Ok...I was a bit over zealous with the time checks. When you have no electricity and no sleep, you become a little too mindful of how slowly life creeps along. Quirky thing is...despite keeping track of the time, I still am at a lost of the date. I have to continuously count from the seventeenth or look at a calendar. Ivan has interrupted my internal Gregorian calendar. I am so happy that I'll be able to start at day one soon...woo hoo, October!
September 16, 12:50 am
Tried napping a little. Am tired but quite awake now. Checked out the house and found water streaming in Em’s room from the ceiling vent. I don’t know if this means part of the roof is gone or if there is shoddy work up there.
Ivan has made landfall. The wind rips across the house. So loud. Never know if it’s a tornado or just the hurricane wind. The kitchen vent rattles so horribly.
We now have no water. I hope Mom and Shawn are faring better. I think nearly all of Pensacola is without services. I know Mom’s roof is newer than mine. I worry about her shop. That’s her livelihood.
The cats had been hiding in the den but are now staying here in the living room with us. They know it’s not safe.
Em is finally sleeping soundly. She had started sleeping a couple of hours ago but woke up. I need her to rest.
I however am afraid of getting real sleep. I’m afraid a tree will fall on the house or that a tornado will hit and I won’t be able to react properly.
This isn’t going to stop until well after the morning hours come.
I thought I was ok with what I had in batteries. I should have checked them. I should have just bought more D-size.
It is so blooming hot! I should move us into another part of the house. There are really no interior rooms. Every room faces the outside. Perhaps the hallway? Or let Em sleep in the closet? I’m afraid to move out of here because I know the roof is weak in the back part of the house.
I looked outside (back door) and I could see almost nothing. Pitch black outside. I saw some branches on the ground. Don’t know the extent of the damage.
News reports that the core of the storm still hasn’t made landfall.
Ms. Margie, on my right, has some damage. I think her carport is gone. I hear the wind blowing roughly over there.
We heard glass break hours ago. I think it’s from my neighbor on the left…or it’s my car.
Four dead from tornados east of Panama City. Two dead in Panama City earlier from tornados.
So so hot. I cant’ wait until this is over…for a number of reasons but it will be nice to open the doors.
I wish I had a phone to keep us from feeling so isolated. I’d call everyone I know so I could get through this.
Supposedly, 7 am is the end of this. Supposedly. It’s 1:40 am right now.
Water is coming in the front door. I don’t know if it’s the rain or if the street is flooding.
I think we definitely will have major damage to work on.
Can I just admit that I do want to cry? A few times I’ve held back. I do not want to scare Em or myself. Trying to calm myself down. Bit difficult with all this noise.
Evidently the east and northeast of a hurricane’s center is the most susceptible. Ivan is hitting Mobile which means Pensacola is getting smashed. The base here-NAS Pcola-has measured winds in excess of 90mph.
I am really scared. I never imagined especially the last few days that I’d be this frightened. Supposedly only five more hours. We have to get through the center and then through the back end of Ivan’s eye.
Florida is having a rough season…
Sounds like more water coming in. I need to check…maybe later.
God, I hope Mom and Shawn are okay. I think Allison is staying with them as well as Mom’s old beau, George. Don is supposed to be staying at the shop. He had to evacuate his condo at Perdido Key. I hope he decided to go to Eight Mile. The news has reported serious shit near that area.
I can’t wait to get out of this house. I wonder what damage has been done to this area.
I know the house is on a stone/concrete foundation but I can feel the house rock. This house is over fifty years old…about that…It’s not the foundation that I’m worried about. It’s the major renovations done since the first construction.
The sounds are getting worse. The wind is severe. It wants to kill. Praying my little house will protect us. Good house! Good house!
So freaking hot!
JJ is sleeping by Em. The poor thing would have never survived if he had stayed outside. I think he is scared as well.
Tornado watch. I am so afraid that we will not survive a tornado if one touches down here. We have the huge tree in the backyard and the G’s tree across the street. If I put us in the closet, that faces outside.
