Irma Recovery: Day #2 – Life as a Starfish Kid…

Did you ever read that little story about the kid walking down the beach throwing starfish in the water, when the old man says he can’t save all of them, so why bother?  Well, that a parable for Day #2 in Irma’s impact zones.  That parable also explains why this follow-up is reaching y’all well after midnight on Sept. 13th.

[Hurricane relief work is a little like keeping a farmers schedule. As I understand it, the work schedule of a farmer extends the necessary shift until the job is done, which has entirely nothing to do with a clock…]

I said yesterday I thought that 50% of the residents of South Florida might be home.  I was wrong.  That estimation was overstated. Maybe a third of the regular residents were home on Day #1 – a few more showed up today (Day #2)…. and based on south-bound traffic observed, a whole bunch more are in in route tonight.

They ain’t going to like what awaits.

First things first.  Yes, we found fuel – it took driving past 47 empty gas stations to find one open with fuel.   More than 100 cars (easily) were around the block for this station at 8am.  We dispatched a volunteer to wait in line, and went about doing what we could w/out fuel, SCOUT.  Three hours later 40 ten gal cans caught up with us.  Oh, and another station opened around noon.

Tonight the police were not only escorting gas, but local police were guarding the gas stations upon arrival (saw it first hand).  Somehow fuel has reached such a valued commodity that even the rumor of a delivery sends the fuel starved swarm into a frenzy.  Controlling that swarm is now added duty of police.  At approximately the same time as a 3,000 gallon tanker driver removes his hose from the ground intake, the tanks he just filled run dry.  You’ve just got to see fuel piranhas in action, to believe it.

Grown women driving SUV’s, whip out 2 jerry cans and are more than willing to throw down the Mad Max gauntlet if that’s what it takes to keep their babies formula cold. There ain’t no class society structure here.  It’s beyond Thunderdome.  Hence the police directing pump flow, and trying to stave off the tired, desperate guy with a shotgun, running on fumes, who has had enough of waiting eight hours for a possible chance at gas pump lotto.

The first birds returned today.  Weird to notice a bird making a noise, then realizing you haven’t heard a bird chirp in two days.  I wonder where they go?

♦ Have you ever seen a 200 person outside line -wrapping all the way around the building-  for a possible seat in a Waffle House?  Methinks it ain’t the pancakes.  Remember, only about a third of the town-folk stayed/arrived.  Now imagine that 200 person line tripled; imagine those gas lines tripled; imagine SUVMom -vs- Mad-Max-Shotgun-Guy TRIPLED.

Two thirds of local residents, who left with ZERO prep, return to discover what smells like a rotting carcass in their fridge, and no air conditioning, ….Yeah, one might imagine the next few days could be rather sketchy nerves for more than seats at the Waffle House…

♦ When we are looking for root problems, one of the boots-on-the-ground tricks is to follow the collective hum of generators.  •Question: You got power?  Answer: No?  •Question: Do you know why you have no power? Answer: (variations of words used to describe what happens when a cow licks you square in the forehead and someone asks you why).

With most hurricane power outages you can find something, usually a tree, that has actually severed the top power line on a neighborhood grid.   If the tree is massive, with or without taking down the pole, the tree has to be removed first.  If the power company has to remove a tree before they can restore power to an ordinary residential neighborhood, they drop the priority to “some later time”, and move on to quicker repairs…  Ergo most of those without power, end Day #3 (September 13), will not see power until their rotation on the tree removal list comes up; sometime around the end of the month (two weeks away), or later.

Insurance companies (via quick claims settled to contracted tree removal), or a bunch of fast action roughnecks with chainsaws, can both deliver the identical amount of relief and speed up the process. Bob, Jeff, Phyllis, Gus, Gustav, Erik, Jose and Baby Francesca, found out today how that works.  Gustav’s tree, though he willingly disclaims ownership, took down Bob, Jeff, Phyllis and about 50 other people’s electricity service.  Jose, a young chap wrecked with guilt and a 6 month old baby, happened to be custodian of another tree that took down the electrical convenience of about 150 more.

Gustav’s tree, a well saturated Australian Pine, is about the dimension of a gasoline tanker trailer in the parts that matter.  Jose’s oak tree, one of the reasons Grandma told him to buy that specific house-while harboring visions of cradling her new grand-baby underneath it’s shade, is even more awe inspiring. Well, that is, if it wasn’t the cause of so much damage.   FUBAR.  Both jobs need cranes, slings, major league heavy equipment rental, eminent domain/easement use and two 6 men crews for two full days etc.

•Problem #1) 84-year-old Phyllis, whose kids don’t call her any more, needs her medication chilled and wears a CPAP to sleep at night.  •Problem #2) Jose family w/baby Francesca needs her formula cold etc.  = No power two weeks.  √Solution: move Mr. and Mrs Jose, w/ baby into my house to care for Ms. Phyllis who also needs power.  One generator + two family problems solved = a neighborhood.

♦ On my way North today I did see about 20 fuel tankers headed South.  Unfortunately I also saw one tanker with an armed escort being followed by a blood thirsty wolf pack tracking his cargo just to be first in line for the swarm.   Hopefully the fuel piranhas can be satiated in a few months or a million+ tanker trucks, whichever comes first.  According to FEMA as heard on radio interview, the collective power companies need 800,000 gallons per day, just to keep their crews operating in Florida…. Do the math.

I also saw a massive convoy of power company trucks headed down I-75 from the upper East Coast (they must have crossed I-4).  There’s lots of resources flowing…

Right now our priority remains just keeping people moving forward, or at least looking forward.  There are tremendous challenges in front of a great deal of really good decent people.  It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the scope of the challenge and allow the sheer enormity of it to drown you.    Don’t let it.

Every day, every hour, every minute… the goal is the same; just one step.  Don’t look at what cannot be solved, look at what can.

Please check in on your neighbors.  Please reach out to friends and family in Texas (Harvey), and/or Florida (Irma).   Just let them know they matter, and despite the yuck of all this mess – they are cherished.  The most inconsequential of life’s ordinary scheduled tasks can seem like a daunting challenge when cast against the backdrop of these crises.

You don’t have to operate a chainsaw.  Help someone to see just the next step forward.  Pick up a prescription for someone.  Make them a sandwich.  Give a can of fuel to someone who has that annoying whir of a generator running.  Wash someone’s car, or offer to do their laundry. Pay attention to the conversations around you.  Try to do something you find of value.

Be “Starfish-kid”…

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383 Responses to Irma Recovery: Day #2 – Life as a Starfish Kid…

  1. NJF says:

    You are an inspiration Sundance. Along with your crew you are truly making a difference.

    As I type this, FBN is showing a viral video of a nun with a chainsaw, helping to clear trees on fla!

    Liked by 23 people

    • magatrump says:

      Prayers for you SD and your family. Prayers for all of Florida. You are doing God’s work SD. God bless you SD.

      Liked by 5 people

    • 7delta says:

      I had to sign in just to like this video. I’m not Catholic, but there is something about nuns and priests in their traditional dress that touches my heart. Yes, there are bad apples, but they’re the minority and I don’t want to talk about them or the dark shadow they cast over the good right now. Doesn’t excuse terrible individual behavior or diminish the pain the bad apples caused, but they don’t represent the calling to serve. I want to recognize the majority that have dedicated their lives to being God’s love in action and this nun’s representation of all the good folks trying to help. Thanks for posting the video. Besides, how can anyone not love a nun with a chainsaw?

