Circle of Blue reporter Codi Yeager-Kozacek, a native Michigander now living in southern Alabama, is having her first taste of a hurricane.
Growing up in Northern Michigan, piles of snow, icy roads, and short-term power outages were the closest I ever came to experiencing the wrath of nature. Blizzards like the one that hit Michigan in March this year — which shut off power at my parents’ house for a full week after the region received 70 centimeters (27 inches) of snow in about 18 hours — can indeed be dangerous. But, as a kid, they just meant schools were closed for “snow days” filled with sledding and fort building.
Now an adult living in southern Alabama, I have a new perspective on storms — but instead of snow, now it’s Tropical Storm Isaac that is currently churning its way toward the Gulf Coast. Isaac is expected to reach hurricane strength by the time it makes landfall near New Orleans this evening.
And at 770 kilometers (480 miles) across, the massive storm will bring a deluge of rain and battering winds to my corner of the South.
Too Little Water
For the past few days, everyone here has been scrambling to prepare, and our primary concern is water. Radio and television warnings urged us to buy gallons of it, and grocery store shelves have been stripped of bottled water since this past weekend. My husband has been busy filling any container we can find with tap water, just in case the power goes out.
Too Much Water
Flooding is also a major worry. The roads in my town fill up quickly, as I learned the last time we had severe thunderstorms. A nearby stream, which normally cannot be seen from the bridge that crosses it, spilled over its banks and flooded the surrounding forest for about a mile along one road, while other roads were simply closed because they were overrun with water.
So, while I am a good safe distance from any storm surge that Isaac may bring, I’m still planning to hunker down in the hopes that he will leave my home unscathed.
Circle of Blue Reporter
Codi Yeager-Kozacek is a news correspondent for Circle of Blue based out of Hawaii. She co-writes The Stream, Circle of Blue’s daily digest of international water news trends. Her interests include food security, ecology and the Great Lakes.
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