September 5th, 2004


Gittin' Wet

I woke up around 01:20 with a sinus headache, telling me that the barometric pressure started dropping drastically. Took some ibuprofen, laid back down, went back to sleep. We woke up again around 04:20 when the power went out. Curiously enough, it was the UPS for Ruthann's computer that woke us, chirping that the Grid wasn't feeding it any more. I called in the loss to Central Florida Electric Coop (shameless plug for rural electric coops!) for information mostly. Still, when that first feed band of wind & rain slacked off, CFEC brought us back on-line. Power has flickered a few times since, but overall we've been powered up. In fact, it just flickered while logging on for this; thanks to laptop batteries & underground phone lines.

Serious and fairly continuous rain & wind resumed around 08:00, though we've experienced a couple of lulls even in that. The lulls keep getting shorter, the winds lasting longer. Most recent report I saw showed the eye collapsing right near the middle of the state (east to west) which is near to when projected for the storm to drop from Cat One to Tropical; it's still packing enough strength to be a Cat One.

So we've still got another eight hours of this to face, minimum. Since projections are also showing a turn right off shore to the north, towards Tallahassee, we'll stay under the north/east portion of this storm for a long time. NHC is projecting it will remain a tropical storm even while over the waters of the Gulf. My nasty, suspicious, paranoid self is expecting it to stall again over water, and start soaking up energy once more. Since it's wide enough to straddle the length of the Florida peninsula, that gives it width enough to suck water out of the Gulf and the Atlantic at the same time. Indications are it's doing just that, too.

So I figure to check e-mail and keep the server cleared off, and to post this update, staying on- line for a short period.
  • Current Mood
    uncomfortable uncomfortably wet

Frances Update

Sun, September 5, 2004 18:58:52
Frances down-graded to Tropical Storm. Power went out @ the Ranch @ 16:00. CFEC crews staying safe now. We don't expect power until tomorrow sometime. Phone still live @ this time. Now on judicious use of battery power & lamp oil.

Interesting: even with 4-5 hours of battery & recharge capability for my laptop, when the power goes out I turn to tried & true technology, to whit, pen, ink, and paper. To be transcribed later.

Radio is NPR, primarily because it was tuned in already. They are playing usual broadast for Sun. PM. Tonight that is special live Creators at Carnegie with Emmylou Harris. News breaks on the hour, next one at 18:00.
TV20 (local ABC) advertises simulcast on 3 other local stations in event of power loss, but have not found other than their (radio) normal broadcast. Another station is doubled up with a sister, and is doing live broadcast, with ABC news on the hour.

Fox, while perhaps not the most unbiased usually, did provide constant reporting on the storm. Fox 35 is out of Orlando, relayed through local in Ocala on 51. During this storm they were simulcast on local Orlando radio stations. Not here.

Is now 19:00, and two local counties are under tornado warnings. One is our next door county of Alachua. As usual under such circumstances, I tell myself (tongue in cheek) that we are safe here on the Levy County side of the Alachua-Levy County line.

I will probably try a dial-up in another hour, to check on the NHC web site for storm information. With the forecast turn north when Frances clears the coastline onto the Gulf, we will still be under one edge of the storm.

Could be Tuesday or Wednesday before we get power back. It's time like this I feel better about my anticipatory paranoia and planning. We've got water, we've got food, we've got light & battery for radio.

And so far, we've got shelter from the storm.

Sun, September 5, 2004 20:30:39
Brief Survey
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.
  • Current Mood
    impressed impressed & wet