I have survived my first hurricane/tropical storm and I will say I don't ever want to do another one. We ended up working 15 hours and my body was sore. When the winds started getting about 45MPH you have problems standing up straight, you have to use a lot of energy just to stay standing. Add in there the running around, shooting and general crap I had to do, I was drained.
The strangest moments of the night involved the hotel door we were using, because of the barometric presser and something about the inside temperature of the hotel the door was nearly impossible to open. I actually got my arm caught in the door, and it'd going to leave a big bruise. We finally were told do not use that door and we had to walk around the building. Walking around the building caused the one problem, down power lines. the other photographer out here actually got hit by the down line. Lucky for him, the line was not live. We finally wised up and walked the other way. The problem going around the other side of the hotel was the wind. It was worse and we were stopped in our tracks at least three times.
When we wrapped up at 4AM I need a shower, the blowing wind forced sand to embed in my face, I felt like Zao. I took a shower and the sand fell off of me, yet I still felt dirty. It took a second shower in the morning to start feeling clean. Then the other "fun" moment was everyone calling me. I don't mind a 8AM phone call unless I've been asleep less than 4 hours. The calls kept coming so I finally got up at noon.
I staggered over to the window and to my amazement, it was sunny and tons of people were on the beach, it was like nothing happened. The only way I could tell there was a big storm the previous night were the giant waves the surfers were riding. Of course, I had to do a story on how nice it was and finally we got to leave. I am so glad I am home, and not to make my sister Amy mad, I hope Ike goes south of here, no more hurricanes for me.
WHAT I LEARNED
Drunks love storms and news crews getting pounded by weather.
Wal-Mart rain suits are better than Eddie Bauer rain suits from Target.
People do not understand the concept of cameras need light.
Hotel lobbies make great make shift newsrooms.
Sand can hurt
BY THE NUMBERS
2 hats that are still wet
2 times I had steak
3 shirts I used that day
3 meals in the hotel
4 days at the coast
1 day of actual storm
5 packages shot
15 straight hours of work on storm day
10.5 hours of overtime
20 times I was asked why the station can't see the ocean. (If you want to see the reporter then you can't see the ocean, it's night time... too dark)
134 dollars a night for the room
100 times I wished I picked a different career
700 times I cursed the storm
BEST LINE OF THE NIGHT
Anchor: Is there any power outages? We can't see any lights behind you.
That's because we are standing in front of the ocean, unless Atlantis rises from behind us there won't be any lights.