The storm had ripped through the city. Trees were down, power lines strewn across the ground like spaghetti, roofs, if they were missing, could probably be found a block or two away. Near as anyone could tell, the whole city had gone dark in the storm’s furious wake.
My father immediately organized a round-the-clock neighborhood watch. Drafting my brothers and I, as well as our rather militant neighbor and his massive pickup truck.
The truck was used as a make-shift roadblock into our neighborhood, with a fallen oak blocking the other street in. Camping equipment was pulled out of storage, and in no time, there was an outpost in the middle of our street.
A cooler of beer followed shortly. Then some curious neighbors, and then their beer and ice from rapidly warming fridges. Grills were wheeled out from backyards, charcoal fires making the summer night even hotter.
I grew up running through the yards of some of these people, yet this was the first time I’d spoken to them.
And as my younger brothers ran around zapping each other with barcode scanners they’d scrounged from the militant neighbor’s things, I almost felt thankful for the storm.
Hurricane Elvis is what they called it. If you ask anyone who’s lived here their whole lives, they’ll tell you it was probably the worst storm they can ever remember. Parts of the city were without power for days.