THE WYOMING STATE BAR: A PLACE TO TURN IN TIMES OF TROUBLE
Kelly M. Neville, Brown & Hiser, LLC Laramie, Wyoming
While a law student in New Orleans, Louisiana, I evacuated the city on several occasions to escape approaching hurricanes and tropical storms. Allison, Bertha, Hanna, Isidore, Lili and Bill. Residents anxiously watched weather reports of the ominous swirling red circle heading across the Gulf and toward the Big Easy. Store shelves would empty of necessities and gas station lines would extend down the street as everyone prepared to take the long trek along 1-10 over the Atchafalaya Swamp to get further inland. Hours of gridlock town after town of sold out hotels, waiting lists at restaurants and long lines for the convenience store restroom were all part of the arduous journey. There was also unexpected generosity from fellow travelers... all owing a young child to go to the front of the bathroom line; sharing food from your ice chest with fellow travelers stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic; or giving up that last available hotel room for a disabled person even though it meant hours longer on the highway.
These storms were often unpredictable in their trajectory and severity. All of the effort to evacuate sometimes proved to be unnecessary as the storm dissipated before making landfall or missed the city to the east or west leaving only heavy rains. In these cases, old-timers who stayed cozy in their homes in NOLA to ride out the storm would chuckle with a lighthearted, "I told ya so." Not always. The aftermath of many storms and hurricanes meant power outages, flooding, and damage to homes and vehicles. There was a reason my house stood on 10-foot telephone poles! The generosity of the community continued as we returned to our homes to rebuild. Nonprofits, FEMA and state governments also stepped in to aid in many forms.
Sometimes life hits you with a hurricane. Sometimes life predicts a hurricane is on the way and you aren't sure if it will live up to the hype or fizzle out before making landfall. These storms are inflicted on us from external sources such as an...