The Mixed Blessings of Hurricanes

BY Betty Ann Bowser  September 22, 2011 at 4:37 PM EDT

Growing up on the east coast in Tidewater, Va., meant beautiful white sand beaches, learning to swim as you learned to walk, and fantastic summers in the sun.

But it also meant hurricanes.

As a child, I remember vividly how all the adults would suddenly get an ominous tone in their voices and bark out orders to “pack your suitcases with your prized possessions in case we have to get away fast.”

The radios in neighborhood homes would be blaring away with frequent weather forecasts about what was coming. When the announcer would finally say that a hurricane was on its way, we children would quietly rejoice. That had to be at LEAST a three or four day reprieve from school!

But I also remember what happened when these storms came ashore. First the electricity went out. Then hours of terrifying winds and rain pounding on the roof. And when it was over, floodwater everywhere.


So when I became a journalist, I knew firsthand what the word hurricane meant. And that has served me well through many that I have covered.

It seems like every time we do a story about one of these terrible and yet awesome events Mother Nature brings, we meet heroic people.

And once again, when we were in Galveston, Texas, recently to see what folks there are doing to recover from a Hurricane, we met two people we wanted you to know, too.

It may sound odd, but Hurricane Ike, which ripped through this Gulf Coast city in 2008, almost became their friend in a battle against some neighborhood thugs.

But I get ahead of myself …


Read more on Galveston’s recovery:

Can Galveston Rebuild Healthier After Disaster?

Video edited by Jason Kane. Photo courtesy of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center