Winding Lake Drive /9-2-2004

Friday afternoon the winds get high. Saturday all day in the western eyewall. 1 am Sunday we're in the eye. 3:30 am we get the eastern eye wall. Sunday afternoon it's just high winds again.
Hurricane Frances nears Jupiter
Thursday, September 2, 2004
Buddy does a masterful job of putting up hurricane shutters on all our windows and doors. It's very strong, and really does the job. But the house is like a dark cave inside. You can't see out at all.
Friday morning we pick up Miss Charlotte. She doesn't have shutters, so will ride out the storm with us.
Russ and Mary's house is all shuttered...
Ted finishes up with time to spare.
Bring it on, Frances!
Francis stalls just off the coast, so we have strong winds and rainstorms starting Friday afternoon. They just keep on... and on... and on...
The tall trees in front - we really didn't want them to fall on the roof. That would really have ruined our day!
Frances moves slowly in...
Miss Charlotte talks with her daughters as the storm pounds outside. It's candlelight and flashlight only by now - no electricity. Battery powered radio for storm news.
On Saturday Frances moved on shore and just sat there. We would run outside every couple of hours (through the side garage door - the only one not shuttered) and stand in the front door alcove for a few minutes. It was so hot, dark and stuffy inside. The fresh air was great. Then we'd run on around the house to see what was happening and I'd kiss each lion on the nose for good luck. There was lots of wind - with really strong gusts - 97 mph in Jupiter I heard - and rain most of the day.
Friday the wind started early. Queen palms across the lake started really moving.
By late afternoon the palms were really blowing. Winds are blowing to the south as Frances approches.
Saturday the wind blew all day long from the north to the south. This was while we sat in the western eyewall. Note the direction the wind is blowing the palms.
Saturday we sat in the western eyewall for hours!
Check out this video of the western eyewall blowing to the south from our front door alcove. This was Saturday - it was like this or worst all day.
This picture was taken at the same time as the video. Check out the blowing palms to the right. Stills don't show reality in a hurricane.
Things were doing fine, and it did feel good to get out. We figured that unless a tree fell on us, or a big branch blew off right then, we were pretty safe outside for a few minutes when we just couldn't stand it inside a second longer.
On one trip out we discovered that a big section of the Ruby Red Grapefruit tree was broken. There was so much heavy fruit. I should have taken some off. It's just so hard to pick the ready-to-ripen fruit that you KNOW will be so good. But a broken tree has changed my perspective somewhat.
On Monday Buddy removed the broken limb and fallen fruit. Frances took out 1/3 of the tree. The rest still has great fruit, however.
All day Saturday we sat in the dark with candles (except for the quick trips outside to run around the house). It was very hot and stuffy inside, and very windy and rainy outside. The noise was weird and sometimes really loud. We talked and listened to the radio and tried not to open the refrigerator too often. We did have water - a real plus.
We're in the eyewall early am Sunday for a couple of hours. Really weird. It was like being in a slightly breezy cloud with huge drops of moisture floating around. It was not totally calm and clear like they say.
See and hear the eastern eyewall winds blowing to the north.

This was after sunrise Sunday morning. The worst had been at 3:30 am or so.

The wind was so loud and we were all so tired, I was able to sneak up on Miss Charlotte reading by flashlight and take her picture.
Sunday morning most of the high winds was past. We would still have feeder bands as Frances moved away, but it was "over".
Frances blew the leaves right off the trees. This is summer - these leaves are not ready to fall - they were ripped off the trees. The grass was blanketed with green, living leaves and see how bare the trees are. They were solid green 3 days ago.
The orange tree went down to the eastern eyewall. It's a Valencia Orange tree, and Buddy really likes Navel oranges better, so he got the saw out and went to work. See how the south side is stripped of leaves and fruit.
This is the only coconut palm that was hurt. It was easy to stake up, and will be fine.
The lake rose, but not too far. I think we only got a foot or so of rain here on Winding Lake. We've had this much in a couple of rainy days before - and we really needed the rain here. The yards love it!
The winds in the eastern eyewall were blowing due north - still at a brisk pace with strong gusts until Sunday afternoon.
Buddy had the Orange tree branches removed first thing. See the remaining stump right behind the lion.
After 3 days in the totally dark house, Buddy agreed to remove a couple of panels from selected windows and doors so we could get a bit of light, fresh cooler air, and access to the outside. We left the others up until the next day. But what a relief. No electricity yet.
Russ and Mary fired up the grill and we combined the just-thawing meats in our freezers and had a beef/chicken/hotdog feast in their garage.

Hot food and cool clean air! Luxury!

We got power back at 5:30 am Monday. We were very lucky. Some sections of Winding Lake took 2 more days. But now Miss Charlotte could see to read and we could turn on the AC and start cooling down the refrigerator. It took most of the day to get all the shutters down, so it was still dark inside parts of the house.
Buddy worked "strong and steady" all day, clearing branches, removing shutters, and getting us back to nornal. He also was keeping tabs on several other homes for neighbors who had evacuated, so we rode our bikes around to see them and the rest of our neighborhood when we needed a break from yard/shutter work. A high point for me was getting the hammock back up.
Juanita and Ted got their place cleaned up even faster than we did. And Juanita looked like a fashion model through it all - hair, make-up - she's amazing.

I think we were all just wanting SO MUCH to get this thing behind us as soon as we could.

Soon we had our piles of debris. Big, but not nearly as big as some homes had. Again, our end of Winding Lake was very lucky.
We dug out the orange tree stump for 3 days, then Thursday got top soil and filled in the hole. Now looking out to the southwest it's really "open" without the nice orange tree behind the lion.
The northwest corner of the yard faired quite well all things considered. The tangerine tree got battered, but I think it should be fine next season.
Russ and Mary decided to leave some shutters up for Ivan...
But by the weekend, they decided that Ivan was going elsewhere, and took down the shutters. We are all keeping the shutter tracks up for the rest of the hurricane season, however. It makes it really easy to put up the metal panels again in a hurry.
Ted and Juanita took their shutters down right away.
By Wednesday we were finished with major yard debris hauling, and we were ready for the big trucks to come.

Miss Charlotte got power in her place, so she packed up and I took her to the grocery store and then back home to Century Village.

We all took a break.

Paul came over and brought a "screen guy" and several of us contracted to have our screens replaced at the same time.
Friday evening we got Cable TV and internet access back. We still can't get incoming telephone calls on the land line.
Saturday morning the screen guy and the big debris trucks came at the same time.
Mr. Zair of Zair's Screen Service made quick work of the replacements. Now I finally know how they get up over the pool to work.
Out front, the big equipment was movin' on!
They wouldn't take plastic, but would scrape up anything in the road, so Ted and Bud went to work getting the extra leaves and branches into the middle after the big limbs had been removed.
When the trucks moved on, the final bit of debris was bagged.
By 1:30 pm Saturday, 9-11-04, our end of Winding Lake is really getting back to normal.

Selichot starts at sundown. We have a lot to be thankful for in 5765. Toda rabah!

Almost exactly 3 weeks later, hurricane jeanne came back and did it again. So we had to do all this again.
Click the storm below to see "She's Back!".