Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Things NOT to do during a tropical strom

AKA- lessons we learned the hard way...

I always used to watch the newscasts of local natural disasters and see those people out in the background doing stupid stuff. You know, the ones who are standing at the edge of the large crevice and earthquake just left in the middle of a city street or the ones who have to be rescued from their car because they are stuck in too deep of water. The ones you think "what are those jackasses thinking?" when you see them. Yep, we became those people during the storm. I'm so ashamed.

Wednesday we spent half the day at home, waiting for the storm to hit. It stalled over central Florida. Thursday we waited for the storm to hit. It stalled over the ocean. Finally, on Friday the action happened. We woke up and... drove to one of the few open restaurants for breakfast. In the pouring rain and 50mph winds. Then we went home and discovered the power was out. So we packed up and headed out to check out some of the local damage.

First stop was the beach. Stepping out of the car into the gusts that were picking up sand and blowing it right at us was like an instant, full body sandblasting. It was blowing so hard we couldn't even see the water. It took us all of three minutes to decide to return to the car, covered in a fine layer of sand. Lesson learned- if you go to the beach during a storm, wear full body covering. Bored and not too excited by the minimal damages out in the beach area, we decided to head across town, to the older section by the river. The river had overflowed it's embankment and was causing flooding in many areas. Which we promptly proceeded to drive through. Thank goodness we were in A's big, heavy, retired police cruiser (we would not have attempted this in my Honda Accord), because it was quite an adventure. At one point (with me swearing at him in the passenger seat) we went through an underpass with water up to the top of our hood. A bit even leaked in through the back doors, onto the floorboards (thank goodness for the all rubber flooring in that car- no carpet to get moldy from our exploits). The only damage to our car at the end of the outing was a missing chrome tire ring. Lesson learned- if you aren't going to "turn around, don't drown", then go slow but don't stop in the water. And take a car with rubber flooring.

A's office never closed, despite flooding (12 inches in the parking lot), being near the beach (wind and debris issues) and bridge closings. I understand that they needed SOME people there to support the other school locations, but still, they could have let the non essential people off work. A did take Friday off, but not many others did. My theory is that b/c the place is filled with big-ego'd pilots, they had to come in during terrible conditions just to prove themselves. But that's just my theory.
Overall, the storm wasn't too bad. Lots of rain and wind, but our house held up well. And we were only without power for about 7 hours. There is another storm off the coast that may hit Florida in a week, so we are keeping ourselves on alert and our pantry full. It was pretty darn nice to have 4.5 days off with nothing to do.

For now, it's back to the grindstone. I'm busy working through my 12 week GRE study program and lining up a trip to Tallahassee to visit. And Christmas is less than four months away. Our comittment this year is to buy all made in America or fair trade gifts. Nothing plastic from China. It's a lofty goal, so we're getting started early. Now if we could only convince Kidzilla that he doesn't really want plastic toys...


Anonymous said...

I nominated you for a Brillante Blog award. It's nothing serious (from what I can work out) but I enjoy reading your blog, and thought it wouldn't hurt to show some appreciation for your effort! :)

Anonymous said...

Looks like a fun blog. See mine also.

Anonymous said...

Life and strife of a pilot's wife