October 04th, 2022
Hurricane Ian. Yeah, so that happened. Wow.
We are absolutely fine. Well perhaps a little greyer from the experience but otherwise, good. The house lost one shutter, some gutter guards and had a wee bit of shingle damage but is still dry and intact. Which is some kind of miracle I think.
The last hurricane we went through was Irma back in 2017, also in September in fact. It was both fascinating (as a new experience) and scary. Even though it made landfall on Marco Island as a Category Three (sustained winds between 111 and 129 mph). It was so huge that the 113 mile difference between Venice and Marco Island didn't matter much.
This time, Hurricane Ian arrived less than 60 miles away and as a Category Four (sustained winds of 130 to 156 mph). You will just have to trust me when I say that the distinction is noticeable.
Because this was a bigger storm and we are on an island which means surrounded by water, when the evacuation notice went out, we paid attention. After some debate, we opted to do as offered and hunkered down with friends who live in a new house farther from the water - meaning a house built to current hurricane safety codes including steel hurricane shutters. (as opposed to our own house built in 1962 with no hurricane shutters) While the wind and rain started much earlier, the biggest part of the storm began around noon and didn't finish banging and howling until midnight. Without question, it was the 12 most harrowing hours of my entire life, no exaggeration. But we were safe, dry and perfectly housed. Thank you, friends!
Once the storm was over, we headed home, more than a little afraid of what we would find. While we saw devastation all along the way home, as it turns out we were much luckier than a lot of people. We are not flooded, our home is mostly intact, we have power and water and each other. Not everybody can say these things right now.
I can tell you what it looked like around here as we came home shortly after the sun rose that next day. There was a lot of this:
There was quite a bit of this sort of thing too:
And even more of these sorts of things:
And in our town, the worst of the worst, our historic Theatre (not movie theatre, live theatre) now looks like this:
On the bright side, these are the situations that bring out the best in people. Neighbors helping neighbors helping family helping strangers everywhere. Supposedly 95% of power should be restored by this Friday and Tim and I remember how amazing it feels when the lights come back on! Woohoo!
Although most people are waiting very patiently in very long lines, gas stations are beginning to be resupplied. Grocery stores and other retail shops are opening and the shelves slowly being restocked. Yesterday we got mail for the first time since the storm on September 28th. Those small returns to normalcy mean everything.
We've been kept busy mostly hauling trees, branches, fronds and so forth to the front of the house. Tomorrow the town will start making rounds to pick up all of that deadfall. As of yesterday we have internet back so Tim was able to get back to work.
So there you have it, the tale of surviving Hurricane Ian.
Here is a photo of the rubbish pile in front of our house with me (looking my absolute best) in front of it for comparison. That was the pile on Saturday. We have added to it since then. Just FYI.
Leave a Reply.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.