Local News

Hurricane Season is Back

Posted May 30, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT

— El Nino is credited with keeping a lid on last year's hurricane season, and it may have the same effect for the first few months of the 1998 hurricane season, which begins today.

Some experts predict El Nino will fade out at the peak of hurricane season. That would delay the most damaging storms until August, September and October.

"The big question is how's that lingering... is going to affect hurricane season," said NOAA administrator James Baker. "One of those effects could be a delay" in seeing big storms.

Some forecasters believe this hurricane season will come in like a lamb and go out like a lion. The damage inflicted by Hurricane Fran in September 1996 is a haunting memory for many Triangle residents. Thousands of people went days -- even weeks -- without power and water.

"Everything went out, and, if you didn't have candles and matches and batteries and flashlights, you saw nothing." said Willie Wall, who was a victim of Hurricane Fran.

Some people learned the hard way exactly what supplies they'd need in order to get by, and many are determined not to be caught off guard again.

Others haven't even started thinking about hurricane season. Home improvement stores are stocking up on items such as flashlights and batteries, generators, chainsaws and even portable grills. They suggest you put together your hurricane kit early -- before the supplies you need are gone.

"You get a lot of people, crowds coming in, and they get psyched up and we don't really know what's going to happen but we like to be prepared for them," said LeCove Johnson of Home Depot.

If you haven't put together a hurricane kit yet, it's time to start. In addition to the items just mentioned, you'll also need bottled water and ready-to-eat food.

Set aside one gallon of water per person per day, and enough food to feed your family for at least three days.