Having read a few stories about hurricanes over the years, there seems to be one thing in common.

Verbs and adjectives. I guess a lot of stories have those things. 

However, words can’t describe what you see.

A hurricane can “churn across the Gulf.”

It can “make landfall.”

It can “strengthen over water.”

It can “weaken over land.”

It can “barrel onto shore.”

It can “roar its way” into something.

It can hit a community “hard.” 

It can “spare” others.

It can “devastate.” 

A town can “bear the brunt.”

Someone can “emerge unscathed.”

Another thing you always hear or read, as with Gustav, is that it “thrashed.”

Also seen during Gustav, is “pummeled.” 

Trees “ … crash into a coffin.”

Hurricane Audrey in 1957 “ … laid in wait.” 

It hit “unexpectedly.” 

(As your dad will tell you, “They didn’t have that fancy radar back in them days.”)

And of course, as reported during Katrina, “ … we are being punished for New Orleans’ wickedness.”

And on Sept. 13, Hurricane Ike “ … slammed ashore,” according to the AP. 

It “hit” and “inundated” Bridge City, Orange and Port Arthur, causing widespread flooding.

And if you saw the debris all piled up by the road, homes gutted and trash everywhere, you wouldn’t think too much about verbs.
Except perhaps one word associated with hurricane names:


Not the “retired” that involves a gold watch.

The “retired” meaning “good riddance.”

Hopefully, nothing like this will ever return.

[E-mail Robert Hankins at robert1961@live.com]