much else. Pretty boring really. Of course it was not boring for everyone and Eloise's eye passed real damn close to where I live now. And that is the last one who has been that close to my current residence.

After Eloise my life became a series of hurricane stories as told from the viewpoint of a Florida native. Frederick in '79, Elena in '85 (anyone else remember that bitch's figure 8?), she was the first one that freaked me out a little because she wouldn't make landfall. Of course there was a slight threat from Andrew in '92, but he managed to get New Orleans. Then Opal in '95. She managed to make a giant mess along the coast of NW Florida and I lost about $250 worth of food, but still not that bad for me, personally and not even horrible for Florida. There wasn't the death or financial toll of Andrew three years earlier.

And then all was quiet on the Northwestern Florida front. Tropical waves, depressions and storms, but nothing major. Until 2004.

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