Central Florida’s Ordeal is OVER!

Though Georgia, the Carolinas, and Virginia are still in danger, Hurricane Dorian is officially crossing the state line and no longer menacing us here in central Florida! Hallelujah! I was beginning to think being stalked by a Deadly Turtle was the new normal. And I confess, I’m exhausted from all the preparations and the stress of not knowing for five long days whether we would take a hit or not. 

We did have some tropical storm force winds here during the night and throughout the morning, but let’s assess the damage, in comparison to what Irma did two years ago.

Here’s what Hurricane Irma left us on September 10, 2017:

Yes, our house is under there.

Another view, showing the size of the massive trunk of this tree.

The roof is lifted off the garage and the lintel is broken.

Top of the garage, with rafters poking up through the  roof. (The other ends of the rafters are poking into the seriously damaged Honda, which  was holding up the attic.

See? A good add for the Honda, which they were able to repair because, believe it or not, the frame didn’t buckle. (Even under the combined weight of our attic and contents, the garage roof itself, and the weight of a tree with a trunk 5 feet in diameter!

There are tons more pictures of the smashed gardens, the broken trellises and lamp posts, fence damage, and of course, the entire roof ruined. But enough about Irma.

Now let’s take a look at what Hurricane Dorian wrought:

Yep. That’s it. A dead moss monster next to the driveway. 

Seems like an unbelievable amount of labor and stress just to be ready for this, but the good news is, we can clean it up in about 30 seconds. (We’re still working on yard clean-up and replanting from Irma!) 

In all seriousness, it could just as easily have been as bad as or worse than Irma. Catastrophic, even. So it’s always better to over-prepare, and not need it, than to find yourself under-prepared and in danger. We’ll do it again the next time we’re menaced and we will pray all we end up with is a dead moss monster in the front yard.

#WriteStuffWednesday – What’s Up?

I figured since it looks like we are in the dreaded “Cone of Error” for Hurricane Dorian, today might be a good day to introduce a new feature I’ll be sharing from time to time. Wednesday is not a day I have anything special scheduled for guests, nor for my own posts, so I think it will be perfect for me to use now and then to catch you guys up on what I’m up to, or to talk about all sorts of subjects. I’m thinking it might run the gamut from personal observations, to funny events, to writing-related to subjects I just want to talk about. Whatever is on my mind. We’ll see how it goes.

Today, I want to talk about living in the path of danger. Many of us do end up in hurricane, tornado, flood, or earthquake-prone areas. Me, I’ll take hurricane-prone any day over earthquakes. Unlike with quakes, we get quite a lot of notice when a storm is approaching and can take steps to batten down the hatches, stock up on supplies, or even get the heck outta  Dodge–whichever seems more prudent at the time. What we can’t afford to do here in Florida is ignore the warnings until we no longer have any good options.

Having had Hurricane Irma drop a preposterously big tree on our house, flattening the garage and our new Honda, and tearing up our roof, we are NOT of a mind to take these warnings lightly. We are now stocked up with food for us and the pets, and Mark will be getting gas for our generator. The path of the storm looks like it won’t go directly over us, though again, we are in the an area where we could get clobbered. Either way, the sensible thing to do as of today’s warnings is to at least prepare for loss of power and tons of rain. So that’s our current plan.

IF the situation changes and we are told to evacuate, we will. No hesitation, even though it will mean packing up six cats and an elderly dachshund. We won’t leave them behind, but we won’t stay here and risk our own lives, either.

I had a talk scheduled Saturday at Enterprise Museum, but after conferring with the good folks there, the decision has been made to close the museum Saturday.  My apologies to those who were planning to attend. Stay home and stay safe, instead. Already, several of the museum volunteers have called to say they will be doing storm prep for the next few days, and I wish them well. 

With any luck, Dorian will take a sharp turn to the north east, wander out into the Atlantic and die a quick and lonely death. Please say a prayer for all in its “predicted” path. There is no way to tell what will happen, and I worry greatly for those in the islands off our coast, particularly Puerto Rico, where things are still not back to normal from Hurricane Maria. 

Thanks for any well wishes, and rest assured, I will be here daily, until I’m forced to shut down. Our generator will run the range, the fridge, the little window unit a/c in the bedroom, and a couple of lamps at maximum. But the computer will be unplugged, and the cell phone service might be iffy, too. 

Here’s to Dorian being all bark and no bite, and leaving us ALL alone! And I hope my next #WriteStuffWednesday will be about something a lot less threatening!

UPDATE:

Latest Update from NOAA has this storm aimed smack at us. And they are saying it could be a Category 3 now. 😦 I live between the gray “FL” on the map and the black circle with M in it. So, Monday at 8AM might be a bit grim for us. 😯 Will keep you updated as I learn more.