Hurricane Irma..One for the books
It's almost October, which means we are almost out of hurricane season. Yay! I figured I would do a blog on the hurricane with some pictures and videos for those who were not here for the storm and have not been back since the storm. As most of you know Irma was a monster who hit the Caribbean and other islands at a raging Cat 5. This hurricane was twice the size as Andrew, you can see below. Irma hit the keys as a Cat 5 also, you can copy and paste the link to see some photos and a story done by CNN. It was quite devastating for everyone who called any part of the Florida keys home. Last week the government told anyone who planned to go back to their home needed to be able to sustain life "off the grid" for at least three weeks because there would be little to no help for those in need and almost all electric was obsolete.
Irma then moved on for the rest of Florida. Up until two days before Irma weather experts said Irma would enter through the east coast, regardless, east or west we would all feel the wrath of the storm. As some know though, it is best to be on the west side of the storm then the east or near the eye. This is because it is less detrimental, the west side does not have as intense rain, wind etc. East east east they all preached, surprise surprise Irma did not go east instead she made her grand entrance through all of the small towns south of Naples like Everglades city and then worked her way up through Marco and into our town of Naples. The eye of the storm traveled up 951 in Naples, if you are unaware of the location it is east of 75 towards Golden Gate Estates, which is where most employees of our company live and where the shop is. The eye of the storm deteriorated right over our location as it moved through. I remember sitting there with my dad (Gib) and the rest of the family watching the radar on the phone. We kept saying "just a few more minutes and we will be in the eye, just a few more minutes left us this unforgiving wind and we will be ok"...no there was no few minutes, there was ongoing minutes of blinding white rain and winds sustaining greater than 150 mph because the eye broke as it was moving through where we were and left us with the daunting red of the radar. The worst of the storm lasted for at least an hour...a very long hour. Wind was whistling through the front door, which had a thick sheet of plywood screwed over it. The garage door kept sucking in and out because air kept blowing through the garage. The roof made strange noises as air escaped from front to back. We all sat there a prayed it would just stop. We watched many trees topple over, we heard things hitting the house, and metal taking aim at the garage door. We were left without TV and news an hour before the eye moved through and we kept watching our radar that kept freezing on the phone. Finally, winds died down rain lightened and we all could breath a little lighter. Once it was safe we ventured outside to see what the front of the house looked like since the back was all we had visible through a window. We walked out front to find a driveway that had now turned into a lake, pieces of a metal shed and porch scattered all through the water and smashed around an electric wire, and a neighbors front bumper. Oak trees split and torn apart like they were paper and a neighbors box truck on its side. It wasn't a site to see it was sad. We drove out the next day to see the shop and to check on our homes and it looked like a bomb set on Naples. There wasn't a tree untouched by wind whether it was striped, toppled over or turning brown from wind burn. There was no traffic lights every intersection was treated like a four way stop, which in our experience there are many who do not understand what a four way stop means. It was as if Naples was living off the grid we made it around town and west of 75 did not have as great as damage as east, luckily. That's not to say they did not get their power wiped out, their utilities shut off but the damage was a little less than what we experienced. For a week to follow electric slowly..and I mean slowly began to come up, everyone was placed on a boil water notice, and most places to get food were closed. And then the fun began, since there was no electric everywhere, that meant some of the waste water facility pumps were not operating. Sewage began to come out of man holes in communities, and irrigation systems began to turn on spewing sewage. At one point I saw more sewage trucks than I did electric trucks. It was disgusting and a nightmare. Once electric began to populate more areas the less of the nasty side affects took place. We are now two weeks past Irma and Naples is still recovering. I still see electric trucks, I still see businesses closed due to damage or no power. We faired much better than the keys and every island south, and our prayers go to them, but Naples still took a beating it has never taken, and we all hope it doesn't happen for a very long time. There are some pictures I gathered (not many) you can see below. I am also going to include some links to videos during and after Irma in Naples.
Here is a video posted by Collier Sheriff's Office
Video fro iCyclone
President Trump's visit to Naples Estates
Have a wonderful week!