      Liked by 6 people

      • @7delta. As a Catholic, I thank you for this comment. It is balm to my spirit. God bless you and yours.

        Liked by 1 person

        • 7delta says:

          My dad was a Southern Baptist minister. He and my mother taught my brother and me that God loves all His children equally. It’s not what’s on the outside or whether someone goes to our church that counts. It’s what’s on the inside that matters. My parents loved my Catholic friends the same as they did my Protestant buddies. My dad used to smile slyly and ask my friends if their priest stepped on their toes at Mass, since a throbbing toe meant he was looking after them. A good earthly shepherd.

          Throughout my life, many of my closest friends have been Catholic. I’ve been to Mass many times. I love the priests and nuns I’ve met. Really good caring people with a mission from God they take seriously. They have always treated me with love and kindness. Been in several Catholic weddings too. Don’t let anybody tell you priests and nuns aren’t any fun…within reason, of course. I can think of a few who were really funny and entertained us all. With love and laughter, they soothed nervous brides and grooms and had the wedding party smiling all the way through some very long services. Great weddings, I must say.

          Liked by 1 person

      • NewNonna!!! says:

        Thank you, 7delta. You’ve put into words my feelings every time the media reports an abuse (allegedly) perpetrated by a priest. There ARE bad apples in EVERY profession. And they do not, and SHOULD not, be thought of as representing all professed who wear a Collar.

        As a Catholic, I look biased when I try to share that thought. I appreciate a non-Catholic coming forward sharing your POV. Just saying…

        Liked by 3 people

        • 7delta says:

          There ARE bad apples in EVERY profession.

          Yes, there are. We all fall short, some are just shorter than others, but you’re exactly right that the shortest of all do not represent the good guys or the God they profess to serve.

          Like

      • amwick says:

        Did you hear about the Holy Rollers??? I am not making that up… 3 guesses, 2 don’t count. 🙂

        Like

  2. Matt Musson says:

    Maybe Sundance needs to change name to Starfish?
    Good man.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Prayers continue for all hit by Fires, Floods, Winds, and Earthquakes! Checking in on our peeps in those areas, just letting them know we are thinking of them and the prayers continue.

    Liked by 7 people

  4. mw says:

    Continuing to pray, Sundance. Treepers, can you teach me about proper, safe storage of gasoline. Just keep in trunk? Also, looked at a generator and thought, where in heck would I put it? Im in an apartment on a second floor with a porch. Open porch except for roof, is that even safe?

    Following Irma, I bought plastic bins to store my supplies, which I will now beef up with more food and water. Hoping Jose ain’t visiting SC but want to be ready.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Judith says:

      Generators must be used in a well-ventilated area, so the porch would be ideal. Never set up a generator inside your home. Asphyxiation. Storing gas is problematic in an apartment building. I guess your car would be okay for the short term, as long as you’re not driving it around and get into a collision.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Alison says:

        I don’t think what you are suggesting is safe. Ventilation might not be adequate (especially if enclosed porch or roof). Multiple unit dwellings endanger many residents when one resident does something risky. MW needs to check local regulations, his lease, and talk with property manager.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Katherine says:

      No, that’s not safe (generator under a roof)!

      Liked by 3 people

    • booger71 says:

      Never drive around with a gas can in your trunk (unless just transporting from gas station) Gas fumes are highly explosive and can be set off by static electricity, plus the fumes would be unbearable. Check with your Apt manager concerning keeping a generator. Most apartment building in SW MO has now outlawed having a gas grill on decks. Some apartment complexes have individual locked storage for residents. If you are serious about riding out a storm in an apartment complex, food and water is your number one concern. If you have that covered, you can get by without electricity for several days

      Liked by 1 person

    • MfM says:

      Look at the butane one burner stoves. They say they shouldn’t be used inside, but for a little cooking now and then with a window open they have been fine for me. They are used a lot in buffet lines for doing things like omelets at breakfast. You can get them on line, a Restaurant Store or at an Asian Market.

      Like

    • frugaldowneaster says:

      In the future:1. Never let your gas tank get below half
      2. Find a source for ethanol free gas. (Ethanol gas has a shelf life of only 90 days). It also gives you less power, less gas mileage, screws up small engines and older cars).
      3. Pri-g is an additive that will allow 1 year storage of gasoline.
      4. Rotate your stored gasoline every 3 to 6 months.

      Liked by 2 people

    • mw says:

      Thanks, y’all! I normally do not plan to stay. Originally planned to leave on Friday, but then, the place I had a reservation was then in the outskirts of Irma (Greenville SC). I thought, well, I’ll go there, then move on to Knoxville if need be, and then Knoxville was in path of storm. Then my part of the coast was said to be out of harm’s way. So much so that people from Florida actually ended up evacuating to my area (though we had originally expected a direct hit).

      For future, I want to be prepared to stay or to leave, and also, to have supplies available upon my return if I do leave. Best purchase in advance was battery operated cell phone charger, and piles of batteries.

      The best help to me has been an even-handed, rational, honest local meteorologist. Worth his weight in gold. Want to send him a present.

      Liked by 4 people

    • Trish in Southern Illinois says:

      Fueless generators are an option.
      I have a small one that can be kept charged with AC before it’s needed and after no AC with the solar panel it came with.
      The best one I’ve seen so far, is the one that Jim Bakker offers on his show…even comes with an EMP bag, low watt microwave, electric blanket, hand crank for cloudy days, and 2 solar panels. Its pretty awesome.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Southern Son says:

      Sta-Bil mixed thoroughly(add b4 filling), for gas storage.
      I don’t like the Trunk storage (fumes/explosion or breathing), but if on your porch, try to shade it somehow.
      Keep in mind, it will still build pressure in the heat of the day. So relieve it before transport.

      Like

    • Delilah says:

      Plastic containers can still allow mice and other vermin to get in there and destroy your food, and they will find a way in there. Trust me. For that reason, we learned how to do canning. You can also dehydrate anything and then store it in canning jars. Or just buy some MRE’s.

      But for your purposes, you’d be better off just getting a Hibachi and some coal and going out into the grassy area to barbecue your food. Your landlord won’t mind. And you can make a fun time out of a bad situation.

      Liked by 2 people

      • maiingankwe says:

        An old friend uses cayenne pepper to cover her sealed food in plastic containers on the inside and out to prevent critters from getting in. I don’t know if it works, but I do know she is quite the prepper. Great lady too. She plans on making enough food for her neighbors if there is ever a time of need. It’s who she is. She has enough food to feed an army for at least a week if not more.

        She started using the cayenne pepper years ago; I better call her to see if it has worked.

        Thanks for your suggestions.

        Liked by 2 people

        • bessie2003 says:

          Please let us know what your friend has found out about using the cayenne pepper. It sounds interesting!

          Liked by 1 person

          • maiingankwe says:

            I will. She’s working right now, so I will try when she gets home. She’s quite the talker too, so I’m seeing a long phone call. Heck, I’m sure I will learn a thing or two from her as usual. It’s all good.
            Take care Bessie, and I will let you know.

            Liked by 1 person

            • bessie2003 says:

              Thank you. Have fun catching up with your friend.

