Monday, September 11, 2017

Journal - Hurricane Irma the Before, During and after in The Osborn Household

Journal - Hurricane Irma the Before, During and after in
The Osborn Household


I am writing this in stages over the next few days. I want to make sure to give you the most accurate and up to date information about us and what we see as it's happening.

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This is not the first hurricane we've been thru, and it won't be the last. We are usually prepared with items that everyone else runs out to get, such as bottled water. When it's hurricane season it's just smart to always keep a case on hand. But this time we needed other necessities to be able to ride out the storm. Having our daughter this time around we needed to make sure we had plenty of diapers, milk and food for her and us. So yesterday I went out with Jolene to prepare, this was an interesting trip to say the very least. We had to hit up Costco and then Publix. First stop, Costco. I get there, and there is a line halfway down the store of people waiting to get two cases of water. The thing was, there was no water, and I was told that they were expecting a new truck full within a few hours. So these people were basically just waiting on the next ruck to get their water. I will say, I would never wait two hours for a case of water. You can fill water bottles at home, or go to other stores. It was crazy to see so many people in a complete panic. Obviously this was their first hurricane. But, we went ahead and got the items we needed and then rushed to the front to wait in the extra long lines to check out.

After Costco we arrived at Publix. At this grocery store I expected it to be slammed packed, but it was actually not that bad. Mostly because they had a massive sign out front saying NO WATER and a sign on their propane saying they were all out! I was once again thankful we had water and that we had two full propane tanks at home. If any of you don't remember or just never experienced a hurricane let me explain why I am always prepared. In 2004 we were hit with 3 storms back to back to back. In my house that I grew up in we were without power off and on for 2 months. Everything was hard to find, and when you did find water, gas or prone it was rationed so everyone could only get a little bit at a time. The first hurricane it knocked down trees on the roads and we were unable to leave our neighborhood for almost a week. So for me, being prepared at all times is not something I take lightly. You never know what kind of situation your going to end up in. You hope for the best, but prepare for the worst!


Today was fairly uneventful. Got up this morning only to realize that I forgot a few things at Publix yesterday. So off I went back to Publix at 8am with Jolene. It was a mad house at 8am. A truck load of water just arrived and everyone was loading up. Luckily I was only there for diaper pale bags and laundry soap. 

Throughout the day the news was reporting that the hurricane is now moving west. This is bad news for us, because that means the eye is slowly turning right in our direction. After much persuasion I finally convinced Jeff that this hurricane is serious and we need to get to boarding up windows and getting prepared to hunker down. 

There's a joke around our area. When it comes to the weather man Tom Terry, is that if his jacket comes off to pay attention. If he rolls up his sleeves it serious, and if the tie comes off then hang onto your butts! Well his jacket was off today, and the storm is still two days away. Needless to say, I'll be watching to see if the tie comes off, lol.

9/8/2017 & 9/9/2017

These past two days have been filled with the final stages of prepping for the storm. The storm is now projected to hit the west coast of FL, but we are still not out of the line of fire. The storm is over 600 miles wide so we will still feel strong winds and see damage. However, it won't be as bad as if it were to go right over us. 

Jeff has been cutting down loose tree limbs and storing them away until after the storm, and then later today we will be boarding up the windows. All of our shopping is done, we picked up the generator and got lots of gas. Now it's just getting ready for "Show Time". 

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On a Funny Side note, our house made the news! I thought I'd leave a funny message for Irma. Maybe she's got a sense of humor and will be nice.

9/10/2017 & 9/11/2017

After all the preparations were done, and we were hunkered in, we prepared mentally for the storm. Even though we've been thru storms before, this was the first big storm with our daughter. As parents you tend to worry more, and hurricanes are no longer fun. Before our daughter we would've probably gone to a hurricane party, drank too much, and then played in the wind and rain. But now, we have a little life that needs protecting. So our days of hurricane parties are over, for now. 

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At about 5pm there were reports of tornadoes one city over from where we live. This was a little concerning because it was 10 hours away from what was to be the harshest part of the storm. Slowly as the night wore on the sounds outside became more and more scary. The wind was slowly picking up, and every few minutes a strong gust would shoot past the house like a freight train. The power would flicker off and on, and for a few minutes the cell phone service was fading in and out. We stayed cooped up in the living room with the TV set to the local news channel most of the night. Videos were coming in of damage early on. One road was completely washed away before it was even 8pm, mobile homes were gone, and roofs were already torn off in some areas. We were still in great shape though, no damage at that time.

Throughout the night the winds got stronger and stronger, the noises outside became increasing more alarming. The sound of wood cracking, pops and snaps, big objects falling and the howls of the wind made it almost impossible to fall asleep. However throughout the night we managed to get a few hours here and there. At about 3am I was woken by the sound of extreme wind. When people say it sounds like a freight train, it truly does!!!! I was so scared but tried to stay calm so Jolene didn't sense anything from me. The fence behind our house fell, and huge limbs were slamming into the ground. You could hear these hit the ground and shake the walls. We had a sheet over our bathroom door in our master bedroom, because its in the middle of remodel. When I looked at the sheet it was being sucked up into the spaces where the wind was coming thru the open area from construction. Even though these areas didn't lead directly outside, it was obviously that the wind had found a way thru the vents to get into the bathroom, and this did not help in the "being scarred for our lives" moment. After freaking out for about an hour I finally was able to calm myself down enough to fall back to sleep.

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Waking up this morning, looking outside, the image was clear. We had a hurricane roll thru last night. The fences all around us were knocked down, panels on the pool enclosure were blown out, limbs of tree were broken and dangling in the trees, and there was debris everywhere from all the neighbors trees. Luckily, our house didn't sustain much damage at all. Just a few small items that we can fix no problem. After a few more hours of waiting for the winds to die down, we put Jolene in the stroller and walked around our neighborhood. There was tree limbs and debris all over the road. Everyone was raking their yards and moving the fallen trees. You could hear hand fulls of chains saws running in the distance, and leaf blowers around every corner. Slowly we made our way down to the boat ramp at the end of our subdivision. We live on a spring fed lake with dozens of houses located right on it's edge. As we approached the ramp to this lake we found that all the boat docks were under water, as well as all the sea walls protecting the houses. Luckily all the houses were set far enough back that the water had not yet flooded them. 

Of course our city was not spared by Irma. She caused much damage including, down trees and power lines, torn apart roofs, pool cages, and more. Below are three pictures taken in my city of Longwood. The first was from our local news station; it's a part of the interstate right next to me. The whole side crumbled and caved under a sinkhole. The picture to the right is a company vehicle crushed by a massive tree. This was a fellow coworker of the company my husband works for, and this was a company vehicle. The final picture below is one I took while driving. All the street lights were out in the city, and most road signs were either damaged or torn down.

All in all, this was a very interesting and scary week long experience. We learned a lot as parents and new homeowners when it comes to hurricanes. The crazy part about this whole thing is that we are only half way thru hurricane season here in FL. My only hope is that this is the last one we have to deal with during the 2017 hurricane season, but until then we will make sure to be prepared in case we get hit with another one again. 

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Thanks for reading and...

Until Next Time, Keep on HIKING!!!!

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