Sunday, August 15, 2004

Surviving Charley

Thank you for your prayers {{{{y'all}}}.

We made it through Hurricane Charley okay, except that my home is still without electricity, landline or cell phone service.The power went out Friday evening as the stronger outer bands of the storm approached.

I came into town this afternoon, and I'm using my office computer to make this entry.

From the look of things, I may not have power at my home for another day or two. The hurricane veered more to the east than the last storm track showed before my power went, so we didn't get its full effects. Even just a little distance makes a difference -- I live on the east side of town, and there's a definite increase in damage sustained just miles east of downtown.

The only damage at my home is a tall pine tree down in the yard. It's trunk is resting against my well tank, which it moved a couple of inches. I don't think it damaged anything, but I won't know for sure until the power is back. The pine took out the top of a pepper tree as it came down and is resting on it and some growth from a overgrown hammock area by my property line. A chain link fence runs through the hammock to create a backyard area for the dogs, and the fence looks untouched. So far, so good!

I stayed put yesterday morning. There were so many downed trees and power lines it was dangerous to be out and about, and I knew from past experience some roads would be blocked from downed trees. Officials were asking people to stay home. In fact, I've heard one person in Central Florida was electrocuted by stepping into a puddle with a live, downed line in it.

Yesterday afternoon, though, I went riding around with my boss, talking to people and getting photos of damage -- downed trees limbs and people working to get trees off their homes, power lines balled up in tangles of tree limbs on the roads, transformers resting on the side of the road. Huge, 130-foot water oaks split or uprooted. But amazingly, not many buildings were seriously damaged, and there were no hurricane-related deaths in my area that I know of. Thank you, God.

If it weren't so miserably hot, it might be fun being without power -- it's kind of like camping out -- making coffee on my Coleman camp stove, reading by lamplight and flashlight, having some enforced time of R&R, laying around the house, playing with the animals. It's hot and muggy, though, and no shower. I washed my hair in the sink this morning with stored-up water, then took a bowlful into the walk-in shower and had a really good wash-up. I feel better. Riding around with the car's air conditioner blasting felt great, too.

The thing I've personally suffered from most is lack of communication. I'm used to constant contact by TV, computer, radio, phone, often two or three modes going at the same time. I listen to the TV or radio while I'm online. I sleep just fine with the TV on all night.

I'm a communications junkie missing her fix.

My cell phone went out completely Friday night --tower down. I had home phone service until Saturday morning, then a tree must have fallen on a line. Dead. Still. The stores sold out of D batteries a couple of days before the storm, and I had every other kind -- loads of AA, AAA, 9-volt and one pack of C batteries. My little radio that runs on AA batteries has disappeared from the face of the earth. I have several radios that run on D batteries, but NO BATTERIES!!!!!! FRUSTRATION!!!!!!DON'T THE STORES KNOW TO STOCK UP ON THEM IN HURRICANE SEASON???? WHAT'S WRONG WITH THEM???? (And why hadn't I checked my battery stash sooner?)

So I had no source of news. No idea what was going on. I sat in my car Friday midnight/Saturday a.m., listening to its radio for news, wanting to be sure the storm had passed.

I found a little radio that runs on four C batteries at the evil mart today (the rudeness of selfish people in the stores at times like these is another rant. I found myself getting very snappy and cranky). Anyway, I bought the radio. At least I can listen to the radio tonight. I won't be so cut off from the world.

Now I'll pray for relief from storms for a while, and that my well works properly when the electricity comes back on.


alena said...

Cool Blog, I never really thought about it that way.

I have a Hurricane Katrina blog. It pretty much covers hurricane related stuff.

Thank you - and keep up the thoughts!

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