I've had a daylog in the works for weeks, basically a personal update, but given Hurricane Matthew's light kiss against our fair state, thought I'd provide a view from here. This isn't anywhere near as extravagant as the last hurricane play-by-play.
Basically, I hurricaned hard for this sucker, ready to battle on every front. Starting midweek, I
- gassed up both cars
- had tree limbs cut from the power line
- loaded the pool with chlorine
- bought Scotch
- bought beer
- baked bread
- made pizzas
- cleaned gutters
- refilled propane
- procured 40 pounds of ice
- cranked a/c, fridge, and freezer way down
- cut oak tree branches back from roof
- moved patio furniture to protected areas (neighbors' too)
- brought my orchids inside
- moved grill to garage
- filled water jugs
- replaced batteries in all flashlights
- made some coldbrew and two pots of coffee.
I have a home office, and between my work laptop and my play desktop, I hoovered as much Impending Hurricane Disaster info as I could. For once it appeared that the hype equaled the facts. Had this been a Cat 1 or Cat 2, I probably wouldn't have done any of this, but a wide and powerful Cat 4 heading right for us caused me to be a bit puckered.
My biggest concern was the feeder powerline to my house off the main line, despite having most of a tree cut away from it. The winds were expected to be significant to catastrophic inland with a NE-N-NW component. There's a tree in my neighbor's yard tall enough that if it goes, it falls right into the line. Unfortunately, just to the south of the plane of the powerline is my pool. A live wire hitting the pool effectively fries my entire house and everything plugged in. I pounded coffee all night to stay up for that possibility, ready to turn the main breaker off.
Despite the coffee, I dozed off at about 230a in front of The Weather Channel. Intense squalls and strong winds, but nothing devastating. I woke up around 4a. RunningHammer was asleep but Vix was still up. "This is like a fake hurricane," she said.
"I know. I keep waiting for it to get here." Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.
I slept for a couple more hours. Early morning for us was the worst. Lost power. Leaves and tree limbs flying sideways. Feeling the house get punched by gusts. Water blown out of the pool. Steady rain but nothing torrential. The eye had wobbled about 10 miles east, sparing a good chunk of central Florida but the beaches still got spanked hard. During a lull, i went outside for a better visual. Winds now came in from the west. That squashed my feeder powerline fear. However, while I was out there, I heard a tree cracking. This was from a monstrous one in another yard on the west side of the mainline. If that went, I and dozens of homes would be without power for a while. Luckily, a few hours later all strong gusts had packed up and moved north.
Once the rain had stopped, we grabbed the rakes, brooms, and shovels and began cleaning up our yard and neighbors' yards. The one good thing about this storm was that most of the acorns that drop and get crushed and cause my household such horrible allergies all got knocked down while still green and will be swept away. We checked on Miss Kim, an older single Korean woman who pays RH to walk and play with her dog, Bob, a big silly pit bull mix happiness machine. She's on a different grid that we are and only lost power for a little while. When she's nervous, she drinks and cooks. After we cleaned up her yard and played with Bob, she insisted that we all have a bit of champagne, then some vodka, and then packed up some chicken and potatoes for us to take home. (It was delicious!) As we were walking back, we saw our porchlights click on.
Vix and I have now been through seven hurricanes together. We'll most likely go through seven more. This certainly wasn't the worst. I'm glad, and perhaps gloating a little, that the storm did not meet the strength of my preparations (I have more water, coffee, bread, and ice than I know what to do with). After fielding calls and texts from friends and family, it was nice for me and Vix to snuggle under blankets in our extra-a/c'ed home and fall asleep to NCIS reruns.