by Kaitlyn Turner
We had known it was coming for a week.
“It ain’t taking this house ,” My grandfather said,” And even if it does, i’m not leaving.”
He was always stubborn, but to be fair he had lived here in this house his entire life.
“Dad, we have to go the house isn’t going to stand we got lucky that it didn’t fall down during the earthquake last week!” My mother said.
“This house has made it through hurricanes plenty of times with me in it, along with Mauna Loa erupting back in ’50, ‘75 and ‘84, i’m not worried, if you wanna take the kids and go then by all means go!”
“It’s not just a hurricane!” She yelled,” It is a tsunami, we live on an island, in a house on stilts with a beach view!”
She packed up our things to leave but e still wouldn’t budge.
“Where are we going?” My sister asked.
“We are going to go and stay with your aunt inland.” My mother replied.
“Why isn’t grandpa going?” She asked.
“Because… He wants to stay and watch over the house while we’re gone.”
It’s been three hours since we left the house with our grandfather in it. My mom and aunt have been sitting watching the news and the rain outside.
“The ocean has started to pull back as you can see from the live footage.” The weather man said as we watched the black water reel back into the ocean as it pulls on the boats tied to the docks only to leave them to sit on the wet sand. We watched holding our breath, my sister and cousin didn’t seem to understand what was really going on because they were too young to really understand what was happening and the severity of it all.
The ocean started to come back in getting higher and higher. I watched my mother and aunt go pale and wide eyed. The waves came back in fast snapping the ropes that kept the boats tied to the docks and engulfing them in the dark waters as the weather man went on frantically about all the damage it was doing.
Me, my aunt and mother watched the news switch from different live clips of peoples houses going down and peoples cars being pulled down the streets by harsh waves as my sister and cousin, oblivious to disaster outside sat and played with their toys when all of a sudden the power went out. My aunt cursed as she and my mother went to the bag in the corner of the room to get some flashlights. We had piled everything that we might need in the corner of the living room, we had extra clothes, food, batteries, water bottles and flashlights, we even had some life vests. The two kids stopped playing and started to realize that something was going on they stopped and looked around.
“Mommy, what happened to the lights?” My cousin asked.
“It’s okay, the power just went out they’ll get it back on soon.”
As we’re sitting there in the dark my cousin climbs onto the back of the couch and pulls the curtains back enough for her too see outside.
“Why is there water outside?”
We all jumped up and ran to the window frantically and looked outside to see water rushing in between houses and through the streets.
“Okay, okay it’s fine i’ll grab our supplies and take them upstairs and you get the kids and take them upstairs too.” My aunt said.
My mother snatched up my sister and cousin, one under each arm and ran up the stairs to the second floor. We all got set up in my aunts room. I watched the water flood the street and take pull cars from their driveways and wash them away down the streets.
“Well, I made sure the car was put in the garage.” My aunt said.
“It’s not gonna do you any good considering we have no power so we can’t get the garage open.” My mom replied.
“Hows dad doing?”
“Well, stubborn as ever… I just hope he’s alright.”
The ground started to shake and there was loud boom and my sister started to scream as we all held onto each other.
“Do you have service on your phone?” My mother asked.
“Uh yeah I think so, why?” I asked.
“Try and live stream the news to see what’s going on.”
I pulled up the news turned up the volume and let the weatherman speak.
“The smoke is now covering a good part of town but the lava has not made its way into town yet but it will soon.”
We were all shook.
“Did he really just say that?” Mom said.
“We should be fine we aren’t that close to it,” She looked out the window,” We aren’t even covered in smoke, just water.”
The weather man continued,” The water is starting to recede back into the ocean but power companies will not be able to get all the power outages fixed for at least a week due to all the damage done.”
“The streets really aren’t that bad anymore, it’s hardly flooded.” I said.
“I think our car is still there so maybe we should go and check on dad.” My mom said to my aunt.
She paused a moment and looked out the window.
“We should wait a little while longer before we go out there.”
We waited a few hours and then we all got packed up into the car and carefully drove back to our home. The water was at about knee level still but not as bad as it was. There was trees and electrical lines down along with debris floating in the murky water.
We pulled up onto our street and every single house destroyed. My mother gasped. There was one house left in perfect shape. Ours.
My grandfather was sitting out on top of the roof of out house eating a sandwich with a couple other neighbors who refused to leave. As we pulled up to the house and got out of the car my grandpa stood up and said,” What’d I tell you?”
Jeffersonville High School, 2016