Over a week ago I told you we were preparing for Hurricane Irma. At that time our plan was to shelter in place at our home. As Irma got closer we decided that staying home wasn’t the best idea. Our home is surrounded by trees, old trees, overgrown trees. Behind our home is county owned property that is lined with more overgrown trees. These trees often hit our power lines and spark and smoke on any given breezy day. We have contacted the county, the electric company, and even the fire department many times in the last 6 months but nothing has been done. Due to all the trees, we decided to shelter at my in-law’s home. My in-law’s home is newer, has hurricane shutters, a generator, and no trees.
After spending the week hunting up scarce drinking water and non-perishable foods Ron, Jordan, Mushu, and I headed the mile or so up the street to ride out the storm with Nana, Poppop, Paris the cat, as well as their friends N & M and their cat Callie. We arrived Saturday, September 9th around 7pm. The winds started picking up late Saturday night. We were supposed to be taking an almost direct hit from a category 5 hurricane. For the next day and a half there was prayer, games, storytelling and some resting going on. Irma’s track kept changing, she shifted to the east, then to the west. Where was she going to go?
Thankfully for us, Irma lost steam over Cuba and headed further east than was anticipated. It was still a powerful storm but here in Bradenton, we wouldn’t be feeling the worst of it. At 9:45pm on Sunday, September 10th we lost power. Thankfully we never lost cell service so we were able to watch the track online. All night long the winds and rain raged. I have lived in Florida for 37 years and I have never experienced anything close to this kind of storm. It was scary. We were blessed with some sleep. Thankfully power at my in-law’s house was restored by 8:15am on Monday morning.
Our house wasn’t quite so lucky. Our power went off at 5:52pm on Sunday. As of this writing (2:00pm Friday 9/15/17) there is still no power at our home. The electric company estimates we will have power back by midnight on 9/22/17, a week from now! We also lost the Jacaranda tree in my back yard. It twisted and fell onto the roof over our bedroom. Friends in the neighborhood texted me pictures. Thankfully, there was no damage to the roof!
Ron, along with some friends from church, has gotten the tree off the roof, and some of it has been chopped up and put out front for removal. Ron has been working for about 4 days and the tree is about 1/2 done. We don’t own a chainsaw so this is quite the tedious task.
I am so thankful that we were spared from the worst of Hurricane Irma and her destruction. I am thankful all of my family came through with minimal damage. I am thankful that I have a place to stay that has air conditioning, internet, and water because many people do not. I am thankful for all of the linemen and everyone else working so hard to restore power to the millions of people in Florida who lost it in this storm.
There are 74 homes in my neighborhood still without power. Our next door neighbor is oxygen dependent. The other day she ran out of full tanks. Ron was able to bring his dad’s generator over and hook up her oxygen machine and a room air conditioner to keep her alive and make them more comfortable. Of course, we lost a refrigerator and freezer full of food, but we will survive.
Please pray for everyone who has been effected by Hurricane Irma. Many are much worse off than we are. The 90+ degree temps make living without power very difficult.