Hurricane Ike is *huge* storm. Despite the fact that the eye is making landfall near Galveston, the outer bands of Ike hit us last night. Torrential downpour and gusty winds that gave me uncomfortable flashbacks to Gustav, despite the fact that I knew we were barely getting grazed by the storm. The power flickered a few times, sending me into momentary panic, but it came back on each time. The rain is no longer falling here, but we're still getting pretty strong gusts. I'm worried about what this will do to a city already well-damaged by Gustav. Right now, all around Baton Rouge, there are precariously hanging tree limbs and piles of fallen wood just waiting to become dangerous projectiles. Ordinarily, this would be nothing, but right now?
I honestly didn't realise how strongly Gustav had affected me. After Katrina, most of my focus was on those in New Orleans. I saw 'refugees' every day and talked with many of them, and that focus let me skip much of what would have otherwise been a traumatic experience for me personally. Sure, I'd been scared, but nothing much had happened to me, and look at all these other folks.
With Gustav, *we* were the ones who'd been hit hardest. Sure, the destruction in Baton Rouge wasn't anything like what happened in New Orleans with Katrina, but it was major nonetheless. And there wasn't much else to do for a week without power but worry about when we'd get it back, and how we were going to make it through the next few weeks if it didn't come back on. So last night, when Ike came roaring past, the rain and the wind made me really nervous. And when the power went out, I literally panicked, terrified it would be another week or more before I got it back. And there was this moment, after the power came back on and I calmed down a bit, that I had this shocking revelation. Holy crap, I've got PTSD. Ok, relatively minor PTSD, but still.
My other clear thought was "Dammit! I used to *like* thunderstorms!"