It has been another wild week. On Tuesday afternoon, I flew to Orlando to do a seminar on Wednesday. After the seminar, I was planning to stay with some friends for a few days. On my flight to Orlando, I was watching the television in-flight. I started watching the Weather Channel and the meteorologists were discussing the path of Hurricane Matthew. They were discussing how it would approach Florida's east coast by late Thursday afternoon.
As I landed in Orlando that evening, I knew that I needed to change my plans and that I needed to fly out Thursday morning. I contacted an United representative and I was told that there would be an 8:25 a.m. flight and there were seats available.
I have lived through 2 hurricanes and escaped from another hurricane in the past 11 years.
In September 2005, four weeks after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, Hurricane Rita was headed towards Galveston and Houston, Texas. With all the damage that Katrina did to New Orleans, Houston residents did not want to stay for Rita. My husband, mother-in-law and I got out of Houston as fast we could and drove to Austin to stay with family. Rita did not hit Houston directly, but it hit the Texas/Louisiana border, which is east of Houston. Hurricane Rita was one of the fiercest storms on record. Hurricane Rita did achieve a Category 5 status, but weakened to a Category 3 before it hit the Texas/Louisiana coast.
Hurricane Ike hit Galveston and Houston on September 13, 2008. This was a Category 2 hurricane with one of the greatest storm surge ever seen. My husband and I stayed for this hurricane. I can remember the day before the hurricane winds hit our area. It was a beautiful, clear, calm day. We spent the day removing furniture and potted plants from outside. I had the television on all day, tracking the storm and listening to the meteorologist. Around 1 a.m., as I sat in front of the television, you could hear the roaring of the strong winds, at least 70 mph. One minute the lights and all electrical items were on and the next minute there were no electricity(no lights, no television, etc). All you could hear was the whistling of the wind, tree branches and rain hitting the windows and branches falling. I slept in the coat closet under the stairs that night. After about six hours, the wind began to died down and my husband and I were able to go outside to see what damage there was. Branches from the tall pine trees covered the yard and driveway. Trees had fallen. It was such a mess.
That afternoon we began to clean up around the house and neighborhood. Two weeks later, our electricity was back on.
On October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy hit Long Island, New York. Sandy had started out as a Category 3 and then weakened to a tropical storm and then restrengthened to a Category 1 hurricane before it hit Long Island. The storm surge hit New York City, flooding streets, tunnels and subway lines. I was living on the North Shore of Long Island when Sandy hit. I had friends and family visiting me from Texas a few days before. They were able to get out on one of the last flights back to Texas before La Guardia airport was closed. Since I had already survived Hurricane Ike, I knew that to be prepared for this hurricane, I needed to have my car filled with gas, get cash and water. After Hurricane Sandy hit, 90% of the island did not have electricity. Fortunately this time, I was part of the 10%.
I was able to get out of Orlando this morning. The airport was very busy with people trying to get out before the airport closed.
As I sit here and type, I am thankful to be in my home in Colorado. I am praying for my friends in Orlando and asking for God's angels to protect them during this time!