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Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Four Days After Hurricane Hermine in Tallahassee

This is our west neighbors' house. Ironically - she complained to me
about taking down pine trees. I must tell her that her
removing trees is ruining my sunset views.
The trees pointed southwest.
Lull and I are sitting in the local McDonalds - face to face on our laptops. Except for having no Internet at home - everything is pretty back to normal for us. We just had a late supper and are enjoying the free high speed Internet. I am surprised there is only one other family in here with us. 

Le me review the whole scene. On Thursday I deliver the motor home that was sitting in my driveway for two months. I had just sold it to Stuart and Sharon - they lived north of town. We knew the storm was coming and were just happy to get the camper under their carport. 

We went to bed early on Thursday night - maybe 10 PM. It had started to rain - but nothing unusual. I was out like a light. At about 11:30 PM I woke to notice the power was out. I fell right back to sleep and did not hear another thing until I woke up at 7 AM. I went outside in a mild rain to find a bunch of branches - leaves - twigs - and pine cones in our yard. It looked like pretty mild damage for a Class 1 hurricane. 

We had no electricity - so I quickly set up our little Honda 2000 generators with a few extension cords. I was able to run the refrigerator - the satellite TV - the big screen - some lights. I was able to charge the phones and laptops. The phones could get got calls- text messages - and data. But the Comcast Internet was down - and even up to Tuesday - it has not returned. 

I took our scooter for a ride to see the damage. There were lots of trees down in the neighborhood - plenty of streets blocks by big tree trunks and downed power line. Nobody had any power. A few homes were crushed by the tree trunks. 

In the corner of our backyard I found a 70 foot pine tree - about 16 inches around - that was knocked over like a toothpick. I could not find a stump any where - that matched the tree. We still have not found that stumps. 

Most of the large trees that were knocked over - were pulled out by the roots. They were all pointing to the southwest. Both our neighbors to the south and the west had trees down. Doug and Sandy to our south had one on the corner of their roof. Dave and Ann - to our west - had 3 pines pull out by the roots - and a giant oak toppled onto Dave new wood shop. 

When we build our house - 3 summers ago - we pushed over about 15 giant pines like the ones in the pictures. Ann was not too happy that we took those trees down. She claimed it ruins her view of the sunrise. At the time I explained they were dangers to our new home. 

Our buddies across the street - George and Joel - had no power. They had 2 refrigerators full of stuff - and had cooler to ferry some of the stuff to our refrigerator and freezer. They also took food to several other houses. 

Friday and Saturday we spent cleaning up our yard. We would take breaks to watch the college football games on our Directv screen. We normally keep our home at 75 in the summer. In the 2 days we did not have air-conditioning - the home temperature rose to 79 degrees. How spoiled are we - we were whining about going to bed in such hot and humid conditions. 

Saturday morning at 11 AM - our power came one. We took our Honda generator across the street for George. We ran an extension cord 400 feet north to Bill and Quincy's house. We loaned out tow batteries with converters to other friends to charge their phones. Our friend Marge was the real hero. She has a house with a whole house generator on it. It flipped on automatically by itself during the storm - and Marge took in all sorts of stragglers - laundry - food storage - animals - you name it.

People were getting on Facebook and were getting cranky. The city said it would take a week to get 90% of the people back on power. the Republican governor wasted time making political points against the Democratic black mayor. Typical. The mayor came through - 95% of the people had power in 4 days - in time for the FSU football game. Unfortunately Comcast Cable could not fill the bill. They opened up the Civic Center for students and faculty to watch the game. 

Lulu had a nice party at our house for people with no electric or cable. Some did their laundry at our place - others charged their phones - while others showered. FSU came from 22 points behind to win the game - the biggest comeback in Florida State history. It sort of reminds me of how this city bounced back form the first direct hit of a hurricane in some 20 years. 

Pine trees across the road

This was by the golf course

Power lines to homes were down

The trees pulled down these distribution lines

I parked my scooter to take this picture.
Note the tension on the lines.

Trees snapped half way off

This tree stopped for the sign.

Shallow pine roots - wet ground - a pushover

red clay soil

This street just got power today

Pointing southwest

This tree did not move for 3 days

No need for a stump grinder

Lots of pines and oaks

Pointing southwest

that is a Comcast cable TV line

My neighbors wood shop blasted by and oak -
about 200 feet from my sleeping head

Wonderful wood shop full of DeWalt tools

Less than 200 feet from my house

Pointing away from my house

I had 15 trees removed like this when
we built the house.

Like Civil War cannons pointing southwest

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