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Hurricane Alicia 1983

When I was a child, the Houston area was hit by a Category 3 Hurricane. I was young and remember all the excitement from people around me. 

The evening before I was outside playing on the swing set equipment we had in the backyard. I remember climbing up onto the top of the slide, standing there looking to the south. I imagined the storm spinning out there, at least that's what it looked like it was doing on the TV radar. Mom had explained to me it was a bad storm and I felt the anxiety from her. I remember looking to the south that evening and in a deep whisper saying, "Go away."

The storm continued on of course despite my wishes for it to go away. It became dark and we went to bed. Mom, my siblings, and I all slept in the master bedroom. Dad worked for HL&P at the time and was at work. We slept soundly for most of the night.

At 3am a small tree by mom's bedroom window began hitting the window. Mom quickly gathered us three kids and moved us into the den. There was a large window in the room, but it faced another direction. There really wasn't many places for us to go. Mom had been through Hurricane Carla before this storm so she had some idea to what to expect. Since this was my first storm I was terrified. 

Mom went and opened a few windows just a little bit. She had been taught to do this to relieve pressure in the house. She didn't realize it was an old wives tale that it needed to be done. I remember being told that there would be tornadoes from this storm. I think that's when I became scared of tornadoes, I'll explain more on this later. 

I sat in mom's chair glued to the TV screen watching Hurricane Alicia come onshore. Mom sat in Dad's chair and went to sleep. I kept trying to wake her up too. I was afraid a tornado would come toward us and we wouldn't hear it if we were asleep. I had learned they sounded like freight trains, but the wind was roaring outside I couldn't imagine it getting worse than that and so the tornado became even more terrifying. Mom wouldn't stay awake though. My sister and brother slept on couch cushions from the other room. So it continued for hours me sitting in front of the small TV listening to the latest reports. Then we lost power. 

I can't remember how much time passed without power. Daylight approached and the eye of the storm crossed over us. To this day I still can't believe this happened, but Dad drove home during the eye! He got home took a shower then went to sleep, having worked 12 hour shift the night before. As soon as he hit the bed we got the backside of the storm. 

Mom moved back into her bedroom because the wind was blowing hard against that den window. She moved us kids with her and tried to get me to sleep. I dozed a little then heard this horrid wailing sound. The wind of the storm was rushing underneath our screen door and making this terrible sound over and over again. To this day the sound of that door always gave me chills and struck an instant fear in me. I couldn't sleep, I was terrified. Walking into the other room I remember so vividly the eerie glow to the room from daylight and the roar of hte storm outside. I walked to the window and opened it, even though I knew I shouldn't. I couldn't see out the window. It was a wall of solid rain with leaves plastered against it. 

Finally the storm passed and we found we had survived it. The house for the most part was ok. It was flooded in the street and we went and played in it. We did lose a tree. It was twisted and taken off somewhere, we never found it. 

That was in 1983, that storm scared me. I knew that one day I would face it again as an adult. I dreaded it, but also wanted to face my fear of it. Never again...after Ike, I never want to endure that terror again.



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