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Hurricane Effects On Society As They Move Inland
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
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.
Energy & Alternatives
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.
A Poll on Alternative Energy
What bothers you the most during a power outage?
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.