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Ivan the Terrible

June 11, 2010

One of the troubling things about the timing of this blog is that hurricane season just started.

Back in 2004, a close friend of mine was a guy born in Grenada. I was the one, on September 7th, who broke the news to him that Hurricane Ivan was passing over his home island. He desparately tried to reach family on the island. But no calls could get through. This was pre-Facebook, pre-Twitter.

As the first couple days passed, word was trickling out that at least 85% of island was devastated. My frantic friend still could not reach anyone on the island who were in touch with his family. I agreed to help get him to Grenada. All major flights were cancelled. A bit of research from me got him on a flight to Barbados. I refused to book any travel that got him to Grenada after dark. So on the morning of September 12th, he arrived on a tiny plane back home. He hitched a ride to his hometown and was relieved to find his parents alive and well despite extensive damage to their home.

I heard from him a couple days later. The island was in bad shape. Even the prime minister’s home had sustained major damage. There was no power. By the end of the day, I found the last portable generator in Florida and had it shipped by boat to Grenada.

That experience and, of course, the terrible effects of Hurricane Katrina gave me great respect for Mother Nature. I worry for the people of Haiti living in tents with no defense against that terrible wind and rain. I pray that they are spared this hurricane season.

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