birds

American widgeons fly over Mannings Bay Pond on St. Croix during the National Audubon Society’s 116th annual Christmas Bird Count.

I grew up with storms, not hurricanes. My first hurricane experience was Marilyn in 1995. I was in graduate school in Texas when Hurricane Hugo hit St. Croix in September 1989 as a Category 4 storm that devastated the island.

In the 1960s and mid-70s, school closed almost every year in September due to heavy rainfall and flooding — sometimes for days or weeks — at the peak of hurricane season. As a child, I couldn’t wait to play in guts and streams as lots of rain fell during a passing storm.