Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A tale of 3 women.........& Elvis

Wouldn't you know it, just as a frisky female comes storming through my old neck of the woods, where am I?  .....holed up with beautiful weather in Memphis, TN.   Irene would have probably blown my socks off (or 'coconuts' if I were a palm tree).... That's usually not a feeling you'll soon forget.   What do hurricanes and red neck divorces have in common?  In the end someone is gonna lose a house trailer.  Ba da bump.......

Climate is what you expect.  Weather is what you get!  Officially, a hurricane is a tropical cyclone with winds exceeding 74 miles per hour and if they are big & bad enuf.....they get to have their names retired.  It's kind of like the Hurricane Hall of Fame.  Hurricanes form in the Atlantic & Pacific Americas.  Typhoons are hurricanes only in the western Pacific. Have been thru several hurricanes (2 in particular come to mind)........ Belle in '76 (ironically) & Gloria in '85!  Both significant but inconsequential as far as personal damage was concerned.  I remember quite vividly both 'eyes' passing directly overhead and that strange calm before the storm feeling.
Hurricane Belle was a real gum drop! 
My wife and I owned 2 fudge shops (Laura's) on Long Beach Island, NJ......1 in Ship Bottom.....1 in Beach Haven....... 5 miles apart.  Evacuating 100,000 people on an island 18 miles long & only 4 blocks wide, with one point on and off the island, will always be a  significant challenge for LBIers!

Hurricane Belle

Debbie & I were in Beach Haven when Belle neared.  Our daughter Dawn & niece were in Ship Bottom when evac plans started.  It took us nearly 5 hours to traverse 5 miles & Long Beach Blvd to get to Ship Bottom.  Had to eventually abandon the car (& wife) in Brant Beach' and run the rest of the way just to get to our store and the kids

At that point there was no way getting off the island .  We taped up all the windows, opened up the jealousies to relieve the pressure and waited on the impending storm.  Thank God the rest of the building was literally a concrete bunker! Time to brace for the 'parte'! There were so few of us left on the island and thankfully it all worked out!  Fun tho at the Hurricane Party later that night, via candle light at the Dolphin Restaurant.   Still remember that erie feeling, even today, going outside as the eye passed directly over us!   ......not so fond of roller coasters nor Batman-The Ride at Great Adventure but have never ever been afraid of a riding out a good cane 8-)

Hurricane Irene

In the  last 7 days the northeast has felt a 5.9 earthquake and a Category 1 hurricane....... 
Is 2012 coming early or did those religious nutz with all the billboards just miss their mark by a few months?
Thank God I'm in Memphis now...... tho I still own a home near the beach in South Jersey.  Thanks also not much damage to life & limb up north....... tho I have heard that the toll is up to 24 storm related fatalities.

The only 'cane' with catastrophic results in this Mid-South region was ironically from a storm that became commonly known as....Hurricane Elvis  It hit on July 22, 2003.....not even an actual hurricane.....just disastrous 'straight line' 100 mph winds...... it came without warning, attacking from a blue sky on an otherwise calm summer morning....much like Dec 7th    Its winds reached the level of a Category 2 hurricane but lasted for only 10 minutes in most areas  As the storm crossed the Mississippi River into Downtown Memphis, a barge recorded an unofficial wind reading of 108 mph.  A Commercial Appeal reporter happened to be driving to work that morning around 6:45am when he heard the thunderstorm warning over the radio about the 100 mph winds. Ten minutes later it came screaming in, literally as if a hurricane were passing overhead, lasting just a good 10 minutes with stuff flying everywhere and rain blowing sideways! The sun was up before it hit but became as dark as a ever a sky could after sunrise!  East Memphis looked like a war zone, I'm told, & many were without power for weeks in the Mid South July heat.  Having been here for 5 summers now, i'm quite sure that had to be quite nasty in 90 degree plus heat!  
Ironically, that storm got scant coverage in the national press...... 

One tuff Broad - Katrina a Cat 5

For news coverage you need only go back to a young lady by the name of Katrina.  I know they do name hurricanes & typhoons after guys too but why is it that the ladies always seem to wreck the most havoc!  Katrina, Camile, Gloria, Hazel, Celia, Donna, Belle...... (I think Andrew was secretly Andi!) Just sayin....

Kat formed on Aug 23 of 2005 and dissipated just 7 days later.  With winds recorded in excess of 175 mph, she caused 108 billion dollars in damage and left 1,800+ dead in her wake!   Well that's about it for this 'light hearted 'death & destruction' issue...... As I said, I'm never quite sure where this blog thing is going to take me......with this season's floods, storms & quakes, I am hopeful that I will not be writing any time soon on the movement of the New Madrid fault & the term liquafication in the same sentence! 

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