I’ve Been Right In The Middle of the Northern California Flooding Disaster

I5 Flood Near Willows CA

I5 Flood Near Willows CA

It has stopped raining. Here in California we have spent so much time praying for rain that it has felt strange doing a complete about face and instead pray for a stop to the rain. Well, all the rain did not stop and it has caused quite a local disaster in Northern California and difficulties for all our travelers. I have discussed disasters and travel previously here, but I did want to say a few words on the subject again in light of the rain, the Oroville Dam Spillway Emergency and the flooding that has been going on in Northern California this week.

First of all, I really feel horrible for any travelers that were at hotels or visiting people in cities including Oroville, Marysville and Yuba City that had to evacuate due to the Oroville Dam emergency. The evacuation order was extremely frightening. The initial order that went out was THIS IS NOT A DRILL…FAILURE OF EMERGENCY SPILLWAY EXPECTED WITHIN THE HOUR…”. I had been closely monitoring the situation for several days, and the announcement popped up on my Twitter feed and it was so out of the blue and severe that I ran into the next room and showed my husband and said “Is this Fake News? We double checked the URL and turned on the TV and immediately could see that the announcement was for real.

Can you imagine getting that evacuation order as a traveler in our area? At least the local people all know the roads and the ways out of the towns. Plus where do you go? What are the local stations for news on the radio while you’re in your Continue reading

Hurricane Matthew, Natural Disasters and Travel

Hurricanes Matthew and Nicole wind speed, courtesy of NHC

Hurricanes Matthew and Nicole wind speed, courtesy of NHC

When I book travel, I generally don’t think about natural disasters. Well, maybe a little bit. I won’t book an island with an erupting volcano (unless it’s the Big Island of Hawaii) and I won’t book a place that has just had a major natural disaster (like Nepal after the recent earthquakes). Otherwise, natural disasters don’t usually cross my mind.

Except that when I booked my recent Carnival Cruise to the Western Caribbean, hurricanes actually DID cross my mind and were a topic of discussion with the friends I booked the cruise with. We realized that by booking a Caribbean cruise in September we were booking right into hurricane season. We weighed the pros and cons. On the “pros” side, the timing for the cruise was right for us: the show I was Assistant Director for was ending a week before the cruise, and no one else was performing in//rehearsing for a show. Also, there are less children on the boat at the end of September because school is in session (we are empty nesters, so a plus for us). ¬†Another pro was that cruises to the Caribbean during September are generally cheaper, so we could get a great deal for our booking. Continue reading