You can take the GRITS out of Florida, but you can't take Florida out of the GRITS!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

My Andrew Story

I promised some pictures, so here they are:

The first ones were taken at Black Point Marina in Cutler Ridge. I don't know if what I have written next to the pictures will be visible to you or not, so I am repeating what's there. These are pictures of the docks. We had the whole place locked up tight, and people coming in would have to show proof of ownership of their boat before we would let them in. They would come in optimistic, but most of them left in tears...

Below left is a picture taken at the house I was at during the storm. (An ex-Boyfriend's) Not far from Country Walk.

On the right is a small freighter that ran aground near Snowden's. I think pictures of it made a few "Hurricane" books.

And last is what was left of my car. My first car. A '79 Corolla that made it all the way to Texas and back, more than once! Andrew murdered it. We had to drill holes in the floorboard to drain all the water out. And it wasn't all rain water...there was salt water, too!

At my ex-boyfriend's house, we had a half-assed hurricane party. Stayed up late playing Trivial Pursuit, eating nachos and drinking beer. Fell asleep and around 1am or so, we were all woken up by horrible winds. I remember we all went out to the living room and sat on the couch, watching TV (it hadn't gone out yet). There was a large window right behind the couch that the guys had boarded up. Well, we heard a CRRRRACKKKK and the board ripped off. That was the start of our night from hell.

We ran around a wall and were all trying no to freak out. Glass was flying...rain..wind...crashing noises all around us. We decided to go into the hallway. There were 2 bedroom doors and 1 bathroom door in the hallway. We each grabbed hold of a doorknob to hold the doors shut because the winds were literally pulling them open. we had to try to hold them shut for protection from the flying glass. Things got worse and the three of us ended up inside a linen closet. My friend, Bobby, was such a baby! He was sitting on the floor holding on to my leg and wimpering like a 2 year old. Pathetic, really. I guess one doesn't know how one will act during a time of crisis.

When the winds died down (it was the eye passing over) we went out and did a quick survey of the inside of the house. It was a total, complete, unbelievable, chaotic mess. All the windows were smashed. Water everywhere. We didn't have much time, so we grabbed the dining room table, went into one of the bedrooms, and barricaded ourselves inside a small closet.

The winds started again. We just sat there huddled in the darkness...waiting for it to end. The walls were shaking and we even saw the roof rise up a bit! We could all smell salt water. That was the weirdest thing to me since we were at least a good 10 miles from shore.

Finally, it was over. It was like a bomb had been dropped. In the early dawn, we walked up and down the streets of the neighborhood like zombies. Shock. We were in shock. Roof tiles had caused alot of damage. Wooden fences, knocked down and ripped apart. Houses with whole walls missing. The water was high and with not being able to see what you were driving over, well...driving was impossible. I wa stuck there for 3 days. I managed to get a call to my mom and dad (who had Sam during the storm) and they were ok. Our house was pretty much ok compared to some. I can't really remember how long we were without power, but I know it was at least 2 weeks. Probably longer.

I reported to work as soon as I could. Drove my car with no windshield. Kept my ID handy and was always in uniform since we were under curfew or Marshall Law. Work for the next few months was interesting. I was a park ranger, and we had to work 12 hours a shift, 7 days a week. The Army would come by and bring us food, or we'd go to Water and Sewer next door and they'd feed us. Back then Black Point was more out in the Boonies than it is now!

Here's another picture. I was being a smart-ass and put the sign there.

My friend, William, another park ranger, checking out a stingray that has washed up in the parking lot. There were also a few schools of mullett washed up, too.

I'd heard stories of dolphins and manatees being washed way up on land, but I really don't know how true those were.

Well, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it! It was an adventure, but not one I'd ever want to have again.


misti said...

Wow! Insane! I can't believe the house you were in. Dang, dang, dang. Imagine that happening now? Ick.

It.z said...

1992! A boyfriend? Imagine that.

SwampAngel65 said...

Hahaha! Yeah, I actually had a few between Dipshit and BadGeorge! I know it's hard to imagine ;)

SophieMae said...

DAWG! I can't believe you sat out Andrew! I've only actually evac'ed once... during Georges. We were living on Marco Island, so no other choice. But I'm pretty sure I'll be on my way to Kentucky if another bad one ever heads our way. 'Specially since we live in a modular right now. 8-O

SophieMae said...

No, I lied... I did drive up out of the Keys when Mitch came through. As I recall, we went back later that same evening. They wouldn't let us go any further south than Homestead, so we got the last available room at the closest motel. About an hour later, they opened the road and we checked out. Some guy desperate for overnight lodging was real happy to see me go. LOL!

Pamela said...

first hand accounts - without someone else editing is the best way to read about an event.

I hope you don't mind that I giggled about the person hanging on to your leg wimpering.

(I'd probably wet my pants )