Mixsonian Morrs and Barbara Larry

Hurricane Betsy

In September hurricane Betsy passed through the Florida and, no, I don’t mean my little sister Beth,  who could be a terror at times, but we tell her they named the hurricane after her.  Hurricane Betsy crossed over the Florida Keys as a major hurricane, producing rainfall reaching 11.8 inches at Plantation Key and wind gusts reaching an estimated peak of 160 mph in North Key Largo.  Hurricanes were a thing living in Florida, kind of like earthquakes in California although not as bad since you knew it was coming but on the other, unlike the occasional earthquake, hurricanes came almost every year.  Living Gainesville, being in the center of the state, we didn't' worry too much about hurricanes for they mostly affected the coasts. There were a couple of hurricanes that I do have particular memories of one was a really big storm and it was headed right for Florida and was expected to cross over Gainesville, so Mom and Dad took us over to Grandpa and Grandma Junior's house to wait out the storm. Another time we got a hurricane that came across Florida and dumped about a foot of rain. The water in our street kept getting deeper and deeper and then started creeping up into the yard. We were worried that it would come up into the house, but it stopped three feet from the front door.  The neighborhood across University Avenue behind the 7-11 store was in a low area and the houses there had about four feet of water in them. The water slowly drained away over the next couple of days and to our surprise it left eels in the street. David and I caught several eels about a foot long and then we caught a super fat one that was about three inches in diameter and about three feet long. We put them in a big aquarium that we had outside and kept them for several weeks. Another thing that happened was that Hogtown Creek became swollen almost becoming a river. David, some other boys in the neighborhood and I took inner tubes down to the creek and we would float down the "rapids". There was one spot above the dam just before it the creek passes under 34th street that was very narrow. There were so many large trees down that we would walk along the downed trees up the creek a bit and then jump in without inner tubes and float down the creek where in one spot I went over a small waterfall and got sucked down under the water. I thought I was going to drown but I came up about ten feet further down the creek gasping for air.

Updated: 09-03-2022

Dad's Workshop