I’ve written extensively about the life-changing event that was Hurricane Katrina. However, I haven’t written about another hurricane which had almost as much of an impact. That would be Ivan, which made landfall on the US Gulf Coast early on the morning of September 16, 2004, one year prior to Katrina. Although my home and the community of Gautier, Mississippi, was not directly impacted Ivan had deeply personal consequences.
As the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Ivan’s landfall approaches I’ve decided it’s time to share my story.
The ever wonderful Wikipedia describes Hurricane Ivan as:
“[…]a large, long-lived, Cape Verde-type hurricane that caused widespread damage in the Caribbean and United States. […] Ivan formed in early September, had reached Category 5 strength on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, and became the 10th most intense Atlantic hurricane ever recorded. At its peak in the Gulf of Mexico, Ivan was the size of the state of Texas. It also spawned 119 tornadoes across the eastern United States.
[…] After peaking in strength, the hurricane moved north-northwest across the Gulf of Mexico to strike Pensacola, Florida as a strong Category 3 storm, causing significant damage. Ivan dropped heavy rains on the Southeastern United States as it progressed northeast and east through the eastern United States, becoming an extratropical cyclone. […] Ivan caused an estimated US$18 billion (2004 USD, $22.5 billion 2014 USD) in damages to the United States, making it the fifth costliest hurricane ever to strike the country.[…]”
Yes, all that is true. My version of events is a bit more personal.