Fun with Hurricane Frances

Tuesday, September 7, 2004 5:50 AM

Well, that was an interesting weekend. I live in northern St. John’s County (which is just south of Jacksonville, FL). We had sustained winds of 40-60mph on Sunday off and on throughout the day. The St. Augustine airport (just south) says they were getting gusts in excess of 80mph and the naval air station (just north) said they had gusts in excess of 70mph. We didn’t have any major damage to the house (ie. already been fixed), lost two 15’ branches from the trees, and have a ton of tree trash in our yard. Lost power from 4p-12:30a on Sunday, 3p-8p on Monday. On Monday morning 250,000 households (not people, houses) were without power in Jacksonville where the population is just over 1 million.

We ventured out to get some fresh cooked food last night (and air conditioning) and easily 90% of the stop lights were out (and the cause of one minor accident we witnessed). Roads aren’t dangerous because of powerlines and such in my area, it’s the idiots that don’t know non-working stoplights instantly turn to 4-way stop signs. I took a few pictures outside on Sunday morning (when the storm was at it’s 2nd worst… the worst was Sunday evening-night)… I’ll post these tonight.

All in all, tons of trees down, lots still without power… and I had a realization: people don’t evacuate solely in fear of their lives… it’s also a convience factor. If you evacuate, you have air conditioning, power, and fresh food. Sunday & Monday afternoon… well that’s when we realized this. There wasn’t much to do so I put most of my powerless time on a project I’ve been working on. When  he battery on my laptop went dead, I plugged it into the battery backups I have for my two PC’s to charge the battery back up. All in all, I made a TON of progress on it… but there goes a three-day vacation.

Frankly, I was surprised how much of the effects we got from Frances as far as we were from it (some 200+ miles). Also, surprised what kind of effects a tropical storm brought. And we said we’d stick out a category 3 storm before last weekend. Um… our plan might be downgraded to a category 2.

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