The Last Nature Post: Surviving the Hurricane

Epic. Massive. Catastrophic. Unprecedented.

Definitely not words you want to hear describing the hurricane barreling toward your state.

In my last blog, I shared some of my feelings preparing for hurricane Irma.  I am happy to report that I survived, but it is an experience I would just as soon not relive.  Even though it was not as bad as expected in my part of the state, it was still pretty intense.

As a native Floridian, I am accustomed to hurricanes.  Usually, they are nothing more than a rainy, windy day.  Often times, if one is hitting South Florida or the panhandle, we won’t even see the effects in Central Florida.  We have summer thunder storms more violent than some hurricanes.  I have never evacuated for a hurricane, I live in a county where people on the coast evacuate to.  The most serious hurricanes I experienced before Irma were the three that criss-crossed our county twelve years ago.

I was not expecting this one to be that bad.

News travels far and wide.  My daughter who is currently living in Scotland texted me wanting to know why I didn’t evacuate to Nashville, where my son lives.  I assured her that we would be fine, it was going up the east coast and would most likely have little effect on us at all.

My good friend invited me to come to her house in Birmingham to craft our way through the storm.

On Saturday, about a day and a half before the storm hit, I wished I had taken their advice.  By that time, the news reported clogged highways and little gas left.

So we prepared for the worst.

The track of the hurricane shifted from the eastern part of the state to the western part and then in the last few hours, right up the center.  The prediction was a Category 4 storm traveling up the middle of the state.  Interestingly, it was 57 years to the day the last time a hurricane took this path.  (I was in my mother’s womb at the time).

It was very windy and very rainy.  I thought we would lose our oak tree for sure.  We had rain coming down the chimney and through the front door.  The wind shook the garage door which made my dog growl. Through all of that, I remained pretty calm.  I attribute it to the Bible verses on anxiety and fear I was meditating on and prayer, lots of prayer.hurrican Irma

Close to midnight, I heard noises that sounded like a train.  I remember thinking “why on earth is a train trying to come into town during a hurricane”.  Then, I realized it wasn’t a train but the wind.

That was it.  Time to head to our safe space.  My parents, who live one street over, texted to say they lost power.  A few seconds later, ours was gone and right after that my brother texted from the panhandle.  He was watching the radar and told us the eye wall was a mile or two away and that we needed to take shelter immediately.  He kept texting us until the worst of the storm passed.  I was grateful for his texts.

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When the wind died down, we peeked out the front window and saw a lake where our road and yard used to be.  Wow!  That was a lot of water.

We were so fortunate that by the time the hurricane passed over our county it was downgraded to a Category One rather than the Category Four that was earlier predicted.  I can’t even imagine what that would have been like.

My home was not damaged and I didn’t lose any trees.  I was without power for about 20 hours.  I am thankful, yet at the same time I feel guilty.  So many in my town fared much worse.

A neighbor two houses down had over a foot of water in their house.  Some friends  just now had power restored after five days. Some are still without power.  Hundreds of huge oaks toppled in the storm, particularly in the historic district.  It’s a mess and it will be a while before everything is back in order.

You know it was a bad storm when there is devastation from Key West all the way north to Jacksonville.

The bright spot in all of this is seeing the human response.  Neighbors are helping neighbors.  Friends with power are offering their homes, showers and meals.  Churches are reaching out and offering help to the community, even when they may not have power themselves.  It is an overwhelming sight to see the utility trucks from all over the Southeast.

So, in less than a month, I experienced a total solar eclipse, three large waterspouts and a Category One hurricane traveling over my house.  I think that is enough excitement for one month.  Unless the Northern Lights appear over Polk County, this will be my last nature post for a while.  If that pesky disturbance currently out in the Atlantic materializes, I will be posting from Birmingham or Nashville.

Like many of my fellow native Floridians have expressed – Next storm, I’m out of here!

Any other Irma survivors out there?  I would love to hear your stories.

All is Well

I found myself humming a couple of Contemporary Christian songs the week of the hurricane:  I Will Praise You In This Storm by Casting Crowns and  In The Eye of the Storm by Ryan Stevenson.

Perhaps they will speak to your soul as well.


10 thoughts on “The Last Nature Post: Surviving the Hurricane

  1. It was fascinating and meaningful reading your post–a first hand experience with Irma. I made it through hurricane Sandy in the New York area years ago We lost two beautiful trees,and had no power for almost two weeks. We also had gas lines. Like you, I remember the howling wind the night the storm passed through. I felt as if I as in an Edgar Allan Poe story.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I too survived Sandy here in NY (4 ft of water downstairs though) but my sister got it bad. So she moved to Florida and got hit with Irma….but also not too bad, lots of wind and water but she had power. She wants me to move there but I told her I’m partial to my hurricanes….lol. My take on all this is as long as we are all ok, everything else can be replaced. It just dawned on me about your dog…never thought about where they would “go” during a hurricane…lol

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m glad you made it through Irma as well as you did. My parents and younger brother were in our house in 1989 when Hugo hit. Three trees crashed through the roof and they spent the night keeping the inside of the house from being flooded. They were without power for several days. They said it was weird to look out the window and see rain falling straight across instead of down because of the wind. Ever since, they have evacuated to my house or my older brother’s house, like they did with Irma.

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  4. You really make it appear so easy together with your presentation however I to find this topic to be really something that I believe I’d by no means understand. It sort of feels too complex and extremely extensive for me. I’m taking a look ahead to your subsequent put up, I’ll try to get the grasp of it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And if you read my above comment, you are probably scratching your head. I replied early this morning and I thought you were commenting on my post about the Tuscaloosa tornado in 2011. The hurricane last September was stressful. Weather reporting 24/7 doesn’t help. I have lived in Florida for 57 years and in that time only experienced a hand full of hurricanes. Honestly, its usually not that bad. But if we have another one like last September, I’m out of here!

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  5. whoah this blog is wonderful i like reading your articles. Stay up the good paintings! You recognize, a lot of people are searching round for this information, you could help them greatly.

    Liked by 1 person

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