Day 7 & 8: Hurricane Florence…not an experience one wants

20180904_225704462_iOS_Signed.jpgI wanted to give my respects for those suffering, and who will suffer, from the wrath of Florence. I have been through many storms in my time; Hurricane Ike & Harvey and Oklahoma tornadoes were my worst ones. Since Florence is hitting land tonight, I guess I can tell you about my storm times. Short stories, but many of them, including a sandstorm in Iraq.

I’m sure I have been through many more storms that I don’t remember or know about, but my forst hardcore storm that placed a memory in my mind was Hurricane Katrina in 2005. I was 14 years old and at my mothers. I wasn’t really scared because my mom’s house was well built. However, she lives right by a bayou, as in 10 feet of the bayou from the property belongs to her, and that was the scary part. Katrina was not bad for Texas, but it devastated Louisiana. Our power was off for about a week and we slept in our gameroom. My bed was the pool table and we ran a generator to turn on a fan. Not really any damage, but frightening as a child.

The next storm was Hurricane Ike. This one was very devastating and destructive for Texas. i was at my dad’s, about 16, and we were in the boonies. Lots of trees, old houses, trailers, and tons of land to be flooded. We definitely flooded and had about 25 trees knocked down over a 6 acre property. During this storm, my dad had the emergency radio out listening to it constantly; we had MREs handed out by FEMA; our power was out for 2 weeks; and schools were flooded, so no school for a month. I actually fell asleep during this storm, and during my nap, the biggest and closest tree on the property fell parallel to our trailer, and I didn’t even wake up. This was a scary storm and probably could’ve ended my life.

The next crazy storm I encountered was a massive sandstorm in Iraq when I served my tour in 2010, stationed on Balad/FOB Anaconda. There were many sandstorms, but this one was overly impressive. The sand in Iraq was so fine, and the storm was so thick, one couldn’t see 2 feet in front of them. During this time, every military personnel on the base had to wear complete gear. The CRAMs that protected the base couldn’t detect anything during a sandstorm, so a warning would be pushed out that the base would be dangerous until the storm clears, which lasted for about 2 days. I positively know that I have respiratory issues due to breathing in TONS of sand in Iraq. It’s not a pretty sight, but a rare one.

Still during my military term, I was stationed in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in the city of Fayetteville. I had been through snow storms, flooding rain, and a sandstorm, what else was to come? There was a wild tornado outbreak in NC that I had no clue of. I was at home on lunch watching TV, and suddenly the TV cuts out. Everything cuts out in the apartment. I walked across the street to my regular Subway to see what was going on. They said tornadoes had hit ground about 2 miles up the road, which is where my step-daughter went to school. They had to hide under tables and in bathrooms. It was scary as a ‘parent’ to find out that the weather is affecting yours children”s schooling.

The next crazy storm was the tornado outbreak in Oklahoma in 2013. The dangers of the NC tornadoes didn’t hit where I was, but theses tornadoes were within half a mile from my home in OK. The massive destruction was in southern OK, but the tornado spawn span was massive that it reached Collinsville, OK. There was no damage to my home, but there was damage to nearby homes and fences. This was very devastating and cost lots of money. Many people were without homes for a long time and I felt blessed to not have my rent home, at the time, destroyed. These tornadoes were very scary and I definitely wouldn’t want to run into them again.

Hurricane Harvey of 2017 was the next biggest storm. It didn’t affect my area as much, but it was disastrous to Houston. They were extremely flooded with debris and trees everywhere. The little trailer neighborhood thats in the back of my neighborhood were flooded. They have a small creek that runs behind them and it flooded so bad that people were carrying baskets on top of their heads in waist deep water. Trucks would drive out of the water with water pouring from the door cracks. It was really bad for most here in Houston, and people are still recovering from it.

Hurricanes, or any other storm, are not a game, not something to take lightly. I would have definitely evacuated out of North Carolina, if I were still there. Hurricanes Matthew and Sandy were destructive for the east coast, and Florence is worse. I give my prayers to those suffering in this disaster.

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