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Author Topic: Hurricane Irma  (Read 344 times)

Offline Mhayes

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Hurricane Irma
« on: September 10, 2017, 05:10:06 PM »
As all of you know by now Hurricane Irma has now reached her 2nd landfall in FL and the devastation is yet to come with the storm surge. Watching the news it was reported that 20% of the damage will come from the wind and 80% from the storm surge. The U.S. is not the only one affected by this hurricane and it is heartbreaking to see islands totally decimated and the death toll for those who couldn't escape. Just a sample of the destruction: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4861468/Stark-photos-Irma-s-destruction.html

This storm is personal as our long time OPR volunteer Glenna Boyette who lives in Gulfport, Fl, aka GK, is riding out the hurricane coming her way. Here are some of her recent posts on FB:

Quote
Update 9/10/18, 4:50am: Can't sleep. Spent much of the night scanning photos and watching news reports. We filled 20 gallon bottles of tap water. We have two cases of bottled water and a case of tea (it was all we could find the first day out - people were hoarding). There will come a point where we can't do anything else to prepare. We have a movie from Netflix. Seems rather frivolous, but it'll keep our minds busy. Difficult to not be afraid. We inadvertently brought in a little tree frog with the plants, and he's singing to me right now. I hope he survives.

And an early post when Irma forecast was changed to hit the west coast of FL:

Quote
One irony as Irma threatens to destroy much of Florida: I joined a volunteer organization of photo retouching experts from around the world (Operation Photo Rescue) in 2006 to try to restore photos that were damaged in Hurricane Katrina. I was a member of the first official copy run team in Biloxi, MS, to collect photos, pull them from still-wet albums, frames, stuck-together stacks. We'd scan them, organize them, and our distribution team would set up galleries from which volunteers could download images they wanted to restore. For around five years I was extremely active. Restoring photos, interacting with other members on our web site, creating tutorials for color correction and other sneaky ways to bring out detail in photos that appeared beyond reclamation. I loved every minute of it. Then my brain collapsed and I couldn't even remember how to use Photoshop, much less do a complex restoration. I'm still a member, but haven't been active since around 2011. Having talked to and cried with the people who survived Katrina in Biloxi, I was struck by the terrible loss they suffered when their precious photos were ruined. I swore I'd never let that happen to me. Right… Guess what I did this afternoon? Got down the first of five boxes of photos to organize, scan and put in waterproof containers - as many as I can before Irma takes them all away! Idiot!

A lot of us tried to get GK and her hubby IM (Iron Man) to evacuate, but it wasn't that easy to do.

Quote
Thanks, my friend. Unfortunately, if we're told to evacuate, we won't be able to. The entire state is about to get blasted, roads are jammed, and fuel is difficult to get. Our best bet it to stay here and pray the house holds up. It's block, rather than frame, so that's a good thing. We're exhausted and not looking forward to the ordeal, but we've done everything we know to do to be safe. Not having any funds limits our options, so we'll make do. I'll keep you posted. Hugs.

. . .We really don't want to leave our home, for a number of reasons. Our garage is rated safe in winds up to 130mph. If all else fails, we can use that as our temporary abode. If Irma's survivable, we'll be around long after she's gone. Thanks for caring!

And her last post:

Quote
I think the worst will be here around 8pm. It'll last until early morning. Winds expected to be up to 100 mph, high storm surge. We're trying to decide where to hole up in the house (or garage) - where, if everything comes down around us, we might survive. We've been warned that power could go out at any time after landfall. So if I don't post for a while, assume I'm okay. I have my iPad, but it doesn't want to keep its charge. I'll keep it plugged in until we lose power and then try to keep posting off and on. IM just heard on the local news station that our peninsula could be barricaded off from anyone who's not already here for up to two weeks. Even people who evacuated. There aren't many ways into our county, because we have 3 bridges, a causeway, and a very narrow neck through which one main highway runs north to south. Makes me even more glad we didn't leave.

TV allows us to watch the disaster unfold like a reality show, but knowing the people involved makes this all the more personal and painful. Hoping for the best GK and those in Irma's path.

Margie
"carpe diem"

Margie Hayes
OPR President
mhayes@operationphotorescue.org

Offline Hannie

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Re: Hurricane Irma
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2017, 05:43:52 PM »
Margie, thanks for taking the time to post this.  I have been thinking off Glenna a lot these last few days and I assumed she would have left the Gulfport.  Very scary to hear they stayed put, hope they will be safe from the surge.
Hannie Scheltema
Distribution Coordinator
hannie@operationphotorescue.org

Offline Mhayes

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Re: Hurricane Irma
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2017, 10:31:09 PM »
Hi Everyone,

Finally today on FB we got word that Glenna is safe:

Quote
Update, 9/12/17, 2:00pm: FINALLY, we have power, phones, computer, tablets - all of the things we'll never take for granted again. Thank you for all of the concerned messages. We just got our power back about an hour ago. Electricity went out several hours before the storm got here; so we've been incommunicado since then. We couldn't even let the kids know we were okay. We were so lucky. The house is intact, the car is okay. The only thing we lost was our avocado tree. We watched through the patio doors as the wind literally pushed it over. It didn't go all the way down, but half the roots are exposed. We've spent the past two days cutting it down and adding to the debris pile in the front yard. We're going to try to dig a hole around the roots and re-set what's left of it. I grew it from a seed more than 40 years ago. It's like an old friend! Our generator blew up the first time we tried to start it. IM tests it every year and runs it for hours. It's always been reliable. This year, after his heart surgery, we didn't do our usual check on our emergency supplies. We discovered that oil lamps, candles and small battery-driven lights helped us see our way around the house, but we couldn't read, we couldn't use our computers or tablets. We sat here and got ever more exhausted and cranky. Now that the AC is back on and we're not dying of the heat - and we don't have to worry about losing all of our food - he's napping in front of the TV, and I'm about to crash for the afternoon. Sleep deprivation, stress, fear and over-exertion have caught up to us. But once we rest we'll be fine. I pray that all of my friends in the path of the storm fared well. I'll check in later. Gotta get some sleep! Hugs, all

