AFTER THE STORM
I watched TV as Hurricane Ike came towards Texas, and hoped it wouldn’t hit New Orleans again. Each day a different possibility arose. I also noted that as the hurricane came on land that it had several options on where it would go.
Well, I thought, at least it will go one of about twelve different ways, none of which included Louisville. None of the forecasters had it coming through Louisville. Besides, I thought, at most it would just be wind and rain. It wouldn’t be anything like the force that would come on land in Texas.
Still, I watched morning and night at newscasts, and forecasts. Thank heavens we wouldn’t be subjected to that mess left behind. Well, I was outside on our deck, when I noted a dramatic change. Not in the temperature, but in the strength of the wind. It went from being a breeze to 75 mph winds in a short matter of time. I would have stayed outdoors, because I am a weather watcher, but everything was blowing off the deck to the other side. The grill made a quick swoosh and hit the other end of the deck. All the deck chairs and table followed. I went inside to turn on the T.V. and it had just begun to broadcast an alert when all the electricity went out. Luckily we had a battery operated small radio that we turned on, to see exactly what we were in for.
Things went from bad to worse. We saw and heard limbs cracking off, saw trees uprooted and debris everywhere just from our window. I called my kids and they didn’t have power either. My son lives in New Albany, Indiana which is right across the river from Louisville. My daughter lives in a nearby subdivision. A domino effect seemed to go into play.
An alert went out that we were declared a disaster area and no cars were allowed on the streets. Lines were down everywhere. Sirens could be heard from all directions. I had phone service and called my daughter’s cell. She said it was a nightmare there. As it turns out, Louisville had the worst power outage and damage in our history. As we were able, we functioned on candles, flashlights and the small radio. We put what we could in a cooler. Generators were sold out within hours all over the city. Gas stations and restaurants were closed.
My daughter and the kids got over to our house, later, and we all stuck it out through the night and the next day. Then we heard the news that we probably would not have power restored for up to two weeks. Luckily, my daughter got hers after three days, at which time we headed for the lake here in northern Indiana. I can’t believe the contrast. It is beautiful with a slight breeze here. The temperature is perfect. It almost makes me feel a bit guilty that we have a place to escape to, when so many are stuck in the circumstances there. To make matters worse, (depending on one’s opinion), the Ryder’s Cup is in Louisville. So all the hotels and motels were booked anyway. Hundreds of people volunteered to get the golf course in shape before the day the Ryder’s Cup began (you can see what priorities exist). I thought it was an outrage that they CHARGED people to come and help get things in shape. (I think it was $150 or $250 to help). Now, I’m sure a lot of you are gung-ho into golf but I’m not one of them.
As we passed over the Kennedy Bridge on our way out of town, I said Sayonara! The last I checked (and this is Saturday), we are still without power in Louisville at my house. It’s funny how the first day seems like an adventure, and romantic, in a way, with storytelling and candles. But by the fourth day it was maddening. Courtesy at traffic lights which weren’t working was fine for the first day or two and then it was like “guts corner”. We will go home when the lights come back on, and I feel we are enormously fortunate to have a place to go, and especially my favorite place in the world: Indiana!
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