the sometimes senseless ravings (and the occassional rant) of an aspiring marine ecologist who may enjoy killing things a little too much

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Surviving Arlene

yesterday was just a very rainy saturday as far as i'm concerned... and a bit windy for summer. i'm guessing that things were a little worse in pensacola (on the east side of the storm), but i must say that things were fairly normal here in mobile. traffic was flowing up and down my street, the mail ran, and pizza delivery was still happening. really, i'm quite surprised that USA cancelled saturday classes due to the tropical storm. the university of mobile had regular classes, and i really don't know of any businesses around town that shut down. a single limb fell from a tree in our parking lot, but that was the extent of any storm "damage." our power didn't even go out. it really wasn't even that windy here - i think our highest winds were around 25 mph. but it rained all day, so i'm guessing that downtown mobile, along with dauphin island, is under water. i don't really live in a flood-prone part of town, so i'll be doing my regular sunday grocery shopping, etc. without worries.

this morning, the sun is shining and i expect it to be a beautiful day. tomorrow, we will return to the normal summer thing - hot as hell (temps in the 90's) and a bit of rain in the afternoons - for my excursion into the marsh with the marine biology class.

one thing that did have me worried with t.s. arlene was its position yesterday morning. it was really pounding the apalachicola/port st. joe area, right where we just set up an experiment. i really hope our cages are still there when we go to check on thursday. they're anchored into the sediment fairly securely with rebar, but that damn storm caused some pretty rough surf. i can only hope that since the cages are in a bay (even if it is a fairly open one), the conditions didn't get bad enough to move them around and let the urchins out. *fingers crossed*

when i saw that the mail was still running yesterday afternoon, i asked chad if he thought that the pizza places were still open and delivering. it wasn't raining very hard at that point, and i was hungry. he advised me to call and find out, so i made the call to papa john's and, yes, they were still delivering. so, chad and i got a pizza delivered. but right after i ordered, the rain got much worse. i started to feel bad for the delivery guy (who turned out to be a girl), but then i thought, "well, if he's from mobile, he should be used to driving in this kind of rain," and i didn't feel so bad. but when the driver got here, i noticed the colorado tag on her car and felt bad again. i figured she was a USA student and maybe wasn't so used to driving in torrential rain after all. anyway, we gave her a fat tip for bringing us pizza in a tropical storm.

something else that impressed me yesterday was the ability of our satellite to work in adverse weather conditions. we had discovered way back during hurricane ivan the amazing abilities of directv. we never lost the satellite feed, even well into the storm. when the power went out, the in-laws just fired up the generator, and we still had directv. yesterday during t.s. arlene, the same thing happened (minus the power out generator thing). it truly astounds me that the satellite goes out during strong thunderstorms, but tropical systems are no problem for it, with their whipping winds and driving rains.

anyway, that's my account of tropical storm arlene. i'm sure some of you have more interesting stories.

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