Hurricane Isabel is currently forecast to go right over my house. I have been in other hurricanes, but if things play out as predicted, this will be the strongest, most devastating storm I have ever experienced.
Current Forecast Track:
I was six years old and living in southern coastal Maine. By the time Gloria reached our area, it was no longer a hurricane- in fact, when my father came home from the base, he took us to the beach a block away to watch the surf! I also remember my little brother, then three going on four, watching the storm out the window and counting all the leaves and branches that were falling from the trees in the backyard.
I had just transferred to the College of William and Mary and was living off-campus with a family in Williamsburg about a mile away from the center of the campus.
Floyd was preceded by Tropical Storm Dennis, which passed by the area a week or two before and dropped a lot of rain. This left the ground saturated for the passage of Floyd.
Floyd was such a large storm that it created it's own weather. Three or four days before the storm actually hit, the eye of the storm still far off shore, rain squalls began to hit Williamsburg. I was caught in a number of these squalls, as my means of transportation at the time was my bicycle.
Wednesday morning, about twelve hours before the storm hit, the family with whom I was living began to stow their outdoor furniture. A steady rain began, light at first, but growing gradually heavier as the day wore on. The ride home after classes was miserable- I was completely soaked. I brought my bike indoors and prepared to ride out the storm.
The worst of the storm hit early Thursday morning. Classes were canceled for the rest of the week- the first time this had happened in many years.
Floyd was defined by its flooding. Many roads and highways in the area were completely impassable. I took a walk down Jamestown Road on Thursday afternoon after the storm had passed. Lake Matoka was almost spilling onto the road, and on the other side, what was normally a calm stream had completely filled the forest floor with a raging torrent many feet deep. Trees were down everywhere, not broken but completely uprooted. Part of Jamestown Road was blocked by a massive landslide. Basements were flooded on campus. Down the road a few miles more in the direction of Jamestown, a dam had burst and many people were without electricity or clean water. We had people coming into the house to use our showers a few days afterwards. We were without electricity in our section of Williamsburg for 24 hours.
And all of this was from a Category 1 storm!
I would love to hear other people's storm stories- I'm somewhat of an enthusiast for this sort of thing.