Wednesday, September 01, 2010

25th Anniversary of Hurricane Gloria

With the East coast of the US getting ready for a major September Hurricane, I was reminded of another hurricane that hit the east coast 25 years ago: Gloria.

In 1985 I was a 17 year old high school senior. My parents had left a few days before the storm to go to Hawaii for their 20th wedding anniversary, leaving my brother Patrick and I home. Pat was a freshman in HS at the time. Our older brother John was away at college, and apparently my parents told several of our neighbors that if they saw John, Ed Lizak or Jason Ross to call the police since they weren't supposed to be there. Makes you wonder what they expected to happen?

My aunt was supposed to be staying with us while they were away, but something happened and she wasn't there the day of the storm.

The storm came through pretty quickly and was over. It was surreal that a few hours after the storm was gone it was sunny and clear. Pat and I started surveying the damage and found a few downed trees and a lot of leaves and limbs around. We lost power during the storm and it wasn't until the next morning that we got it back. Somehow our phone line was hit by flying debris so we didn't have a phone for several days.

Once the rain and wind stopped I drove down to Country Inn Pizza to see if they had any pizzas. Yes, in hindsight that was a stupid thing to do. Luckily the roads were fine. I figured they had natural gas ovens so they should have been okay. Apparently several dozen other people thought the same thing and by the time I got there they were out of dough! So I went to the 7-11 and used a pay phone to call Deb and my Aunt. Yes kids, this was before cell phones and the internet.

When I got back home it was getting dark and Pat and I were hungry, so we broke out the camping gear, including a Coleman lantern, and started eating all the frozen food so it wouldn't go bad. As it got darker I remember hearing many of our neighbors trying to find charcoal, flashlights etc. Pat and I sat on the deck eating and listening to the radio. It was fun to listening to them curse and yell while he and I were relaxing making sure Dad's beer didn't go bad. At some point after dark one of the neighbors came over. At first I thought he wanted to see if we were okay since he knew our parent's weren't home. Instead he wanted to know if we had another lantern!

The power came back the next day, but it took a few days to get the phone fixed.

Looking back, I don't remember being scared or even worried about it.

Living Houston during the summer of 1989 was a different situation though ... And a topic for another blog!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well remembered sir - and Dad never even thanked us for not letting his beer spoil because of the electricity. Given that I was not 21 yet I remember it beeing a very difficult decision and a real sacrifice to drink his beer - but we did - we even made sure that there wasn't one beer left that could spoil. Amazing how parents can be ungrateful sometimes...