Of all the girls in her class, Athena, Charlene and Edwina, Greta was the least popular. Ever since her growth spurt, she had inspired fear. She was abnormally large, even in her infancy and seemed to pick up all of the chaos around her and run with it.
Greta was loud, destructive and bad to be around. She was the seventh named storm of the busy 2040 season. People fled as her oversized backside approached and feared her booming voice.
While other storms over the last year had threatened to cause destruction, but veered away from the coast, Greta showed no sign retreating. People were already making comparisons with Charlie in 2038 that hit Charleston and dragged half of the historic city into the sea, killing 320 people.
Greta was already causing havoc in the Carribean, hitting Cuba with winds of 150 mph. There were few Floridians left now and 'wash zones' had been set up in many of the shattered east coast resorts, which involved the digging of deep pits and lagoons around the abandoned buildings.
Greta was projected to come ashore at Cape Hatteras in North Carolina. She was packing winds of 165 mph and her bands were closely packed together. The storm's imminent arrival threw the residents of low-lying Hampton Roads into a panic.
Emergency planners of the seven cities met for a crisis meeting but it was delayed because they couldn't agree on a venue. Officials from Virginia Beach said the meeting should be held in their city because it had the biggest population but their counterparts at Newport News argued their city was likely to be at the eye of the storm after the devastation of Huricane Karla four years earlier.
The emergency planners from Norfolk made an 11th hour bid to take charge, pointing to flood maps that suggested much of their city would be under water.
Just three days before the expected arrival of Greta, the emergency teams got together. They pored over maps and vacillated between a full scale evacuation and a riding out the storm. While some officials pointed to the chaos of attempted evacuations in the past when storms threatened but ultimately deceived, others said Greta was unprecedented. When she was unexpectedly downgraded again, they hesitated.
Two days out Greta gathered strength, was upgraded again and the howling winds at the heart of the hurricane gathered speed to 195 mph. The evacuation order was finally given.