Friday, August 24, 2012

Tropical Storm Isaac

It looks like Isaac hasn’t gained much strength over the last couple of days, and it also has shifted again to the south and west. It will hit the south claw of Haiti, then track up Cuba, and emerge to cross the Keys and head for the Gulf. That’s where it could become a hurricane, and then head for Mobile, Alabama. As of now, it looks like Miami will be just outside of the cone of the track.

Today marks 20 years since Hurricane Andrew. In fact, it was just about this time of the day — early morning on August 24, 1992 — that it made landfall. I wasn’t here, but the house I’m living in was in the part of Miami-Dade County that got the full force of the storm. A lot of my friends have a lot of stories to share about that night and the days, weeks, and months that followed. Some places never recovered, and a lot of people who lost their homes moved away.

We here in South Florida joke and talk about hurricanes as if they are something to be dealt with as a part of the price we pay for living in a subtropical climate, along with the summer humidity and the bugs. But Andrew left a footprint that went far beyond the loss of life and property. There’s an edge to how people view the weather forecasts in the summer, and while we’ve had storms since like Katrina and Wilma that once again put us through the days and nights of darkness and destruction, there’s always the sense of foreboding — even for those of us who only know of the tales from the Andrew survivors — and everyone knows exactly where to look on the computer for the latest hurricane tracker map.