We went through a few scares early last night.
While we still had power and were listening to the weather predictions, I noticed water seeping into the family room — right where we had placed the sandbags the day before.
I left the comfort and safety of the house, put on a hard hat and poncho, and braved the windy rain to rearrange the sandbags.
That’s when I heard the sirens I had never heard before.
I went back to the front as my son was yelling at me that there was a tornado warning and one already touched down a few neighborhoods over.
That got my attention.
I scrambled back in.
The smartphones were all going off with alarms and the news guy was pinpointing the rotating winds, urging everyone to be low and ready to go into a safe room.
We had our closet door open and we all stood close to it while simultaneously listening to the outside, our phones and the TV.
Fortunately the warnings passed by 7:30 and we all sighed a little relief.
We switched to Netflix for a while and at 10 p.m. the power went.
We continued to follow the storm’s progress on our devices through my phone’s hotspot.
That’s when we learned that the latest landfall downsized the storms winds and category, but now the track had shifted enough to give Orlando an eyeful of Irma.
We broke out the cards and board game and waited.
She would be arriving with her worst winds about 1 to 3 a.m.
No one could sleep so there was wine and games.
We heard the howling winds from 2 through 3. By 4 a.m. the winds were back to the tropical force we had been experiencing all afternoon so we all went to sleep.
This morning after the curfew ended at 7 a.m., I ventured out.
The sky showed that it wanted to go blue again, but there were still plenty of tropical force gusts.
I walked around the property and surveyed the field.
There was considerable debris but most of the large branches missed our vehicles and home.
I saw some loose aluminum siding blowing in a neighbor’s front yard down the street, but nothing looked any worse than branches strewn about.
We were once again fortunate in Central Florida.
Unfortunately this near miss (or hit) with less ferocity than originally predicted feeds the naysayers in the greater Central Florida area.
Those who over confidently boast:
“See, there was no need to board up or stock up.”
“These storms never affect the center of the state.”
“They always turn or shift away.”
Yeah, that’s right. Until they don’t.