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Hurricane Diaries, or How to Take a Vacation the Hard Way!

Discussion in 'Random Discussion' started by celticsong22, Sep 10, 2004.

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  1. celticsong22

    celticsong22 Thread Starter

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    I got back to Daytona yesterday afternoon. Needless to say, this was an exhausting trip, although it culminated in relief after seeing that my house sustained almost no damage from Hurricane Frances.

    I put the key in my lock and tried to open the door and it had swollen from all the rain, so I had to yank it open! My mother can't budge it. Thankfully, that is the only real problem here. Our neighbors to the back have a huge tree draped across their yard. Could've landed on their roof had the wind been blowing from the east... Trees I've seen since I was 10 no longer exist... Most came down with Charley, so the devastation doesn't seem as bad this time.

    Our power was still off when we arrived. (Another round of stuff to replace in the fridge, but we went easy knowing that Frances was coming to dinner, so it won't be as bad as last time! With Ivan threatening, we will take our time loading up this time, too.) As I began to unload the car, several power and tree trucks pulled up on my street, and although they didn't get the power on my side of the street restored until this morning, we were SO grateful to see them! I held a short conversation with one of the linemen. He was from Kennesaw, GA, where we had stayed for a few days. Quite a long haul to make to help people you don't know! The tree guys were from as far away as Indiana, and I've seen other trucks from Ohio, SC, NC, and even SEATTLE!!! These men are heroes to us Floridians.

    We began our trek northward at about 6:30 am last Thursday. We didn't encounter too much traffic as we left early enough. With three hours of sleep- uneasy sleep- I couldn't pull off an earlier exit. I barely kept my eyes open. Mom's 80 and no longer drives, so I did all the driving. By the time we got to Atlanta, I was zonked! I wanted to get to the other side before stopping so we wouldn't have so far to go the next day, so we stopped in Kennesaw at a Best Western just off I-75. It was clean, quiet, had a pool, and a Cracker Barrel next door, so it worked for me! At $79.95 a night, though, you'd think they would provide a microwave or mini fridge...

    After we settled in, my mother announced that she wasn't going to Tennessee to meet my brother and his family at the inlaws house. She was having trouble breathing (emphysema) and the altitude was getting to her. Also, all the hours sitting in the car were hard on her circulation. SO, we stayed put and never made it to the top of the mountain!

    God was looking after us. A really sweet man named Samuel helped us find everything we needed at the local Walgreen's. He even made a reservation for us at a less expensive motel! Turned out he was a Christian and had moved there three years earlier from NY to follow his pastor. Unfortunately, Mom had a feeling we should call to check the motel before giving up the one we had, and we found out that the room they'd reserved was a smoking room. Neither of us could handle the smoke smell, so we just stayed at the BW. I called Samuel's manager to tell him what a wonderful employee he had, though. Hopefully, he will get a raise. Most people aren't so caring and helpful these days.

    After the hurricane hit FL, the forecast had it going into GA, with estimated rainfall in Macon being 6", and Atlanta 4", and flooding expected, so I figured it might be a good idea to head back east to Brunswick. My Mom wasn't too keen on going, but I got back up from my brother and she relented. We travelled from Atlanta east on I-16 to I-95 and got to the other BW I'd made a reservation at on Monday afternoon. I-16 is pretty and BORING. Lots of green; not a lot of anything to keep you interested. It rained torrentially the better part of the way, which made my mother a nervous wreck. I've driven in worse, though, and having done a lot of highway driving, it didn't bother me.

    When we got to our motel, the room wasn't ready. The people on the shift before ours had left late and the poor maids were scrambling to pull it together. They probably NEVER get that much business! Good thing we had a reservation, because by evening they had posted no vacancy signs on the lobby doors. Hundreds of rooms full in a matter of hours.

    We went next door in the pouring rain and wind to get some Chinese food. I didn't have the heart to tell the owners how bad it was because they were so nice! They tried to hold a conversation about the storm, which had ravaged Brunswick, too, but we could only understand about 1/2 of what they said! We took leftovers, but pitched them after we got some groceries. This room was bigger, had a microwave, fridge, and only cost $61.20 a night! Except for all the people travelling with barking dogs, and some really rude people sitting outside our room smoking and yelling for hours, it was a really great place.

    I wanted to come home earlier, but knowing that there probably wasn't power and 90 degrees w/o AC isn't easy to deal with when you're 80, I figured Mom could call the shots, and we stayed three nights.

    My cats were good thanks to tranquilizers! They actually started to get bolder as the trip progressed, and made themselves quite at home in Brunswick! I don't think they liked Kennesaw too much, though. Maybe the altitude? Seems like they knew when they were almost home. I have to admit, I felt better when we got to I-95. I feel more at ease on the coast...

    Well, I haven't seen the latest on Ivan yet, and I REALLY don't want to evacuate again. We've decided to stay put unless the thing looks like it's a real monster, because this last trip cost over $1,000.00 and we can't afford to leave again, really. God willing we won't have to.

    Thanks for your prayers and thoughts. Please keep the people of South FL in mind as they are dealing with a real mess now. Also, those in mobile homes. I saw one yesterday split in two by a tree. A whole park in New Smyrna, a town just south of Daytona, was levelled, I heard. Our state could use donations to the Red Cross, etc., as well. Looks like a rough year.

