Hurricane Effects On Society As They Move Inland

Hurricanes hurt us in the West and South, but the Midwest suffered tailwind damage like this during the week of 9/14/2008.
Hurricanes hurt us in the West and South, but the Midwest suffered tailwind damage like this during the week of 9/14/2008. | Source
Noaa shot of hurricane
Noaa shot of hurricane | Source

Hurricane Ike Pummeled Ohio, Far Inland

This is an answer to the request made by mikeq107 to write for 20 minutes and post the results on Hub Pages.

This city has come to a standstill, except for the main street through town. Bumper to bumper traffic has that one locked into a parking lot holding pattern, with some vehicles moving an inch or so per minute.

Drivers honk and scream out their windows as only 10 out of 40 traffic lights work on the 12-mile stretch from the northern edged to the center of the city on this street - this Route of Winds.

Early this morning, drivers were observing the 4-way stops all along the route. Now, they have forgotten how to do that. Emergency vehicles are having a difficult time passing through to the injured and through to the hospitals with other sorts of emergencies.

Path of Hurricane Ike

The path of Hurricane Ike, Autumn 2008
The path of Hurricane Ike, Autumn 2008 | Source

Weather in the Vortex

The aftermath of Hurricane Ike blew though the city beginning on a Sunday in September 2008 at noon.It was a strange wind in the center of Ohio, almost otherwordly and full of dust.

Up in the well-constructed Ohio State University's Thompson Library tower, we did not hear any trouble, although we saw some moderately blown trees branches outside the windows.We did not imagine that Hurricane Ike would reach from the Gulf Coast to Ohio in the Midwest.

The dark tree branches looked like children's arms outstretched, reaching for a runaway rubber ball or a kite in the wind.

The arms and fingers stretched to frantic reaches before we disembarked the tower for the street. We had to get home before the winds blew us off the pavement.

The morning atmosphere had hung heavily in the air, 20 degrees (F) higher than normal temperatures and so full of humidity that it reminded me of August in New Orleans. Damp, sultry - but this also seemed dusty.

In New Orleans, I remembered an August so hot and humid that the hotel bathroom tiles never got dry. Neither did our hair and clothing.

The humidity of Ike gave me visions of an August night at Michaul's Cajun Restaurant in New Orleans, where I sat with an alligator fritter dinner and listened to the Cajun music as a variety of couples mounted the dance floor and jigged and reeled.But there was no dancing in the streets in Central Ohio during the windstorm and power outages. Some peope lived without electricity for over two weeks as school began for their children.

New Orelans weather was a different dimension than that inhabited by Minnesotans, Michiganites, and Ohioans. After that experience in Louisiana, some other places seemed a very mild, until Hurricane Ike visited us. It was as if the winds created a vortex that uimprsioned the city in swirling air currents.

NASA
NASA | Source

Energy & Alternatives

Wind Energy Explained: Theory, Design and Application
Wind Energy Explained: Theory, Design and Application

If we could harvest the wind energy from hurricanes and tonadoes, we might cut energy costs.

 

Regional Differences in Attitude

People were so friendly in New Orleans in the French Quarter and along the routes of the yearly Mardi Gras parades!

They were welcoming and smiling people in the summer of streetcars, alligator fritters, and humidity. In the North, people are sometimes grouchy. Perhaps if they tried a fritter and some music...

Despite the damage done by Hurricane Katrina, Rita, Ike and others, I can understand why people stay in their homes in Houma during the storms and return to New Orleans. It is a different world that you don't want to leave. You have to die sometime, somewhere, so why not there, at home? I know - it's not very practical. But I understand.

The day after Ike reached out Central Ohio location, we were alerted that we would not have powered restored to 2/3 of our city for another 5-7 days at least.

Workers from the local power company had gone to Houston to help restore power there after Ike passed through Texas.

There was a shortage of power-restorers in Ohio and we couldn't seem to find the police, either. The city buses were running, but although most are nearly empty, drivers were angry, because people refused to go to the bus stops, but stood in the middle of the street, yelling.

I don't know why, the bus stops were all in order. They were probably fearful. Some people were trying to flag down buses in heavy construction areas where there were not even any bus stops built. Perhaps they were confused.

Source

A Poll on Alternative Energy

What bothers you the most during a power outage?

