Hurricane Irma Recovery Day #4 / Day #5

When dealing with crisis there’s a delicate space between between joy (celebration) and guilt perhaps never more understandable than the moment when power is restored to your home, yet you are thinking of those still waiting; those still suffering.

Power returned today to casa del Sundance thanks to assistance from three Michiganders, two West Virginians, one Pennsylvanian, and a salty fellow from Gainesville Florida -super smart starfish thrower- with a seriously well designed, and custom engineered, narrow profile track and bucket lift.

Darn I wish I had taken a picture of that gear (phone was dead). It looks a little like this, but is smaller (about size of mini-bobcat); compact and seriously purposeful.  Incredible build and functionality with terrain tracks, generator and a narrow profile; super maneuverable.

With this gear we’re able to squeeze down the easement space between rows of powerless houses, and put the bucket operator into tight spaces clearing fallen trees from under, around, and over the space were power line crews need to travel.  Effectiveness is quadrupled.

♦More fuel is now available.  This is a major improvement. Approximately 50 to 75% of gas stations now seem generally well supplied and it doesn’t take more than a few drive-bys to find fuel.  Stores beginning to resupply, and more people returning to SWFL.

I’m actually amazed at how many residents evacuated, then stayed away for so long.  The neighbor to neighbor communication seems to be the contact to bring them back; with many choosing to stay out until power is restored.  This is significantly different from prior Hurricane impact events.  Usually people return quickly (48-72 hrs); this time a much larger percentage of the population choose to remain in a holding pattern (wherever they evacuated to) awaiting information.

Cell phone service is still sporadic, but starting to expand. The damaged infrastructure for internet service is going to take a while longer to restore.  Perhaps it’s a good thing (I think so) because it has somewhat detached people from their devices and more person-to-person contact is taking place.  Optimistically I think events like this show everyone finding we have more in common than not.

Family will be returning later today and I’m working on clearing up the chaos.  Often we become more focused when we put small goals in front of ourselves as targets.  Mine is for my family to have trouble spotting the seams in the restoration of things familiar.  If they can’t tell, that’s success. It might seem like a silly goal in the grand scheme of things, but it’s mine – and keeps my gaze from the whirl around everything chaotic.

After catching up with missed hugs; we’re headed back to the center of the state because there’s a whole bunch of decent folks that need wellness checks and some pairs of hands.

The ongoing word amid teams that have come out of the Florida Keys (for resupply) are all about the long-term restoration process.   Power first, then comes communication, food and water resupply, then debris removal.  Tough folks there that need our prayers and our hands.  They’ll get both – for the long haul.

Sorry for not updating last night.  We only had the bucket lift for 24 hours before it was scheduled elsewhere, we kept working through the night. I fell asleep in the bathtub.

Love to all.  So much to be thankful for.  I snapped this picture yesterday.  God can sure message the important stuff much better than me…

 

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312 Responses to Hurricane Irma Recovery Day #4 / Day #5

  1. cbjoasurf says:

    Sundance it’s great to hear that things beginning to turn around for you. Your absence has been missed greatly by all us deplorables.

    My wife and I feel a little of your pain also, after after boarding up our home in Cocoa Beach we fought the exodus traffic north to our farm/hunting property in Johnson County, Georgia. We weathered Irma at our cabin in the woods, honestly, could have been a disastrous move. God kept those 100 foot pines from falling on us. We lost power very early in the Irma due to one of those pines and it was restored only just yesterday.

    By the grace of God and good friends in Cocoa Beach who also own a farm in Georgia, they still had power at their farm. Our longtime friends were gracious and allowed my wife and I to enjoy the pleasures of modern life at their place here in Georgia until our power at our place was restored.

    As big a pain in the butt as these storms are I cannot help but believe that the good Lord, acting in a very mysterious way, has brought these storms down upon us not as punishment, but, to bring us back together to support, comfort and show us what’s really important in life, people coming together to help each other to endure and move forward.

    Thanks Sundance for clearing the fog in this crazy political world we live in and I’m forever hopeful that our POTUS President Trump will prevail and drain the swamp and Make America Great Again. May God bless you and yours with fair winds and following seas going forward.

    Liked by 7 people

    • annilinn says:

      cbjoasurf, I just left this site and went to the gateway pundit. After I read your post I had tears in my eyes brought on by your next to the last paragraph. When gateway pundit came up, I still had those tears in my eyes. After reading an article how that useless stephen colbert will be trashing POTUS at whatever affair, I had to come back and thank you for such a heart touching comment.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. FrenchNail says:

    The older neighborhoods of Naples are still struggling (Interestingly some of the wealthiest in the country). Power is still not restored to many of us. It’s 88 in the house and 83 at night. And they are now cutting the water from 10 am to 10 pm because the treatment plant is running over capacity. Communications are getting better and gas somehow more available. Lines are still 1 to 2 hours long though. The accumulation of yard debris along the roads is becoming dangerous. These piles sometimes 10 feet high have dried up and are tinder boxes. We have not seen any kind of debris or garbage pickup for more than a week. BUT THE POST OFFICE HAS BEEN DELIVERING MAIL FOR 3 DAYS. Hurrah!

    Pray for clouds.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Meinflorida says:

      Same issue here in Palm Beach County in reference to the yard debris. Lots of tree branches out front. I called my local public works office and they said the landfill was not accepting yard debris at this time-yet they take the garbage. Go figure. Maybe if they mulched it all they could sell it for a profit (the yard debris, not the trash 😜)

      Liked by 2 people

  3. amy1212 says:

    Power was restored last night. We watched as the Duke Energy truck stopped at the little green box, opened the cover, use his hot stick to pull out the bad fuse and replace with new one. Less than a 15 minute fix from start to finish- just like my brother (a lineman for a competitor) said. Thanks to all neighbors and co-workers who went down to the local mall & took pictures of Duke trucks (150+) parked every evening from 7pm (& posted them on Duke’s FB and Twitter pages). We also posted pics of all the other utility companies that had crews working 24/7. Public shaming can motivate the recipient to change behavior. Duke found that out. These events highlight leadership and the lack thereof. A principle well understood by our wonderful President. Now I am off to help a co-worker who still does not have A/C – and let her use my window A/C so she & her pets have some relief. Pay it forward my fellow deplorables and keep the faith.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Meinflorida says:

    Does anyone in Florida know who to donate goods to so that it can go to the Keys or wherever it is needed? I have clothes and some kitchen items (glasses mostly) that I would like to give. I’m in Palm Beach County. Thanks.

    Like

  5. deweylovett says:

    I did damage assessments in Brevard County today for the State. Power was the big problem. I noticed many, many trucks heading south with all kinds of portable generators. The rest areas had porta-pottys and emergency lighting. A lot of returnees had gas cans of every description attached to their bumpers and roof racks. A lot of trees damage by the ocean front and linesmen from Iowa, Michigan, New york and Connecticut. Thanks guys.

    Liked by 2 people

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