Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Gustav Grief...

Labor Day 2008 was different from any other Labor Day holiday I have experienced. There were no cookouts or bar-be-ques, no parades, no celebrations.
This year, I spent the weekend preparing for what could have been a catastrophic storm.
Gustav made landfall on the Gulf Coast this morning. Almost three years to the date that Hurricane Katrina shattered South Mississippi and cause the levees to break in New Orleans a day later.
I have never been in a hurricane, so waking up to my windows shaking from the 100 mph winds was a sound I hope I don't have to hear again.
The sound of rain pounding the roof, the whistling of the wind and sirens outside my door were quite scary.
Over the course of two days, I worked about 30 hours non stop. I interviewed people evacuating, members of the Mississippi National Guard and everyone in between.
The coast was a staging ground for the weather channel, CNN and every other large media outlet across the country.
My family and friends were glued to their TVs and PDAs waiting to see what Gustav would do to the coast.
Essentially both areas got large bands of rain and we are dealing with flooding. That will probably be the case over the next few days. But let me tell you...this is scary. To know in a flash, your whole life could chance within a matter of minutes.
It's scary because while the rest of the world is watching, I am that voice who is expected to remain calm and disseminate the information to the masses without breaking a sweat.
Now as the day winds down, I will go to sleep to a much different sound.
It's quiet here on the coast. Almost erie. There are faint sounds of frogs and the occasional gust of wind.
Other than that, we are now waiting for the next round of storms this hurricane season.
Before I left work tonight, I learned that Mother Nature is not letting up this season.
Hurricanes Hannah and Ike are already in motion.
Now people on the coast will take another deep breath in hopes that neither storm comes our way.
Stay Tuned...Elise

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