Hurricane Irene

Hurricane Hugo, 1989

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As Hurricane Irene turns her pretty little face in my direction (Charleston, SC) I have to admit – I’m a little excited. I’ve never been in a hurricane before. They promised us one a couple years ago named Emily or Ella, or something else girly that started with “E” but she petered out before she reached us, and it barely even rained. And several years ago we had some rain bands that closed the bridges (there are a lot of bridges here). But I’ve never been here for a direct hit. From what I heard of Hugo and Floyd I don’t want to be.

Seriously, people in this city tell time by Hugo. When we were house shopping one of the most common things we heard was “oh the house was built just before/after Hugo” (my house, for instance, was built in the Year Of Hugo) or “we replaced the roof after Hugo”. When you ask someone when something happened first they think of Hugo, what year that was, and then subtract or add from that: “oh, I’d say about ten years after Hugo… 1999”. There’s even a restaurant called “The Wreck” that was built over a boat thrown ashore during Hugo (and has really good fried seafood and hush puppies).

I do not want to live through a Hugo-type hurricane. But a small one? One that knocks the power out for a few hours and sounds like death and hell coming down a rollercoaster straight at my house? That might be a little exciting (I like rollercoasters).

In all likelihood Irene will turn north and hit the Outer Banks, cause that’s what most hurricanes do around here. But if she wants to send a few rain bands my way and cancel work on Friday, I wouldn’t mind so much.

Are you in Irene’s path? Are you worried? Have you lived through a hurricane before? I’m kind of curious what it’s like.


Published by

Rebecca Enzor

Rebecca Enzor is a chemist in Charleston, SC who writes Young Adult and New Adult Fantasy and Magical Realism. Repped by Eric Smith of P.S. Literary. Her debut novel, SPEAK THE OCEAN, comes out with Reuts Pub in Fall 2018!

25 thoughts on “Hurricane Irene”

    1. Oh look at your cute new photo! I like it 😀

      I remember reading about your thing for lightning and thunderstorms. As long as Irene stays manageably small I think it will be more exciting than anything.

  1. I was at boarding school in the UK when we had a hurricane, October 1989. Technically it wasn’t a hurricane because we’re too far north, but it had hurricane-force winds. I was nine and it was definitely memorable. The death and hell on a rollercoaster thing is about right, especially in an old building in the middle of a forest! The school was closed for four days and we ate our meals by candlelight and had little tealight candles in our rooms at night. The night of the hurricane itself, of course none of us could sleep, so the matron took us into her little room and made us all tea. Funnily enough, the thing I remember most is that she had no milk so for the first time in my life I had black tea. During a hurricane 🙂 We spent most of the next four days picking up bits of tree and piling them all up into a bonfire. The evenings were spent in the library, wrapped in our duvets, playing board games by more candlelight 🙂

    1. That sounds like the beginning of a novel! “I remember the first time I had black tea…”

      Thanks for sharing 🙂 Candlelight board games and tea don’t sound too bad, although the death and hell on a rollercoaster are a bit scary!

  2. Sitting out a small one sounds like fun. Power out for a few hours sounds like a thrill. Problem is, it might be several hours or all day before you get power restored. Perhaps longer. After Katrina, the shipyard I worked at was off the grid for weeks before repairs were made and damaged or destroyed equipment was replaced. The yard ran off of generator power. Guess what the weather was like? A high pressure center moved in after Katrina blew through. It was clear skies, hot, and not a breath of wind blowing. Miserable conditions.

  3. Hi! Just dropping by from the write campaign. They say we might be getting remnants this weekend up here in DC. Lots of rain and wind, I’m assuming, but I feel like that’s just a bad storm. When Isabel rolled through several years back, there was a lot of damage and I didn’t have water for a couple days so that kind of sucked. Only lost electricity for a couple hours though, so it wasn’t too bad.

    When I was younger, a typhoon came through while I was in the Philippines for a summer vacation! Lots and lots of rain and flooding.

    1. Back home nothing ever happened, so there was never any comparing to the Disaster of Year. But glad the Charlestonians aren’t the only ones who do it 😉

      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. I’m grateful for summer typhoons in Taiwan. Otherwise it’s wayyyy too hot. Rain is inconvenient but the heat is worse, in my opinion. But then I haven’t been through any really serious ones. One summer, my sister had to evacuate through torrential rain and flooding past her waist when a typhoon hit southern Taiwan!

    1. The summer rains here just make things miserable. It becomes even more hot and muggy! When I first moved down I wished for it to rain in the summers because I thought it would cool things down, but no 😛 Now only only wish for rain so I don’t have to water my garden (we’ve been in a drought, my water bill is insane this year).

      Oh man – glad your sister is okay!

  5. I live in Florida (west coast of the peninsula). Up until a few days ago we thought Irene was going to hit us here. I can’t say I was excited for it in any way. Though I guess that’s because I’ve been through hurricanes, some of which left me without power for days. But I guess I can understand your excitement for experiencing something like that.

  6. I lived in Charleston during Charlie (not Hugo, but I did hear a ton about that one while there). It wasn’t bad, but they evacuated everyone up to just across the street from me. I brought everything up to the second floor, and slept in the hallway so that I was away from windows (I was such a rookie!). But seriously, it was shortly after Katrina that I decided to move away from Hurricane Alley. Stay safe.

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