I'm watching the Weather Channel's coverage of the approach of Irene. It's certainly not going to affect us here in the midwest but I have lots of postcard pen pals on the east coast and I'm concerned for their safety.
I have readers in Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Maine. One of the forecast maps shows the hurricane making it's way up the coast all the way to Maine!
Mother nature can sure cause calamity! My friend in California assures me that thunderstorms are a rarity in Southern California. I don't think I could survive without a good thunderstorm every so often.
The thunder and lightning are energetic and exciting, as long as the lightning doesn't hit my house.
On one of my trips to Baltimore the remnants of a hurricane rolled into the area and sat, literally SAT on the place for days. It was a constant rain the like of which I'd never experienced. It wasn't a deluge but constant, constant, constant for days. My friend took us shopping in a little town called Ellicott City which itself was something totally new to me. The shops were very old and built into the side of a huge rock face. The back sides of the shops were literally rock walls. Amazing.
On the other side of the street was a stream flowing downhill, UNDER the shops! That was scary to me. Inside one of the shops we could hear water rushing. I certainly didn't feel safe. The raging stream continued to flow downhill into a river at the bottom of the hill. A quick look revealed all kind of things had washed downstream, including a full sized refrigerator!
I haven't survived a flood and have no desire to. Moving water is one of the most dangerous forces on the planet. Water will have it's way!
My poor friends on the east coast, the same ones that are waiting for the hurricane to arrive, just experienced an earthquake. Yahoo News ran an article that explained the difference between a 5.8 earthquake on the east coast as compared to the same size quake in California, something about the crust and frequencies.
EAST COAST VS. WEST COAST QUAKES
All I know is that the quake we experienced here in Illinois a year-and-a-half ago was not the undulating wave type. It was the BAM - SLAM - knock you out of bed type. The kind that makes you believe that a snow plow has hit the house. That was not an experience I'd like to repeat. The feeling was seriously creepy. I was creeped out for days.
Wildfires and firestorms do not occur around here. Yet another natural disaster I have no desire to experience.
Tornados? Now there's something I know having been in four of them, three here in Illinois and one in San Antonio, Texas. The Texas tornado left me screaming at my co-workers who didn't have much experience with twisters. The weather turned dangerous. The severity, speed and color of the clouds told me what was coming. My co-workers were fascinated and ran to the large plate glass windows. Picture me screaming at the top of my lungs for them to run into the interior rooms as quickly as they could. Huge Air Force transport planes were flipped over like toys on that day.
Clouds roll in over the fields.
But the take-the-cake tornado was the one that the Farmer and I drove inside. Yep, being the adventurous fools that we are and actually not even realizing that a twister had touched down (rain wrapped tornado, late a night) we drove in the outside swirling edge, driving with the storm as it moved parallel to the highway. It was WILD!
I don't remember being afraid because I wasn't aware we were in a tornado. I just remember saying to the Farmer, "This is the WORST thunderstorm I've ever seen!"
Now, there's an understatement. The lighning was crazy. It was like we were in some type of wild nightclub with strobe lights going off in each direction. The Farmer crept along at 5 mph as I guided him along by keeping my eye on the white fog line on the edge of the road. Lightning struck and transformer just as we passed and the entire thing blew up in a shower of fire and sparks.
I think I'm done with tornados.
My thoughts are with those of you on the east coast. Be like a Boy Scout, be prepared, get outta Dodge and stay safe.
I'd love to hear your stories of natural disasters. I think we've all lived through one or two.