              Like

              • maiingankwe says:

                I talked to her as briefly as I could with the promise of calling her back later this evening to catch up. Here is what she said.

                Yes, it does work. She only puts it on the outside and then she uses dry ice on top. The dry ice will take out all of the air to keep it longer.

                She also puts basil in there claiming all insects hate basil.

                She also said all spiders despise mint. So, she will spray the tires of her RV with mint mixed with water so no spiders get in. She said they come in through the top of the tires. She sprays it at the entrances too.

                She is literally a walking and talking encyclopedia. When I told her she needed to write a book, she asked me to write it for her. She likes my writing too. How she remembers my writing I have no clue. It’s been years since we have seen each other and a couple of years since we have spoken. However, I do think she is on to something and I would love to help her out. I can’t wait to talk to her later.

                On the mint, I would guess one could use either what we find in a bottle in the bakery section or what they use for aromatherapy.

                If I didn’t explain something well enough, please don’t hesitate to tell me. I’m writing this quickly because I have far too many things left to do.

                Stay smiling and be well,
                Ma’iingankwe

                Liked by 1 person

                • Ad rem says:

                  LOL… maiingankwe, I always get a mental picture of you doing three things at once, while at the same typing comments to the Tree House. I don’t think there are enough hours in the day for all the stuff you want to do…right?

                  BTW…where were you when I posted all the cupcake pictures on the Open last week? We missed you. 😦

                  Liked by 2 people

                • bessie2003 says:

                  Thanks for the follow-up. This is a fountain of information; didn’t know that about basil either.

                  The book idea sounds like it will be a great collaboration. Having information from experience, that others can relate to how it came about, I can see your writing abilities inserting her side stories of how she came to the tried but true of things, would be well received.

                  And am definitely going to use the mint information; the weather is starting to change here, northern Nevada, the time of year where spiders like to find warm houses to winter in!

                  Looking forward to hearing if the book comes together.

                  Liked by 1 person

                • maiingankwe says:

                  Ad ten, I am ever so sorry! I kept checking the Open Thread it was originally on. I must’ve looked a dozen times that day and checked my email to see if it had worked and gone through. I am ever so sorry to have missed it.

                  Some nights I am so busy. I do most of my work starting either at five am, or later that morning and don’t stop until I go to bed. Well, I actually have to read for an hour to unwind before I can sleep, but before that he am usually running and yelling there are not enough hours in my day.

                  How do you know I am known for typing to CTH as I’m walking up and down the stairs, and usually between laundry and cooking? I’m serious! You must be psychic. It’s so hard for me to sit down and type sometimes. It’s why I make so many grammatical errors I think. I’m always listening to Sarah Sanders while I’m in the kitchen or laundry too. Her voice follows me around as I’m moving through the house or driving down the road. It’s how I get to watch all of the interviews on a Sunday too. I’m not a fan of Chris Wallace, so it makes it easier when I don’t have to look at him. 😜

                  I cannot believe I missed one of my most important moments of you sharing those cupcakes. You must’ve done it the smart way and done it on the forwarding day right? I’m going to go back and look. Huh, I even thought I looked on that night too, but there weren’t many posts when I had. I even told the Dad of one of the girls I had sent you pictures. He was so happy.

                  Did you like the one of Ella and the one with Ella and Cheetah in the front seat waiting for me to give them a ride? Too funny. Those two have filled my life with so much Love and I’m always cracking up with them or dancing when I’m sad to bring my spirits up.

                  You really pegged me right on the always doing three things at once. I learned that trick bartending. Usually it may only be two, but it’s how I get things done quicker and more efficiently. I’m trying to teach my daughter, but it’s not working out very well right now. She’d rather come back multiple times than do it all at once and save steps. It’s a work in progress. 😊

                  Be well and thank you so much for taking the time to post those cupcakes. I will be smarter and better prepared for the next time. Have an amazing day and stay smiling,
                  Ma’iingankwe

                  Like

              • maiingankwe says:

                She also sprays borac acid behind her fridge and stove since it’s poisonous to children and all pets. However, whatever bug, rodent, insect or spider that goes there will bring it back to its nest and poison all others. Please note, these are the only two places she sprays it in the home because it is seriously poisonous. However, she had me cracking up when she seriously asked me how the heck a child or pet will ever be able to get behind those two places.

                I did call her back later and we spoke for over an hour. She is a yuuge President Trump supporter and prays for him on a daily basis along with his family and so forth. She knows the Bible forwards, backwards and can recite at will pretty much any verse in there. I’m serious. I’ve never seen anything like it. I guess she was raised as a preacher child and she said she had no choice but to be able recite on demand.

                She kinda backed off the book for a bit last night. She has led a very colorful life and there are many parts she would not want share. I know a little tiny bit of it and I can see her point. However, when I pushed the sharing of knowledge on all of her natural remedies, medicines and so forth, she came around, especially leaving something for her now eleven grandchildren. She had her eleventh late last night. She also believes we really don’t have much time. So we should all be prepping and be prepared.

                She has like 60 bottles of iodine tincture, forty gallons of gas at any given time, diesel, and propane. Not to mention all of the rice and everything else she has collected over the years.

                Most of her knowledge comes from watching her Elders and seeing what they did after WWII. One example she shared was a metal garbage can lined with brown paper and stacked completely full of bags of sugar. She also pushed Ghee to make a type of butter replacement (I have to look it up). She claims most chefs have it on hand and it’s essentially a Peruvian medicine that tastes really good.

                There was a great deal more of knowledge she shared, but she doesn’t want me to write about it because people will think she stark raving mad. Let’s just say she believes the leaders of the world who really control things want a smaller population. She gave examples of the UN and their Agenda 21 and so forth. She said she’d was done trying to convince people and the question she has now is does she want stupid people left fighting or the smart ones. Hey, it’s who she is. Anything can happen and she and her family will be well prepared to see anything through. We just need to get a lot of her information written down on paper just in case anything happens to her, so her family can thrive.

                I know this all sounds a bit off the wall, but she is one of the smartest ladies I have ever met. She does her research and she is thorough. Yes, there are some parts I may not agree with, but it’s just me. I’ve learned to always take what she says seriously since she’s been right more often than not. Plus, she has so many great ideas in preserving foods, making natural medicines for all ailments and so many other things to make our lives better and healthier. God provides for us, and as she said when talking about the iodine tincture, we must keep our cups full.

                The iodine tincture is to be used on the inner thigh or inner and upper arm. If the color goes away in less than 24 hours than our body needs it. If the color stays, our cup is full.
                Gotta run, stay smiling and have a beautiful day,
                Ma’iingankwe

                Liked by 1 person

                • bessie2003 says:

                  Thanks.

                  I have friends like this. They make life interesting, and for sure keep me on my toes when it comes down to “well, what are you doing about it?” discussions.

                  She sounds like she has a fount of information beyond the more popular prepping things folks do. Glad you were able to reconnect. Who knows, a little booklet may come out yet!

                  Have a wonderful day too!

                  Like

    • jim says:

      Costco has a very good 7000 watt generator that runs on gas or PROPANE. Get about four 30 gallon propane tanks (1/2 again larger than what is used for a bbq) and you’re good for about two weeks.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Lumina says:

      Be sure to rotate out you emergency food supply. I am cleaning out my pantry & found my old, old earthquake food stash buried in the back corner. If an earthquake didn’t kill us the food would have. Cans had leaked & bulged. Straight to the trash. We have newer dehydrated food and have well marked the outside of plastic tote with use by date.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. HBD says:

    I have a lineman neighbor who’s crew from an area co-op electrical company is on their way to Gainesville,Fl area to help get power restored. This is from NE Mississippi. They left this morning.

