Hurricane Jeanne 9-24-2004

You can view some pictures as I take them here:

Friday, September 24th, 2004.

7:07 PM Eastern.

Yeah.  Another one.  This one did a really wierd curly Q in the middle
of the ocean.  It took a westward path then once it got to Jamaca it
turned due north and stayed about 600 miles east of Florida for about 5
days.  While there it was downgraded from a Category 1 Hurricane down to
a Tropical Storm, then down to a Tropical Depression.  During the past 2
days it has become a Strong Category 2 Hurricane and is now moving
directly towards us.  It is scheduled to make landfall about a mile away
from where we live at about 2 AM Sunday morning.

The problem that this county is facing (Brevard County) and all
surrounding counties in Central Florida, is that most of the ground is
already saturated with water from the other hurricanes and in fact most
areas are still flooded.  Water has no-where to go other than up.  I
figure soon, Florida will be a series of islands…

We have plenty of water and plenty of ice (in fact most of it is left
over from the last hurricane when I went nuts and bought all that stuff –
most of it in cans and stuff that does not need to be cooked).

Right now there is a mandatory evacuation that is set to go into effect
for our area at Midnight tonight for those in manufactured homes and low
laying area and the barrier islands.  We do not live in any of those
area, so we will be under a recommended evacuation.  The problem is,
it’s so expensive to leave.  It does not seem like it would be, but it
is.  I think we are going to stay here for this one, so it should be
“exciting” to say the least.

More later…

Saturday, September 25th, 2004.

11:28 AM Eastern.

It’s windy outside.  There was a squirrel sitting at the top of a palm
tree just outside the door; he was chittering away.  Animals know when
impending doom approaches.  Not really much new to add, it’s cloudy
outside with spots of sun that peek through every now and again.

Hurricane Jeanne is about 155 miles east of the Florida coast right now.

more later…

5:41 PM Eastern.

LOTS of wind now.  Bursts up to 45 miles an hour.  LOTS of rain too.
Obviously we still have power.  This thing is supposed to hit us at
about midnight.  We saw another squirrel running across the parking lot,
he had a huge pinecone in his mouth.  He stopped under a tree and shook
himself like a dog would when it’s wet.  Poor thing.  Not much new
other than that.

more later…

6:16 PM Eastern.

Just saw where they predict that the eye will pass DIRECTLY over Palm Bay.  That’s where I live…

more later…

7:00 PM Eastern.

Even more wind.  It’s picking up more and more as each hour goes by.  In
fact, from this point forward, I think I’ll try to do hour to hour
updates.  Assuming I have power to do so.  They may be brief, or they
may be lengthy depending on what happens.

We just had a Tornado touch down in Titusville, it’s moving west so no threat to us.


You can view some pictures as I take them here:

8:09 PM Eastern.

Seeing some pictures coming in on the news right now.  The beaches are
being eroded away.  Lots of fear that A1A, one of the main roads that
runs along the coast will be wiped out from this, well parts of it.

Eye is about 4 hours away from making landfall.

9:00 PM Eastern.

Oh boy.  We are in for a looong night.  Rain is coming down, but is just
sprinkling.  We have had a couple of flashes of power loss, but
obviously I’m still with power and online.  Not sure for how much
longer…  But until I’m powerless, I’ll update here (or fall asleep,
like yeah I’ll be doing THAT!).

Wind is pretty much the same as it was a couple of hours ago.

10:00 PM Eastern.

Still with me?  I still have power, but apporximatly 75,000 in Brevard
County (the county I live in) are without power.  Our bathtub is filled
up with water, not to drink mind you, but to use to fill up the toilet
so we can flush, in-case the water goes out like it did last time.

Still not much rain, but lots and lots of wind.

We are getting wind gusts up to 54 miles an hour; and it looks like
Hurricane Jeanne is going to make landfall right around Stuart, just
south of Ft. Pierce.  Looks like it will make landfall within the couple
of hours.

11:00 PM Eastern.

