Alannah Lim Joon – Hurricane in Miami
Hurricane in Miami
By Alannah Lim Joon
I’m sitting inside the evacuation centre, watching families hurry inside, while the wind outside is getting stronger and stronger. Outside I can hear things being flung around, alarms going off, people yelling for help and a whole lot of chaos going on. I’m feeling scared and worried about the damage that will be caused, and how we are going to fix the damage. People around me are frightened, and panicking, other people are sitting with blank faces not knowing what to do.
My parents have given me the responsibility of taking care of my little sister, Paige, because my parents are volunteering to help by handing out blankets and hot cups of tea. Paige is quite fearful and is holding onto her favourite teddy. I try to comfort her but the hurricane and the storm seems to be getting louder and stronger. I can see how frightened Paige is just by looking into her pale blue eyes. I hold her tight trying to calm her down and put her to sleep. After a few lullabies, Paige is sound asleep, surprisingly, with all the disturbing noises around.
Now that Paige is asleep, I’ve focused my attention on finding my best friend, Luna. She means the world to me and I wouldn’t know what to do without her. People have stopped panicking and it isn’t as dramatic as before, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find her. I’m starting to get a little worried now. I’ve scanned the entire evacuation centre and still no sight of her, I keep looking around. My eyes flash past the entrance and see a quick glimpse of Luna, I turn back around to face her and walk quite swiftly towards her. I wrap my arms around her with a sigh of relief. She is soaked to the skin. I’m so glad to see her and that she’s here safe and sound.
Luna and I sit next to Paige just in case she awakens. Luna keeps going on about how lucky we are to have an evacuation centre nearby, she is a very optimistic type of person, but she is very right about the evacuation centre. In my mind I can just picture everyone all stuck in their basement or packing the car to get out of town as soon as possible. Before I start to drift away any further, Luna’s Dad comes over to tell her that he is going out into the storm to try locate an elderly woman who has been trapped in her home by a fallen tree.
Luna tries so hard to stop her Dad, but he insists on going. He gives her a gentle kiss on the cheek and turns to leave. Luna’s eyes filled with despair and tears, she turns into my shoulder hoping that wouldn’t be the last time she held his firm hands and felt his soft lips against her cheek. My Mum and Dad sit with Paige and tries to fall asleep. “I’ll wait up with Luna.” I tell them. Luna is still crying and unsettled, I know there is nothing I can say to make her feel better so I just hold her hand and stay by her side.
One of the shutters fly up and Luna jumps to her feet in a single heart-beat. Two other men went with Luna’s Dad but there are only three silhouettes. Luna walked in a slow unsteady pace towards them and I followed behind her. An elderly lady was unconscious and two unfamiliar men placed her on a stretcher for attention from a local doctor. One of the men walks over to us and told Luna, that her Dad had been hit by a falling branch and was unconscious and they left him by the house. Which I thought was an insane idea. They head back out to get him but the wind had just gotten a whole lot stronger in the last couple of minutes. The men kept trying to fight the wind but it was nearly impossible.
Luna was in tears. I’m sure we are thinking the same thing, even though we don’t want to believe it. He’s not going to make it back. The wind died down, just for a moment and all of a sudden, Luna charges towards the gusting winds outside and she made it out! I was in total shock. I just froze completely and I felt my blood rush towards my feet. Everyone is in shock, but not as much as me. My best friend just ran out into the biggest hurricane I’ve ever witnessed in Miami, to find her Dad. The next thing I know I’m running after her. What did I just do?! I must be crazy! I’m fighting the wind, while calling out Luna’s name. I’m scared and still can’t believe I made that decision. I can’t believe Luna made that decision.
I’m standing right outside the evacuation centre, I have no clue what to do, and my face is as blank as my mind. I keep pushing against the wind in the direction I think Luna went. All of a sudden, I fall on my face because the wind just stopped, everything is still. Has it ended? Is it real? Before I could ask myself anymore questions, I see Luna with her Dad under a big oak tree. I run as fast as I can towards them. Luna’s Dad is awake but he’s still a bit dizzy. He mumbles something, something about an eye and hurricane. I look around, in the distance, things are still being tossed around like crazy. Then I remember, Luna’s Dad is saying we’re in the eye of the hurricane and we don’t know how long it’ll stay like this. Luna and I take an arm each over the shoulder and haul him in the direction of the evacuation centre. The wind is catching up but I know we are going to make it.
As we take our last few steps toward the evacuation centre, we hear a round of applause. It couldn’t be for us. Could it? As we walked in we saw everyone have the strength to smile and applaud, for us! I felt very proud but I was just glad that we were all safe and no one was seriously hurt. Luna has taken charge of her Dad as he just gained some strength in his legs. I smiled over at Luna, as she helps her Dad onto a stretcher. Luna’s Mum and little brother rushed to his side, and not long after someone came to check on him, a doctor I suppose. Luna gave a quick smile and turns to her family.
I see Mum, Dad and Paige, directly in my path. As I walk towards them people were patting me on the back and cheering. As I met Mum, Dad and Paige half way the welcomed me with open arms. It was quite obvious Mum had been crying and I don’t blame her she must have been worried sick. Dad has one of the biggest smiles on his face and poor little Paige looks as if she slept through the whole thing, which she probably did. As I wrapped my arms around them,
I whispered “I’m so sorry.”
“It’s okay.” Mum whispered back.
I felt their grasp get the slightest bit tighter. There was nowhere else in the world I’d rather be then right here in my family’s warm embrace.
Alannah Lim Joon, 6th Class, St John the Apostle, Knocknacarra National School, Galway