    Liked by 9 people

    • Judith says:

      Those volunteer crews truly are a Godsend. After a week with no power, we finally saw a truck restoring power to our neighborhood. But it left without completing the job, leaving many of us to deal with broken poles and downed trees to clear (and many weeks to wait) before a crew would be back.

      I strongly suggest that people assess where the damage is and clear those trees away, if you can. Don’t be the one who watches the power truck drive off. (I chased him on foot for a mile. But, then again, I am a crazy person).

      That’s where me and Donald Trump have a lot of common ground. Something about the impossible being just a starting point?

      Liked by 9 people

      • GWB says:

        But be very careful clearing trees from downed power lines. Just because they’re down and not providing power further down the line does NOT guarantee they aren’t still hot. So, be careful, avoid the lines themselves, and watch for things to spring back when you cut a portion of a tree (it could be the tree spring back, or the power lines).

        Liked by 6 people

      • El Torito says:

        If a tree took down a power line, it could be resting on a live line. You stay away, you can’t help people if your dead. Terrible advice.

        Like

    • NebraskaFilly says:

      A friend of mine here in NE who works for the electric company is on his way with a caravan of utility trucks/personnel as we speak.

      Liked by 4 people

  6. freddiel says:

    God bless you, Sundance. Sending up prayers for all in Florida.

    Liked by 6 people

  7. tvollrath66 says:

    Power is still out at my house too. Walmart and grocery stores have been shut since sat. I run out of propane for the grill last night. I still have some charcoal and walmart weber knockoff. So all is not lost.lol. Duke energy sent a email saying power may take a week or more. I will be washing clothes 24/7 when it comes back on. It is so hot in the day and at nighttime in the house. I’m thankful it is cool this morning. These block and brick houses are strong to save you from winds, but are like a fire brick oven without a/c. They really hold the heat. You have to go outside and find you some shade under the trees you were worried about falling on you Sunday.
    I have not seen any news. Well my phone was dead but I was trying to find some news about my area. Nothing yesterday. I guess I will look again today. All the hotels are still booked in this area. One we went to because the phone didn’t work was closed because his power was out.
    It would be nice just to take a hot shower and kick back and soak up some a/c and watch some news or just not worry about your phone dying. A cold drink would also be nice. Lol. Funny how you take little things for granted. Maybe I will try some cold instant coffee. It sounds pretty good right now although I can’t imagine why. I’m am still very thankful that none of us here got hurt. That is all that really matters.
    I was always told “Hard times just makes you stronger”

    Liked by 21 people

    • Judith says:

      The difference, from my disaster to yours, was that one side of town was basically unaffected. Losing power is a challenge, but not like losing your house. That doesn’t just come back with the flick of a switch.

      That said, all I wanted that first day was one cup of coffee. Once I got that, I could deal with everything else. Take it one day at a time. Hopefully your power will be restored in a reasonable time frame.

      When I got back into my home, I cooked a big meal for families across town who had lost everything. That one meal symbolized so much. We all cried because, with everything else they were dealing with until that point, they hadn’t realized how much they missed the simple things like a home-cooked meal, and walking in to the familiar aroma of food.

      These people were truly desperate, and I did everything in my power to help them in the days and months that followed.

      Liked by 11 people

    • JC says:

      So glad you checked in with us, tvollrath66, and that you and household are safe. You and your sweet dog made it through, and I’m so relieved.

      Sounds miserable to be so hot, have no power and no phone. Here’s to sipping a cold iced tea (or beer) while sitting in front of a purring washer and dryer in a cool house – soon! I must admit that when it comes to “hard times making you stronger,” I’ve often thought I’d trade some of that strength for some comfort… and room service.

      God bless you and your family and, again, I’m so glad you’re all right. 🤗

      Liked by 9 people

    • louche9 says:

      tvoll, After Hurricane Charley and over a week without power, I’ll never forget the overwhelming joy of seeing the gallant knights of Duke Energy working on power lines for the neighborhood we lived in at that time, hearing the “click” of the AC coming alive, and seeing the ceiling fans start turning. I ran out into the street and shouted, “Thank you!”, and I wasn’t the only one. Power companies are reviled in Florida, and rightfully so, but the linemen are still heroes.

      It’s coming. It’s amazing how fast things go downhill, but it’s equally amazing how quickly things return to normal. Soon, this will just be a bad memory.

      Liked by 3 people

  8. MIKE says:

    I remember gasoline rationing lines and odd-even days from a true man-made disaster; hurricane Carter.

    Liked by 23 people

  9. duchess01 says:

    Patience is a Virtue – A Virtue is a Grace – Put ’em both together – and You get a Happy Face! 🙂

    God Bless You abundantly, Sundance, for all you are doing to help and serve others!

    You are our Hero-in-the-Hurricane who is leading by example – Thanks so much for the update!

    Liked by 9 people

    • LafnH2O says:

      Dutchess01, 😁

      Storing up treasure in Heaven!

      Dear Lord, Sundance be comin with a convoy!!

      @Sundance’s General Store.

      Shopkeepers doorbell…. 🎶🎶🔔🎶🎶

      Do come in, fellow Traveller!! Do come in!
      Welcome.

      Weary, Traveler… “We’ve been….”

      Sundance… “I know. Ive been ‘expecting ya! ..What ya need!”

      The pic above… sez it all!!

      We. Support. YOU!!

      Even the fur-babies!!!

      Bless You!!

      Prayers for all!

      Liked by 4 people

      • duchess01 says:

        Oh, Laf – you are so precious AND excited! God Bless Your Heart! Hugs!

        Like

        • LafnH2O says:

          Ty, Duchess! 😊

          May the Lord, be with you and yours!! Always!!

          The company I contract with, headquartered in SWFL, is… as you might surmise… All Wet!
          Logistic systems “Nationwide” effected.
          Loaded trucks “sittin ’round” waiting to get on… with bidness!

          Everything old… is new again!! Lol

          Using “”pencils””.. with erasers 😁
          To write stuff down… HA!!

          Made it to the house. 🇺🇸

          Got a lil r&r on the books…
          Dontcha know!😎
          Happy to be “Grippin muh… twig”

          ‘Preciate ya!! 🎶

          Liked by 1 person

  10. TheLastDemocrat says:

    I have some thoughts on the unpreparedness.

    It may be based on maybe three things.
    The first is playing the odds. Each year, the odds are that you will not get hit by a hurricane. You win most of the time. If you do get hit, the impact is most likely to be low.

    People from different cultures. The Yankee snowbird transplants understand severe weather, as do long-time Floridians. But there are a lot of newly-arrived people in Florida who just have to learn the hard way before prepping more.

    Wealth. In my opinion, a major driver of our lifestyle and habits is our nation’s incredible wealth. We, overall, are amazingly efficient with distributing benefits of our amazing wealth. All of this disaster prep and disaster response is an example of wealth. In other countries, the wealth of the nation is not built into infrastructure the way it is here. They cannot mobilize, in a disaster, to have teams of electricity power grid crews, convoys of gas trucks, swarms of generators, many retail grocery teams and stock, to parade hundreds of miles to rescue within a day.

