Hurricane Irma – A mighty wind


by: Davis Yancy Clegg

Hurricane Irma passing the eastern end of Cuba

The NOAA satellite GOES-16 captured this geocolor image of Hurricane Irma passing the eastern end of Cuba at about 8:00 a.m. EDT on Sept. 8, 2017

 

On August 30th, near the Cape Verde Islands, a beast began to take its shape. Though no less of a tragedy, eyes shifted from recovery efforts from Hurricane Harvey in stricken Texas to the Florida panhandle. In less than seven days time, the monstrous wave that began off the coast of western Africa morphed into a Category 5 hurricane on September 5. As it took form, Hurricane Irma became most anticipated hurricane in United States history. The storm turned out to be catastrophic to the British Virgin Isles, Haiti, and many parts of the continental United States of America.

Destruction by Irma in Barbuda

Barbuda after Hurricane Irma

While tragedy took hold in the United States without question, Barbuda – for the first time in three centuries – is now a residential island for zero peoples. Clearing limbs and having to shell out for a bit of roof work does not register in the realm of life’s good times. But imagine this. You pack up, and are forced to make last minute decisions of what things in your life hold the most value. In the same movement, you must decide which things you now realize mean very little to you. All this was done in preparation for something you weren’t sure would happen. To your chagrin, it not only happens, but it happens with such force that your home is now “uninhabitable.” Those words are usually not part of the human construct, reserved for natural habitats for animals. Surely, there is no more displacing feeling to be found in this life. An entire established culture out in a matter of hours by the most evolved form of natural selection.

Floridians and many in southern Georgia didn’t experience the total devastation seen in the Caribbean, it was certainly a formidable force to encounter. When the storm made its well-anticipated landfall on a Sunday, almost seven million residents found themselves without the privilege of electricity. If you do not have unlimited data on your cell service plan, when you see your next bill, a hug might be in order. An entire week without wireless safety will upset the ole’ routine in more than a couple ways! One thing is for absolute certain. The impressive response time and efforts shelled out by the most courageous linemen in the power business have not gone unnoticed. It has been truly refreshing to see a stream of “thank you” updates replacing the political rants and misplaced rage that bombards us daily.

We are thankful to be back up and running strong, and hope everyone’s lives are creeping back to normal. If you are lucky enough to be among those unscathed by Hurricane Irma’s visit to Florida, there is no better way to show your appreciation than to extend a hand to those in need. Benefits are being put together currently in multiple communities and blood – as always – is one of the most prudent necessities. Please see your local donor offices to help save the lives that needn’t be lost. Donating just a little bit of yourself can mean life or death to someone else. Take care of each other, and we will continue to weather whatever storm comes our way.

 

Luckily we experienced almost no damage.  Come on board for a relaxing river cruise and enjoy our amazing sunsets.  (more…)

 

 

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