THE LAST WEEK OF SEPTEMBER brought with it hurricane Ian’s fierce winds and devastation covered in real-time by an array of media outlets. Several of my friends and relatives were located near its landfills both in Florida and South Carolina. I was glued to the drama for nearly four days -- a very tense few days, I might add.
The Category 4 hurricane absolutely devastated the barrier islands near Ft. Myers on the Gulf of Mexico, especially Pine and Sanibel Islands. Reports of over one hundred deaths are now in the news. I trust the region will recover because of the will of the people plus lots of support from the federal government.
My youngest son, David, and his family moved to Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina a year and a half ago. My concerns about their safety were uppermost in my thoughts as Ian regrouped over the warm waters of the Atlantic on Thursday. Ian came ashore as a Category 1 hurricane to South Carolina mid-day Friday. All I could think of was this system reminded me of the old jingle line from a Timex watch commercial -- “it takes a licking and keeps on ticking”.
Dave's home is a block from the ocean inlet that surrounds Charleston. David kept reminding me that their house had a 7-foot high first floor on a sturdy stilt construction and any storm surge even at high tide was not dangerous to the family. It was my son comforting his dad and likely himself. Being unfamiliar with this region and its peculiarities I was concerned for my loved ones in these new environs especially having observed the shocking photos of the Florida aftermath. 70 mph wind gusts were recorded in Charleston. Power was restored in eight hours after losing it at noon on Friday. My kids fortunately only lost tree limbs in their yard and that was about it.
Comparing storms, I flashed back to 2015 when in early August our M-22 region experienced devastating high winds in a rare phenomenon of successive downbursts along the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Glen Arbor was the epicenter of the rare weather system that featured hail and 100 mph wind gusts that downed thousands of trees in the hilly woodland dunes of Leelanau County. No lives were lost. A drive along M-22 will still find fallen trees that scar the landscape just outside the village -- absolute proof of Mother Nature’s powers.
I still don’t understand why one can’t see the wind, only its effects.
My photo was taken on 10-4-22 just outside of Glen Haven on a side road during a glorious and sunny autumn day.