Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Windy State

I spoke to some relatives in Broward County, Florida last night. They're in Hallandale, just west of the evacuation zone. Their power went off at 7:20 yesterday morning, and the worst of Hurricane Wilma hit from about 8 to 10. It tore through like a buzz saw, ripping out a big tree in the backyard.

Fortunately, they live in a row of town houses in a development built in the early 80's, so they had the houses on either side of them for protection. But the trailer park behind them, a relic of an earlier, ungentrified age, got totaled. Sides got sheared off the trailers as if they were sardine cans.

In the middle of all of this, the dog needed to go outside. They couldn't just let her out into the backyard, since the falling tree and the storm had torn down power lines. And although they're on a hill and didn't get flooded, the backyard was still full of puddles. So the house had no electricity, but the ground in the backyard would have turned the dog into a crispy critter. So the only way to handle the walking thing was to go just outside the front door and put her down long enough to do her business. And it's a little yippy yappy yahooey dog, so you put her on a leash during a hurricane and basically, you're flying the dog like a kite.

They're going to email me when the power goes back on. Meanwhile, the land lines and cell lines were working all right.

The effects of the storm hit here in New York last night, and the wind that turned my umbrella inside out this morning had a hint of the ocean in its smell. I pulled the hood of my raincoat over my head and I felt like the French Lieutenant's Woman. Or a Hobbit.

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