Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Charley, Frances and Ivan, Florida’s Uninvited Guests

As I was watching the devastation and destructionthat Frances caused Florida from the comfortof my folks house in New Jersey, I kept thinking tomyself how much it would suck if I stuck around forthe mayhem. Until a few weeks ago, I didn’t know exactly what”Hurricane Season” meant. It was only afterwitnessing the devastation that Charley created onFlorida’s west coast that I realized hurricane seasonmight not be for me.

When the news that a category 4 hurricane by the nameof Frances was headed right for us, it didn’t take melong to pack up, and get out of Dodge. Before doingso, I saw first hand the mass hysteria that swept overthe entire state of Florida.

Gas stations, super markets and any places that soldplywood were flooded with nervous Floridians tryingdesperately to prepare for the worst. Police had tocome to some establishments in order to control theunruly crowds, and gas stations had customers liningup on major roads and highways in order to fill uptheir tanks. That was, until most of the gas stationsin our area ran out of gas.

“Category 4 hurricanes come along once in ageneration” said the weather man on the news, almostmaking it sound like Hayley’s comet or something,except in this case, Haleyí_s comet was coming rightfor us.

I went to campus on Thursday morning for my classes,and to my shock the campus was like a ghost town. Imust missed the memo that said classes weregoing to be cancelled that day in preparation for thestorm. Oh well, so I hit the road on Thursdayevening, along with the rest of the state of Florida.

The roads leading out of Florida were packed withnervous residents, most of whom were being forced toleave due to a mandatory evacuation order by thegovernment. After ten grueling hours, we finallyescaped Florida.

Once we were out of the danger zone, it was smoothsailing from there. However, by the time we reached N.J., the storm had been down graded to a category 2,which makes it a tropical storm, and not an officialhurricane any longer. Thatí_s good news, maybeeverybody was making a fuss for nothing, category isonly one step above a category 1, and those are only atiny step above a drizzle.

That wasní_t the case. Frances loomed over us 6days, making it one of the longest hurricanes inFloridaí_s history. When I returned to Florida, to mydismay it looked like a war zone. Trees were down, debriseverywhere, loss of power and mandatory curfews were just some of the repercussions of Frances.

Billions and billions of dollars worth of damage weredone to our state, but lucky for us the presidentsbrother is the governor, so we were able to recoop $2billion. Plus we got a nice visit from the presidenthimself. How convenient. I just wonder if heí_d be soeager to help if he wasní_t a month and a half away from an election. It stank of photo opportunity for the benefit of all those swing voters in Florida.

Hurricanes are no joke, and if you think Frances wastough, just wait till Ivan comes to town. Francesisní_t exactly the most intimidating sounding storm,but Ivan is. I caní_t help but think about Ivan Dragoin hurricane form, and he is going to beat the snotout of us.

Florida is a resilient state, so I will be here for thefury of Ivan, and if I survive it will almost be likea rite of passage. Whether Ivan kicks our butt ornot, I did learn one very valuable lesson during thistumultuous hurricane season.

That is, that there is no perfect place where the sunalways shines and the weather is always perfect. Florida may not have cold weather or snow storms, butit has hurricanes, big time.

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