    Along the way, these response teams know they are largely safe from corrupt politicians and from pirates. They know they can find a hot meal and a bite to eat.

    This is the pleasure we enjoy from Rule of Law, and our Wealth.

    Wealthy individuals get to enjoy it. Also, the middle class, the lower/working class, the poor, and the very poor, all benefit from a society that has plenty of grease to keep the wheels of civilization running.

    When you hear that some portion of kids live in “food poverty,” play with that idea in your mind, and consider that their families do NOT have to have provisions for a week because they live in “food wealth:” they have means for accessing food even when they do not plan or work.

    When you hear that many families do not have money to handle a $500 emergency expense, consider that it is because the society has wealth nearby to accommodate. They come by my church and ask our charity bill-paying mission. And enjoy the fact that I and many others have wealth that flows to them neatly.

    Even a guy eating out of a trash can is doing well. Consider the meal at a decent restaurant you did not finish? It goes in the dumpster. That guy may not like basil and pesto pizza, with gluten-free crust, but it is not a bad meal if a beggar cannot be a chooser.

    There is an old saying: Why does a dog lick his balls? Because he can.
    Why do some people fail to prep and plan? Because they can.

    They can because we have massive, incredible wealth, and all can access it and benefit from it, in one way or another. Flip it around. Many behave a certain way not because they do not have means, but because they do.

    Liked by 14 people

    • rashamon says:

      LastDemocrat, your analysis is quite thoughtful. Access to other people’s wealth, planning and preparedness has made some in our society weaker and weaker over the years. This is no longer the country our forefathers founded; too many have the option of remaining childlike well past puberty and spending all their time ranting about being treated unfairly.

      “Unfairly” is a word of the privileged who have the time to contemplate the world from lofty positions while focusing on their navel. Life is not fair; one just learns to grow up and deal with it.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Judith says:

        “Life is not fair.” It depends how you look at it. I believe that life is always fair. With the rare exception of grace, we reap exactly what we sow. Hardships do not occur randomly, and they are not meant to punish. They simply mark where life meets us, in the lessons that grow our souls.

        Which lessons you receive depends upon where you are ready to grow in wisdom, kind of like grades in school. Some of us need lessons in relationships, others are more focused on extraneous pursuits for sustenance, like money. We’re all here for the same reason, but we are not all in the same growth stage.

        This is why we must cheer each other on, and not look too closely at discrepancies like romance and wealth. It is so much easier to accept your lot in life, when you realize it is exactly where you need to be at this particular time.

        Like

    • Delilah says:

      That wealth is a myth, just like the thin blue line.

      There was a study done that if the power grid in the US went down permanently it would wipe out 90 percent of Americans within the first three months, mainly due to bad water. That wealth would be so overwhelmed that it would crumble under the weight of need.

      South American countries would fare much better only because they haven’t forgotten how to survive like we have. This, what you see that Sundance has posted, is only the first signs of stress in such a situation.

      Liked by 2 people

      • 7delta says:

        I think what The Last Democrat and you are talking about, Delilah, are two different scenarios, with some localized intersections, but your point is valid about how many, if not most, Americans have forgotten the simplest of survival skills. Sadly, too many lack basic common sense these days. Deaths from a EMP or other grid disasters would not only be because people don’t know how to purify water to make it drinkable, but also because the advancements in medical science that keep a lot of people alive would fail too. In a widespread crisis like you’re talking about, you’re right, however, that in most cases, wealth would not be able to overcome the massive failure, at least not for many months, if not years. Then there’s the lawlessness, for the sake of lawlessness and the lawlessness of desperation that would take over.

        Food distribution is one of the many areas that would also fall apart in a worse-case scenario. It’s been decimated at the local level and we’re now mainly dependent on long-haul shipping from centralized industrialized farms and processing (as well as foreign production and processing shipped back here.) Interrupting that chain would be catastrophic too. The push to return local food production just isn’t sufficient, at this point, to feed the number of people it would need to. It’s a foolish and fragile system, but it’s easy to see why certain people would want that leverage over common folks.

        It’s also incredibly foolish and asinine that Congress, despite knowing the dangers of massive grid failure, whether manmade or an act of nature, have done absolutely nothing about hardening the grid or getting out of the way of people who would do it. See the last sentence of the previous paragraph.

        In a localized disaster, like TLD is talking about, it’s takes a few days to fully utilize resources, but they’re there and will get the system in the effected area back up and running. Even if isolated areas are slow getting their power back, once fuel and electricity is restored in surrounding areas and businesses are back up and running, the people in those remote areas will have access to essential needs, either by getting it themselves, temporary relocation or by essentials being brought in.

        Over all, your point is something that needs to be addressed and planned for at the personal, local, State and federal levels. Things need to change, but what Sundance says about trillions at stake is a roadblock here too. It’s all about who gets those trillions. The ones getting it now have no intention of sharing it with locals so they won’t die in a crisis.

        Liked by 5 people

    • Uncle Max says:

      Well said. Some folks are always unprepared, or didn’t take precautions or are completely dependent on others to help them…. because it usually works out for them. Almost always, someone does arrive to help them. The trick is to have more that help others than those that depend on others.

      Liked by 4 people

  11. georgiafl says:

    I had a balance on my PayPal account that I sent to CTH (see donate button on right side of screen) to help out with the relief efforts.

    Will send more when I can and urge other Treepers to give a little bit.

    There are hundreds of thousands who visit and 44K serious Treeper followers. If everyone gave a dollar, MUCH IMMEDIATE RELIEF could be purchased for SFL.

    I trust Sundance to use it as he sees fit for gas, chain saw blades, generators, tarps, plywood, repairs, groceries, diapers, first aid, etc.

    Plus, when you donate here in normal times, to help with research, FOIA requests, and other expenses, you get the best ever thank you note!

    Liked by 12 people

  12. woodstuff says:

    Was the Madmax wannabee with the shotgun at the gas station a Hillary voter?

    Liked by 3 people

  13. FofBW says:

    One starfish at a time, one step at a time, one day at a time.

    God’s will works in ways we cannot comprehend…….for now.

    Liked by 9 people

  14. Bob Thoms says:

    So you were able to get 400 gallons of gas ?

    Wow.

