Hurricane Irma, The Aftermath in Day by Day

  • Sept. 20, 2017, 7:50 p.m.
  • |
  • Public

The wind was still gusting the next morning and there were obvious signs that the storm had been ferocious: most notably, standing water in the low-lying areas of our yard and tree limbs EVERYWHERE.

Several trees had their tops snapped off, other trees dropped big limbs, and ALL trees were shaken clean of all debris and well-pruned. The biggest trouble was that so many limbs had fallen off our big trees that it blocked our driveway and part of our road. Once the guys cleared that, my husband went down and rented an industrial wood chipper. By mid-day he’d turned a yard and street piled high with branches into a 4 foot high mulch pile.

The guys put the window air conditioning unit in our bedroom, strung an extension cord over the roof and plugged it in to the generator behind the house and blocked by the pool wall (to avoid fumes and thieves). It cooled the bedroom and our bathroom, but we didn’t need it for long. After a 12 hour outage, the power returned and we cheered, grateful to get off so easy.

So no damage to the house, all humans and KittyCat survived, and our biggest losses were electric, WiFi, and cable TV. Oh, and a gallon of ice cream. Do you suppose Citizens’ Insurance will entertain a claim for $5.29?

Can you stand one more…
People are Strange #6: As we were cleaning up and putting away, I had the oddest phone call ever. The woman was asking how things were and was I alright and what was it like, just firing questions at me. I asked who she was and she said something real fast and then said she had a friend in my area and wanted to know how the flooding was. I was a bit irritated because she was talking a mile a minute, not waiting for my answers, talking over me, and here I was, trying to repack the hurricane supplies into Fibber McGee’s closet and talk to this strange lady at the same time. I told her we had no flooding when I could get a word in and she started to ARGUE with me! “Oh, I don’t believe that,” she says, “Why aren’t you telling me the truth…and blah, blah, blah…” and I just lost it and yelled, “Look Lady, I don’t know who you are but if you have nothing better to do than call random people after a hurricane and argue with them, call your friend!” And then I banged the phone down. My gut instinct says it was a reporter or radio talk show host. Some people, huh?

The electric went out for the second time on 9/11 around 7 PM. Once again, we’d eaten early and the dishwasher was running. This time, even though everything had been put away, it was an orderly gathering.

We took the Mama generator and reinstalled the window shaker a/c unit, hooked up the fridge (the freezer kept everything frozen the first night we lost power, so we dealt with that the next day), and plugged in a fan for the kitchen. Since the day had been cloudy and breezy, temperatures were unusually low for this time of year. In fact, after a day of clean-up, we sat outside and felt quite comfortable. The tropical sun always returns with a vengeance, though, so, we knew to savor each deliciously semi-comfortable moment allowed to us. The power came back on after midnight, startling us with lights and the dishwasher going back on, etc. and did not go out again. We were grateful to have dodged a harsher bullet!

Our overnight guests (my sis-in-law and nephew) were here for 4 or 5 days until power was restored in their Naples condo.

We had long discussions on family dynamics, mixed in with old memories, and laughter and acceptance of personality traits. That’s in between conversations about what foods we don’t like and what life is like in Vietnam (and Italy. And France. and the States). They have acknowledged that my brother was controlling (“I knew from an early age that you were a touchy subject with Dad”) and that they could still love him while accepting that I did not. I tried to say as few negative things as possible.

Did I mention my sister in law is French and cooks fabulous meals? That she’s a better cook than me? Or that my nephew is rather droll and witty and they’re both a lot of fun to have around? One night, she made a Vietnamese dish (her father was a French Ambassador to Vietnam so she grew up there as a child until it became too dangerous to stay), another night it was beef stew, French-style.

They were thrilled to be staying somewhere with electricity and hot showers, so it was a win/win. In fact, I was a bit miffed their power came back on so soon and I lost my French chef!

GypsyWynd September 20, 2017

Did you get her recipes?

ConnieK GypsyWynd ⋅ September 20, 2017

No. I thought I had more days, but noooooo, stupid FPL had to restore their power...excuse me while I sulk! LOL!

a mote, floating September 20, 2017

What a weird call. My first thought was that it might be a scam. ("Yes, you are flooded. Let us help!") Glad you put the kibosh on it.

ConnieK a mote, floating ⋅ September 20, 2017

I think it was an out of state disc jockey randomly calling businesses. She was all breathy and dramatic and glib. If so, I hope my sarcastic tone let her viewers know she's really just an idiot asking stupid questions.

Wranglingal September 20, 2017

How in the hell did they get your number that is my curious question, What I have on my phone is a special ID caller and it will tell me if its a scammer call I won't answer and it will tell me if it is collectors and etc, IT worth my money to pay for it as with me being deaf I hate to answer to those calls. I had a scam call one time and oh boy I was shocked of how the scammer had all my info name and address and family name> That totally frighten the liver crap out of me!!

ConnieK Wranglingal ⋅ September 21, 2017

She called on our business line and I was too busy trying to stuff things back in the closet to check caller id.

Shattered September 21, 2017

What a strange call! I'm so glad you fared well.

ConnieK Shattered ⋅ September 21, 2017

Me, too!

WildflowerHeart September 21, 2017

I'd be upset about losing the chef too!! Maybe you can still get recipes from her after they are all settled from after the storm.

ConnieK WildflowerHeart ⋅ September 21, 2017

Oh, yes...but she's like me. She cooks without a recipe. :)

WildflowerHeart ConnieK ⋅ September 21, 2017

I do that too. Lol

Eriu September 21, 2017

NOOOOooooooOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! Not the ice cream!!!! Seriously, I'm glad that's all you have to mourn from the hurricane. That and losing a French chef - not just a chef but a French chef! :-(

ConnieK Eriu ⋅ September 21, 2017

I know. The losses I have suffered!

QueenSuzu September 22, 2017

Don't believe a word you wrote. Your house was flooded, you had to climb on the roof with just your night clothes, no shoes, and the only food you were able to grab were some crackers that got all soggy from the rain, so you were practically starving til you got rescued! Ha, ha, just couldn't resist!

ConnieK QueenSuzu ⋅ September 22, 2017

LOL! I'm kind of thinking she might have had me on air, because she was breathless with excitement. Anyway, I'm glad it was MY version, not hers. Or yours! LOL!

QueenSuzu ConnieK ⋅ September 22, 2017

Oh! You are a celebrity now---or almost was! Too, too funny.

ConnieK QueenSuzu ⋅ September 22, 2017

Well, since I told her to get a life and slammed down the phone, I doubt she's gonna promote me. LOL!

Lola Falana September 22, 2017

So glad you were ok. Man, your all rigged up. To have meals made must have been wonderful. So glad it's over and we can find our real selves again. If ever.

ConnieK Lola Falana ⋅ September 22, 2017

You know, all things considered, it was a good practice run. But yeah, I'm a little hurricane weary. Tree debris pick up has been slow here (the tree guys are going to towns paying twice what they get here), adding to the general let-down. Everyone is feeling it.

Reading_Blankie 📚 September 23, 2017

Wow! I'm glad you guys seemed to get out of that okay! You really lucked out! I've read that people lost everything.

Glad your family gets along. If we put Christopher's family and then my family together I don't know what would happen.

ConnieK Reading_Blankie 📚 ⋅ September 23, 2017

People who live in the Keys and up as far as Fort Myers took hard hits.

You must be logged in to comment. Please sign in or join Prosebox to leave a comment.