Archive for the ‘Hurricane Irma’ Category

ALL O.K. – Irma Update – Cloudman23’s Florida Family


     We and all family members (including animal members) are O.K.  No damage to our home.  Much debris to clean up but no hurry for that. Helping others is high on the list.  All neighbors and friends are O.K. as far as I can tell.  In this house the comfort level increased significantly about five hours ago and I’ll take credit for it (just joking about the taking credit part).  Here’s the tale:  I felt terrible for not having the American flag on display yesterday especially since it was 9-11.  That date certainly didn’t escape me.  But it was still too windy.  I put it out in all of its glory at 12:37 pm today and our electricity came back at 12:38.  So the air conditioner is on, the refrigerators and freezers are working and we now have water.  And obviously we have an Internet connection.  And most important of all, my father-in-law has Fox News (the only station his television set receives).   I guess I should have put the flag out sooner!

     My oldest daughter and her husband in Lakeland:  All services have been restored.   
      Her daughter in Lakeland with her husband:  Water but no power.  Estimate for restoration is 6-12 days.  Hope that changes!  9:50 pm 9-12-17 update: Power restored.  Amazing! 
      The next daughter in Saint John’s south of Jacksonville with her son:  Everything working.  Her oldest son in Valdosta, Georgia is fine but I have no details.
     The mother of those two daughters (in St. Johns) is in fine shape.  A recent text message indicated that she had services except for Internet.
     My youngest daughter in Lake City with her husband: No damage.  No power, no water – but they have a generator for lights and refrigeration.  9:50 pm 9-12-17 update: I was wrong.  They do not have a generator.   9:50 pm 9-12-17 update: Power restored late AM today, 9-13-17.  Biggest concern now is predicted flooding of the Santa Fe River nearby which will close down Interstate 75 at Fort White, which is near Lake City.  This will freeze their commuting which takes place between Lake City and Gainesville and also interfere drastically with those who are attempting to return from the north.
     My son in Crystal River with his wife.  No damage.  Everything restored.  My wife drove to their future house under construction (6 miles north of here) and it is fine.  The block side walls are up but the roof is not yet on.  She found that the elderly couple living next door were almost out of ice and that he (92) had insulin that must be kept cool.  They now have all of our ice.  If they want, they can come here.
     My father-in-law, nearly 97, who has lived with us for over 12 years handled the storm well.  He is not only a veteran of World War II but also a veteran of hurricane Donna (1960), and hurricane Betsy (1965) – both of which were memorable for him at one time.  But, he doesn’t remember them anymore.  However, he does still remember Andrew in 1992 when we all evacuated Homestead together and then came back to what looked like ground zero for that little twerp in North Korea.  The night of Irma’s visit was very loud but he didn’t hear a thing – slept right through it.  I guess that there are times when it is advantageous to have diminished hearing. 
     We stored a great amount of water prior to the storm specifically for the purpose of toilet flushing and taking spit bathes.  Praise the Lord for that.  It was difficult to school my father in law in the fundamental mandate, “If it’s yellow, let it mellow.  If it’s brown, flush it down.”  That was really no problem.  We have lots of water remaining in convenient containers as the two photos below show.  Though my little sailboat has 450 pounds of ballast in the keel, I’ve added a boatload of water ballast to her – plus more in the garage in those 20 pound cat litter containers with the big screw-on caps.
     Now for the first time we are able to see on television some of the devastation caused by this storm.  It reminds me that everything is relative.  My thoughts and prayers go out to those who are suffering.  Our experience with Andrew taught me that the effects can be far reaching.  The fear, tension, discomfort, and the unknown can really take a toll.  Post traumatic stress disorder is common.  It’s bad enough for those who are healthy and happy; it must be so much worse for those who are not.  Now it’s time to look for those around us who need help.  We have supplies they might be able to use and some energy left.  What’s on my mind right now are the myriad people, many of them volunteers, who are busting their posteriors to help others in need – including those workers who are doing their best to restore services and also for those who are protecting us in so many other ways.  It did not escape me, for example, that the first two Irma-related fatalities in Florida were two law enforcement officers in a head-on crash southeast of Tampa. 
God bless you all.


Posting Mainly for Family and Friends – Irma pre-arrival report

     This is probably nearing the end of my having an Internet connection.  We are are ready as we can be at this point.  All it’s going to take is one limb on a power line nearby.  I suppose there is more that we could have done but time has run out.  For example we don’t have a generator.  I’m sure that we will lose electrical power and that means no water since we have a well.  We have a considerable amount of water stored for drinking, spit baths, and minimal toilet flushing.  We have a weather radio and an AM/FM radio both with battery backup.  We have storm protection on each window, and strong garage doors.  The 45 minutes or less it takes us to secure the storm shutters turned into 6 hours.  For a while I didn’t think I’d be able to make them secure at all.  I could not figure out the problem and was beginning to jury rig.  Then Terrie (brighter than me) realized that when we had the house painted earlier this year, the painters must have gotten their sealer into both the locking rods and the key locks.  Without them, the shutters would just flop around! I was strongly reminded that “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley” as Robert Burns reminds us in his poem “To A Mouse.” Gang aft a-gley = often go astray. That was yesterday for sure.  It took a lot of time and a lot of solvent to get things working!  I had been so full of pride and satisfaction for having the sense, in 2005, to invest in shutters (instead of other things I would have rather had) but those convenient, costly things were a lot of work this time.  We were exhausted.  I just took it for granted that it would be an easy job as usual.  Duhhhhhhhhh

     Chances are, after the storm has passed we will not know details about outcome and current conditions.  Those of you outside the influence of the hurricane will be hearing all kinds of reports with advice, etc. – but we probably won’t know what is going on.  That’s the way it was with Andrew.
     We are located near a little town in Florida called Holder – situated between Inverness and Dunnellon and not far from U.S. 41.  We are less than 4 miles from the Withlacoochee River which this moment is at 2.34′ above it’s low of zero and is expected to be in major flood stage at a predicted 11.5 feet by Wednesday.  I’m telling you this because it might makes the news.  Though rain water could be an issue for us we should not get water from the river cresting.  We are at about 60 feet above sea level and the river bank three miles away is at about 41 feet above sea level.
     Since we could be without electricity and an Internet connection for weeks – all I can say is that I’ll send out info as soon as I can.  When I am able I will probably continue these posting on this weblog because it’s so much faster for me than group e-mails.
     As a parent, you can understand my concern for my children.  My oldest daughter and her husband are in Lakeland.  Her daughter is also in Lakeland with her husband.  The next daughter is in Saint John’s south of Jacksonville with her son who is still in high school.  Her daughter is in New Hampshire.  Her oldest son is in Valdosta, Georgia.  My youngest daughter is in Lake City with her husband and her brother (my son of course) is in Crystal River with his wife.
God bless you all,