The August 2nd Storm of 2016
March 18, 2021
It was August second, 2016, late afternoon, and my mimi (my mom’s mom) and I were at Joann Fabrics, it had been two days since my ninth birthday. We were walking down the aisle when my mimi thought she saw the lights flicker. I saw nothing though and kept looking around.
A couple minutes later the lights went out and we only saw darkness as our eyes adjusted to the lighting. We speed-walked towards the center of the store to see what was happening. Everyone else was doing the same thing.
When I looked out the window, all I saw was a gray-green sky, it was so dark that barely any light was coming from outside and into the store. It was all I could see, and then a tree fell down. My heart lurched. The wind was whipping at the other trees as well trying to get them to falter and fall. Fear was slowly climbing up my throat. It was all anyone could see. Everyone just stood there watching, waiting for something else to happen.
Then the backup lights finally came on, but they barely produced the light to distract us from the storm. It was loud and quiet at the same time. No one knew what to do next. I looked around to see the others surrounding us, but the one thing that caught my attention was a young girl hanging on to her Mother’s arm like that was the only thing keeping her from getting swept up with the storm. She had such a look of terror on her face. It was horrible, watching her look out the window like that, but I just stayed nearby my mimi. Then I realized that my four younger brothers were with my papa, I started to worry. Suddenly I became terrified and I just wanted this to end. I wanted them to be safe and sound at home with nothing to worry about, but there was nothing in my power that I could do to control this.
I silently asked my mimi how we were going to get out of here. She just told me we would go when the wind calms down a little bit. It was exciting and terrifying at the same time, watching out the windows like that.
Just a couple seconds later we were running out the doors and into the car. The wind was not calm, not calm at all. It thrashed at us as we ran, but it was blocked once we regained safety from the car. Mimi started driving us. “Bridget call Papa.” she said, so I called him as fast as I could. Reassuringly it turned out that my brothers were fine, and hiding under the coffee table downstairs. I bet this was all a game to them. I felt a huge amount of built up fear shed off me. Then Mimi told me to call my parents. I tried the home phone but it didn’t work because the power was completely out. I felt afraid that they had maybe been hurt.
When we went to drive up the road, we realized that it was blocked by a giant tree that had fallen, covering the entire street. That just added even more to my fear. So Mimi had to turn us around and take the long route. When we got to my house I had to call my parents’ mobile phones to open the door. They answered the phone and immediately let me inside. I waved goodbye to my mimi as she drove back into the storm. I felt a little bit afraid for her, but I was pretty sure that she’d be okay.
Since the power was out, we all lit candles and got to read and play board games. It was kind of thrilling, feeling like we were within a bomb shelter and reading by candlelight. Eventually my brothers came home, and for dinner we all ate crackers, juice boxes, cookies, and anything else in the pantry. Although we were not allowed to open the fridge or the freezer because that would let more warm air into them, making it more likely the food inside would spoil.
That night, we all slept away from the windows, afraid that a tree branch or something might crash through and hit us with glass. My brothers though, the crazy people they are, all had no fear of the windows and wanted to sleep by them. I could not stand the fear that they might die, it freaked me out.
For the next week and a few days, we had no power at all, until one day it just popped back on. In the end, all the trees and powerlines that fell were fixed, everyone gained power again and went on with our lives. Something stuck with all of us though, we all learned that things can break, but broken things can bring people together into a united fear and want to fight that fear. But let’s just say, no one will forget August second, 2016.