Saturday, September 18, 2004

Hurricane Ivan

9-14-04 I went to the office this morning and handled two customers and then helped to secure our office. Luke got up and went to get the wood to board up the house. I got off work about 1 and went to the bank and then went to Walmart for supplies. We came home and began boarding up the house. About 7 my dad called and told me that my Aunt Liss had passed away. She was like a second mother to me and we are going to have to wait until after the storm to make arraignments. She was 98 years old but it is still extremely hard.

9-15-04 10:46pm Winds are about 40mph sustained 70mph gusts. Luke is outside doing Indian chants. The first chant he did was a funeral march and the winds seemed to start ragging. When he started the next song that was a happy chant the storm seemed to calm some. Very strange. It is an amazing thing to sit on the porch and watch the winds bend oak tree branches. We are getting gust that actually seem to almost blow you over. The rain is not that hard yet.

9-16-04 12:20am We have setup camp in the hall at this point. We are still waiting. They are saying that the storm surge is going to come right up Mobile Bay. They are expecting a 16ft storm surge which would flood all of downtown Mobile up past Broad Street which is only a couple of blocks from my house. It has always been a joke when someone asks me about flooding in my area I always say I am not worried about my house flooding because if my house flooded all of downtown Mobile would be under water. The eye is suppose to come through around 3:00am now but we will start getting the bad wind and rain within the hour. Ivan is still a Category 4 storm.

4:00am At the last few minutes before landfall the storm wobbled to the west and the eye began to fall apart some. This put the storm surge at Gulf Shores and the worst hit was that area and Pensacola, Florida. It was a category 3 when it made landfall with 135mph sustained winds. From what we are hearing part of the beach road in Gulf Shores is completely washed away and an old very popular landmark bar the Flora Bama was almost completely destroyed. The storm surge came into Fort Morgan and has flooded inland over a mile. Ono Island has 8 feet of water in all the homes and the bridge leading over is not safe to travel on. In Pensacola the main bridge on I-10 leading accross the water has big section missing. We ended up being on the west side of the storm and didn't get much of anything. We did have high wind gusts and rain but nothing like we were bracing for. The streets around my house are flooded up past the curbs but it doesn't look like any of the houses are affected.

6:00am There is a lot of debris everywhere and a lot of smaller trees are uprooted. Our power went out last night around 7:30pm and still is not back on. It could be a while until we get power back because there are 80% of the residents of Mobile County without power. We are under a mandatory curfew from 6pm to 6am to cut down on looters. We are lucky because we have a gas stove and hot water heater so we are able to cook and take showers. We got up this morning and went to look at the damage in town. There were a lot of small trees down and some of the awning from the businesses were torn off the buildings but it did not look bad at all. We came back home and took some of the boards off the windows so we could have some light and air. The wind is still gusting pretty bad. Tomorrow we will clean up the debris in the yard and take down the rest of the boards.

8:00pm Having no power really sucks. We sat around and I drank some beer and Luke drank two bottles of wine and was a little drunk. Luke and Gavin took the dog and decided to go for a walk. It is so dark you can't even see the house across the street. They went around the neighborhood and visited some of the neighbor that were sitting on their porches to keep cool. When they got back Luke said he had to go see someone and would be back soon. I went to sleep and about 3am I woke up and he was still not back. When he left he was on foot and it is so dark outside I was really worried. My phone was dead so I went to get Gavin's but Luke did not answer. I got my keys to go out and put my phone on the car charger to see if he had left a voice mail and realized his car was gone. Because of the curfew I then started thinking he may be in jail. There was no message so I came back in the house trying to figure out what to do. A few minutes later I heard the car. He had gone off to a friends house and drank hot whiskey. He got out of the car and puked in the yard a couple of times. I am extremely mad. It is so dark and all our windows are wide open so anything could have happened and he left us here and did not even tell us he was going to be gone all night. Asshole.

9-17-04 8:30am Well day 2 with no power. We got up and cleaned up the debris out of the yard. Walmart was open so we went to restock our sodas and beer. We are lucky because we are able to get ice from the clubs where Luke works. The power came on for about 2 minutes this morning but went right back off. They are talking about opening the club tonight if the police will let them or if they lift the curfew.

8:30pm Gavin and I were out on the porch Luke had gone out to get pizza. Luke came around the corner of the house and the power came back on you could hear cheering from blocks around. Now things can get back to normal.


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