See results without voting

A Book, the Moon and Free Coffee

The grocery stores were kept running on emergency generator power, but the standing freezers in the middle of these stores lost power. All the walk-in coolers and freezers in back of the stores lost power and all the foods stored in them. Prices increased on these items a bit durig the next week.

Gas stations that had no power could not pump gas and were giving away bags of ice, because it would have melted, anyway. Gas stations with power were already out of gas during the first evening of the storm.

Barely using any lights and little gasoline anyway, and stocked up always on canned goods and spring water, many of us were fine.We were glad that the weather was still warm. My car battery died through, as if something sucked away all the power as the wind blew past it.

People with chest freezers of food that melted and spoled were crying for their losses, and those addicted to TV and the Internet were itchy with inaction.They had forgotten how to sit around together and talk. Some people built campfires behind their houses to cook food and gather around the light.

The bookstore at the end of our street was full of people. It had an emergency power source. Peope were inside, reading, purchasing books, and sipping free hot coffee until 9:00 pm every night of the storm. Bookstores are great gathering places.

The bookstore has power when no one else around here does.No other business a block in any direction was open. People love that bookstore.

Until power was restored, neighborhood residents read by the light of the full moon and candles. They wrote longhand until thay could take a free bus back to the university in the mornings and use the library tower and the computer labs that were powered by energency powerpants.

The university threw its libraries and computers open to the public to help anyone that absolutely needed to access a computer or a telephone.

Storms are not all bad, it seems.

(public domain)
(public domain)

They Call the Wind Maria, from "Paint Your Wagon"

More by this Author


Comments 23 comments

Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 8 years ago from Stepping past clutter

What city are you in? Thanks for the vivid picture.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

Right now, Central Ohio.


mikeq107 8 years ago

Well done patty :0)

Great resopnse..I loved it! you are so free in your thoughts...10 out of 10 !!

MikeQ :0)


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

Thank you so much! :)


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

Just found out that Delaware County in central Ohio was evacuated. This is very serious. It was not evacuated even during the last flood in 2005 - water 6 to 8 feet high.  


In The Doghouse profile image

In The Doghouse 8 years ago from California

Patty,

Keep us posted and stay safe! I am glad that you are prepared with food and water. Reading by candle light sounds refreshing to me, but the humidity does not!


robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey

Thanks for the wonderful pesonal account and God bless the bookstore:-)


Chef Jeff profile image

Chef Jeff 8 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

Here in Illinois near Chicago we had about 9" of rain, partially from Ike, partially from the other TS that blew in from the Pacific. The soil is saturated so the corn crop is endangered. Whole fields of soybeans are now under water, so that crop, locally at least, may have to be written off.

Global Climate change will affect areas in many differing ways. Some will cool, some will warm, but everywhere, climate will change from the norms of the past 100 years.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

Thanks for al lthe comments!

The several local universities have their own power sources and classes do not start for a while, so phones and email are available to the public, greatly apprecuiated. 60% of power still out in the county. AEP trucks were called back when they were halfway to Houston, so an AEP IT dept. rep stated on radio last night.

People are using public transportation and leaving cars at home and other vehicles are giving right-of-way to buses! -- all trhough the 10 nearby counties here where available, having cookouts & block parties so as not to lose their food, and patronizing the few restaurants that have maintained power. One grovcery chain is able to give "cash back" on credit and debit cards, helping people, because many banks are closed. Hospitals and clinics have fee coffee stations set up in their lobbies for folks who are walking on errands and for older folks lonely in their dark houses in the neighborhoods.

Some Red Cross offices stated that they wre also out of power and could not help anyone. That's ludicrous to me. They talked about setting up free meal centers for folks that lost their food and cannot purchase more, but no announcement has been made as yet. Some people are having a hard time of it.

Not one bit of rain around these parts, but the atmosphere is cool and damp and strange. Some cars won't start becuase of condensation in the electical systems.


DivinePurses profile image

DivinePurses 8 years ago from Cincinnati, OH

Our power was out at my house for 26 hours (Cincinnati area). Some of my family and extended family still do not have power. People are traveling to shower at homes of friends with electric. It is a very strange feeling to think you may not have power for an entire week!


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

DivinePurses! - Thanks very greatly for telling us what is happening in your area. It is odd to see homes stores darkened for a week. But it remeinds me of those who lived through the blackouts of World War II. At a bookstore once, the elderly English proprietor taught me how to make a "blackout candle" by putting a lit candle on the saucer of a flower put and inverting the pot over top. It works! :)

The problems would be greater if it were winter. Many would not survive.

