REALITY CHECK: SurvivingHurricane Irma
All in all we fared quite well. We still send our thoughts to the many who are still suffering from the effects of this killer storm and those that followed. We wish you and your dogs a swift return to the life you knew before Mother Nature paid us her very unwelcome visit. ■ Photos by the author
too bad. We just need them replaced. The yard was the worst. Trees down all over and shrubs pulled out of the ground. My beautiful orchid tree that I had grown from a seed 30 years ago was almost flat on the ground. My Copper Leaf bush was uprooted and many more. We also own the house next door as a rental and it survived very well. But we have 3 lots to maintain and there was some- thing to fix everywhere. Funny story – our house has roll down shutters on every access, including doors. The only one not under shutter was the garage. These shutters have seen us through Charley, Wilma Cat 3, and now Irma with no problems. When we came to the house we wanted to see if there was any water damage. However, the power was out and shutters were put down from inside and, of course, the garage door opener won’t work. So with help we manually forced a small shutter part way up, broke the window and Mary Jo was able to crawl in and open up. This was our only serious damage due to Irma! We will know better next time. As I am writing this it is 37 days past Irma and the whole county looks like a dump. Stacks of plain yard (tree and plant) damage piled along the curb some higher than a person, damaged house material next to it and big bags of small debris make driving difficult all over. There were 290,000 power outages in our county. Schools were used for shelters and they did not release the evacuees for 2 weeks. Schools reopened September 25th. Some were badly damaged and limited class work. They managed. Personally we had no power for 5 days after we got home. No power No hot water for showers, no cooking possible and no hot coffee in the morning. However, the last we solved by bringing home the RV and turning the generator on for short spells. Morning coffee and TV for news, evening coffee and TV news, we tried to keep our huge freezer (full of food) by using the generator for spells, but to no avail. All spoiled. There was a water shortage, but we had stored it up for the dogs, no ice to be had and no gasoline. We had to wait an hour to get some gas to be able to run around. Stores were closed, Groceries were closed, restaurants were without power and food supplies, hospitals were shut down until power came on, our Naples Newspaper was printed daily as they had generators and that kept up to date on progress. We had a grill but no food to cook, so we ate out every day. Each day we tried a different Restaurant as they got some power back. They all were terrific. Menus were very lim- ited in the beginning and no water or ice served with the meal just wine, drinks and soft drinks. As the FPL hooked up the buildings they did it by necessity. There were Power trucks from states way off and they were really delightful workers. Reminded me of the snow/ice storms in Michigan when power was out for weeks. The Power trucks came to help. Difference then was temperatures outside were in the 10s and 20s. At least here it was warm—uncomfortable, maybe, but you didn’t have frozen feet and fingers. Also the Blue roofs were being put up by Fema. On week 4 we are almost normal, roof still pending. Had to add this today October 17 they picked up our street’s piles of tree limbs, et cetera.
164 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , N OVEMBER 2017
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