My family and I made it through the Hurricane Irma safe and sound and with four days of cleanup. Here’s a chronicle of our experience the night Irma changed course and came right at us. I wrote this during the evening, having little to do but play cards and fuck with my notepad while we waited for the hell outside to leave.
We lost power a long while ago. We put the kids to bed in the fort we built under the dining room table that I had pushed into the hallway. After freaking out as to why YouTube Kids wasn’t working on their iPads, they fussed and then fell asleep.
The storm got real bad. It got real loud and then we heard that sound of a giant cracking his knuckles, then the tearing as a big tree split in half. It’s covering the road now. Will be spending time with my chainsaw tomorrow.
Then we found out the eye of the storm was changing its course and heading our way. “Shit,” we said. We spoke little after that.
Another squall. Part of a tree breaks off into the kids’ bedroom window. The window doesn’t crack. Deanna and I cuss again. There’s a lot of cussing going on now, in general. Outside there’s still a horrible sound. There are green flashes as transformers blow followed by metallic moaning sounds. My wife comments they sound like whale calls. The wind picks up and kicks at the house. The house stretches but handles it. It’s like being on another planet.
Lots of objects pelt the house and there are crashes and bumps on the roof. The rain just won’t stop, or the wind. The wind is just incessant. Loud and angry. The trees are going bananas. They look like those inflatable wavy arm guys at car dealerships. We have around 25 trees on our property. So far they haven’t harmed us or ruined the house (that I can tell from inside). I want to give them some positive reinforcement tomorrow, show them some gratitude somehow. I want to pat them on the back but worry they might topple over.
Still, hours in, there’s the constant rumble, the building roar, our trees struggling to stand, and then the whistle. When the wind gets so bad we hear the whistle, we look at one another and then race towards the fort, ready to pull the kids out and huddle in the linen closet. We stand there wound like springs, waiting for the windows to pop or for another tree to fall on the house or for the roof to just start peeling back.
More importantly I won three games of Uno and my wife only won two.
The next morning, we found the below mess. My family, our pets, the house, the fence, and the cars all made it out okay. We were out of power for four days, of which we lost our ability to be civilized and clean. When the power turned back on, we hooted like animals.