What’s more romantic than a hurricane?

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, August 29, 2012

To me, hurricanes symbolize love.

No, it’s not the giddy expression forecasters and weather reporters on The Weather Channel get when they think a deadly storm is worsening.

And it’s not the passion for one’s state that can develop when you hear your home state has been called only a “land mass” between two other states.

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I’m not even talking about the compassion and care that emerges after a storm when neighbor reaches out to help neighbor.

My view of hurricanes is much more self-centered than any of those ideals.

The most faithful of faithful readers out there — probably just my mom and one local pastor — might remember why the last hurricane to have a significant impact on Natchez is special to me.

Hurricane Gustav, that cut a path through south Louisiana not too far from that of Isaac, was my bachelorette party.

Gustav moved through Adams County on Sept. 1, 2008, the Monday before our Saturday wedding.

It probably wouldn’t have been that big of a deal if both Kevin and I didn’t work for the newspaper and have a responsibility to ensure news about the storm got out to all of you.

But on Monday of wedding week, the local Entergy experts told us — face-to-face after we had crashed at their office to find a working Internet connection needed to get the newspaper to a printing press with electricity — that every transmission line into Natchez was down and the electricity could be out for weeks.

It was devastating news that later turned out to be not quite so bad.

These days living without electricity is difficult; producing a newspaper without it is even tougher.

The next three days brought long nights in a darkened office with no air conditioning, reporters huddled around a few generator-powered computers in a small interior room and several peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Our staff worked until deadline — sometimes a bit after — to collect and deliver the news, then Kevin and I decompressed each night while discussing contingency plans for how both of us would make it to our out-of-town wedding — or if we even could.

Ultimately, we both left for my hometown a day later than we planned, which meant Kevin drove in just in time for the rehearsal dinner.

A few storm-beaten friends from Natchez, including several newspaper co-workers and the pastor who married us, made it up for the big day too.

And ultimately, things went off without a hitch.

We left for our honeymoon happy though certainly exhausted from the week prior.

Capable hands here in Natchez handled coverage of the storm’s aftermath, and things were mostly back to normal when we returned.

Four years later, we’d likely both forget our anniversary was approaching if there wasn’t a good depression brewing somewhere in the Atlantic.

And though we don’t love the storms, the havoc they bring or the pain they cause, a good hurricane will always be a part of our personal love story.

So today, we’ll weather Isaac together and in love.


Julie Cooper is the managing editor of The Natchez Democrat. She can be reached at 601-445-3551 or julie.cooper@natchezdemocrat.com.