Sep 182017

Thank you to all of you who have written, sent instant messages, texts, and left blog comments hoping we are safe and that our home made it through Hurricane Irma in one piece. Yes, to all of the above.

In tomorrow’s blog I’ll probably tell you about the things that took place while we were gone, but right now people seem more interested in knowing that we are okay. We left Tuscaloosa, Alabama last Wednesday, spent one night in Thomasville, Georgia on the way home, and got back here in the early afternoon on Thursday.

It sure felt good to pull in and see our house still standing and undamaged! We lost one piece of metal flashing off the front of our carport that measures about 6 inches wide and 8 feet long, which will be an easy fix. The only other loss we suffered was quite a bit of food in our two refrigerators. But I’m sure not going to complain about that, it could have been a lot worse!

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case for all of our neighbors. While there wasn’t the complete destruction that a couple of units had here during Hurricane Matthew, there were still a number of carports that were destroyed. When you drive around our little subdivision you see a lot of things like this. At one time this was the roof of somebody’s carport, and it may have been a block or more away from where it came down.

There are also piles of brush and debris on every street, waiting to be picked up.

Some carports retained their roofs, but they collapsed like this one. Somewhere under this mess there is a golf cart.

This is our next door neighbor, and that’s the roof of her carport sitting on top of her mobile home.

Our friend Jim Lewis was one of the less fortunate. The hurricane took his carport and did some damage to his roof. The good news is, it looks like it can be fixed. He’s waiting to hear from an insurance adjuster now.

Fortunately, nobody was injured here during the hurricane, though I’ve been told that two residents had to be taken to the hospital for heat related or heart conditions afterward.

Power was out all through the area, and the hardworking crews from Florida Power & Light (FPL) worked alongside many, many out-of-state line crews who came to Florida to help get things back to normal. Each and every one of them is a hero. They worked long hours in sweltering heat to replace light poles, restring power lines, and get things hooked back up again.

Some folks were fortunate and didn’t lose power at all, some got it on fairly quickly, but for us, it didn’t come on until Sunday evening. It sure was good to see all the lights coming on again! One does not realize how much we depend on modern conveniences, like being able to flip a switch and have light.

We were better off than a lot of our neighbors, because we pulled the motorhome into our driveway, fired up the big Onan diesel generator, and lived comfortably. When Jim got back into town on Friday we told him to stay with us, and he spent one night sleeping on the couch before power was restored. I was glad to have the Winnebago and its generator, but in the approximately 55 hours that it ran nonstop, it cost us about $150 in fuel. I’m glad we didn’t have to use it longer than that!

Another casualty of the storm was our 300 foot long fishing pier, which is one of the most popular parts of our community. Several of the pilings that support the pier were actually pulled up a few couple of feet, which resulted in the pier deck buckling in some places. But we think once we get a pile driver in to reset them and then replace a few stringers it can be put back together. That’s good news, because we spend a lot of time down there.

Folks here take things like hurricanes in stride. When we went to dinner last night, we saw this sign in the restaurant.

So that’s where we stand at this point. Compared to many people here in Florida and in Texas, we were very fortunate and we feel very blessed.

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Thought For The Day – We could certainly slow the aging process down if it had to work its way through Congress.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  6 Responses to “Hurricane Irma Aftermath”

  1. A motorhome is the ultimate bug out vehicle then the ultimate recovery vehicle. Glad you were able to take advantage of those capabilities. And glad you had so little damage. I wish Jim had as little but at least he has to guys to help him wait for contractors.

  2. glad you got by safely. I evacuated eventually to a fairgrounds at Robertsdale AL at a FEMA/Red Cross site. Breezy oaks got power back Thursday pm and I came in Friday AM. a couple of trees down but no damage to any rigs in the park even tho the core went directly over us..

  3. Glad to see you came through the storm okay.

  4. Glad you made it through the storm. I was thinking of you, wondering if anything would be left. Glad the damage so small comparing to others in the state. Especially glad you both were unhurt.

  5. Glad you’re all safe
    Are we going to be ready for Maria,, round three and four coming up

  6. All things considered I know you are grateful that it wasn’t any worse than it was for you guys, and feel terrible for those that it hit harder in FL, TX and, of course, the islands. And now here comes Maria…..what a hurricane season this year.

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