No matter how alert we are, nature has a way of doing whatever she wants and hurricanes are no exception. This writer has ridden out many a storm over the years here in Florida as well as in coastal North Carolina and Virginia and each has its own mystery. Even though our ability to track and monitor these horrific storms has advanced dramatically, we still often get them wrong, but at least we have more advance knowledge than those who came before us in generations past.
Storms like Camille, Carla, Katrina and even the unnamed Galveston storm of 1900 bring chills to people as they hear the stories. In the Galveston event, the entire island city went to bed told by the National Weather Service that the storm had turned north to go up the East Coast when it was, in fact, barrelling across the Gulf of Mexico making a beeline for Texas. The result was the death of 6,000 residents of Galveston and the destruction of their beautiful Victorian town. This was the worst natural disaster of its type in American history, the closest such disaster being here in Florida in 1928 when over 2500 died near Lake Okeechobee when deadly hurricane rains ripped apart the earthen dikes, drowning those on the nearby lowland sugar cane properties.
So don't take things lightly, folks. While we may very well be spared any serious problems, hurricanes are fickle and when we err the wrong way we are the ones who pay the price for our mistake. Act accordingly and God bless.