I’m getting pretty tired.  The wind is really howling outside right now.
Lots of rain now too.  It’s really odd to think that all this water
coming down came from the middle of the ocean like 600 miles east of us.
They are esitmating that right at about 2 million people will be
without power due to this hurricane.

I stepped outside for just a moment, yeah the wind is getting stringer.
It’s gusting up to about 54 miles an hour and is said to double that
within 30 minutes.  We’ll see if I still have power for my midnight
check in.

Sunday, September 26th, 2004

12:01 AM Eastern.

It is due to make landfall as a Category 3.

More wind, still at 54 miles an hour.  Very tired.  I may or may not
update more for a while.  Getting kindav sleepy, but I know it’s going
to be hard to sleep with all this going on.  The feeder bands are going
right over us and the eye should passing us in roughly 2 hours.

Monday, September 27th, 2004

2:22 AM Eastern.

We lost power about 22 hours ago (shortly after my last post actually).
There was little we could do but to “hunker down” as everyone is
calling it.

And the winds came.

Along with the rain.

We take so much advantage of having electricity, only realizing that as
we sat there in the dark without it.  Wind would occasionally shake the
apartment building and we could often times hear things either hitting
the roof or parts of the roof itself being ripped off.  Then we heard
the crinkle of metal.

We grabbed a fast peak outside and saw some of the covered parking areas
were in the process of being whipped around and “re-located”.  At about
this time going to the bathroom was a priority, and it’s a good thing
we filled up the bathtub with water.  No, you don’t go in the bathtub,
you still go into the toilet, but you have to use the water from the tub
to fill the bowl back up after you flush.

We layed back down to sleep.

The winds still howling outside, there was little more we could do but
try to get some sleep and wait for daybreak to go out and see the
damage.  That within itself was quite difficult, getting to sleep.  The
sounds of the metal outside scaping against itself, the wind rapping
against the roof, and not having any power at all; all the combinations
of that was just damn spooky.

Then daylight came.

We still had no power and it was getting hot inside.

We threw on some crappy shoes and went outside.  The Parking covers were
all over the place.  Water was standing in pools all over the parking
lot too.  I passed a few cars that had taken some damage, one took a
large wooden beam to it’s front windshield and smashed it; another
wooden beam bent the back support bar of a neighbor’s jeep.

I made my way to my car.  2 spaces down the back window of a Toyota was
totally smashed out.  I think the Parking cover fell on it and smashed
it, the owner was out there removing the glass.  My car was not damaged.

I went to inspect my wife’s car.

It was a little more difficult to get to, lots of debris was in the way,
as well as water.  Once there I looked over it and it looked okay.
Save for the rear bumper, it had a noticable scratch on it, but at least
it was there and for the most part undamaged.

The rest of the day we simply tried to take it all in.  We opened the
windows and let the winds blow through.  We had a battery operated radio
on and listened to it, the place was in total devistation.  A 24 hour
curfew was also put in place.

We were stuck.

Of course there was not anywhere we could go, so we just sat here and
watched the clouds roll by and the felt the wind whip thru.

I took a nap at about noon.

Woke up at about 3; nothing had changed.

At 5 they lifted the curfew so we decided to drive over to a little
chinese joint just down the road, they were open immediatly after the
last hurricane.  They had no power and were not open either.  But we saw
more destruction.  I snapped a few pictures and we decided to return
home.  We passed by 1 place that was open, Dominoes, and there must have
been a line of about 60 people waiting to get pizza.  We decided to
return home and dine on apples, peanutbutter, and tuna.

At about 9 PM Eastern, after the sun had gone down (not that we ever saw
it but it still illuminated the clouds from above) we decided to try to
get some sleep.  The windows open, a nice breeze still blowing, we
layed down.

Suddenly I saw bright light.

I thought I had slept thru the night and was looking at the sun coming
in, then it dawned on me that we had power once again.  We still have no
running water, but at least we have power, and still have a roof, and
our cars.  It could have been so much worse.

This should be my last post in regards to Hurricane Jeanne.  But remember to take a look at the pictures.

I tell ya, it was a crazy experience and much worse than the other hurrcanes we have gone thru this year.  All in all…

We survived.

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