Thursday, September 6, 2012
Watching the weather
Typically, I’m not much of a weather watcher.
But that changed last week, as Hurricane Isaac moved toward land.
Pam and I have two children, Emma and Andy, in Hattiesburg, just about 80 miles from Biloxi and the Mississippi Coast.
We started watching the early predictions on where the eye of Hurricane Isaac would make landfall. And those predictions changed and varied. There were even number one, number two and number three possible routes by the weather experts.
For all of us in Mississippi, we certainly were not hoping bad things for our neighbors in Alabama and Louisiana, but we did not want our state’s coastal area to take another huge hit – seven years to the day following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.
As it turned out, Isaac sidestepped New Orleans to the west and hit as a Category 1, packing heavy rain and 80 miles per hour winds.
Compared to Katrina, it was a piece of cake for folks living in the coastal regions.
But that’s not to take Isaac lightly. There was damage along its wide path. Many are still suffering.
In fact, more than 100,000 people in Louisiana remained without power Monday of this week, days after Isaac flooded the Gulf Coast area. Thousands were also without electricity in Mississippi and Arkansas.
We constantly stayed in touch with Emma and Andy via cell phone as Hurricane Isaac approached and after the storm made it to Hattiesburg.
Classes at the University of Southern Mississippi were cancelled Tuesday and Wednesday. They resumed Thursday, even though some classes did not meet, as tornado warnings and heavy rains continued.
USM has a hurricane plan in place. School officials have gone over it with parents during the orientation process. That’s comforting, and we felt confident in our children’s safety during Hurricane Isaac.
But that did not stop our nervousness as parents and our staying in constant phone contact with them.
Thankfully, they’re OK (Andy even got to come home for Labor Day weekend) and thankfully, Isaac was no Katrina.
The remnants of Hurricane Isaac posed little difficulty for North Mississippians. I think we were all hoping for lots more rain in these parts.
DeSoto County Schools decided to play their home football games Thursday night as they watched the forecasts. It seemed like a good move to me, too, but as it turned out, Thursday night I went to Center Hill (where Byhalia played) and shot photos and took notes in a constant rain with wind and the Friday night for Marshall Academy’s home game the weather was perfect.
I actually enjoyed trying out my new “wet weather” boots Thursday. But the wet notepad with spreading ink wasn’t fun.
I always choose to stay on the field though – no press box. But there was one time, during a monsoon in the Delta while covering Itawamba Community College, that I did make a dash to cover.
The weather-watching week wrapped up with loss of electricity at my house for six and a half hours Saturday (not due to weather) and then about four hours Sunday night (due to a scary storm that included a tornado warning).
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