Hurricane Micheal was one for the record books! My house and my neighborhood took a direct hit; the eye passed right over us. One neighbor who stayed said the eye took over 30 minutes to pass by! We were buffeted by 155+mph winds first from the east and then from the west after the eye passed.
Surprisingly, about half of the houses here, including mine, had only minor damage from the storm. The rest were damaged pretty severely in one way or another. At least 3 were declared a complete loss. My house was livable immediately, though we had no power and water and our septic system would quickly fill up without power for the lift station to pump it out. We actually stayed in the house Thursday and Friday nights after the storm as we prepared for our previously planned trip to Iowa for a wedding the following week.
We returned on October 22nd and found out from one of our neighbors that we had water; it was turned on earlier that day. The next day someone with a generator came around to all the houses and offered to energize the septic pumps to help empty the tanks which was quite a relief. Still, even though we had water and could theoretically take showers (cold ones), we couldn’t actually do that or we’d end up filling the septic tanks again after only a couple of days. By using the septic system only for biological necessity, we were able to stretch that time into a week to 10 days.
We ended up getting power back on October 28th and we quickly turned everything on to 1) empty the septic tanks and 2) start cooling the refrigerator. Unfortunately, power went out again about 30 hours later on Monday. It took a couple of days but our power folks came out and finally determined that another one of our underground cable sections needed replacing. (I thought underground cabling was supposed to be less susceptible to damage???) By 630pm Friday November 2nd, we had power again. And as luck would have it, we still have it today!
We were lucky. There are many, many people in the area and in the county as a whole who have no place to live. And in one of the unintended consequences that has been noticed (maybe this has been the case in other disasters but it hasn’t been mentioned in any of the news reports I’ve seen before), many of the homeless people have literally left the area and now nearly every business is looking to hire workers to replace them and keep their stores open! Even our nearby Wal Mart has said they might have to close because they don’t have enough workers to keep the store open. Their current hours are 10am – 5pm.
I am finally getting my computers all hooked back up and running and am starting to sync all of the photos I took and saved on my laptop while I was away to my main desktop system. Once that is done I can start sharing photos here again and keep everyone updated.