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.
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.
Weather picture credits to NOAA
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
little...as 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
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
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.
Storms in which the eye
passed directly over or very near to Calhoun County, Alabama.
1959 6 2 ARLENE
2 1959 10 9
3 1970 7 22
4 1971 9 17
5 1975 9 23
6 1977 9 7
7 1985 11 1
8 1992 8 28
10 1994 7 4
11 1995 10 5
OPAL**Strong winds. Moderate local
12 1997 7 22 DANNY
13 2002 9 15
14 2003 7 1
15 2004 9 16 IVAN
Note: The chart is through 1994...
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.