Fiction in response to Climate Action
January 2019

Part 1: Hurricane Michael

By Grace Muresan

Hi! I’m Georgia and I am 9 years old, and I live with Flora, my 12-year-old sister and my parents in Panama City, Florida.

Life is great for us because Florida is always warm and we can go to the beach every day. Life is good, even though we don’t have any snow days to get out of school. But that’s fine with me, because i like school anyway. And Disney world isn’t too far away.

 

On October 7, we started hearing news about a tropical storm in the Yucatan Peninsula. Nothing extreme or out of ordinary, news about these storms are common where I live. I guess that’s the only bad thing about Florida, and the flooding that Flora said is cause by global warming and climate change.

Two days later, though, “Hurricane Michael” strengthens into a Category 3 hurricane. I’m not sure what that means, but Flora said it was dangerous.

The day after we heard this frightening news, the hurricane hit. I was at my school, Tommy Smith Elementary, learning fractions. I was whispering with my best friend Izzy when suddenly, the lights in my classroom went out. The hurricane alarm began screeching its high-pitched whine, and I saw my teacher, Mrs. White, hustling my classmates out of the room in a line. With a jolt, i realized the rain and wind outside was violent and kids were screaming. I felt like throwing up, but just then, my teacher came, whisked me onto my feet, and towed me into the hall where a line of frantic students stood. Panic struck like a whirlwind. “Georgia Peach,“ she knelt beside my ear. “We have to go. The hurricane is landfalling here.” She mumbled in her surprisingly deep voice that contrasts her slim figure. We slipped into the line, where i noticed i was right behind Izzy. Barely louder than the alarm, students screaming, and the catastrophic storm taking effect outside, over the loudspeaker the principal’s voice echoed firmly: “Please do not panic. Leave everything behind, and make your way in orderly lines to the cafeteria where we will go over the necessary hurricane procedures and take roll call.” I panted for breath, struggling to walk in the confusion, but Mrs. White, now my favorite teacher, hurried me along to the cafeteria. I would be safe. But my parents’ and Flora’s faces flashed into my head.

 

Where were they? Would they be alright? Had they been swept away by the raging wind outside already? I whimpered quietly at the thought of my sweet, gentle sister being ripped from me in the desperate, hungry cyclone. The once sunny paradise just outside had vanished and been replaced by a bitter, unforgiving landscape of terror. Izzy grabbed my hand as we passed a window that was trembling with the pressure of the wind, and i saw trees being torn easily from the ground like candles in a birthday cake being uprooted by an eager child. I shook uncontrollably with fear.

 

Mrs. White hugged me, and Izzy never released my hand. There was nothing really left to do but sit in those lines and wait for the storm to go away. Some teachers held lanterns or flashlights to give light because the power was still out. As the storm swirled outside and the silent panic simmered in here, I closed my eyes and prayed that Flora was still alive.

To be continued....

2018 Actions in Spotlight

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