"Hurricanes...do come true...it can happen to you...if you're..."
My apologies to Mr. Durante, but my paraphrase of his song carries a little message with it. If you are in the path of Hurricane Irene on this upcoming weekend - get out of the way.
You are looking at a picture of Hurricane Hugo getting ready to devastate North and South Carolina in 1989. He paid my house a visit. That is significant because I live more than 200 miles inland. My dad was 80 years old at the time and had lived here his whole life. He had never witnessed a hurricane in these parts.
Naturally, all of us (including those his age) were anticipating this event with a bit of excitement. That excitement quickly vanished when the wind picked up and the rains came. We spent a sleepless night, praying that none of the many trees around our house would actually fall on the house. We prayed this because they were falling and there was nothing we could do to stop them.
After the storm, we ventured out to inspect our little town - a trip that turned out to be almost impossible because the roads were all blocked. Trees weren't just fallen. Many of them were standing on their heads in the middle of the street like giant stalks of broccoli, their trunks pointing toward the sky.
By comparison, here is Hurricane Irene - obviously a much larger storm than Hugo. And here is the thing. When Hugo passed over us, he was barely a hurricane, only a few miles shy of becoming a tropical storm.
So please - if you are reading this and you are in the path of Hurricane Irene - get out. Get out even if they are forecasting the storm to be minimal when it reaches you. I lived through one of those "minimal" storms and hope I never have to do it again.
Today is Countdown Friday
THE COUNT IS 37