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Sundries
...a sweatshop of moxie

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Wilma Confuses Florida For Bedrock

I have already blogged about Hurricane Andrew, and have even let you hear what Hurricane Katrina, in her category 1 incarnation, sounded like.

But honestly, those of us in Florida are just sick of this hurricane season. Enough!

It's the simple pre-annoyingness of it all, really, because when a hurricane actually strikes, the best of people comes out.

It's actually very touching to see perfect strangers talking to each other, when before, they never would dream of stopping and saying "howdy", plus sharing tips on where to get water or ice.

During Andrew, for example, I saw more than one person come out of no where, and just stand at the edge of the road, directing traffic, often with their shirts off and a keffiya-looking headscarf protecting their head and face. Just because all the traffic lights were down, and there are only so many coppers who can direct busy intersections. A nightmare for all drivers concerned.

This in roadside temperatures easily in excess of 104°F/40°C!

What's more, people obeyed them too.

And not only that, but most touchingly of all, which I witnessed at least 2 or 3 times, people would slow down during a lull in traffic, and wordlessly reach out and hand over a Coke, or water, or even sandwiches I saw once, which the self-appointed cop would gratefully accept.

People who are not used to everyday catastrophes are great, I've found.

And Americans are the best of the best -- they redefine neighbourliness, kindness, and generosity when disaster strikes.

Maybe living in South Florida has its drawbacks. Maybe we have to duck hurricanes and weave-and-bob tropical storms more than most.



But man, I wouldn't live anywhere else, since it's the people which make a place what it is.

Just promise to remind me of my hooray harry attitude come Sunday, yes?

HURRICANE WILMA FROM THE HORSE'S MOUTH:

Babalu Blog
26th Parallel
American Future: Live-Blogging (also has great Saddam video links)

FRIDAY 3:30 AM UPDATE: We must be getting the Wilma feeder bands, because we're being pounded by thunder and rain as I type. Should I disappear for a few days, you know what happened. I'll try to be back as soon as I can, if so.

8 Comments:

  • You're right Victoria, despite all the destruction that Hurricane Andrew brought, it also brought out the best in our community. South Floridians rallied and helped each other in ways never seen before. We became a stronger community much closer with our own neighbors. I lived in the Kendall area at that time and while Andrew did serious damage, it was wonderful to see all the help that poured in from other communities.

    By Blogger Jose Aguirre, at Thu Oct 20, 09:04:00 am GMT-4  

  • I'll be keeping my eye on you this weekend; if there is any place better equipped and conditioned to deal with natural disasters, where could it be? I'm just sorry that you have to rank so high in the category.
    People are consistently kind in this country, again, as in war coverage, the media show the worst. As in your case, those who loot, charge prices way too high, or perform shoddy work.
    What you've written is the truth about most people. For sure in America and I hope many other countries.
    England seems right up there too.

    By Blogger Paul, at Thu Oct 20, 11:26:00 am GMT-4  

  • Victoria, don't let those hurricane winds render you a-sundries!

    [muted trumpet laugh here!]

    By Blogger Ron, at Thu Oct 20, 07:09:00 pm GMT-4  

  • You're right Victoria, despite all the destruction that Hurricane Andrew brought, it also brought out the best in our community. South Floridians rallied and helped each other in ways never seen before.

    I'm about to update my blog, since a reader mentioned privately a couple of points about why people who normally don't chat with each other, do in a time of crisis.

    Is it hypocritical or what?

    As I will posit, it's not. It's just human.

    We became a stronger community much closer with our own neighbors. I lived in the Kendall area at that time

    Eek. If it was the Hammocks, God bless, Jose -- you guys took a beating.

    Even the Dadeland area was in many ways, impassable.

    and while Andrew did serious damage, it was wonderful to see all the help that poured in from other communities.

    To this day, I remember the care packages which had Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri labels on them.

    Americans, as I said, are great. But the folks in the Heartland are the BEST.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Thu Oct 20, 08:49:00 pm GMT-4  

  • I'll be keeping my eye on you this weekend;

    Thanks sweetie. :)

    if there is any place better equipped and conditioned to deal with natural disasters, where could it be?

    No, you're right there, Paul.

    The difficulties you saw in NOLA especially had a lot to do with them just not being a hurricane-conditioned city.

    There was no evac plan in place, and cemented in people's minds.

    The Governor and the mayor were winging it, and sent contradictory messages, like not wanting to open up the Dome until the eleventh hour, because it would send confusing signals to leave, which is what they hoped people would do.

    And lastly, no one can deal with a cat 4/5 LIKE THAT -- the first two days are chaotic.

    No matter how prepared, the first two days are lost, because literally nothing can get thru'.

    And they were lucky. Andrew flattened parts of SoFla in 1992, plus it flooded us too.

    They "just" had flooding with little structural damage.

    Took the Feds 7 days to get the National Guards out here.

    For Katrina, they had the Guardsmen in 3 days...

    I'm just sorry that you have to rank so high in the category.
    People are consistently kind in this country, again, as in war coverage, the media show the worst. As in your case, those who loot, charge prices way too high, or perform shoddy work.
    What you've written is the truth about most people. For sure in America and I hope many other countries.
    England seems right up there too.


    Yes. :)

    It's a common theme in "Anglo" countries -- volunteerism, charity work, and individualist ethic really help in times of crises.

    Good hearts and cool heads, as my granddad used to say.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Thu Oct 20, 08:56:00 pm GMT-4  

  • Victoria, don't let those hurricane winds render you a-sundries!

    [muted trumpet laugh here!]


    *GROAN*

    Takes more than a little wind to make me ron and hide.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Thu Oct 20, 08:59:00 pm GMT-4  

  • Thanks sweetie. :)

    Sigh......

    The Governor and the mayor were winging it, and sent contradictory messages, like not wanting to open up the Dome until the eleventh hour, because it would send confusing signals to leave, which is what they hoped people would do.


    Like there was no one with opposable thumbs to grasp the situation and clear authority to decide matters. I think citizens felt like they were a municipal/state pinball game

    And they were lucky. Andrew flattened parts of SoFla in 1992, plus it flooded us too.

    Frankly, seeing what Andrew did, I thought S. Florida wouldn't be back.
    Tough Guys.

    By Blogger Paul, at Thu Oct 20, 11:48:00 pm GMT-4  

  • I heard the fins have moved up their game to Friday night in order to beat out the storm. If it's already raining that may have been a mistake...

    Good luck Vicky! I hope that it doesn't intesify after it passes through Mexico and Cuba. You can always come up here to avoid the hurricane. Just bring a coat. :)

    By Blogger Renato, at Fri Oct 21, 09:56:00 am GMT-4  

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