    Like

    • LafnH2O says:

      Mornin’, “BT”

      Sundance…
      Able to leap tall buildings…. 🛐🔱
      Imo

      King James Bible Matt 7/7

      “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:”

      Seems, Sundance…Has This!!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Sundance, Amazing story there..
    Reminds Me a lot when **Floyd** rolled into SENC…
    Essentially, New Hanover COUNTY, City of Wilmington proper; became a *ISLAND* in a sea of flooded destruction.. Surrounding counties were flooded preventing ingress/egress by way of the ONLY 3 routes in & out of the City/County
    There was *No-Way* in or out of the City/County until flood waters receded..
    Our “City” is feed power by way of ONE heavy Duty Power line(s) crossing the Cape Fear River coming from Brunswick Nuke plant, (below the State ports) those power lines were Damaged, As one of the Towers holding them up Mid-River had shifted, damaging the Power lines…
    Power AND gas was a scarce commodity..
    Even IF you got Gas… Where would you go?
    Many of US older Folks whom are Long time residents, are equipped with Gen-sets as are some of the Facilities, (Such as the Hospital)…
    Despite what-ever befallin US..MUCH to MY surprise…. there was NO LOOTING…
    Folks came together AS ONE helping each other out..
    Neighbors helping Neighbors, with what-ever WE could “collectively” do with-in OUR neighborhood..
    Many,, MANY of us helping out those folks in adjoining neighborhood(s) , helping those in need, tree removal/keeping things cold, or moving Elderly folks into a complete strangers home, keeping them cool if you had power…
    Some folks had resources to either POWER a couple gas station pumps,, OR had HAND OPERATED pumps that some would stick into the Gas, (or Diesel) tanks at said station(s) helping provide Gas/Diesel to those whom needed it the most, FREE of charge.. So folks & first responders could operate Generators etc..
    (background on this, a LOCAL businessman Cecil Worsely,, Whom owned the Scotchman stores here in the City, allowed this, for the community called out over a Local AM station for all hands on deck to make this happen)..
    City of Wilmington proper was without power for almost a week and a Half…
    Many of us in OUR local neighborhood, having DEEP Freezers full of Meats & veggies came together, having “block Party” cookouts, or providing Coffee/breakfast for Police & First Responders AND our Neighbors…
    Folks that weren’t able to cook they’re food were Welcomed to “cook” with those that had gas/propane, before things got spoiled..
    Folks ask & wonder WHY, Wilmington & SENC doesn’t have “AntiFa & protests”, like the Research Triangle in the Raleigh area(s) up state..
    I cannot answer that question..
    Though the Last 10 years, We have had numerous folks moving here from *Up NAWTH*, re Lefties that are trying to sow division & race recently into our city the past 10~15 years..
    Racism actually wasn’t a concern until those Lefties started beating those Drums & Dog Whistles, *virtue signaling* that Folks in our Fair City were “racist’s” due to something that happen 50 & 100+ years ago… re: The Wilmington 10 & the Riots of 1898..
    Again I want to repeat, We as a community & City came TOGETHER as ONE to prove to Folks around the County..
    WE GOT THIS!
    No Looting & no crime(s) were committed the entire time… During our ‘recovery”..
    Now,, if the same happened today, I’m thinking not so much…
    I pray & wish you and your community well Sundace..
    Sounds like you & your community have things partially “Under Control”..
    You might want to take a well needed VACATION after things get back to *Normal*, though that will take a few weeks/Month or 2…
    God Bless you & yours & your community Sundance..

    Liked by 5 people

  16. Does anyone have any updates on the conditions in the FL Keys?

    Liked by 1 person

  17. litlbit2 says:

    I love your “farmer” connection.

    Remember looking out the barn door at planting or harvest time. Muddy field, more rain forecast, cold temperatures next few weeks, equipment broke down, medical problems etc sometimes just overload.

    Although, the above is not meant to be compared to the task ahead of all those caught up in the storms path and damage, the end result will be the same.

    Americans, get’er done. Together

    God Bless all.

    Liked by 5 people

  18. alliwantissometruth says:

    One way to keep the faith & your sanity is, remember this will pass, & in the future you’ll have amazing stories to tell

    Right now it’s hard, but the misery won’t last. Things will start improving soon

    Hang in there everybody. Amazing Americans are putting it back together

    Liked by 6 people

    • singingsoul says:

      I think what helps is write every day into a journal . Write with your heart not mind. Just write what ever comes to mind let it flow.
      When you look back and read your journal in several months you will see the hand of God and see the steppingstones that have been placed before you. We are never alone even if we feel we are. God is working in you in those times . Just know you are never alone no matter what.
      God Bless everyone

      Liked by 2 people

  19. Pam says:

    Like

    • Jim says:

      That Hand in Hand benefit kept bringing up racism. I turned it on when Beyonce was talking and thought that was weird that she even brought up racism. Then the next actor again brought up racism. Then another. They kept mentioning that times of trouble bring people together. Yes I know that, the vast majority of people are not racists. The only reason they are brining it up is to stoke a voting block in the midterms. Dumb people are so easy to manipulate.

      Liked by 2 people

      • rashamon says:

        The mantra of the O’s administration: Never let an opportunity go to waste to divide people.

        Very rich and wealthy Hollywood come together to lecture others once again about how wonderful they are. It’s surprising they did not give out trophies to themselves for showing up.

        Liked by 6 people

    • Uncle Max says:

      I’m cynical. Will #handinhand spend their donations like the Clinton Foundation did for Haiti? $44 million will buy a lot of walking around money. How much will be spent on travel, expenses and staffing? The problem with huge money piles… they attract fraud, waste and abuse. Well meaning folks … starting thinking of legacy… salaries and projects… no, I don’t know the answer, except to spread the money around to known goodwill efforts.

      Liked by 2 people

      • LafnH2O says:

        Uncle Max
        https://www.whitehouse.gov/

        The President has made a variety of resources available to “lil ole”, you and me!

        I beleve you will find what you are looking for.. and more..

        God Bless!

        Like

      • Judith says:

        Good point. I believe that President Trump already defunded the national endowment for the arts and, since Americans are sick of their propaganda movies and their propaganda plays and their propaganda concerts, they must be running low on funds. Don’t send these pompous parasites any more of your hard-earned money. Just don’t.

        Like

    • Grandma Covfefe says:

      $44 million raised? the Clinton Foundation will be thrilled to receive it. What are the chances of the TX anf FL deplorables seeing a penny of it?

      Like

  20. allhail2 says:

    Great post.
    Explains why big chunks of our area have power back and we don’t. Mid size limb 15-18″ diameter) took out everything, landed end down and is standing about 25 ft up against another tree. Spaghetti on a plate looks more organized than these wires on ground.
    28′ ladder, long pole saw, other saws, truck with winch, 50 ft long 3″ and 4″ ratchet straps……..hmmmm, lots of options.

    Also, airport t-hangar power just came up. Now I can get to work trailer with second gen on board. Good news for other neighbors. My only rule, if you complain about the noise, no cord for you.

    Liked by 6 people

  21. Sundance = Leading by Example.

    Inspiration Winner: Find a way to help that generates LEVERAGE.
    (Create a multiplier effect.)

    Starter Thought: Find people who have what’s needed (skills, equipment, generators) and maximize their “time on targets” by providing food, services, fuel, funds, etc. that they would have to divert their time and resources to provide for themselves.

    Please share specific LEVERAGE examples you’ve used or seen, that Treepers can copy and share to multiply progress!

    Liked by 3 people

    • see what I posted upthread BlackNight..

      Liked by 2 people

    • CleanhouseinDC says:

      In the past, we had a massive wind storm here in the NW that took out power up here for days (in the cold NW winter I might add). Our power was out three days, but the generator kept us with some power (including the wood stove fan, while we and a some friends stayed in our living room with some warmth and power. Even set up a power cord outside for our neighbors to use to charge phones or electronics they had.

      As soon as the power came back on, We dropped off the generator at some friends who used for another day and a half. And when they came on. I let them lend it to friends of theirs who had no power. Over two weeks, that generator made its way around to a whole lot of folks in town, some of who I still don’t know, but sure made their lives a little bit better.

