Tuesday, September 12, 2017

We Survived Irma...

...and we didn't even get a crappy t-shirt.

She jigged, she jagged, she was all over the place. But in the end, we were on the "good" side of Irma. Debbie was working up until sometime Friday afternoon when the mandatory evacuation order was first announced. I had to work Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so we just sat tight and had the car all packed up with what we would need for a few days of camping out. Debbie came with me to work on Sunday and we stayed there until Monday morning.

Sounds simple, right?


Sunday morning, we shut down everything at the house, loaded up in the Durango and instead of starting, it was just, "click-click-click". Dead battery. Seriously?

We found someone in the park, got a jump and headed out about two hours later than we planned. We were still in pretty good shape, but the weather was starting to turn ugly by the time we got to my work and threw everything into the building.

All was good until around 9pm when parts of the building started losing power. However the place is wired, some of the building can be out, but other parts will stay up. Kinda weird. Anyway, little by little, things stopped working until around 1am Monday,  we were completely in the dark with no phone, TV or internet. Cell phones were still working, so we could call and reassure nervous relatives that we were fine. By sun-up it was all over, so we headed for whatever was left of our home. (It only took two jump-starts to get the three-tenths of a mile from my work to the house. THANKS CHUCK!!!)

Our place had no damage, just a lot of debris. My parent's place didn't fare so well. The new roof over the porch detached from the main roof and collapsed. That's part of today's job; see about getting that the rest of the way on the ground before it goes flying around the park.

Power here came back on around 5pm [Debbie says, "Nuh uh, it was 7:24pm." OK, 5pm-ish], so we didn't have to throw away everything in the fridge and freezer. My work is still out (I'm typing this Tuesday, noon-ish), which means that it's starting to get iffy on all the food in the various fridges and freezers there. That would be a big bill. I hope we have insurance to cover the loss.

Our first priority today was getting a working vehicle. It would start with a jump, but it would die a couple tenths of a mile down the road. Today so far was spent trying to find a place with power that I could buy a new battery from and then somehow getting there. Someone at the lodge was out and about and knew that we were stranded. She got all the specs over the phone, bought us a battery and delivered it here to the house. THANKS TERRI!!!  So we have a car that runs, but I don't think we are out of the woods yet. Because of how it was acting, I think there may be a problem with the alternator as well. As far as I can tell from what it was doing, the alternator could not have been putting out much for the car to keep stalling out. (I couldn't tell for sure because it's a soccer-mom car with no gauges, just idiot lights.) But the battery needed replacing regardless; when I tried to remember the last time I had bought a battery, I had no recollection of ever doing so. When I pulled the battery, the date was November 2004. Oooooookay. Maybe I should call Interstate about buying my dead battery to use in an ad: Six-Year Battery Lasts 13 Years!!!

Yeah. Probably not.

So we have transportation, power, internet and the landline phone working. Cell phone coverage is still hit-or-miss. I assume it is a capacity issue. We get various error messages; "Network Unavailable", "Emergency Calls Only", etc. All we have is a Tracfone, so I assume we are last on the priority list to connect to the local towers.

More later, but I better get at cleaning things up.


Anonymous said...

Good to hear you are OK.

Ric said...

Even being on the side with lower wind speeds, there were still a couple times it sounded like the roof of the building we were in was coming off. Just a tad scary.