E James Todd

Blown Away: A Hurricane Irma Journal

Recommended Posts

Day 5, 4:30 update

 

Power just went out, so I'm down to bare bones response – which is unfortunate; it was right in the middle of my actual post with pretty pictures. I'm cold and wet and it's humid beyond belief. No idea when power will be back on now, likely not for a day or two.

 

Restricted to inside activities, I'll be conserving battery life for as long as I can. Worst of the storm comes in 7 hours for us.

 

More later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 5, 9:30 update

 

We are now entering the worst of the storm. Already there's been just over 7 in (18 cm) rainfall. Winds are about 30 mph (66 kph), with gusts upwards of 50 mph (110 kph). The power keeps dancing between on and off about every half hour – we are currently in the "on" cycle of the transformer – and the worst of the storm will hit us in about three hours. I am going to attempt some sleep while I can.

 

More later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

prayin for ya. we keep turning to the weather channel to see updates. hope your power doesnt go out completely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been watching on TV and we have a member of the Green Ajah, Nicana, in the storm's path. She just lost power.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 6, 6:30 update

 

Power's been out since about 11 last night. I've been waking up about once every hour because of some warning or other, as my phone is the only point of contact with the outside world. Lots of sirens last night; I'm hoping that's just because we live within a mile of the local hospital. We've been under three flash flood alerts and at least one tornado warning so far. About an hour ago I woke up to something tree-ish thudding in a yard close by; it's too dark right now to tell if it's in ours or a neighbor's, or if it's a whole tree or just some limbs.

 

With power out like this we're likely not going to get it back for at least a day, if last year is a measurement to go by. I hope I can meter out the battery life I have remaining.

 

More later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

James, if you are using your phone for access, you need to get a Mophie or similar portable charger. It could even recharge a tablet. We made sure the Mophie and the Insignia charger were charged before the storm hit. Not that we needed it. We haven't lost power yet. I think the strongest sustained winds we've had so far have been about 25 mph.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So glad you're ok, Dar!

 

James, stay safe. And keep your battery for emergency use, rather than updating us!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 6, 6:00 update

 

It might be a little premature, but power just came back for us about 10 minutes ago. Unlike previous attempts, this seems to be lasting for more than 5 minutes, so it might be the real deal. Everything is recharging. Photos upcoming once other things have been taken care of.

 

More later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great!

 

We just got a lightening storm and hail warning but it will be nothing like you guys are experiencing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank heavens for that. No power is scary.

 

Another vote for external battery packs/chargers. I can get several tablet charges and dozens of phone charges out of my ismarts, and they run 35 and under at Amazon makes a nifty flashlight too. Charges anything with a USB cable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All is well but hectic. Proper update incoming once work et al slows down; even this far past, things are still hectic and not back to normal...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm thinking that the aftermath is a lot worse than the actual event!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cleaning that up, getting services, and getting situated back in the homes, has to be a huge job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Irma_2017-09-13_1805Z.jpg

 

Well, the thick of it is certainly done by now.  And yet, for almost three weeks' distance from the actual event, we are still not entirely finished.  I still hear chainsaws when I get home, as people cut some tree limbs down to size.  The curbside next to every road is piled high with drying flora and debris.  People have been lucky to escape just with flood damage.  In most cases, the piles are as high as a grown man stands tall.

 

9DhqT70.jpg

 

In my neighborhood specifically, we didn't have too terrible a time; this one tree fell down and blockaded us in for a day, but it was cleared out as soon as we safely could.  The front-most streets are on the same transformer as a nearby high school, which was being used as a shelter for the storm.  We only lost power for 2, maybe 3 days.  But the rest of the state was not so lucky.  In fact, there are some places that only as recently as yesterday had power finally restored.  During Irma's peak, we experienced 85% power failure across my county alone.  And we weren't even facing the worst of it.

 

DDnyxl2.jpg

 

URsiS3j.jpg

 

glbaPmC.jpg

 

These are photos from around where I live.  They were taken almost a full day after Irma left.  One day, and the county-wide metropolis of Jacksonville was still flooded.  I have no words to describe this, other than awe.  And, I suppose gratitude, that we did not lose more than some tree limbs and fence panels.  We were fortunate.  Coworkers of mine lost furniture and clothes.  One lost their car.  Another had a tree come crashing through their roof, thankfully hitting no one but causing even more damage from the downpour ruining the interior and weakening the structure than the tree alone could have done.

 

And yet, even with all this, we are still more fortunate than our brothers to the south.

 

irma-hurricane-24-epa-jc-170912_12x5_992

 

170911194139-01-irma-florida-keys-0911.j

 

leadphotoforkeys_9133356_ver1.0_1280_720

 

FirstFatality.jpg

 

fkeys2.jpg

 

AP_920825066-640x479.jpg

 

irma-embed-1.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&st

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I'm with you, Myra. Those poor people on the islands particularly tug at my heart.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The good news is that we have plenty of relief on the way. It’s not getting there in a particularly expedient fashion, but the charge is being led by a number of independent organizations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well that's good news, at least!

 

Is there a lot of relief needed in your area? Do many homes have to be rebuilt, for instance?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where I live specifically, no. In the county proper there is some need for rebuilding; there’s an entire section run through with a creek that floods a bit when it rains normally. Couple that with the strength of Irma, where there was such a storm surge from the open ocean and the rainfall that the low tide couldn’t do its low-tide job. The ocean was pushing the low tide back into the rivers and tributaries, and then Irma kept dumping more and more rain onto that. It was a compounding problem.

 

These are all from my local region specifically, where our creek was backing up:

 

Coast-Guard-Black-Creek-2_1505220766150_

4898530848001_5574440904001_557439671200

photos.medleyphoto.3382064.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now