Monday, August 11, 2014

Hurricane Update

So, we were without power for 36 hours, which is much better than many of my neighbors, as well as phone, cell phone, internet, running water (for the most part).  We did have a wind up radio, but our Civil Defense was light on news on both Thursday and Friday.  In the aftermath, they are quite diligent about announcing shelters and ice and water pick-up sites, but it was maddening during the storm and the immediate aftermath not knowing - especially with Julio right on the heels of Iselle.  At one point, about 8 pm on Thursday night, the wind was so strong and we could see that big trees had fallen and the roof on part of the barn was off, and we had heard that the worst was yet to come.  It was so hard to have NO information about the track of the storm once the tv was out.  There was nothing on the radio, except people calling in with what was going on in their area.  I thought, "If it gets worse than this, we are in big trouble."  

I live in the area hardest hit by the Hurricane, but we were remarkably blessed.  My son said, "I prayed for the us, the house, and the water tanks."  I prayed for those, too, and for the animals.  It appears those prayers worked - all our animals made it through.  We left the chickens out of the coop and fed them in the horse stall which has two strong hollow tile walls.  The sheep have an enclosure that is built like Fort Knox.  The only thing that would have gotten them was if a tree fell on them - which, thankfully, didn't happen.  Several very large trees and clumps of waiawi fell across our driveway, but they didn't hit the water tank.  The greenhouse and even the papayas (which are very fragile trees) were protected by the house, but the barn carport roof fell down.  The roof fell across the cars, resting on the two (not running, project cars) convertible Spitfire windshields - they didn't even crack: the only damage was a very small dent in the kids' Volvo.  That felt miraculous, to be honest.

Our house got power-washed by the storm - all the mold and ick that built up over our very wet summer just got scrubbed off.  One big pine snapped in half - if it had uprooted like most of the other pines that went down, it would have smashed our roof. 

My family (my husband, in particular) were amazing.  We had to chain saw and haul off all the trees blocking the driveway, which took about 8 hours, just to get off our property.  We drove to town, because I knew my family would want to know we were okay.  Once we were in town, we had internet and cell phone, so I was able to tell my parents and sister we were alive.  The next day, our friends came and helped us dismantle the car port and chop trees that were going to go down.  There are two really big trees I am worried about - if they go, we could have damage to our house and water tanks, after all.  They are at least 100 feet tall, and I keep looking at them, because they are leaning just a bit more than they used to.  In the afternoon, my two sons and my husband put the car port back up! 

I used to grumble all the time, because my husband keeps putting 1 liter bottles of water in my freezers - they take a lot of space, but they really helped during the storm.  We didn't lose any freezer food at all.  My husband also keeps a 12 volt battery for the water pump - it isn't strong, but our basement bathroom had a flushable toilet and a little bit of water for the shower - it wasn't that warm because there wasn't a lot of sun for the solar, but at least after working very hard for 8 hours we could clean up a little.  Our generator froze up, so that's something we'll need to replace. 

He really tied down every thing so well, my husband, and he has worked tirelessly for the last 4 days to get us back to some normalcy.  

The freaky, spooky horse has gotten a lot friendlier over the last two days.  Every time I go outside he runs over to get close - not quite close enough to touch, but just right there.  He must have been scared.  The chickens and the sheep seem basically unaffected - although the sheep hung around up front near people for most of the day after. 

There are neighborhoods that will be without power (some of them on my road, which is weird to me - I have power, how come some of my neighbors don't?) for a week or more.  Some of the lower areas in our district look like a bomb went off.  Some of the people in the remote areas (we're on a county road) on the private roads could still be in real trouble, and no one would know.  I hear the news casters say, "People's cell phones are running out of batteries," but the real issues is that there is no cell service.  Every time the power goes out, even our wall phones go out, and cell is spotty in our area anyway, and now it is completely down.  That scares me.  I don't remember the land lines going down in power outages when I was young.  I think we may be hearing of deaths as people get more into these remote areas.  My daughter's friend's garage was smashed flat - I mean the car is about a foot thick now - if the tree had fallen a little to the left, that family would be gone, and there are many houses like that.

I'm still praying for our community.  The primary election here kind of knocked it out of the news to some extent - although that might change because the last two districts couldn't vote - and we have one really close US race.  It will bring a lot more attention to our hardest hit areas.

I'll put pictures up later; they are just taking a long while to load from my mobile device.  

1 comment:

Kerry said...

Glad you are ok, it sounds like you are well prepared, that helps a lot!