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Growing up in the hurricane state

by Meghann on August 27, 2012

We have a tropical storm in our backyard.

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Why, hello, Mr. Isaac. I can’t say it’s a pleasure to meet you.

Isaac is not the first tropical storm to pass so close to home this season, and he certainly won’t be the last. Hurricane season runs through November and usually reaches its peak sometime in mid-late September, which means we probably still have a storm or two in our near future.

Growing up in Florida, I am no stranger to hurricanes or the havoc they cause every summer. I think my first taste of understanding what a hurricane is was in second grade, when Hurricane Andrew hit Miami (exactly 20 years ago this month). We were lucky in Central Florida, with just some rain and a little wind. I don’t actually remember much from the day the hurricane made landfall, except that I got to miss the first day of school. It wasn’t until a few weeks later, when I made a new friend whose family had to relocate to the area after they lost their home down south, that I actually understood the destruction Andrew had left behind. It was a hard lesson to learn at 8.

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In 1999 Hurricane Floyd threatened Central Florida. It was the first time I ever remember my parents being legitimately scared of a storm. Our family did everything we were supposed to do – we boarded our windows, packed up our van, and headed inland. Where did we go? Disney World. The All-Stars resort was apparently the best deal my parents could find for a hotel, as every other spot in Orlando filled quickly with other east coast evacuees. It actually wasn’t a bad situation. It wasn’t raining yet when we arrived, so we spent the rest of the afternoon swimming in the hotel pool. The also hotel provided a free meal and had an arcade, where we spent the rest of the night wasting quarters.

Thankfully, Floyd made a sharp turn in the middle of the night and headed north. Our coast was spared of any severe damage, but the majority of our county still lost power and remained powerless for the week. My dad bought a generator the first night without power. Our house quickly became the favorite of all my friends as we were the only ones with power to watch TV or play video games. We also got to miss 4 days of school due to the power outages. Unfortunately, we had to make up two of those days at the end of the school year.

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2004 was the year of hurricanes for Central Florida. I was in school at the time up in Tallahassee, but I think my brother and sister missed a total of 16 days of school that year back home. It was not a good year to live on the east coast of Florida. A curfew was put in place through the county and most businesses stayed closed, due to high winds and power outages.

I missed the other hurricanes, but I was in town when Charlie hit. Charlie made his way across Florida the day before my cousin’s wedding – you can read more about that experience HERE.

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Andrew, Floyd, and Charlie were just a few of the storms I’ve lived through in my 27+ years in Florida. My family has been VERY LUCKY with our hurricane experience. The most we’ve had to deal with is fallen trees (that thankfully did not land on our house or cars) and lost power. I’ve known friends and neighbors that have not been so lucky, they are my reminder that you can never be too cautious and that these storms are NEVER predictable.

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Hurricanes or no hurricanes, Florida is still my home. I believe that no matter where you go in this country, there’s the potential for a natural disaster of some form to hit. We may have hurricanes here, but at least we don’t have earth quakes – the idea of those scare the crap out of me!

Even though Isaac is far off the west coast of Florida, we’re still getting a taste of him all the way on the east coast. It was windy, rainy, and gloomy when I woke up this morning. I decided to toss my plans for a run in my parents’ neighborhood out the door and instead headed to the gym. 3 miles on the treadmill was all I was after. :)

After the gym I met my friend Allison at Sunrise Bakery for scones.

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I got the orange date, my FAVORITE.

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I also picked up a loaf of Flax Seed bread.

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Which made awesome sandwiches with the leftover pork in my parents’ fridge for lunch.

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Plus, apple slices.

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Puppy’s first tropical storm.

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Still no name. :(

I’m waiting for it to clear up some before I head back to Tampa. I think Orlando is being hit with the outer bands the hardest right now, but according to the weather channel, it should pass soon.

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