READER SUBMISSION: Mickie Burbella Whitley, an East 15th Street resident and North Carolina-native, passed by this derelict motor boat in the Bay. The sight brought back memories of Hurricane Irene and, 10 years earlier, Hurricane Floyd – during which she made her drive up from North Carolina to Brooklyn. Here, she shares her experiences of the two hurricanes, and of the long, dangerous drive up the coast with a hurricane bearing down in her rear view mirror.
Out and about this morning, I noticed the marina’s new trash-art piece is still on display: a derelict shell of a motor boat, full of trash and whatnot, bumping against the Holocaust Park sea wall near the corner of Emmons. Now I suppose this observation would be appropriate to a “More Trash in the Bay”-type article, but instead it reminded me of last August and Hurricane Irene… and Irene brings back bittersweet memories of Floyd.
We are two months into what has been a mild hurricane season here in the Bay. Until Irene put Brooklyn into a panic late August 2011, it had been a full 12 years since this part of the world even remembered that hurricanes weren’t just something that happened to other states.
But I grew up in hurricane country and making note of the season is in my blood. In fact, my family lives in the small coastal town (that no one had ever heard of nor remembers now) on which Hurricane Irene first landed. When she got to the Bay, I felt like someone from down home had come visitin’.
I always change my water on the first of June. For those who don’t immediately recall, the first day of June is opening day of hurricane season for the east coast. This is when my household schedule is set to changing out stored utility water, checking all battery and bulb supplies for the flashlights, reviewing the expiration dates on set aside canned and dried goods, putting up extra ice and making sure the stock of candles, oil and matches is still fat and happy. And yes, I make sure I have a stack of duct tape around… not that I would ever use it on my windows.
Hurricanes engender an awe of respect. Floyd and Irene, in particular, because they, of all the recent storms, have been able to make New York City pause in its tracks and pay attention.
I celebrate my moving to the Bay during hurricane season. Hurricane Dennis hijacked one moving date and two weeks later, Hurricane Floyd personally escorted me up the coast in 1999.
My respect for the strength of a ‘cane has been solidified by former recklessness.