Post Irma: Grateful

In the end we were very, very lucky.

While many people in the state of Florida are facing tremendous challenges from Hurricane Irma’s destructive winds, we got through it with completely unscathed. The only thing I lost was sleep.

The storm began hitting in the late afternoon with powerful rain squalls. This continued on and off into the evening hours. But like clockwork, just as the local meteorologists predicted, Irma’s winds started hitting our area right around midnight. By that time she had been downgraded to a category 1 storm with winds clocking in at approximately 80-85 miles per hour.

Gorgeous decided to place her faith in her own personal army of archangels along with a caffeinated-charged husband. She went to sleep around 10:30pm by fashioning a bed from blankets and pillows, and created a temporary bedroom in our newly devised “safe room” (i.e. our master bedroom’s walk-in closet and bathroom area). She also brought in the kitties’ litter box, food and water bowls, and had them join her so that they weren’t scared by the sounds outside the windows. Or maybe she had them in there so she wasn’t scared, that part was never totally clarified.

Oh, but those winds. If this is what a category 1 storm is like, I don’t ever want to experience anything higher. The windows rattled and so did my teeth. It was most unnerving.

I stayed up all night watching the news. Four times our power went out, and miraculously restored by either one of those archangels or perhaps a very stable electrical infrastructure in our condo development. Or maybe just quirky luck. Whichever, I am grateful.

The final outage happened around 5:00am and lasted for about 30 minutes. This time I thought for sure it would last. But just as I lit the very last candle and got a decent station on my transistor radio, the power came back on again. I ran to the coffee maker and switched it on — I wasn’t going to take any chances.

There were numerous flash flood and tornado warnings blaring on our phones all night. According to the news station I was watching, one tornado went though an area less than a mile from our home.

By 7:00am what was left of Irma’s eye started its trek away from our part of the state and towards the Georgia border. By then it had been downgraded to a tropical storm. Gorgeous also woke up around that time and said she hadn’t heard a thing all night. Now THAT is what I call a sound sleeper.

I went out on our screened-in porch and took a short video to send to a friend in California (Hi, H.). Although the quality is poor, and the winds by this time are comparatively tame, you can get a glimmer of what Irma’s “afterglow” is like.

 

The winds lasted into most of  the early afternoon and finally settled down by early evening. A walk around the grounds of our condo community showed only minor damage: several uprooted trees, a few sign posts twisted, some lamp heads cracked and broken, and a smattering of electrical boxes with their covers blown off. But absolutely no damage to any of the buildings that can be seen by the naked eye.

Today we ventured out to buy a few things at the grocery store and also go to Lowe’s. The roads were mostly clear of debris, though lots of clean-up was needed at just about every place of residence or business. Still, it was apparent that many of us dodged a bullet.

In nearby Jacksonville, flooding and fallen trees have done extensive damage to so many homes and small businesses. The downtown area is facing a massive clean-up from flooding. I won’t even bother think about returning to my part-time job there till next week. It’s admittedly nice to have that flexibility.

Friends of ours who live in Miami Beach had to evacuate and spent three days in Orlando at a friend’s home. That turned out to be no picnic, however, because they suffered through not only being in the path of the hurricane at category 2 strength, but also enduring a complete power outage afterwards. Fortunately they reported returning home today to find it damage-free and with power. We are happy and relieved for them (Hi, M&P).

So we are very thankful. Currently Hurricane Jose is out there churning — and we watch and hope it stays away. One has been enough.

Until next time…

 

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27 thoughts on “Post Irma: Grateful

  1. Glad you did well. I have a brother in Ft. Myers from whom I haven’t yet heard. But he is in the part of the state expected to remain without power until 9/22! Poor guy. I’m pretty confident that he is OK, but no doubt very grumpy. What a mess!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My three daughters were in Orlando. From what I heard, they all lost power…of course, two of them are firefighter medics so they were hunkered down at their stations which ran on generators.
    Here, the wind sounded like a freight train and there was a steady rain. Didn’t lose power but this morning there were leaves and limbs all over my yard.
    I kept thinking that as scary as it was for me up here, I can’t imagine what it was like for the people it actually hit.
    I was in Florida last year when Matthew hit and the winds were worse here than there.
    So glad you were safe and I’m with gorgeous….sleeping through it is the way to go!
    🌪😘

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m sure they have been mandatoried to feed people, search and rescue and cut up huge trees. I’m not in touch with them so I won’t know when/if they get lower restored but I raised them and they are strong and resilient. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I can’t begin to imagine what the winds must be like in a storm like this one. I hope I never find out.
    So glad to hear you are fine …. and I can’t believe your wife managed to sleep through it!! I’d be wide awake all night … worrying.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Glad to hear you’re OK. I was seriously worrying, remotely, about our place on the west coast… we had mandatory evacuation. Of course, I was 900 miles away googling flood-clean-up protocols and trying to figure out how we were going to manage the trip down with a truck load of supplies….but we also ended up unscathed. No flood damage. No wind damage. Thank goodness for great neighbors who sent us word as soon as they were able to check our property out. Now I’m just dealing with Irma’s rain (up north)… not nearly as scary, just cold and damp.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I’m so glad for you that your home was spared. We had mandatory evacuation also, and we did take it seriously. But our problem was that every direction we contemplated– on clogged roads and with two scared kittens no less– was also in the storm’s path. So once we saw we would be outside its cone, we decided to take a chance. It wasn’t necessarily smart, but we luckily got away with it. Every storm requires different strategies, I guess. When do you plan on returning?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We’re not sure. Our downsizing up north here is taking longer than planned. Maybe October for a couple of weeks. It’s been a frustrating year to not be able to visit there as often as I had hoped; but next year should be different!

        Liked by 1 person

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