      Liked by 5 people

      • Dad's son says:

        And THAT’S where the term “rolling generator relief” comes from. If you give a donated generator to one family, the good it does ends as soon as that family’s power comes back on. If you LOAN the generator, and ask them to call you when their power’s back up so that you can move it to the next family, then that same generator can roll down the road and multiply the help to a lot more people.

        Generators are much better off loaned, rather than donated, during hurricanes, because they can take advantage of this multiplier factor. And you’d be surprised how honest people are, by and large, when they’ve been loaned assistance on the honor system. During Katrina and Rita, over and over I had generators loaned down the line again and again, and only one bad seed stole one of the generators and kept it for himself after his power came back on. The rest of the people packed them up, rolled the cords, and even filled them back up with gas for the next family, if they were able.

        A lot of people really do show their innate goodness during disasters….

        Liked by 2 people

  22. Gil says:

    Happy to hear good things are headed your way. The cacophony of chainsaws and convoys will be a bonus 24/7 for a while.

    Liked by 3 people

  23. Pam says:

    Like

    • Paco Loco says:

      I’m sure that the Amateur Radio Emergency Service is up and actively passing traffic in the affected areas. I’ve been a Ham for 55 years and the first restoral of communications links is via amateur radio operators with battery operated radios.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Pam says:

    https://twitter.com/ExtremeStorms/status/90787981554980044

    Like

  25. Pam says:

    Liked by 1 person

  26. raymond martin says:

    tip for nice hot shower: put a nozzle on the hose, turn on the water, shut the nozzle, lay the hose out in the sun. i had 150 feet total of hose and after sandy (we are in CT) my wife was able to enjoy hot shower every afternoon. good luck and God bless!

    Liked by 10 people

    • God bless you Raymond, great tip for all of us to remember now and in the future. Blessings

      Liked by 1 person

    • GWB says:

      You can also buy 10 gallon bladders. They are black, so they absorb solar heat, they have handles on them for hanging up, and they have spigots where you can attach a hose for things like showers. We kept a half dozen of those handy for typhoons when I was on Guam (along with the pouches of water, the MREs, and the dry socks and underwear).

      Liked by 4 people

      • MfM says:

        I like the 4 gallon ones that are used more on boats. They are really sturdy and I can lift them to get them up on a hook. Five and ten gallon ones are out of my lifting range because of weight.

        Liked by 3 people

    • I always keep a sun shower in hand for future needs. I used to use one when boating and camping and they are super! That is, assuming you have water.

      Liked by 1 person

    • maiingankwe says:

      I’d like to help a little with an idea for an outside shower for those who may be a bit shy. Unfortunately, this may have to be made beforehand.

      All it takes though is two shower curtains, four sets of the shower hooks total, and two hula hoops. One hula hoop at the top with two shower curtains hooked on with their curtain hooks (those round plastic ones work best.) One hula hoop at the bottom with the shower hooks to keep the curtains stable. And wa la, you now have your very own private, outside shower. All you need is an oversized towel if that is your preference.

      Many years ago my boyfriend and I would go up north to his cabin on a lake in northern Wisconsin. He was a McGyver of sorts and came up with this plan when I complained of no inside shower. I could handle a weekend and sponge baths worked, but a week? I was young and a bit vain, I am embarrassed to admit. So he spoiled me by making the above shower. He still has one for his fiancé when they go up north. I’m sure parts have been replaced, but the idea is still being used. He’s also one of my best friends to this day along with his awesome fiancé. She so rocks.

      I was so proud of that little shower hooked on to a tree outside. I could shower and no one would ever get glimpse of me doing so. I really didn’t like my hair getting greasy and this was a great fix for a long weekend or longer up in the beautiful north woods.

      Hope this may help those who were raised right or have a bit of shyness.

      Liked by 4 people

    • LafnH2O says:

      Writin that one down… in “da book”, Raymond.

      Excellent!! 😎

      Lil…o/t
      Just picked up a couple new books….

      “Beginners guide to Bee Keeping”
      and one on “Canning and preserving”

      Bon Appetit!!

      Like

  27. bluegirl says:

    My take on this whole disaster is that each of us can make a difference. In thought, deed, prayer, donation. America is a giving nation. We are born to help others and our light shines the brightest when we reach out to those in need. Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. God bless!!!!!!!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Pam says:

    Like

  29. bobsunshine says:

    Great Read Sundance and surely expresses the frustration and heartbreak of everyone in Florida. I live in the Naples area and stayed during Wilma. Wasn’t that bad at all and power was back on in a few days. We were up north for Irma which is so much worst. In between the two, Irma was much more destructive than Wilma, but a lot less than predicted. The eye passed over Naples, but because the backend had started to fall apart, the winds weren’t as strong. Thus no storm surge per se and no additional wind damage. Most of Naples is still without power but now there are reports of shutdowns of city water to areas due to broken water lines from fallen trees. As you mentioned, everyone in our community that is there is helping one another to clear roadways, help those that have lost water supply, etc. This is what neighbors and neighborhoods are all about. Thank God we have sites like CTH versus the MSM. Per the Florida Power and Light message to all southwestern communities (Naples, Bonita Springs, etc.) all power should be restored by Sept. 22 except for major damaged areas like the Keys. Pray that this holds as it won’t take long for homes even without water or wind damage to start developing signs of mold inside due to the heat and humidity (no air circulation).

    Like

  30. Texian says:

    Beyond Thunderdome.. a “Texas redneck/cajun navy” gas tanker has been spotted heading into Florida..

    Liked by 2 people

  31. valheisey says:

    I wasn’t going to leave (Port Charlotte). Had my water and supplies ready to hunker down. Then Saturday morning, we got the mandatory evacuation order on top of SD’s post about possible tidal storm surge in SW Florida. Yeah, I was scared. I had seen the destruction of this area from Charley (brother lived here through it).

    So, we high-tailed it out of there and headed towards the panhandle. All hotel rooms were sold out so we slept in our truck at a roadside rest on Rt 10. Our DNL’s mom invited us to stay with her, so our destination was Slidell, LA. We arrived there Sunday afternoon.

    My brothers stayed in Port Charlotte in the Green Zone (no evac orders) bc my younger brother’s wife slipped on their boat a week ago and broke her femur and couldn’t travel so I got the first hand ground report. I also checked FPL by address and found out I had power.

    We started back home on Monday and filled our tank constantly as long as possible. Sometimes we only needed 5 gallons to top off, but that is enough for 100 more miles. Also had a 5 gallon can in the back that our hosts (who lived through Katrina) gave us.

    We took 19 down the west coast and there were only a few gas stations with gas. They also had the long lines. Traffic was moving so that route was a wise decision.

    We pushed through and arrived home around 5 pm with 1/4 tank of gas left. The station in Port Charlotte off 75 had gas and lines. We didn’t stop. We can wait for things to normalize before we need to fill up again.

    Our damaged consisted of a lot of lawn debris and we lost our BIG avocado tree that was ladened with large heavy fruit. It missed our house by an inch.

    Yes, I feel blessed to have power and no real damage and yes I feel blessed to have had a place to escape to, but yes I feel a little guilty that I left and was one of those millions of people on the highway causing problems for the helpers by being in the way and using resources.

    In the future, I will probably stick with my original plan and not leave, while researching a different place to live. I really am not liking living by the big waters.

