Hurricane Irma: My Experience

By Monday, November 13, 2017 0 No tags Permalink 0

This running joke of Florida being underneath of this horrifying hurricane never gets old. Specially in hurricane season. I myself find it hilarious. But this is not my first rodeo – aham, hurricane.

I have been living in Florida since 2000, and hurricane season is all summer long every year. Do we always get horrifyingly scary monsters like Irma? No. But there’s usually a threat for at least some storms AND/OR hurricanes that zoom by and destroy other states, which is equally horrifying.

Aside from the orange man who doesn’t believe in climate change, I have previously heard of intensification of these natural events and it only becomes really real when it’s in your doorstep. It was a very real and scary climate changing affected experience for almost ALL floridians.

We live in the southwest part of Florida which was right at the path of the hurricane right up until the night before. We were mandatory evacuated about 48 hours before hurricate hit on Sunday, and I left my house on Saturday morning (in path to Orlando, FL, which I thought would be fine). I really didnt want to leave…

I know our lives are priceless but it’s hard leaving your home behind! It’s an actual painful experience. We just recently remodeled our entire home and we were supposed to get that awful flood – we live in a floodzone, 2 miles from the bay and we were the best candidates for flooding.


So we dragged to leave and decided to leave last minute Saturday morning (Hurricane was due next day). All my friends and family (and the rest of the county!) had mostly already left at that point and roads were mostly clear. Here’s a quick schedule of what we did:

  • Friday > Mandatory evacuation, we had mostly packed everything
  • Saturday am > Grabbed kids, dog & left bound to Orlando, FL
  • Got to Orlando 1pm Saturday
  • Lost contact with our friends 3pm Sunday afternoon in Fort Myers area
  • Orlando got no power Sunday night and got hit most of the night
  • Woke up in Orlando on Monday morning made our bags and left for home

Mind you Orlando was still under curfew until 3pm – I guess so they could clear roads and whatnot. So far so good then the actual fun started….

My wonderful, incredible husband did not put gas in my car. I repeat: no gas. 

So we left Monday am, anxious to go home and we were going to ran out of gas with a baby, a bulldog in the middle of the interstate. That’s how planning should not go, take notes, kids.

Because since most of Florida had already evacuated, there were a ton of gas stations already with no fuel, but the problem on Monday was ELECTRICITY!!! The pumps don’t work with no power. Please take more notes.

So we left and we tried going out of our way in maybe 12 different places on the interstate, which were all closed or no gas, then when we were running on fumes, the very last exit, 4 hours into a 3 hour trip, we found gas, hallelujah! Right before I killed my husband! We were going to wait for my father, a wiser, more experienced man who also left Orlando and was going to bring us gas he had, at a McDonalds, they said there’s a gas station open down the road. A WALA saved our asses!

We made it home in another hour or so, our city had some downwires, and trees, our house also, our pool screen ripped but thankfully no water made in.

Our home had no power for 12 days! We were one of the last willy wonka slot freeslotscentral neighborhoods to get power that I know of. I ended up going back to our Orlando apartment with the kids and staying there until we got power. Because living in Summerland without power is TOUGH!

So one more hurricane we survived! We took precautions needed and all went well. I am always amazed at how quick and painless the reconstruction and rebuilding functions here in the US. Fortunately, being an immigrant, you always look at it with humble eyes and are grateful that things do work well here (vs Puerto Rico, for example).




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