I've always felt reasonably safe from the threat of hurricanes way up north here, way west here--well, anyway, away from the coast. It takes us at least 12 hours to get from our home to the nearest beach, and many of the hurricanes that cause such havoc don't affect us, unless it's as rain. As a matter of fact, when we were in Chattanooga visiting with family and heard predictions for Gustav and Ike, I reassured my SIL that he was in no danger from hurricanes where he lived in Nashville. The nature of hurricanes was such that all the damage took place near the coast, and they pretty much "petered out" as they came inland.
Folks, I was wrong. If you don't believe me, check the news for Louisville and northern Kentucky. We had gale-force winds all day on Sunday, and over 100,000 people in Louisville are without power! I haven't tried to contact Louisville family yet, but I will...I am concerned, since a lot of the power outages seem to be in the Bardstown/Fern Creek area. I know that the family there will be watching out for each other, but you might want to pray for them. The latest I heard, it may be two weeks before power is fully restored.
Imagine this scenario: Your children are home from school on an unplanned vacation (this is the second day of no school in Jefferson County), and your electricity is out. Okay, during the daytime you can send them outside, but what in the heck are you going to do with them at night? And how are you going to feed those teenagers? Thank God that the infrastructure in this country is a little sounder than that in Haiti, where you see folks fighting over bottled water and whatever foodstuff that manages to get into the country, but still inconveniences are going to exist for quite some time. And help is not as readily available as it is after some storms, since this storm was so widespread. Utility companies from the tri-state area are really swamped, especially considering that some of their crews had been deployed to the coast.
No, we don't have near the damage that they had in Texas or Louisiana, but we are tasting a little of what those folks are going through. Georgetown and Lexington were spared the brunt of the damage, but even here in town--I was driving up town yesterday to attend a meeting and saw a tree that had fallen on a house on South Broadway. Not just a branch off the Bradford pear, but a whole tree. In Lexington, a huge branch broke off a tree near Henry Clay's home on Richmond Road and fell on a passing car, injuring the driver badly enough that she was taken to the hospital. And in Shelby County, a child was killed when a tree branch hit him outside.
Nobody told us anything other than to be careful when driving high-profile vehicles. Nobody told us to stay indoors until that danged hurricane blew through. Nobody told us to stock up on canned foods and flashlight batteries. The Louisville radio station that I listen to regularly was asking for folks to call in if they had seen a supply of flashlight batteries anywhere. You can understand that from now on, when a hurricane is predicted, we are all going to be watching the weather channel just a little more carefully, to see if it is going to "hit" Kentucky!
Take care--stay warm, dry, and fed. Love to all, and God bless.
Update: The Louisville folks are doing okay. They have power now; theirs was only out for two nights. Thanks for your prayers! We love you, and God does, too.