Fierce Winds and Rain -- But It Could Have Been So Much Worse
By GERRY and PAMELA BARKER
North Palm Beach Life
Hurricane Irma has come and gone, but its effects remain.
The good news: Our condo building got full power restored late Thursday afternoon. It had been mostly out since Sunday. FPL says all of Palm Beach County should be up and running by Sunday night. The damage looks mostly minor around our neck of the woods -- landscape lights toppled, along with some trees and many limbs. The culprit for our lost electric was a downed power line along US 1. Major kudos to the hard-working FPL crews and the upgrades FPL made to the grid.
Pam provides a great day-by-day account in her Facebook "Storm Diary," featured over to the right.
Here are a few of my own random musings:
* We have been in Florida 10 years and this was our second close encounter with a hurricane (last year's Matthew was the first). Irma was definitely scarier and more fierce, but all you can do is prepare, use good judgment and pray for the best.
* We haven't watched the Weather Channel or local news that much ever. Hats off to Steve Weagle and his team at WPTV. They provided facts, not hyperbole. Labeling Irma as a "nuclear event," as some national cable channels did, did little to help the situation.
* While four days without AC was grueling, we were more fortunate than many. And how fast the whole infrastructure was at getting back up and running is testimony to the hard work and planning by city and state officials.
* We were humbled and amazed at all the offers of help and assistance from friends around the world. Likewise from our neighbors who stayed and braved the elements with us. They were all just incredible, and something we'll never forget.
Pam's Storm Diary
RANDOM PRE-HURRICANE MUSINGS:
* Publix and their employees are doing an amazing job.
*Strangers are making eye-contact and uttering encouraging words.
*Amazing neighbors demonstrate genuine care and concern. We are here, and in it together.
*People demonstrate selfish behavior by over-fueling.
*The Weather Channel staff is excited, but their speculation is not helpful. Just the facts would be appreciated.
*Steve Weagle, local Palm Beach meteorologist, is doing an unbelievable job.
*When you exhale, slightly, at the prospect of a Cat 4, things have reached the crazy level.😀
*People making rude, and unnecessary, comments about Florida, when they don't live in this beautiful state we love, can, pretty much, go..
*The bathroom we will use as our safe room is not big enough to accommodate all the things the Palm Beach Post suggests taking in with you. Chairs, mattresses, clothes, games, food, can opener, blankets, pillows, batteries, hammer, cellphones, games, cards, books, important papers, air horn, etc. WHAT should we take in? Well, normally I would NEVER...but...I will be taking a pan of brownies, for sure! Oh, dog food (yes, we have one), and brownies. Oh, wine. Water and wine.
*There is no emoji for hurricane that I can find. Someone with talent...make one!
* KEEP THE FAITH OUR FLORIDIAN PEEPS. We got this🌴🌴🌴
*While giving Reggie her mid-day outdoor stretch, we were asked if salt water was bad for car engines. Although not stated, the person, was (we assume) concerned about storm surge. We live on the Intra-Coastal Waterway. We stepped out on a limb and said...it probably was bad.
*We have a 3 pm curfew in PB County. Knowing we can not drive around and do unnecessary stuff, makes me want to do just that.
*Although we may have dodged a bullet on making a bathroom our safe room, I still plan to bake and eat a pan of brownies before midnight. When I make a vow to do something, I stick.
*We know the tracking could veer anywhere, we are praying that all will be spared the devastation which has occurred elsewhere.
*Wind still very strong.
*Gerry goes out to 'check things.'
*In my nightgown, because it is pitch black inside and I feel like it is midnight. Candle light provides minimal illumination.
* Sliding into shoes, I decide it is also quite dark outside with all the power losses, no one will see me (they don't, but it got dicey) and I will join him.
*Stepping outside it is still fierce, and no sign of G.
*I do a video that is totally dark, but had storm sounds, knowing Gerry went to check other areas.
*Stepping back to our door...it is stuck. There I was, standing at the door. Stuck. Hoping all neighbors were in THEIR jammers, snug inside.
*No worries. G will be back soon.
*Any minute. G will appear.
*I take another stab at the door. Stuck. Some weird storm suction?
*Wind gusts ramp up.
*Hoping G has not been hit in the head with flying debris, I give the door one more frantic shove.
*It opened...because Gerry, on the inside, and apparently still tinkering with an assortment of devices trying to get football without any power source, unlocked it and opened it. He heard my feeble last shove.
*His big observation? Not, that I was missing from inside the condo. "You are outside...in your nightgown?" THAT was his take.
*For the record...it was PITCH BLACK outside, and my nightgown looks like a regular, yet stylish, old dress.
*Hurricane revenge must be sweet, but to be fair (if I must)...his antics have been shared ALL day.
PS: Reggie just threw up!
IRMA IS ROMPING AND STOMPING, SO
MORE HURRICANE MEANDERINGS
*Gerry broke our new-ish spongy patio mop cleaning water outside.
*Trying to charge my phone in the running car (with marginal success) while it is raining and so on, caused us to get withering looks from a wandering neighbor (we don't know, just see around). But, I'm thinking it takes an idiot to know a couple of idiots.
*Gerry broke a favorite vase.
*Gerry, who has been stoked about Sunday football, has been desperately tinkering with every possible device to get a game. ANY game! Partial success. Impending failure on the horizon.
*Much earlier, kind neighbors shared coffee with me when the power was out and I had none.
*When the power went out in the early morning hours, I realized that Reggie and Gerry have synchronized snoring.
*i realized putting on make-up (so not to scare innocent neighbors) in the dark and zipping outside is something I did with abandon. Apologies to every single neighbor I saw today. It is no crime to have blush above AND below cheekbones.
*Gerry, who HAD to go outside in 80 MPH wind, has reported..."The intra-coastal is churning like a bitch." His short hair looks amazing all spiky. The wind is a great hair product for both of us!
POST (AND FINAL) IRMA UPDATE:
*Power was off, so no air.
*The wind roared, all night, so there was no slipping outside for fresh air.
*When friends, who are great neighbors, hand-deliver to the door PP pads for Reggie , so she does not have to do her biz in a thundering hurricane...it just does not get any batter. Thank you guys.
*No internet, no cable, dead cell-phone and no sleep force me to invent entertainment as G and R snoozed.
*Rock, paper, scissors CAN be played solo, and you are always a winner. Win-Win, as it were.
*Dear ones, thank you for jumping in and riding this out with us, no matter your location. You embraced our humorous updates, as we huddled under an enormous swirling cloud blanket called, Irma-trying to deal with it the way WE do things.
*Honestly, there are no adequate words to express our deepest gratitude to so many. We have been overwhelmed with your support and generous gestures of care and concern.
*From the West Coast of the US, all the way to Russia-we received, and treasured your words. There are times in life when you not only discover what you, personally, are made of, but about many others.
*Let us say it again...We are privileged to know and love, genuinely sincere and GREAT people. We won't ever forget it!
*So, from the beautiful (yes, it IS worth it to live here) palms of South Florida, from our home to yours...thank you-with love.
*PS: Reggie, so utterly trained to go outside, refused to use the PP Pads, so outside she went...with G. BUT, the fact of the gesture was all we needed. The best.