Hey everyone so I've placed this article in the creative writing section because it is a story but it is in fact completely true; I am going to tell you about my experience face to face with a Hurricane in the United States of America when I was just 10 years old. It is a long story so it will cover two articles. In 2004 a great tropical storm nicknamed Hurricane Charley worked it's way across North America leaving devastation in its wake. I was on holiday with my parents in Orlando, Florida, having visited the Disney World Theme Parks and was due to fly home when the Hurricane surprised the weather reporters and changed course, heading straight for Florida and because of the mighty winds and storm all flights were cancelled. Thousands of people were stuck in the airport and at only 10 years old I was frightened as I saw adults who I relied on for safety seemed to be panicking and scared; it is the only time in my life that I have seen my dad show any fear. It was 2pm and the beautiful sun and blue sky that Orlando had given us for the past three weeks turned pitch black in the middle of the day, people abadoned their homes, their vehicles, all the locals knew what to do and stayed well away from windows or glass and safely inside hurricane proof buildings. Us tourists? Well we had no clue what to do and had just booked out of our villa as we had been due to fly home.
The airport was full with people ready to sleep on any spare seats, even on the floor, but large areas were to be kept out because the hurricane would smash the glass from nearby windows so space was greatly reduced. My dad decided to try and find us a hotel for the night but there were none close by and he called over 20 taxi services before one mysterious religious man turned up at the airport in a taxi and offered to take us to a hotel. The wind howled ferociously outside and trees were being uprooted, branches hurled through the air, it was chaos, yet in this little taxi I felt strangely safe. The man calmed us and offered us all some pizza he had bought to give to whoever might need help. This man soothed us and drove us through the dark and the howling winds for miles, risking his life to help us. Every hotel that we passed said no vacancies, fully booked, no more people, we wanted to panic but the mysterious taxi driver calmed us. After several miles everything went dark. All electricity in the area went out as the storm had ripped electrical lines from the ground and hurled them aside like playthings. Now becoming increasingly desperate my dad got out the car at the next hotel and banged on the window asking if we could just sleep in the lobby and that he had two children to protect, me (10) and my younger brother who was only four at the time. They fortunately let us in but it took 6 men to force open the door because of how strong the wind was that was blowing against it. The taxi driver whose name was Joseph asked for no money, no thanks for finding us shelter and risking his life, he simply wished us on our way, told us to stay away from the windows and drove off into the thick inky blackness and howling winds.
With objects flying through the air and total darkness it was a great risk to be outside, in fact part of a metal bilboard was hurled by the wind across the bonnet of the taxi during our trip, had it been just a few inches closer we would have certainly died. The taxi driver said it was the Lord's will that he should do his duty and go out and protect others and save people from the storm with no regards for hus own life. Whatever your religious beleifs that man who I know only as Joseph and whose face I barely remember saved my family and perhaps others that night and I have no idea what happened to him.
The image on the right shows a hurricane seen from space, it is a huge tropical storm that begins oversea and creates great winds and tornadoes which are a natural disaster in themselves. I am lucky to be alive.