I was glad it turned out well in that regard and it made me think about my own personal experience with hurricanes since the majority of my life has been spent on either the Atlantic coastal plain or on the coast. First and foremost, I thought about how close I came to Michael, since it only passed one hundred and fifty miles to our west. After our flooding mess and lack of water and electricity for a full week with Irma last year, I counted myself lucky. And then I thought back at my childhood, from Hurricane Barbara in 1953 at Nags Head, Hurricane Hazel the following year which hit both Nags Head and Hampton Roads hard and then to Hurricane Donna in 1960, which struck both locations as well and left a mess. Then as an adult, I remember being stuck in traffic on the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel when Hurricane Gloria was barreling our way as A category 4 and 5, only to suddenly turn out to sea and strike New England instead. And I can never forget the two 2004 storms while we were residing in an RV awaiting our new home connections, Frances and Jeanne, which gave us a run for the money for sure. Thinking of those things, I took note of what we must be prepared to deal with if we live in places prone to these storms. They are as natural as the sun coming out daily if you live in the Southeastern United States, particularly in late summer and fall.
Now as Michael winds its way down, moving rapidly toward the northeast and a likely departure into the Atlantic somewhere near Hampton Roads, the one blessing from it was that it was rapidly moving. Had it parked just offshore of the Panhandle with winds over 150 miles per hour, the surge would have continued to grow in size and the weakening of structures buffeted for extended periods and massive rains would have been much worse. Anyone remember Hurricane Harvey? I know the folks in Texas do.
So, what can we take from the storm and use for the future. Well, for one thing, maybe we need to think about just how densely we want to pack the coastline of our fair country. After all, the point of impact for Michael was in a an area of smaller cities and beach towns as was the internal regions in adjoining Georgia. Had this been a Tampa, or a Miami, or even a Jacksonville, it would have been so much worse. How many people do we want to jam in harm's way from which they'll have very little chance of evacuating? Seriously, Florida can build all the superhighways it wants, but if a storm suddenly forms, no one is going anywhere. And even if the roads are working, all it takes is one bad driver to tie things up in the worst of moments. It happens all the time.
I don't say this to be a bearer of bad tidings, but building roads on top of roads when we don't even care properly for the ones we have is not an answer to anything. It's just an excuse to justify packing people in ever even tighter, turning their little concept of paradise into a nightmare of major proportions. It's time to think about things objectively before we carry on with doing business the same old way. The same old way sometimes doesn't work so well. Somehow I don't think that staying on a beach where the one thing you can't see is the sea is such a great idea. But, then again, that's just one person's view. To each his or her own, I guess.