Waiting for Irma

In 1992, Hurricane Andrew, a Category Five storm, ripped through south Florida in an east to west pattern.

In 2005, Wilma, another Cat 5 weakened as it came across the peninsula from the opposite direction.

In 2016, Matthew, a Cat 5, made a south to north attack on Florida that kept the dangerous winds associated with the eye wall well offshore.

My experience with Andrew is my most memorable. A Day in the Life of Andrew, the closest thing to an autobiographical piece of fiction I’ve ever written, dealt with events taking place on the day Andrew made landfall in Florida. From the family vacation in Universal Studios being cut short. I looked at the television monitor in an ice cream parlor to see a storm barreling towards the Bahamas. Almost getting in a fist-fight in the hardware store while standing in line to buy plywood. Bitten by my neighbor’s dog as I stepped down from a ladder. Going to the walk-in clinic at 10 pm as tropical storm winds blew. Roaming around the house all night while my wife and daughter slept. Watching the destruction in Dade County on the television when the power returned the next day.

The most significant things I remember about Wilma in 2005 was a severe case of diarrhea I had that night and how cold it was the next morning.

During Matthew in 2016, I expected the worst and was pleasantly surprised when I was able to sleep that night.

Irma is a big and powerful, record-breaking storm, setting its sights on South Florida. We are not in a mandatory evacuation area and we know where the nearest shelter is. I have to thank my relatives for offering safe refuge. I wonder what the most memorable thing about Irma will be?

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