Today, at work, we were discussing this possibly impending Hurrican Irene, that is at this moment anyway, heading right for us here in Wilmington. I mentioned that while not wishing for either one of them, if I had to endure one or the other I would prefer an earthquake. Earthquakes - and as a former Californian, I've been through many - are relatively fast, usually over before you're quite sure that it's even an earthquake. I realize that in many parts of the world earthquakes can be completely devastating, and I'm not making light of that, but there is something to be said for getting it over with quickly. A hurricane - and in the 20 years I've been in NC, I've seen plenty of those, too - on the other hand, takes it sweet ass time coming around, making everyone uneasy, questioning "is it coming?" and "will it miss us?" Once it gets here it takes it's time leaving. Twelve to 24 hours later it disappears, leaving behind 20 or so inches of rain, which floods even the houses that are higher than the flood plain (mine), trees uprooted or many branches lighter than before (and many of those have gone through someone's roof or window, or fallen on their cars), and yards a mess. The roads are unpassable for days until the crews come and chain saw thru all the debris in the street, which stays on the side of the road, 6 or 8 feet high, for weeks. And no power. Usually for several days, maybe a week. And it's incredibly hot after a hurricane, but there's no AC. I once told my sister, when she called to check and see if we were alright, that the only danger we were in was dying of boredom.
Any way - in the words of Ellen Degeneres: "my point - and I do have one!" - so I mentioned at work that I'd rather endure an earthquake than another hurricane, and guess what? We had an earthquake! No more than 10 minutes after I said that. Looks like we're still getting the earthquake, though. Humph...
*The quake was centered in Virginia, so we only got a tiny little shudder. Kind of like when a big truck goes by and makes the ground shake a little. But to hear people in Wilmington tell it - we all almost died from the buildings falling all around us. And they'd all still rather have a hurricane.
**I really do hope no one in VA - or anywhere else - was injured or suffered any loss from the quake today or from Irene.