On Monday, I received a strange call from my daughter
On Monday, I received a strange call from my daughter, who is away at college at Appalachian State.
For those who don’t know, Appalachian State is located in — you guessed it — the Appalachian Mountains in Boone, about 5 1/2 hours from our Havelock home.
That she called wasn’t strange. We do a pretty good job of staying in touch while she’s up at school. The strange part was she asked to come home this weekend, because as she put it, she hasn’t been in a hurricane in a while.
I believe all that snow she sees up there in the mountains has gone to her head.
My daughter was born in 1996. Less than a month after my wife and I brought her home, — a home we moved into just months earlier mind you — Hurricane Bertha hit. We lost four trees in our yard and were without power for days.
And then about six weeks after that, Hurricane Fran came along. We didn’t lose any trees this time but we once again were without power for days.
I suppose you can say my daughter is a hurricane baby.
When she was just past 2 years old, Hurricane Bonnie came to visit. The storm lost a lot of its punch, so we got to play in the rain in relatively light winds.
We did no such playing during hurricanes Dennis and Floyd in 1999.
Probably the first hurricane she really remembers was Isabel in 2003. A tree fell across the street in our neighborhood, and we were unable to get out of the subdivision for a short time.
Hurricane Charley in 2004 was little more than a thunderstorm that lasted a couple of hours, while Ophelia in 2005, taught me about an eye wall. New Bern, where I was working, sat outside the eye wall where conditions were relatively mild. Havelock experienced 75 mph winds with power outages and downed trees. What a difference a few miles can make.
By the time Irene hit in 2011, my daughter was an experienced 15-year-old. She actually came with me as I went to work after the storm, and she was with me when I took an award-winning photo of a family walking down the street amid piles of downed trees.
And, it seemed entirely appropriate that a month before we sent our daughter off to Appalachian State for her freshmen year in 2014, Hurricane Arthur hit. The July 3 storm became the earliest hurricane to hit North Carolina since records began in 1851. Though it caused relatively minor damage, it did knock out power for a day to most of Havelock and caused the Fourth of July fireworks to be delayed for a day.
And so now here we are in 2016, when all this week we’ve been dealing with Hurricane Matthew. Despite early forecasts predicting a landfall, the storm now looks like it will miss us.
Still, my daughter asked about coming home just to experience another hurricane. She’s not, mind you, but with her history, can anyone blame her?
Ken Buday is the editor and general manager of the Havelock News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 635-5673.