Sunday, September 02, 2007

Katrina stories, 4

I saw a lot of unnatural things during that storm. But without a doubt the coolest thing I got to see (and hope to never see again) was walking out of the hospital, looking up at the sky, and watching the eye of the hurricane as it passed above us.

When the eye was above us, things quieted down a bit, and the stupid few (me being one of them) ventured outside to appease our curiosity and also assess the damage.

The clouds filtered out the light into a greenish-gray tint. There was debris everywhere: leaves, small branches, lots of trash, and random stuff that probably came from people's back yards (shoes, toys, clothes). It was still very gusty, and the wind didn't really blow from any one direction. It was just coming from everywhere. I remember squinting in order to prevent dust and sand from getting into my eyes.

And when you looked up at the sky, it was like looking into a witch's cauldron. The clouds were moving in a circle, and moving quite fast. And surprisingly, there were some fluffy looking white clouds in the mix. That was completely unexpected.

The eye didn't take very long to pass over us, about an hour or so I think. And you could tell that the bottom half of the storm was coming because it got louder as the winds picked up in speed.

That was when we decided it was time to get our butts back inside. We had survived the front half of the storm, and besides losing power and the AC units, we were doing fairly well. Not only that, there wasn't much damage to the hospital superstructure itself. Other than a chunk of stucco looking thing that fell off one of the exterior walls.

So far, so good we thought, and went scurrying inside to ride out the second half.