Watch out for Southern ladies

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 30, 2002


soon as I heard the name Isidore, I knew we were in for it.

To me, the name brings to mind a stout matron with far-reaching arms who would stay steadfast on her course and decimate anything and everything in her unfortunate path, and to think that they would give the name to a hurricane makes me weak-kneed.

After doing a little research, I noticed a sort of trend that has been happening over the past thirty years or so concerning the hurricanes that have hit this part of the Gulf Coast. Almost every hurricane that has done some sort of specific damage to Covington County was labeled with a strong Southern female name.

Take a look at the list. Hurricane Camille, which made landfall in 1969, had a top wind speed of 165 mph. In 1972, Hurricane Agnes felled trees at 75 m.p.h. Hurricane Eloise made her debut on the Gulf Coast with high

winds in 1975. We had a break in luck until 1995 when Hurricane Opal smacked parts of Covington County back into the Dark Ages, literally, with her 150 m.p.h. winds.

I don't know about most folks, but I know someone by each of those names. I went to college with a girl named Camille, the lady down the street from us in Lockhart is named Agnes, my first grade teacher's name was Eloise and I used to work with a girl named Opal. I really think Isidore (My daughter's name is Ora, which is close to Isidore, which is a stretch, but it works.) is going to continue on with the tradition, but I hope I am wrong. It wouldn't hurt my feelings too much if Isidore just flat stalled out right where she is. After Hurricane Opal, the amount of damage to Covington County was unimaginable. Before the storm actually hit. I can remember standing on our front porch watching tornadoes collect and dissipate in the pecan grove in front of our house. I can also remember being without power for days and days on end and without water for more than a week.

Most of us have survived at least one storm or two, but there may be some newcomers to our area who have never seen the damage a hurricane can do. I have two words for them, be prepared.

We all know about the standards when preparing for an emergency. Water, food, clothes, first-aid kits and medicines will always top the list, but don't forget the oddities. Remember candles, matches, toiletries, battery-powered radios and anything that might come in handy that works without electricity. Remember to fill up all vehicles and propane tanks with fuel. And last, but not least, remember to pay your house insurance, because it's better to be safe than sorry.