The Calhoun County Gazette of Calhoun County Alabama presents local news, sports, and features of interest about the area. It is dedicated to the people of Calhoun County and to others who would like to know more about us and the great opportunities for travel, fun, and business in our region.
 Feature Story  
Calhoun County Alabama brushed by Katrina. A crisis missed....a time unlike any other in the living memory of America.
By Norman Morrison
               Calhoun County, Alabama watched in varying degrees of horror as Hurricane Katrina ploughed into the Gulf coast Monday morning, August 29, 2005.
     As a historical footnote, nobody took Katrina very seriously when she crossed over Florida into the Gulf of Mexico. It was a sense of "been there and done that already." Hurricane fatigue, I suppose. The weather guys, already satiated, after an incredible string of hurricanes, just wished it would go away. didn't.
Weather picture credits to NOAA

In my lifetime I took notice of only two passing systems. The first was Eloise in 1975 which managed to blow the doors open as it quickly passed overhead. The other storm was Opal in 1995 that did major damage to the local forests when it blew through. It seemed until recently that hurricanes and Calhoun County were strangers. Lately they seem like they pass our way about every 5 minutes. Thus, I was surprised to see just how many twirlers have come our way historically. See the list below.
     Katrina was scary and nearly damaging but on the whole she spared Calhoun County. Our first encounter was Saturday when the outermost band nailed us. The wind picked up a it does, and funny little breezes would sway the trees and vegetation here and there.
It just didn't feel right.
Hurricane Katrina as it speeds by Calhoun County, Alabama August 29, 2005. While west Alabama was pounded, Calhoun County was spared.
NOAA prediction storm track. Hurricane Katrina  passing Calhoun County, AL. The illustration is dated Aug. 27. The NOAA forecast track was largely correct, and their projections were mostly dead on.
Since Calhoun County is 300 miles from the coast you notice when the air goes tropical and the funny little breezes come. With but a brief shower or two we heard no more from Katrina until late Monday as she sped through Mississippi, raking the western half of Alabama. It wasn't until late that evening that the winds caught up with 30 and 40 mile per hour gusts all through the darkness. It rained relatively little.
     Tuesday afternoon The NBC television affiliate in Mobile, AL, reported that White's Gap near Jacksonville had a tornado. The local Anniston newspaper mentioned only that a house on Nance's Creek was demolished and a storefront on 10th Street in Anniston had window damage.
     Sporadic power outages, mainly due to creaky old tree limbs falling on power lines was the local legacy of Katrina.
     The national legacy, we don't know yet.
1     1959    6 2     ARLENE
2     1959    10 9   IRENE
3     1970    7 22   BECKY
4     1971    9 17   EDITH
5     1975    9 23   ELOISE
6     1977    9 7     BABE
7     1985    11 1   JUAN
8     1992    8 28   ANDREW
10   1994    7 4     ALBERTO
11   1995    10 5   OPAL**Strong winds. Moderate local damage.
12   1997    7 22   DANNY
13   2002    9 15   HANNA
14   2003    7 1     BILL
15   2004    9 16   IVAN
Note: The chart is through 1994...

Legend: Storms in which the eye passed directly over or very near to Calhoun County, Alabama.
     The others, like Katrina, were near misses but still affected our weather greatly.
NOAA enhanced picture of encroaching Katrina. This was the storm of two centuries, surprising forecasters and coastal residents alike. Katrina was the nightmare scenario. She will have lasting effects on the United States in our lifetimes.
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