For the last two days, my family has been preparing for this storm. I've decided to stay at their house to avoid being stuck by myself with floods, winds, and power outages. I was at my condo during a tornado warning and that was kind of scary, so I'm avoiding all unnecessary stress and staying over here.
All the preparations and talk of the impending hurricane remind of September 2003 when my friends and I rode out Hurricane Isabelle. It probably wasn't the smartest move the University has ever made to keep us on campus during that storm, but it was one of my most memorable college experiences. I remember hearing that William and Mary had been evacuated and we waited to see if Richmond was next. President Cooper decided staying on campus would be just fine. He obviously had no idea what was coming and what damage Isabelle would do.
Campus awoke to heavy rains and high winds. The power was out when we woke up (I think) so University officials came around to tell us classes were cancelled. But, let's be real, do you think I was actually going to class in that mess?! Fat chance! Facilities came and put sandbags in front of my apartment door to try to prevent the place from flooding. My roommates left to go over to the neighbors to play drinking games and I called my friends to come help me across the street to their apartment. The winds were so bad that two people had to walk me across the street. I was blowing all over the place! Any balance I had was gone with the wind! Thankfully, I made it across the street with the aid of my friends and began what would be one of my most memorable college experiences!
The University officials told us to be sure to eat everything in our refrigerators. Four apartments got together and brought quite a "buffet" over. The guys got the grill going and were cooking up every piece of meat possible out on the patio in a corner shielded from the rain. The girls got all of the vegetables and made one of the best salads I have ever had. Nine years later, I still remember this salad! We also gathered all of the ice cream and just feasted! We played lots of games, drank lots of wine and beer, and watched the crazy people out on the IM fields as they enjoyed their homemade "slip n' slide", and waited out the storm. Periodically, we would glance out the window and comment on the severity of the storm. Nobody was too concerned, though, because we were all together, just having a blast!
Eventually, we crashed and fell asleep all throughout Apt 804. When we woke up, we did not expect all of the destruction that was before us. One of the most beautiful campuses in America lost over 100 trees. Thanks to downed trees, three out of four entrance/exits to campus were blocked. The power was out with no sign of coming back on anytime soon. And, all of our food was gone. Somehow, we received word that President Cooper was handing out sandwiches and water in DHall and decided to close school for a week. We all lined up to get our free food and contemplated our "hurrication" plans. I called my mom to explain I needed to come home and she gave me every reason for why she didn't want me on her doorstep. She offered to pay for a hotel for me and all of my friends, but there were no hotels with power within hours. Finally, Mike was able to convince her that it was a good idea for her to welcome me home and he and I started the journey. The only problem was Mike barely had any gas in his car. There weren't any servicing gas stations within miles of campus. Mike and I prayed and prayed that we would find gas and not get stuck on the side of the road. As we continued to check for a station that was open, we finally found one and cruised to the pump on fumes. Thank the Lord we were able to gas up and continue our adventure. With a full tank of gas, we cruised up 95N, singing all the way home!
My hurrication was nowhere near as exciting as other people's. I kind of regret not doing something totally spontaneous, but I will always remember the night we "survived Hurricane Isabelle".
Hurricane Sandy is quite different. I will be hanging out with my family and studying for the LSAT. Three cheers! (Note the sarcasm). I am thankful the Federal Government made the early call on no work tomorrow and my optimistic nature is cheering for no work on Tuesday, too. We'll see what happens. I thought we were supposed to have heavy rain all day today. So far, nothing too bad. But, we're waiting on a woman, so you know how that can be.
Stay safe, everyone.