Margie
"carpe diem"

Margie Hayes
OPR President
mhayes@operationphotorescue.org

Offline Hannie

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Re: Hurricane Irma
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2017, 04:46:21 AM »
Thanks Margie, it is great to hear that Glenna is OK!  (except for her avocado tree) 
I wonder how the event went for them, must have been pretty scary.
Hannie Scheltema
Distribution Coordinator
hannie@operationphotorescue.org

Offline glennab

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Re: Hurricane Irma
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2017, 10:42:29 PM »
Hi, all. I just discovered that Margie has kept you apprised of our "adventure" with Hurricane Irma. Thank you so much for caring about two ancient OPR Floridians and their travails of the past week.

Many of our friends were upset that we wouldn't evacuate, and I understand and appreciate their apprehension. But my family was all in the path of the storm, so we couldn't really shelter with them. Way before landfall, people were hoarding gas and water, the shelters were filled beyond capacity, and the few routes out of our peninsula were bumper-to-bumper parking lots. Hotels were overbooked, and many were price gouging. That really narrowed our options to just one - taking our chances in a house that's pretty sturdy, walls of windows with no storm shutters, routes out of the neighborhood which flood in any normal Florida summer thunderstorm, and no idea how horrific conditions might get.

The two days of the storm were fraught with stress and fear. We didn't know what to do to ensure we'd survive. I've lived in my house for 49 years, and I've never experienced the full force of a hurricane. Now that I have, I hope to never go through it again. The sounds of the whistling and howling wind and creaking and breaking of who-knows-what outside the house, the total darkness, all defy description. We so take for granted electricity, computers, electronic tablets and cell phones - security, connectivity and comfort. What a shock when it's suddenly gone! Even this time of year, Florida is hot and steamy. Three days without air conditioning were brutal. IM and I became ever more uncomfortable and cranky. Our kids had to drive to our house to check on us, because our cell phones, computers, and tablets were out of commission.

Today we spent the better part of a third post-storm day trying to achieve a semblance of normalcy - unfortunately we'll be weeks, if not months, getting there. I had dozens of potted plants on our patio - all of which could have become lethal projectiles in heavy winds. So two 70-year-olds, one recovering from spinal surgery and one from pneumonia and heart surgery, lugged myriad large, often grubby and wet pots into the garage and my office. We've cut down the avocado tree, hauled about half of the container plants back outside, and trimmed the rest of our trees and bushes - just in case we have another storm. Hurricane season isn't over until November.

My two older kids still don't have electricity. More people are dying post-storm than did during the storm. Six nursing home patients died from the heat in Hollywood. A man died in an accident while he was trimming a tree with a chain saw. Several people have died in auto accidents, because there are few lights working at intersections. A number of my friends live in Southwest Florida. Some were fine; others lost their homes.

All I can say is that we were so, so lucky. So much of the state - and the Caribbean - are devastated. Key West is a disaster area; much of Southwest Florida is decimated. Losing one tree - even a beloved one - was small potatoes. I told my friends before Irma hit that I was invoking my guardian angels. Not only did they show up; they worked overtime.

I've missed all of you. Sending you a million hugs.
What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal. ~Albert Pine

(Photoshop CS5 /Mac Pro)

Online Lynnya

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Re: Hurricane Irma
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2017, 03:15:28 PM »
Hugs to you Glenna..glad you are safe. We fled Florida for North Carolina..we are wussies 😁
never giving up......learning from others as I go...

Offline Pat

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Re: Hurricane Irma
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2017, 05:21:19 PM »
Glenna,

Sounds like you and IM had a very harrowing experience the likes of which cannot even begin to be imagined by those of us who sat it out here in Michigan via news reports.
 
Wishing a complete and speedy recovery to both you and IM as you continue to come to grips with the aftermath of Irma in addition to healing from spinal surgery, pneumonia and heart surgery.

Love your hugs and sending some back at you.
Pat
Pat

"Take a deep breath and think of the three things you are grateful for, right in this moment."  -MJ Ryan Author

Offline Hannie

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Re: Hurricane Irma
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2017, 04:39:59 AM »
Thanks for you post Glenna!  It sure is good to hear from you again, been missing your stories, humor and knowledge of the English language.

So glad to see you and IM survived Harvey and are doing well.  Very sad to see all the destruction and damage on the islands, it will take an awful long time to get thing repaired, if ever....

Yes, getting old sure can be a lot of fun but it beats the alternative though.  ;D

Unlike Pat I am not sending your hugs back but I'll keep them all to myself.  ;)

Hannie
Hannie Scheltema
Distribution Coordinator
hannie@operationphotorescue.org

Offline Candice

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Re: Hurricane Irma
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2017, 10:51:44 AM »
 :loveit:  Good to read you again, old friend.