Wednesday and Thursday of last week were dreary, with some rain and some wind.
By Friday the sun was shining and everything was good around here.
But just over 200 miles away from Franklinton, it was a different story. There was devastation and flooding in Gulf Shores, Pensacola, and the surrounding areas.
A hurricane that had been headed straight for New Orleans and then the Northshore and then Washington Parish abruptly changed direction at the last minute.
Hurricane Sally headed east toward Alabama and the Florida Panhandle, instead of causing its predicted misery in Southeast Louisiana.
Some friends sent photos of what was left of their home near Pensacola. It was truly a terrible mess.
Southeast Louisiana has now been spared three different times during the current hurricane season. Marco fizzled. Laura’s track changed, sending it to SW Louisiana. And Sally decided to pick on someone else.
We were inordinately lucky. Not once, not twice, but three consecutive misses? Luck, incredible luck.
But with our luck there is also a lesson.
When Sally hit Gulf Shores and Pensacola, many folks had little time to prepare. Like us, they expected the hurricane to blast through New Orleans and the Northshore. When the track abruply changed --- well, there is only so much you can do when you have a scant 24 to 36 hours of preparation time.
That’s the thing about hurricanes. When one enters the Gulf, it can literally go anywhere. The entire northern Gulf coastline is a possible target. We lucked out but if we hadn’t, right now we would be sitting in darkness, sweating, maybe sipping FEMA water.
So always be prepared. No matter how many times we get lucky, you and I both know that eventually our luck’s going to end, we’re going to get hit, and we need to be ready. August 29, 2005 is forever engraved in our minds.