After Irma, life changed greatly – for the better – when we found a generator on day 5 of 6 without electricity. I began to re-enter the normal world. We could plug in fans, charge up phones and computers.
This is not my first hurricane. I moved to Florida in 1979 but never really felt the disaster of a direct hit until 2004 when the eye of Charley crossed my path. We were without power for a week, and it was August.
One thing you will realize when you are in the destruction zone is that for you, life stops, and survival begins. The rest of the world gets bored with hurricane photos and moves on to the next big story. You continue to search high and low for ice – the one thing you can’t stock up on, and the thing that everyone needs in this climate.
My Irma nightmare is over. I have air conditioning, I have a refrigerator that works, although it contains little food. No more searching for ice, and no more digging through coolers to find something to eat and drink. I can turn on a fan, and I sleep at night without soaking in my own sweat. My home is not damaged. I am more lucky than many.
After watching the slow progression of Hurricane Irma for many, many days we sat inside a boarded up house and waited to see what would happen. Wind happened, and I know there were tornado warnings. We felt fairly safe with the hurricane shutters up, but the wind went on and on all night and into the next day.
Last October as I was getting ready to close on my house Hurricane Matthew swept in and put a dent in my plans. I was literally on the way to the closing when the Realtor got the word that all closings were put on hold until after the storm passed.
Now Hurricane Irma is targeting the entire state. That is quite rare. I think it accounts for the massive run on gas, water and generators. Usually some of us Floridians are spared the brunt of the storm, so only a section of the state has to prepare. The rest of us watch and see where the storm heads.
This time gas was gone at many places by Tuesday around here. Any stations with gas had long lines. More deliveries came, and my two sons were able to get gas after waiting in line. I’ve waited for gas before, but it was after the hurricane had passed. It was tough to get deliveries to the stations. People needed gas for their generators. At my location, we were without power for 7 days after Hurricane Charlie. Continue reading Another Annoying Hurricane To Deal With→
I was in New Smyrna for a closing on my new house, and my son and I took a look at the beach. It was four days after Hurricane Matthew and we wanted to see how badly the beaches were hit. Happily I found that Breakers Restaurant, right on the beach, was still standing, and open for business!
If you’ve ever visited the area, you will know it’s the pink building at the end of Flagler Ave., with that awesome view of the ocean. If you are lucky enough to get a seat at the front, you can eat at the bar and watch the waves roll in.
The parking lot across the street from Breakers is no longer free to park (that stinks), so we drove in just long enough to get a few pictures. It was raining, so my photos aren’t that great, but I wanted to share the better ones I took. I would have liked to get out and walk around, but the weather did not allow for it.
The ocean was churning up sand and the tide was high – at least the water was high – I don’t’ know what the tide schedule was. The beach entrance was blocked off to drivers (you can drive on the beach here), mainly because there was no beach. Below is a bad photo of the sign at the beach entrance.
One thing we noticed as we drove around the area was that the coast had been hit with more wind than we were inland. Everywhere we saw debris piled up along the roads ready for removal. Power trucks were everywhere, which meant that a lot of people were still without electricity. Buildings had shingles missing, and trees were down in some areas. Some places had tarps on the roof.
Luckily, the damage was a lot less than what was predicted. Many people along the coast evacuated, and had to sit for days wondering what shape their homes were in.
We headed south at Peninsula Ave. and took the south causeway home. The north causeway has a drawbridge for tall boats, mainly sailboats I would assume, but the south causeway bridge does not open. We headed home feeling very lucky that, at our rental house inland, we did not even lose power during the hurricane.
As I sit here, 20 miles inland from the east coast Florida beaches, I wonder what kind of devastation is taking place over there as Hurricane Matthew passes by.
Here, the wind was howling with gusts of 50-70mph, but we got off easier than originally thought. My rental house did not blow away as I had feared. We have minor damage in the yard with limbs broken and the fence leaning. Now the storm is moving on to the north, and all this wind and rain will eventually die down.
After the three hurricanes in 2004 – Charlie, Frances and Jeanne – I had visited the seashore in New Smyrna Beach to see the damage. My husband (at the time) and I ate at Breakers on Flagler Ave. and we could see that the sand was all washed away down along the shore. The ocean was coming up around the place, and the beach ramp was under water.
A few days after our visit, the restaurant was condemned for safety issues. I remember how the sight of the ocean having taken over the beach was so sad. So I am thinking that this time I will find a similar situation. The beaches will have to be re-built. And what about the sea creatures? How have they fared?
The beaches eventually recovered from the 2004 storms, and they will this time too. Once the news crews can get beachside, we’ll be able to see the devastation.