Hurricane Fran – 27 years later

Hurricane Fran – 27 years later

I cannot believe Hurricane Fran was 27 years ago, but it also coincides with moving to Wild Azalea Lane. Hurricane Fran was in the fall of 1996, and I moved to Wild Azalea Lane in December of 1996. There was so much evidence of her destruction on our property for many years.

At the time, I lived in a rental house in a bad section of town. I had 2 big dogs, and I was in graduate school so my housing options were limited. I remember going to bed with crazy, wild winds and hoping all the surrounding trees stayed planted. When I woke up, there was no power as expected, but it was also eerily quiet. A quiet I had never experienced before. And it was HOT. So hot and humid it was hard to breathe, and with no A/C anywhere to find relief. I walked to the main road and saw power lines on the ground. I tried to check the news from my local car radio station and there was only dead air. Keep in mind young readers, there was no internet or smart phones. I felt so helpless sitting in my car not knowing what had actually happened outside of my tiny world.

My memories from that week without power:

  1. I exercised a lot because my local gym on the other side of town actually had power. I could not justify going there just to shower, so I made myself exercise first.
  2. The sounds from the Section 8 housing behind the house were beyond depressing. So much yelling, crying and despair. I will never unhear those sounds.
  3. Watching every single day hoping the power company trucks would actually come to our street to restore power. We were literally the last priority. I have never forgotten that feeling of not being important to anyone…. even with live power lines on your road.
  4. Finally giving up and going to my second family to do laundry, which felt like a fail as a newly independent human being. Asking for help has never been easy for me.
  5. Feeling defeated with all the work I had done over the summer to help families with children with ADHD create token economies and execute them effectively. They all fell apart without the basics of life to help.

I know that there were hurricanes that did a lot more in terms of destruction, but Fran will always be at the top of my most terrifying.

Leave a Reply