It’s been a crazy week in the Hancock household in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. We started hearing about this huge category 5 hurricane over a week before it even made landfall. Ray and I are both Florida natives, so we’re pretty familiar with tropical storm and hurricane threats. In fact, about 5 years ago during a tropical storm, a tree fell on our house. We know the drill. Get clean water, charge the devices, prepare snacks, find flashlights, gas up the cars.
With hurricane Irma showing up just weeks after devastating hurricane Harvey over Texas, the entire state of Florida was in panic mode. I went to Publix last Tuesday, 6 days before north Florida felt any impact, and they were completely out of bottled water. In fact all of our local grocery stores ran out of water as soon as they received new shipments. The same was happening with gas and bread and canned goods. It was truly nuts. WHO NEEDS SO MUCH BREAD?!?! The Keys and Miami were put under a mandatory evacuation, so thousands of people were driving north up the the state, passing right by Lake City. This just added to the craziness… and lack of gas.
Ray and I both went to work as normal on Friday. We hung out, slept in, did our laundry, washed our dishes, and then attended a hurricane party Saturday night. I woke up early Sunday morning because it had already started raining and I was on edge. The news had been so conflicting. One minute we were going to see a direct category 5 hit. The next minute we were going to just experience outer tropical storm bands. The storm was predicted to travel either the east coast of Florida, the west coast, or just go straight up the middle. We just didn’t know what we were in for.
Sunday evening we had a few friends over to play a game and podcast. Our friend, Charles, brought over tons of food so we had a true feast. By midnight, the storm was wild! The air pressure was heavy, the wind was blowing like crazy, and the temperatures had dropped down to the low 60’s. Honestly, as scary as it can be, experiencing minor hurricanes can be really fascinating. We stood out on the porch for a while just watching the wind and the rain. Around 2:00am, we lost power (boo) and went to bed around 3:00am.
Monday morning was full of wind and rain. Once the worst past over us, we ventured out to survey the damage. Lake City was really lucky and only saw minimal damage compared to other counties in the state. There was some flooding, trees down, and LOTS of power outages. Probably 90% of our county lost power. We were out of power until Tuesday evening and there are still people waiting for their power to return! Unfortunately, many roads and bridges are closed and flooding is expected to get even worse in the next few days.
Living without power is, well, not awesome… but we tried to make the best of it. Ray used our tiny grill and cast iron skillet to cook up several meals. Temperatures were uncharacteristically mild, so we were only warm and not sweltering without a/c. I spent Tuesday reading, cleaning up the yard, and hanging out on our porch and balcony.
So, that’s pretty much what we’ve been dealing with over the past few days. Hurricanes are no joke! I hope you and your family are safe and at home!