Hurricane Irma did a good bit of damage in our city. LOTS of families were without power, possible contaminated water, and sewer issues. We were in contact with two of our neighbors while in NC and our property manager and Board of Directors were sending out emails daily updating our community. It was really nice having that contact! We were able to know a little something even though we weren’t there. The community was cleaning up the day after the storm to get our community looking back to normal. They were on top of things!
We lost our power. We were on a boil notice. Wastewater lift stations (sewage) weren’t working due to power outages so water use was limited. (No washing clothes, no running dishwaters, no showers, if it’s yellow let it mellow. Not flushing the commode was the worse.) Limited supplies/grocery. Limited gas. Limited cell phone coverage. So when learning about these issues we kept trying to decide when would be the best time to go back home because we didn’t want to go back to THAT with two little ones. We had 4 5 gallon gas cans full so once in Florida if gas was still limited we would have gas for a while. We have a Prius V so not much gas is needed. We decided before we went back we would buy more water, paper goods, and fresh produce. A good friend and her family went back a few days before us. She had cell phone coverage, she told us that gas was improving daily, grocery stores produce was improving, the boil notice wasn’t that bad. She told me as long as we have a functioning house we would be good. Reading everything online, as I said before, people report the worse it seems.
We were away from home for 12 days. We went back home two Mondays after the storm. Our power was restored 4 days after the storm. We were NOT coming home to no power. We live in Southwest Florida and it is HOT. We would still have to deal with the boil notice and sewage issue but we figured they would have those issues resolved quickly because they were moving quickly with other things. On the drive home, roads were clear (no debris or traffic). Once we crossed Florida state line we started looking to see if we saw the effects of Hurricane Irma. We started seeing more the closer we got to home. About an hour and a half from home we saw houses flooded from I75. Lots of trees were leaning due to the force of the wind. Some were uprooted. Highway signs were leaning. Finally arrived home! While driving through our community we saw some leaning trees, some uprooted trees, street/stop signs down or leaning, and screened lanai damage. All the houses are fine. No trees fell on anyone’s home. Praise God! The streets are clear throughout the neighborhood. Looks normal but not normal. We were thankful that the storm surge didn’t hit us because we wouldn’t have had a home to return to.
Our home had little damage. A square screen in the lanai has been blown out, some plants/bushes are leaning and water got through a roof vent and into our living room ceiling fan. We had a little bit of spoiled food. I knew a hurricane was coming so I made sure we didn’t have much left in there. Giving what could have happened, we don’t mind the little damage. The boil notice was lifted after being home for a day and a half. The sewage issues were resolved 2 days after being home. We could shower and flush the commode after EACH go!! That wasn’t that bad. 2 days not living our normal life. As of date, some of my friends are still dealing with contaminated water due to Hurricane Irma. I would probably cry once a day. lol
I told my husband the next time we move I want to move to a place that doesn’t have any natural disasters. Good luck with that right?? Hurricanes are scary. Scarier when you have children you want to make sure are protected. We’re ok! Our home is ok! Everything was JUST fine!