Last night, Tropical Storm Ida paid a visit to Mobile, Alabama as well as the far western portion of the Florida Panhandle before making its way northeast up into Alabama and Georgia. By tomorrow, forecasts have it well into Georgia and the Carolinas.
As the storm traveled in the Gulf of Mexico as a Category Two Hurricane on Sunday; my wife spent the day, cleaning house, washing clothes, and making sure we had food that would cook on a grill in case the electricity went out for days after the storm. I dubbed it “storm nesting”. It’s her standard operating procedure to prepare for hurricanes in this manner.
While she made these preparations, the Category Two Hurricane was weakening on into Sunday night becoming a Category 1 and meteorologists were predicting landfall on Tuesday morning with Ida becoming a Tropical Storm shortly before landfall. Reports on the local news announced school closings and warnings of power outages, and possible evacuations from low-lying and flood-prone areas.
Being the slacker that I am, I was imagining a possible day off on Tuesday due to the impending weak hurricane or strong tropical storm. I knew my wife would have to work on Monday to prepare for patients at her company needing emergency care after the storm in case of power outages from the storm. (A job, I helped at during our last hurricane) Due to my new job, I knew that I would report to work Monday afternoon but I had hopes that an early dismissal might be eminent by nightfall, to allow people to be at home as the leading bands of the storm would begin to arrive and I thought that today would bring power outages and missed work.
In actuality, my wife came home at 3PM on Monday and I worked 7 hours of a eight hour shift. My corporate headquarters finally decided to let us leave as some local flooding was occurring and a curfew was put in place in some areas. By this time, the once mighty Ida would arrive as a big rainmaker with relatively low winds shortly after midnight and would be all but gone by Tuesday morning.
We awoke this morning to grey skies; strong, cool, wind gusts, with no power outages, no wide-area damage, and no reason not to go to work. No, I wasn’t hoping for a disastrous storm, power outages, damages or injuries. I know all too well, how a hurricane can wreak havoc on your life and would not have wanted a storm the size that would have warranted the preparations that my wife undertook, but I guess I was just a little disappointed in Ida. Think about it. I got off from work. The storm came in, I went to sleep and the storm was gone. I went back to work. Something just don’t seem right…or wrong…or whatever.
Anyway, all is well, and that really is a good thing. Such is life on the Gulf Coast and the fast changing ways of impending tropical weather systems.
photo by Jeff Jones