Thankfully, Dennis was no Ivan

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 14, 2005

To quote Bob Dylan, 'let me tell you 'bout the hurricane…'

In reality, there's not much to tell, at least for those of us lucky enough to have escaped a whipping from Hurricane Dennis - this Sunday's 'Natural Disaster of the Week.' Hurricane season started on June 1 and already it seems like you can't live without plywood, duct tape, portable generators, five-dozen batteries and cases of bottled water.

Ivan really did a number on us. This past Sunday, my father and I rotated from one end of the house to the other nervously watching the rain, wind and trees. Like many affected when Ivan decided to set-up residence in central Alabama last September, my family had just completed re-building from that monstrosity. We expected Dennis to do much worse.

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Thankfully, it didn't.

Sure, the power clicked off at noon, even before Dennis hit land. But it was back on at nine the next morning, not the three days we waited for after Ivan.

Anyway. Here are some things I've learned from having hurricanes slap my hometown silly:

If you lose power to your television, the radio is a source of information. I didn't say a good source of information. It's a source of information. Some DJs turn into Carson-McMahon comedic acts because, without TV, they know they've got your undivided attention.

People will call up radio stations to report they have power outages. So what's a radio station going to do, send out the Wichita Lineman? Call your power company. Chances are they already know you have a power outage. After all, there's 100 mph winds kicking everyone's collective butts.

No matter how hard the wind is blowing, how hard the rain is falling, how many trees are doing the topsy-turvy…some idiot will eventually come driving down your street in a car or truck.

Going to the bathroom in the dark is no fun. And while in there, trying to read a magazine with a flashlight pinned between your head and shoulders can leave a crick in your neck.

NASCAR fans will become irritated if hurricane coverage takes precedence over a race and bombard a television station with complaints.

Everyone will have power back on before you. It may seem like the power company has forgotten you as you look north, south, east, and west and see houses enjoying lights, air conditioning and cable TV while you sit in stone-age blackness. But you're not forgotten. You're just misplaced.

Healthy eating be damned - in a natural disaster you eat what you can find. During Ivan we lived off cold-cut sandwiches, miniature Snickers bars, Cokes and Cheese-Nips.

I'm firmly convinced that

the Energizer company and the rest can't wait until hurricane season because people don't know what a C and D battery is until they find that big, gaping hole in the back of their boom box. Hey, flashlights use them to!

And finally, just remember: like most bad things in life, hurricanes, too, shall pass. Try to think about that as you watch the trees do side bends outside your home.

After all, Emily is brewing in the Atlantic. And we have a long way to go until November.

Kevin Pearcey is editor of The Luverne Journal. He can be reached at

335-3541 or

via email at kevin.pearcey@