A window into the life of a professional geek, wife and mother (and nonni), stitcher/designer, bibliophile, old-school gamer, and whatever other roles she finds herself in.

Monday, September 27, 2004

I'm still standing!

It's been one wild ride, but here we are post-Jeanne. We lost a few shingles here and there on our roof, and didn't get power back until almost 10pm last night, but we're otherwise unscathed.

By 3pm Saturday, the winds had started to pick up a bit. We turned off the breakers to the pool equipment and to the air conditioning - no need to get them fried by power surges. By 7pm we were getting sustained tropical-storm force winds, and the sky had a rather ominous brownish tinge to it. DsD had just gotten home from dinner at her BF's house, and said that some areas had already lost power. Reporters on the Weather Channel were reporting transformers blowing along the riverside. We watched and waited.

By about 11pm we were getting hurricane-force winds. Just shy of midnight, Jeanne made landfall with 120mph winds about 65 miles south of us, and 3 miles north of where Frances came in. Jeanne's trailing eyewall came ashore about 1:30 or so. We lost cable feed around 2am, and retired to DsD's room to sleep. DD had thankfully fallen asleep around 10pm, and other than being rather restless during the heart of the storm, she remained asleep. We lost power around 3:15am.

DH got up about 6am and did a quick damage inspection. We were still getting tropical-storm force winds, and intermittent heavy rains. Around 9am the winds had died down to occasional gusts, but the sky remained overcast and we continued to get rain. Which was for the best, really, since we were still without power.

By midday, the storm had cleared enough that neighbors were chatting and inspecting each other's damage. We discovered to the horror of our olfactory senses that raw sewage was bubbling up from manholes and from the corner of our property. YUCK! It took forever to get through to the Public Works department, and by the time we did so someone else had reported it. Well, I guess the grass will be rather green there for a while!

I got a little bit of stitching done in the middle of the afternoon, when the sun was out, and I read DD a few stories. DD played with her LeapPad a bit, since she couldn't watch TV or play on the computer.

We lost our phone around 7pm, well after the storm had blown over. Cell reception had been pretty poor all day, and losing the landline cut off further family communications.

Fortunately, we have a gas range and gas water heater, so we did have hot water and stovetop. We had dinner by candlelight, and as the sun went down on our darkened house, we went to bed.

Around 9:45pm, the power came back on! What joy! With it came our phone and cable, so I was able to watch the second half of the Bucs-Raiders game. And we were able to turn on ceiling fans - we wanted to make sure the power would stay on before we turned on the air conditioning breakers.

Life is back to normal, and I've realized just how dependent we are on power...and how much of a luxury it is. Schools are out today, as is my work. I don't know the extent of the damage in our area, so I don't know how long it will be before things are considered 'back to normal' for many people.

But ultimately the most important thing is that we survived, and for that we're thankful.

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