Thanks again.


Shirley Anderson profile image

Shirley Anderson 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Having the bookstore as a haven sounds like heaven to me! Was it jampacked with people, though?

Glad you are safe, Patty!


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

Not jampacked, but relatively busy. It sets back from the street behind a large building that is being constructed, and many people likley don't know it's even there.

Thanks for the good wishes; I appreciate them. :)


Chef Jeff profile image

Chef Jeff 8 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

To all who have suffered in this and other natural disasters, I hope that all will be well.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

Ohio was declared a Federal disaster area and several mayors around th state have declsred disasters in their towns. This allows resident to apply for federal and state aide and I don't know what else. Very few deaths - only 4 statewide so far as far as I know.

TV stations have broadcast that lost food resulting from power failure can be claimed against homeoners and renters insurance!  

Electrical workers from the East Coast have been called into Ohio to help. How about Texas? Anyone know? AEP had to return to Ohio.

Thanks Chef Jeff.


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 8 years ago from USA

3 YEARS AGO, when florida was hit with 3 hurricanes that season, we were without power 6 days. I was miserable, hot, craved a shower.... Our block was the last in the city to get power back. We had great friends who let us come and shower and eat fresh food in other parts of the town.

Losing power is a horrible extra burden when you also lose your possessions. Cleanliness restores the soul. Fresh food and ice are beacons of hope.

Be well and safe.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

Thank you for your well wishes marisuewrites! It would be much difficult in Florida in the humidity. A shelter with meals has opened just a couple of miles away and come Wednesday night, I'll be going for dinner.


DivinePurses 8 years ago

Hello all! I just wanted to give you a Cincinnati area update. As of Thursday morning, the Cincinnati Public schools are open for the first day this week. There are still a good number of schools closed in the area. Gas stations are reopening and churches are serving food for those going on day 4 with no power. Hamilton County, Ohio is offering some tax relief for those with damage to try to help. We definetely have a long road ahead of us and this was only wind. I cannot imagine the clean up and recovery for those of you living where the eye of hurricanes hit.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

DivinePurses! - Thanks for the update. Delaware County is still in quite a mess and many Central Ohio Schools remain closed. Licking County and to the SE area will be without power until 9/23, estimated.

The Red Cross closed up a large shelter Wed. night and I have heard of no churches helping anyone except on in the far SE are beyond Central Ohio. Churches should help, imo.


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 8 years ago

Blessings to you Patty!!

I had no idea Ike had gone so far north and caused so much damage!! Living in California, we mostly hear about the Gulf and then the news stories move back to politics, or more disappointingly, what eye glasses Sarah Palin is wearing??!!

I am saddened for your community and will add Ohio to our prayer group this morning!! I know by your writing that you were ready, or as ready as could be expected, and have a good outlook and great sense of humor!!

Although we don't usually have hurricanes in California, we do have our share of earthquakes!! I have been teaching Earthquake Preparedness for over 20 years!!

What bothers me in a natural emergency, and I hope you will add to your poll above, are other people who chose NOT to be prepared and then expect services/help/medical/power to be available immediately after!!

If a person lives high in the Sierras, (which I did for years and loved it!) avalanches are not a surprise!! We did not live in fear, but we were prepared to fend for ourselves at a moment's notice!! Same with living in San Francisco, where I was born and raised, earthquakes are a way of life!! We all need to be prepared!!

Hurricanes, earthquakes, fire, floods, etc. We need to be part of the solution, not part of the problem when the unexpected occurs!!

I'm putting a Hub together right now on Preparedness!!

Again, blessings to you and your community for safety and sanity!!

Earth Angel!!


DivinePurses 8 years ago

Hello all! I just wanted to give you a Cincinnati area update. As of Thursday morning, the Cincinnati Public schools are open for the first day this week. There are still a good number of schools closed in the area. Gas stations are reopening and churches are serving food for those going on day 4 with no power. Hamilton County, Ohio is offering some tax relief for those with damage to try to help. We definetely have a long road ahead of us and this was only wind. I cannot imagine the clean up and recovery for those of you living where the eye of hurricanes hit.


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 8 years ago

Continued prayers and blessings go out to all of you!! Earth Angel!!


nicholas 4 years ago

the midwest is so cool because iit as so much cool things

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