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Sunday, September 5, 2004

From the Eye of Hurricane Frances 7

This is the seventh installment of my friend's story. If you've missed the first one, you can find it here. For the second one, go here. For the third one, go here. For the fourth one, go here . For the fifth one, go here and for the sixth one, go here.

FROM THE EYE OF HURRICANE FRANCES

Saturday (September 4, 2004)

Well, today’s supposed to be the day. The day that Frances hits. Of course, yesterday was also supposed to be the day, but since the storm slowed down, weather predictors decided that it will hit today. In the morning, we have a bit of wind. I try to take a picture of it, but by the time my camera’s ready, it’s died down. My husband declares, “This is a bust!” I’m beginning to agree. I’m also beginning to wonder whether we’ll ever get to eat the chicken in the bathtub. (Side note: If you’re wondering, yes, I take the food out of the bathtub each morning, to shower. I then refill the ice bags, clean the tub, and rebuilt the ‘cooling system’). We opt to go down to the stinky fish restaurant. By now, we are friends with the Hostess. She is a sweet girl from Ecuador. Breakfast is a self-serve buffet. It’s pretty busy there, but the self-serve system works.

Most people are now irked that the storm hasn’t hit yet. The news reporters aren’t calling the storm a dangerous killer anymore, they’re calling it annoying.

People we know are calling us periodically to find out how our situation is. We are fine, of course, as we’re in our secure, well-stocked hotel room. We’ve been watching trees bend in the wind out in the courtyard, and a bit of debris blow around, but really not much. On the other hand, throughout the day, we’ve noticed the damage reports go from “two trees down in Martin County” to power line explosions to boats going down. Our own power is going down periodically, however it tends to come up after a few seconds or so - longest power outage has been about 30 seconds, I think. We did have one surprising thing happen so far - we were watching the news, and saw a report of a tree that’s fallen on an SUV.. only thing is, the building that it’s in front of looks like.. umm… our hotel! Sure enough it is! My husband, of course, dashes down there to document it on video.

Other than this, we’re sitting and waiting. Hurricane Frances is also sitting and waiting, though. For the past few hours, the storm has pretty much stalled. The TV weather people are saying that the 70 mile wide eye of the storm is holding steady in its position off shore because of a high front that is keeping it from moving further West. For us, it means that we’re stuck with these hurricane winds over us. They’re not getting stronger, but they’re not getting any weaker either. Whether this means that the hurricane will continue on its track or not, we’re not sure. All of this is dragging out the length of the storm though, meaning more rain for our area, and a longer stay in the DoubleTree Hotel. I do wonder how our own house is faring. With winds like we’ve had, I’m not so worried about the roof blowing off (turns out, our roof is the worst kind of design to have in a hurricane… it’s a gabled roof, I think they call it). I’m still wondering whether we’ll flood, though. Given the weakness of the storm, and the fact that the eye isn’t hitting very hard, it may well happen that we don’t experience storm surge. I guess all will be known soon enough. Until then, it’ll be us in this hotel room, and the occasional visit to the stinky fish restaurant.

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