Where Were You: Hurricane Irene 2011

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signHurricane season, which runs June 1 – November 30, can mean deals at Caribbean resorts but a bit of weather unease. We have taken budget family beach vacations that were nearly derailed by bad weather.

There was the trip we had planned to Cancun in 2006, when Hurricane Dean took back most of the beach restored after Hurricane Wilma. Club Med allowed us to switch our reservation to Punta Cana, and we got a flight down there and had a great time.

We didn’t have travel insurance but Delta allowed us to keep the credit for the five tickets for a year, and the following summer we finally made it to Cancun, sans hurricane.

I took one daughter to Beaches Turks & Caicos and the day before we left the island, Hurricane Ike struck. We were at one of the on-site restaurants, and no one could leave to go to their room. We stayed for hours and finally waded back to our room, where the water was past my knees (mid-thigh for Nora) and my shoes floated away.

But we didn’t have it so bad – people on the half of the resort without a generator couldn’t use their key cards to enter their rooms.

Hurricane Irene couldn’t come at a worse time for us; we are moving one daughter into college on Sunday, and another into her internship. Both schools are opening the dorms a day early, which means we have to get on the road much earlier tomorrow. And the inconvenience of living in New York City, where you can’t load the car the night before, becomes more apparent. We’ll be lucky if we can even get a spot in front of our house to load the car in the early dawn.

There is a bit of a party atmosphere in NYC, where signs sprouted about the hurricane on sandwich baords in front of stores, and everyone was out stocking up on bottled water and gin (we New Yorkers do have our priorities). But long lines at grocery stores frayed some tempers and we are just hoping to get out of Dodge.

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