Monday, October 24, 2005

Power's Out

I've set up the inverter, so the fridge, computer, TV, and $6 fan are running.

Unfortunately, my queen palm is coming down. If it does it may come through this window, my home office window. Time to run.

Waking Up to Wilma

Holy smokes.

I woke up around 5:30 AM to the sound of thrashing wind. The orchid tree outside my home-office window is blowing all over. I put all the front yard potted plants under it, because when it blows really hard, the tree tilts about and the root system pulls up under it. Imagine a handkerchief flat on the ground. Pick it up, slowly, from the middle. You see how it pulls up from the center and looks like a little hill, but it's just you picking it up, no hill underneath, just air.

That's what the ground under the orchid tree looks like when it blows.

A bit silly of me, trying to anchor it with potted plants for weight.

We're not NEARLY there yet. The eye hasn't even come ashore yet, off on the West Coast. It's aiming about 25 miles south of Naples, FL.


Ah. The eye has just covered Marco Island. It's Here.

Well, There, really. For now.

They say this will be the worst hurricane experience for Broward County in around 60 years. The eye is heading to my house, or a bit north. Unfortunately, this puts us on the "dirty" side of this particular storm. And it's especially dirty. Lots of tornadoes, lots of gusts.

It came ashore as a 3, a major hurricane. The shearing they hoped would make up for its being over warm water before landfall didn't happen, and it's worse than they had hoped at the Hurricane Center. Apparently it's because of the truly huge eye: when it's that big, it defies the high-up wind that shears off the top of the system.

It will probably still be at least a 2 when it goes over my house and leaves the state.

The wind outside gets stronger or quieter, but it never ever stops. Right now it would knock me off my feet. I see some lightning flashes, but also lots of green and blue transformer flashes as they blow out. Broward and Dade counties now have 300,000 without power. And we've only just begun.

The weatherman just told us that it's at around 85 mph that we hear The Howl. I remember that from Andrew.

Some say it sounds like a freight train. Not to me. It sounds like a hurricane.

I have no idea how long we'll have both power and phone lines, but I'll stay aboard as long as I can.

All Prepped Up and Nowhere to Go

Except to bed.

I'm totally wiped out. But I've made the house as safe as I can, considering that we have no hurricane shutters, and Walter - Plywood Installer Extraordinaire - isn't here.

Wilma's a complicated hurricane. One of her characteristics is that she's bringing a lot of tornadoes. The right kind of hurricane can spawn tornadoes by the hundreds. Unlike life in the Midwest, there's no time for tornado warnings.

So I spent a lot of time yesterday and today clearing out those potential projectiles from the yard.

g'nite, y'all.