First I want to thank everyone for the well wishes, as Debbie said in her comments, we've been through this before, more times than I can count.We are as prepared as possible and other than a low level stress, we're not really worried. This hurricane is a cat. 1 coming through below us, we are on the "dirty side" which means we'll have high winds and lots of rain. We know when to throw the dogs in the car and get out.
Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of Andrew, there was a mandatory evacuation of the Keys and since shelters don't take dogs, we ended up in a motel in Miami. That was as far as we could go since the roads out of South Florida were parking lots. That motel was torn down around us. Cori was very young and we had her in the bathtub in a soft nest of the bedding, while David and I held the door closed fighting the storm, she slept. And for a month after she woke up screaming with night terrors.
CNN reported that the Keys were gone and we had no way of letting our families know we were safe. It took us four hours to drive 30 minutes, all we wanted was to go home and when we finally got here, all was well, no electricity for weeks and no drinking water, but the Keys have the most amazing people. We had a thermos of coffee on our front porch every morning from a neighbor who had a generator. We had two gallons of water delivered every day from another friend. I took every cooler I could collect and had them filled with ice everyday from a local fisheries and delivered them to neighbors. That store wasn't open for business, but they made ice every day and gave it away. Thank you Jack Hill.
This is my neighbor's house, the entire street went in and cleaned his yard, he was on emergency call for and couldn't get home to do it. His wife didn't speak English and just stared at us all when we showed up with chain saws.
We dragged the picnic table out to the front of the house and every night all the neighbors came together and we grilled up whatever was defrosting in our freezers. Lots of lobster and fish, we are a fishing community.
This is my back yard with my cute little shed, that tree laid right across the roof and protected a bunch of my orchids that were under it.
Another friend had a Vegas vacation planned and flew out with names and numbers of families and called every one of them to let them know we were all safe. My mother cried when she finally met her, she was a hero for my mom.
My next door neighbor's yard, the wind hung that chair on there.
I have some of the best and worst memories from storms. My college roommate calls for every storm and asks how I can live here. Because it's one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen and I'm proud to live here.
The pictures are from hurricane Mitch who missed us, but threw tornadoes our way. Five tornadoes touched down, some in my neighborhood, but across the highway was a trailer village, it was pretty much destroyed. About a week after this I was in K Mart and the cashier asked me if we were all O.K. I couldn't understand how she knew, but she'd seen me on the news from the helicopters, all I could think was OMG how was I dressed, I must have been filthy.
TIP: If there are news helicoptors over head, dress nice. LOL
I have no pictures from Andrew, although I had my camera, I was too shell shocked and it felt like an intrusion to take pictures of the devastation. I still don't regret it.