Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Irma and I

The usually busy Lincoln Road Mall on Sunday at 6:00 PM
I was organized to flee Hurricane Irma. I was less organized to stay. By Saturday morning I had packed two bags, one with clothes and another with my computer, devices and important papers. I moved my media center into a hallway and arranged things so that if my terrace door broke I would not suffer terrible water damage.

I was about to take the living room TV off the wall (actually off of a pole) on Saturday morning (as I had done in the bedroom) and then flee. The news advised that the path of Irma would be up the west coast of Florida. I made a snap decision to stay.

Last week I ordered my Just In Case delivery from Amazon Prime Now. It went undelivered for lack of drivers. Therefore, on Saturday, I rushed to CVS, one of the few stores that remained open and stocked up on non-perishable food, water, toilet paper and a couple of bottles of a very nice claret. I forget to get additional candles.

By Saturday night I was having some second thoughts which I assuaged with Xanax. I would consume several over the next 24 hours.

Sunday morning I awoke at 7:00 AM to the sound of something similar to a car alarm. That would not be silenced until late Monday afternoon and it drove me near crazy(er). I lost power at about 8:00 AM. I have two Kindles and both were fully charged. Every now and then I stopped reading and toggled my phone to one of the Kindles to watch the live stream from our CBS affiliate. T-Mobile was five bars throughout. Kudos to them.

I was very scared a couple of times. There were two tornado alerts that flashed on my phone advising me to take shelter immediately. Where? At one point I saw a tree flying like an ICBM about 100 yards from my terrace. The palm trees looked like ruined inverted umbrellas and they were sway beyond anything I thought possible. Street signs were flying around as well. I knew that, if any of my windows broke, it wasn't the wind but debris.

By about  5:00 PM it was obvious that the worst was over. At six I ventured out (in spite of a curfew) to take that photo of Lincoln Road. It was still quite gusty at times. In spots I walked through two feet of flooding. As you can see from that photo I was the only one crazy enough to walk around. I saw no one else. Zombie apocalypse? It produced an eerie feeling.

Yesterday afternoon, I walked along Lincoln Road knowing that  there are some publicly accessible outlets. These were easily identifiable by the groups huddled around them. We are a rather sociable lot in South Beach. I charged my phone. At around 6:00 PM Monday power was restored. Internet came back at about 1:00 AM this morning as did cable.

Everything is still pretty much closed. All of the nearby Publix groceries are closed but Whole Foods expects to open (with a limited selection) by 4:00 PM. I am out of about everything including coffee so that is where I will be headed.

Perhaps some climate skeptics might get it. These storms could become routine and this one could have been even worse.

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