04 September 2004

Camping out during Hurricane Frances

I'm so thrilled to see the sun shining today! My classmate's and profs were all nervous with the prediction of another Cat 4 hurricane onslaught. Most folks I knew left the state Wed night (and beat the traffic). In our neighborhood, since we're 30-40 miles inland, we just made storm preparations and planned to have no power and minimal water.

Fortunately, the worst was being without power for 3 days (we got it this morning at 0830 and I never felt so thrilled to have air conditioning!!!) We did have plenty of food (experts on the grill by now) and our city water was still drinkable. And, what would I do without a phone line! Talk about a life line to the outside world! I was at least able to check weather status on the internet and keep in touch with classmates out of state who were wondering what the heck was happening to their homes.

Burning the midnight oil took on its literal meaning during the hurricanes. We used every flashlight, candle, and oil lamp we owned.

The routine was the same: lots of rain and wind, non-stop for a couple of days. We had mandatory curfews (plus you're just plain stupid if you venture outside in 60 mph winds), so we sat inside all day. I'd stare out a small unobstructed view through the window for a few hours, (I had zero motivation to study). Then at about 2 or 3 in the afternoon, I'd get major cabin fever and really just want to be anywhere but stuck inside. Steve bought us a chocolate anniversary cake before the storm hit. That was the best thing in the world to have during a hurricane. We decided to celebrate our anniversary next weekend (or in case of the 3rd hurricane) we'll just postpone dinner in Orlando indefinitely!

I slept very well during the storm. it was during the calm afterward that I had to listen to the whirring of neighborhood generators through the night that really bugged my sleep. Our neighborhood is on the highest point in our city. So, while area lake docks were flooded (our neighbor's dock was 5-6' above lake-level at mid-June; now it's flooded), we didn't have to worry about flooding or run-off. We didn't even have any huge trees around. Meanwhile, nearby houses once again had HUGE oaks, pines, and maples uprooted from the storm.

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