It's my fault; I tempted Fate - two days ago I hung all the wind chimes from the porch ceiling again. I never took the plywood off my windows because I didn't have any to start with. I did take the duct tape off the sliding glass doors the day after Frances, but I kept my supply of candles and bottled water. Shouldn't that count for something?
Apparently not. Here we go again, white-knuckling it while waiting for Hurricane Jeanne to arrive. Ivan missed this part of Florida, but Jeanne is the third hurricane to come through Volusia County since mid-August.
As little as 24 hours ago we thought she was going to roar her way straight up Florida's east coast. Now it appears Daytona Beach will have only hurricane force winds and that the path will be a bit south and west of us. Everything is relative; we will have winds no more than 85 to 100 mph. Plus the occasional tornado. And flooding, of course. Aren't we the lucky ones, missing the center, not being the landfall site?
Am I worried? Yes, a bit. The ground is soaked from the previous storms and the trees that held before might be uprooted and come crashing down this time. But I am no longer in the direct path of Jeanne. And she is moving fast : 14 mph at the last report. Not only will she be here soon, she won't hang around long. In and out within an hour. Wham, bam, thank you, ma'am.
After that, just the clean-up and perhaps several days without electricity. Piece of cake!
UPDATE - 15 hours later: Madame Jeanne arrived, but she still hasn't left. We are in the midst of feeder band activity. Amazingly, I have electricity although the lights are flickering and I may be without power at any time. Hurricane Jeanne is south-southwest of Orlando right now and headed for Tampa on the west coast of Florida.
The winds roared from 3 A.M. onwards, coupled with driving, horizontal rains. Overnight, up to eight inches of rain have been dumped into this already saturated area. Flooding will be a serious problem when the runoff accumulates.
My dog, Bronco, refuses to go outside to pee. Twenty minutes later he has forgotten about the weather and again tells me he really has to go NOW ! I finally shut him up in the garage, but he is too well-behaved to break the rules. I'll have to physically uncross his legs when this is over.