Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Wilma

Posting this under generator power from The Mothership. She is truly functioning that way providing power to the house from the generator. We are able to run our refrigerators, some lighting, the computer (off and on), and a small tv. We cook with gas so we have that. Our water is city water and that is fine too. Cool weather followed the hurricane so we have no need for air conditioning but if we do the Mothership will provide that.

Yesterday was quite an experience. We went throught the eye of a Cat 2 hurricane. Winds were 101 mph recorded about three miles from our house. The winds increased steadily through the night and became pretty intense throughout the morning. We lost power at about 6am so the fact that the storm came in the daylight hours made it more bearable. With all windows and doors shuttered we could see very little. While we felt very secure in our strong concrete home with metal shutters over every window and door both Barbara and I were a bit anxious and nervous as anyone would be. The wind was the most intense and powerful I have ever witnessed. It built all morning into a powerful crescendo and then eerily subsided to almost nothing as the eye passed directly over us. I went out to take a quick look around and found all of my neighbors in the street in front of my house doing the same thing. We had a quick conference checking that everyone was ok and then went back inside as the west eyewall started approaching. Since a big part of the storm had moved over the gulf stream it had begun to instensify making the west eye wall worse than the east eye wall.

After it passed over we went outside and started our cleanup with all neighbors pitching in to drag debris out to the street. Our board fence was completely blown down with some sections blown across the street into my neighbor's yard. We had moved the Mothership into the shelter of the L shape of our house so she survived ok. She is now truly functioning as the Mothership providing power to the house for our refrigerators, this computer, some light, and a small tv. We cook with gas and the water supply is fine. Our little town did pretty well and we feel almost guilty, but not quite, because we are living quite well since we have the power being supplied by the Mothership.

There is much damage throughout the county and millions are without power. Our son and daughter-in-law who live a few miles away came through ok too but many others did not. We watched the news to see serious damage reports coming in. Many mobile homes were totally destroyed. We heard that the local general aviation airport was completely destroyed. That is KLNA, Palm Beach County Air Park. So, all in all, through careful planning and preparation we came through ok. This storm slightly exceeded our criteria for staying in place. We still will evacuate if another one approaches that is in that intensity range. We learned that our house is very strong and if prepared properly can survive at least a Cat 2 hurricane.

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