    Liked by 5 people

  32. Pam says:

    Like

  33. Pam says:

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Alison says:

    Thank you, Sundance for being one of many volunteers to help others. No recovery effort will be planned & executed perfectly, but every seemingly small assistance you give – in spite of your frustration about limitations -is multiplied across the state.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Carol says:

    I lost a coconut….one coconut….I am overawed at how blessedly lucky I am…And Sundance…the world is a better place because of people like you….my little brain can’t do the math on all those electric crews….but I get it…while I offer prayers of thanksgiving…I am praying for all affected…even those piranhas….storing spare fuel is way above my IQ…purifying water with bleach is about the top of my survival skill set…So to all out there be careful!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kathy says:

      While preparing our property for Hurricane Sandy, my husband counted 9 squirrel nests in our oak tree. During the storm, we watched Sandy’s powerful winds bend arborvitae privacy hedges completely horizontal for hours. And yet, every one of those 9 squirrel nests were still in place after the storm. I still don’t like these critters, but can admit to having more respect for their engineering skills.

      Liked by 4 people

      • LafnH2O says:

        Crafty, lil buggers!!

        Each in their own way.

        “I see trees of green..
        Red roses, too!
        I watch them bloom, for me and you…

        And I think to myself..
        What a beautiful world!!

        “I hear babies cry..
        And I watch them grow.
        They’ll learn much more..
        Than we’ll know!

        And I think to myself..
        What a wonderful world!!

        Praise, be to God!!

        Liked by 1 person

  36. Joel says:

    Great report, SD.

    Like

  37. Driver1 says:

    Thank you Sundance. I’m closely following these updates. My sister-in-law lost the roof on Naples home and is anxious to get back down to button it up (with family crew). I’m advising a “stand down” until fuel/power situation improves based on your read.

    Liked by 2 people

  38. kokopuf says:

    Thank you, Sundance, for these great personal, on-the-ground reports! So great what you are doing to help your neighbors in Florida. God bless you!

    Liked by 2 people

  39. pageoturner says:

    I live in Tampa and I’d like to let everyone know the fabulous job Governor Scott is doing. We left last Wednesday and returned yesterday. The traffic through Atlanta was worse than on Florida’s 75.

    EVERY GAS STATION ALONG 75 HAD GAS. The lines were long but gas was available. Since some of those areas away from the gas stations were without power (I left the interstate to try to find alternate routes) it’s to Scott’s credit that they dispatched crews to restore power and tankers to supply the gas along that stretch and did so rapidly.

    I hope the areas more severely affected see the same rapid restoration of critical supplies.

    Important note: internet was out so gas purchases were in cash. In emergencies your debit card is worthless. Only cash money talks!

    Liked by 6 people

  40. There seems to be such a huge contrast between Texas and Florida in terms of fuel and human behavior. Was there just more fuel available in Texas the whole time? Also, in Texas people seemed like they were into helping each other rather than cursing and battling each other. I’m beginning to think maybe that Houston Mayor was right in not ordering an evacuation…just wondering if anyone has any insight into the difference in behavior.

    Like

  41. aqua says:

    I saw big progress this morning on the Duke power outage map for the parts of Pinellas County where I have family. Since those living through this can’t access information easily – most cell phones are out by now, or shut off to preserve remaining power, the best I could do was leave messages and hope they get through.

    Check the city websites in the areas where your family live: see what’s open. The main library branch in Clearwater is open, for example. Go charge phones!

    Check Publix listings – some or many are open, and the list is posted on their site – one near my family is open today, until 7 tonight, as an example. Did I say how much I love Publix?
    Looks like some of the main arteries were regaining power. I was able to let them know what areas have power now, and who and what are still off. Most are still without power, but to see some progress on that map was huge.

    And I let them know about the oil tankers coming in to Tampa. Share good news.

    People are holding up, but what mess to clean up and deal with things. There are folks that have to go to work in this, too — even non-essential jobs that no one actually relies on. This has been a major stress point for some members of my family. There are some good companies out there, but also a fare share of heartless ones. You do what you have to do to keep your job. (Remember this when someone asks, “why didn’t you leave?” For many, this was not a possibility.)

    Take care, everyone!

    Liked by 3 people

  42. Reality Wins says:

    Just watched the “gas rage” video again in Sundance’s OP because it did not pass the smell test. Fake Fox News is selling this as: “GAS RAGE: Man cuts mile long line of cars waiting for gas in Naples; curses drivers who protest his move” Lies and programming, literally “programming.”

    Watch it again. The cursing guy is in the white truck waiting in line, probably for hours. The black SUV a couple of vehicles ahead was also in line but is obviously letting his friends/family come late to the party and cutting the line in front of him. White guy/white truck has righteous anger, is told to sit down and shut up not just by the people cheating the system but by Fox News in this story. LESSON: You white men better learn to just shut up take it. Consider yourself “programmed” if you bought what globalist Fox News is selling here.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. James W Crawford says:

    If trees are down over power lines, DO NOT attempt to cut them up until a powerline crew confirms that the lines are not energized. A shock from a standard 240 Volt domesticn power system is survivable, a shock from a 17,000 Volt distribution line is lethal.

    Liked by 2 people

  44. tampafan says:

    While Trump gets kudos for unleashing federal resources early and totally, Florida Governor Scott has to be recognized. The state is missioned with managing the response – and Scott has been organized and worked brilliantly with the feds. He has been on Twitter, local cable stations, CNN, etc., speaking in English and Spanish and being very clear about evacuation instructions, status of fuel, power., etc. If he challenges (D) Sen Bill Nelson in 2018 (I hope!), he will certainly get my support. Another competent businessman who knows how to assess risks, anticipate problems and coordinate response. He is also an excellent delegator like our POTUS. Skills missing from most politicians.

    Liked by 5 people

  45. Reality Wins says:

    Prepare:
    You will need solar and marine battery to run Figjams Swamp Cooler in a power outage.
    http://www.instructables.com/id/Figjams-Swamp-Cooler/

    Eco-Cooler – no electricity needed.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Delilah says:

    This deserves reposting. We need to get in the habit of helping our fella Trumpers out with this $1 donation idea:

    georgiafl says:
    September 13, 2017 at 8:37 am

    I had a balance on my PayPal account that I sent to CTH (see donate button on right side of screen) to help out with the relief efforts.

    Will send more when I can and urge other Treepers to give a little bit.

    There are hundreds of thousands who visit and 44K serious Treeper followers. If everyone gave a dollar, MUCH IMMEDIATE RELIEF could be purchased for SFL.

    I trust Sundance to use it as he sees fit for gas, chain saw blades, generators, tarps, plywood, repairs, groceries, diapers, first aid, etc.

    Plus, when you donate here in normal times, to help with research, FOIA requests, and other expenses, you get the best ever thank you note!

    Liked by 3 people

  47. MK Wood says:

    R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

    Like

  48. Pam says:

    Like

  49. Walt says:

    Sundance,
    You are doing Yeoman’s work on helping yourself your family your fellow neighbors. Its time like these that test a man, know that God is with you and America is with you praying everyday.

    Liked by 2 people

  50. fleporeblog says:

    My wife and daughter got another day off from school today because electricity is out still in many parts of Jacksonville and fuel is scarce. School buses are used in massive numbers to move kids around. However, both my wife (school teacher) and daughter seem to be giddy over it! My daughter told my wife that we would never get this many snow days in NY.

    Liked by 4 people

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