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Frances Update

We survived. 72 hours of wind, and rain, and more wind and rain, and yet still more wind...

The house is intact. We are alive. If you want to know more,

Sun, September 5, 2004 20:30:39

Heard the sound of galvanized roofing around 18:30 plus/minus. Went out in a very brief lull for quick eyeball. One of our pole barns is down (expected). What we’re not sure about is the condition of the goats that would have been sheltering there.

Currently receiving a lot of rain, staying up with the news via radio.

And then there’s Ivan.

Sun, September 5, 2004 21:00:05

partial reprise or earlier hand-written poem notes

Listening to the banshee howl

Dancing rough in the trees, rough caress

Touching our lives like a screeching owl

Listen to the banshee howl — Frances

Mon, September 6, 2004 08:23:01

About to go check on line again, though the radio reports have Frances doing what I expected (and was projected), clearing the shoreline, turning north, and soaking up energy off the Gulf waters. We are still receiving a lot of rain and wind, a bit calmer right now (i.e. no howling) but with rain still coming down.

Got a brief eyeball from a distance when I took Mama Munch Border Collie out for a walkabout pottie break this morning. The goat pole barn may not have crushed goats; it looks like the north edge is propped up a bit. Ruthann thought yesterday that was only the galvanized roofing flapping in the wind. The roofing is flapping, and the north edge is higher than the south one.

Still on battery and lamp oil, still alive & kicking.

Mon, September 6, 2004 08:29:29

The phones are out. No dial tone on either line. I haven’t tried the cell yet, but I’m not planning on using it for data either. I still owe them money, and it doesn’t look like they’re gonna be paid real soon.

Mon, September 6, 2004 16:04:59

Barometric pressure via my antique spring barometer is 28.4". This is .4" lower than previous record set during the Big Winter Storm (‘97? ‘98?) which did quite as much crunch as this one seems to be doing. This all depends on how accurate that old brass barometer truly is, but relatively it is the lowest I’ve ever seen it.

Earlier, noonish, Pat & Karen came by during slight lull. Pat tried to drive into Gainesville this AM to check on Books-a-Million store. Roads blocked, she could drive around a couple of downed trees on Highway 241 but ran into major electric lines down in Archer, along with many, many trees down on road by Post Office. That convinced her it wasn’t time to go into Gainesville yet.

Pine down up our road, by Peggy’s pasture & drive & between us and Steve & Kimmy’s place; Danny tried moving it with his bumper hitch on pickup truck. Fortunately he desisted before losing bumper. It is now cut & moved.

Our toilet got to where it didn’t want to flush (we’re pouring captured rainwater into the tank for this purpose). I heard noises under house earlier, may go do inspection first. But think I should try either snake or plunger, too.

16:30

Inspection OK. Plunging suffices. Showered in rainfall right after inspection. Cold, but feels good to be clean.

Tues, September 7, 2004 10:13:23

Still raining earlier this morning, but now is only overcast & breezy. Hmm, gusts to 30 MPG now qualifies as breezy. Was able to do a walk-about up to road for initial inspection. We did have goats trapped under the roof. Five goats dead, remainder now rescued by pealing the galvanized roofing off of mostly intact roof framework. Three feeder-sized piglets drowned in their pen, those hogs had made it a low spot. Cows are all OK.

Contacted family while we were out in paddocks; cell service is still active, though signal strength is way down. Further notification (for now) can go out from there.

Cats are definitely getting cabin fever.

We are eating lunch after pealing the dead barn roof.

Power out now for 3 days, (intermittent) phone for 2 days. Water supplies holding, but cleanup will put some stress on that. Outside storage (rain catch barrels) for that purpose. Radio for news; our battery supply is still in good shape.

Moving 2 of the dead goats could be problematic, as they are pinned under structure. 2 goats injured, being observed (haven’t started moving around yet).

Tues, September 7, 2004 21:11:03

Went over to Steve’s to inquire about help removing carcass’; his generator is functional so Kimmy also provided a bag of ice. Steve made it over about an hour & half after that with jacks, we lifted structure enough to remove carcass’ which puts me at ease. They are removed to far corner of ranch; coyote may go eat there. Do not need to encourage coyote to come eat in paddocks.

With weather somewhat improved, we put the Border Collie Brothers out on duty again this evening; they are telling the neighbors that they are back and they’re bad. Started raining again (evening type rain, not tropical storm type) on our walk back to house; we hoofed it a bit faster to grab soap & scrubbies and showered in front yard, courtesy of Higher Power. At least removed all of the day’s grunge.

Fence lines are intact, something we were quite concerned with. Do not need to get through this storm to cause injury to neighbor/other by dint of livestock out on the road. House intact. Limited damage (still big, but limited), and livestock losses still low, though one of the injured goats is still dubious. She is moving, not much.

I will go into hospital tomorrow morning to work.

Wed, September 8, 2004 10:36:53

Heavy traffic on road coming in; University Florida evidently decided to re-open classes today. I guess that is good idea. Ruthann surprised me by calling me; our land-line phone service is restored. I am catching up with major work-type things to do. Very strange feeling here; it is familiar, but haven’t felt this way for quite some time.

We survived. 72 hours of wind, rain, et cetera.

Comments

madshutterbug
Sep. 8th, 2004 09:20 am (UTC)
Doncha just love living in Hurricane Alley?

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