    Take care,

    Chris
     
  2. angelize56

    angelize56 Always remembered in our hearts

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    Good luck Chris! Ivan looks to be quite a monster of a storm! It devastated Grenada...good luck to Jamaica and to the rest of the places in its path! What a nightmare to have three hurricanes so close together in Florida! :( I hope Ivan dies down a lot before it hits you in Florida!! Take care and stay safe!! Marlene
     
  3. MightyQueenC

    MightyQueenC

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    10,306
    Hi and Welcome back Celticsong (Chris)

    Glad you're back and I hope Ivan doesn't extend your "vacation".

    Here's what Ontario, Canada is doing to help.
    Take care
    Carolyn



    Hydro One workers Florida-bound to help restore power in hurricane's wake

    Thu Sep 9,10:34 AM ET
    ALAN BLACK
    TORONTO (CP) - Ontario's electricity provider is sending a small army of staff and vehicles to Florida to help restore power that was recently knocked out by Hurricane Frances.
    "We've got about 240 line staff and 130 vehicles crossing over in four convoys" at border crossings in Windsor, Fort Erie and Kingston, Hydro One spokesman Al Manchee said Thursday.
    State officials said about 1.4 million homes and businesses were without power as of Wednesday. It could be early next week before power is restored statewide.
    The Hydro One workers will gather in Daytona and then be deployed throughout the state where needed.
    "We expect that these convoys will take about two days to get down to Florida and we expect they'll be there for about two weeks," said Manchee.
    "If further assistance was required after that two week period, we would likely look at bringing staff back and replacing them with other staff, but we will assess this as the situation unfolds."
    Hydro One has assistance agreements with a number of utilities in the northeastern United States, but the Florida devastation was so severe that state officials called the utility Wednesday for help.
    "Hydro One staff have an excellent reputation in the utility industry - they're among the best in the business and the Florida utility requested assistance from the A team."
    "It's important to note Ontario electricity customers will not be paying for this. All of the costs will be paid for by Florida Utilities," Manchee said.
    Much of southern Ontario was under a heavy rainfall warning Thursday morning, but Manchee said the utility is well prepared for any weather-related problems that may arise in Ontario.
    "We're not sending any more than 25 to 30 per cent of our staff down there, which is typically what we would allow to go on vacation at any one time throughout the summer period. We have other resources we can call on in the event of a bad storm in Ontario," said Manchee.
    Even as Florida struggles to recover from Hurricane Frances, Hurricane Ivan could also hit the state after causing widescale destruction this week across the Caribbean.
    The hurricane pounded Grenada, Barbados and other islands with devastating winds and rains, causing at least 15 deaths, before aiming at Jamaica, Cuba and the hurricane-weary southern United States.
    "We have sent crews to the Caribbean in the past and if we were approached by a Caribbean country to provide assistance, we would certainly consider it," said Manchee.
     
  4. celticsong22

    celticsong22 Thread Starter

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    Thanks, Marlene. I just talked to a friend down south who said that it is expected to hit the west coast near Tampa and cut across my way ...AGAIN. Sigh. No power for another week....GROAN. I am just thankful that it isn't coming up to nail us from the east!
     
  5. valley

    valley

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    Thanks be to God, you're back safe and sound. Its so good to hear that your home didnt get damaged in a big way.

    We are still waiting to hear from Carl's sister in Boca. Shemade it through the sotmr ok but hasnt been able to get home yet to see how her house fared.

    Our thoughts are directed to his other sister in Naples now that Ivan could hit on that side.

    Truly glad to hear from you, Chrissy-girlie :)
     
  6. celticsong22

    celticsong22 Thread Starter

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    Carolyn, it sure is wonderful to know that so many people are willing to help when the going gets tough. Thanks for the info. I'll be looking for the trucks!

    Val, your family is in my prayers. Hopefully all will be well...
     
  7. GoJoAGoGo

    GoJoAGoGo

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    First Name:
    Joe
    Chris:

    Welcome back and I'm glad your safe and all of your propery is intact. ;)
     
  8. celticsong22

    celticsong22 Thread Starter

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    Thanks, Joe! Ivan's strike 3, so maybe after that we'll be okay!
     
  9. Mulderator

    Mulderator

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    That would be Francis!

    Good thing you don't get a lot of hurricanes in Florida! ;)
     
  10. celticsong22

    celticsong22 Thread Starter

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    This is a freak year, Mulder. Check the history books. FL gets hurricanes. We're subtropical. Central FL rarely gets hit. That's fact. This is the first time since I've lived in FL (moved here in 1965) that we've been hit by hurricanes IN THIS AREA. We've had them skirt the coast, threaten, and been blasted by the occasional tropical storm, but no hurricanes until this year. I think I would've noticed! ;) :D
     
  11. Mulderator

    Mulderator

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    I'm not so sure! ;)
     
  12. celticsong22

    celticsong22 Thread Starter

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    They ARE rather noisy, Chris. Kinda hard to ignore! You brat!!!
     
  13. celticsong22

    celticsong22 Thread Starter

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    Now that Ivan's bearing down on Alabama, hopefully Brushmaster will be back soon to report on his adventures. Also, I'm hoping to hear from Neon about how things went in Baton Rouge.

    As for FL, we're watching Jeanne...Coming up the east coast. If it stalls out, we could be doin' this again. Luckily, it doesn't show signs of being the monster the last 3 were.

    Good GRIEF! Enough's enough. I've lived here for 39 years and never got hit by a hurricane. Making up for lost time...Kinda makes me want to move inland.
     
  14. I Fix 4 U

    I Fix 4 U

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    Little late for this, but glad to here you were thinking about us, up for another round??
     
  15. celticsong22

    celticsong22 Thread Starter

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    NO!!!!! I think this is what I'll be doing...[​IMG] With 15 storms or so predicted this year, I imagine we'll get some weather. Groan...
     
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