I’ve gone through my share of hurricanes.
The earliest one I remember was Donna when I was a kid on Leland Avenue in The Bronx.
I don’t remember any others until Gloria when we first moved to East Quogue.
Then there was Bob.
And Irene, of course.
Sandy was the last one we went through while living on Long Island.
We lived in East Quogue for thirty-three years and experienced four hurricanes.
Not one severely impacted us save the loss of electricity for a week or so.
Given the destructive capacity of hurricanes, this was nothing to lament.
Five years ago, we moved to Florida and were immediately greeted by Irma, bless her heart.
We have heavy metal shutters, which, with the help of my nephew Nick, were installed, and we were safe from harm. Losing electricity, with which we are well experienced, was the worst of it.
We were spared Michael, but the panhandle of Florida was not.
Then along came Ian.
It was first aiming for Tampa, which is forty or so miles to our north, but then he changed his mind and veered off into Fort Myers.
You’ve seen the videos, you’ve read the reports, and it is uncertain still as to the number of fatalities.
It’s terrible to see the destruction of property and the loss of life, knowing you were only a few miles away from enduring the same.
It has me wondering what can we do?
We can eliminate all the carbon in the atmosphere, but I fear it is too late to turn back the geological clock.
So, should I move to higher ground?
Well, where exactly is that?
I left Long Island weary of the annual angst of the hurricane season.
If I leave Florida for the same reason, where do I go?
Give up the sun for the snow?
Blizzards can be just as devastating and deadly.
How about out west?
Arizona and Nevada are popular for retirees.
Oh yeah, no water and wildfires. Not ideal for your leisure years.
I can go back to The Bronx, but flooding and freezing are common phenomena there, too. I really don’t want to be a prisoner in my apartment for the entire winter.
I’ve been thinking about Ireland, but that’s a heck of a trip to see my kids. So, the answer to the questions, What will you do? Where are you going to go? have no good answers as far as I’m concerned.
It’s funny that we may all wind up being immigrants of a new variety…Climate immigrants.
Pray for those suffering the effects of Ian and all disasters, both natural and of human origin.