Living room’s windows are on the south and west sides. Laundry room has no windows BUT the south wall is shared by the den, which is not brick. The exterior wall is north and faces the big tree. I can feel the house move though. I need to prepare.
We’ve moved into my bedroom. Em is sleeping in the closet with JJ. The cats are somewhere else…den or living room. It’s quieter in here.
It is so hot. I have a headache. Am tired. I think I’m going to try and sleep.
Reports say the peak of the storm isn’t scheduled until 7 or 8 am. Damn! Full report scheduled for 4 am.
I need sleep.
I’ve been awake for approximately twenty minutes. I fell asleep some time after 3 am.
I walked about a bit outside. Cried. The neighborhood is obviously torn apart. So far it looks like everyone’s home has been spared. I haven’t walked down every street.
Trees are down. Not just down but uprooted. Sheds are in odd places.
Ms. Margie’s new carport is decimated. Ms. Betty’s tree in her front yard is down. My fence has been destroyed.
Couple of my smaller trees are broken. My huge tree has lost limbs.
I have a migraine developing. Not feeling good at all. Eh…
The wind is still blowing hard.
People are dead here in Pensacola.
Knock on the door.
We were going to go to the store to call Mom and Shawn but they showed up here along with Allison.
We walked around the neighborhood earlier. All the houses we’ve seen were barely missed. Huge trees fallen just near roofs.
I heard on the radio earlier (when I first woke up) that pieces of the Bay Bridge are gone. A truck was found on the bridge. The cab is in the ocean and the remaining part tottering on the end. No news on what has happened to the driver. I fear death.
Spoke to Jenn. When Mom and Shawn were here, they left Mom’s phone. Took several tries but finally got through.
On our walk, I found the down power line at the start of our neighborhood.
Pensacola got most of the damage. Ninety-five percent of Gulf Power customers are without services.
…I left a message for Ali to post a note that we are alive…
Escambia County has a 24-hour curfew.
We drove down a couple of streets. I was trying to find a pay phone in service.… Anyway, so much damage. Trees are broken everywhere and are places they shouldn’t be. Signs are destroyed for businesses like Wendy’s. A motel across Hwy 29 has damage to the roof with people staying there.
More and more realization that we were in a hurricane. Estimates of three weeks before power is restored. I pray water is restored before that.
Migraine still sitting in my head. Not feeling as nauseous as when I first woke up.
The wind is not as ferocious. Like a breeze compared to earlier this morning.
Over 137,000 people in Escambia are without power. No one except emergency personnel is allowed into Pensacola. 24-hour curfew still in effect.
Sitting outside. I couldn’t stand sitting in the dark for any time longer. It was making me ill. Too hot. Too dark.
Pensacola is hurting bad today. News reports that parts of West Pensacola were hit with water. Storm surge caused eight foot water rising on streets a mile away from the beach.
Again, I am just amazed at how close we were to being smashed by the trees in this neighborhood.
Trying to let sun soak into our skins before plunging back into darkness. Hot, nasty, smothering darkness.
We walked to the little store at our corner. Surprised to find them open. The owners had come by to see what was damaged and someone came by and asked if they are open. They had been selling beer, soda, snacks, and other little luxury items. Awfully good of them to do that for the community.
Looters are already out and about. The Fairgrounds are a ready station for the National Guard. A reason to not leave our property.
Hurricane Jeanne is dwelling out there and is scheduled to hit the States next week.
It’s beautiful out here. Some gray clouds are hanging around but I see blue skies and there is a lovely breeze.
All of the hospitals here have suffered damage. Historic buildings have been destroyed.
Still no word on when ice and water will be delivered to Pensacola. …
Meteorologist David Glen said Ivan moved 20 miles east surprisingly saved Mobile from worse damage. Everyone had anticipated Ivan’s path into Mobile Bay, but the slight change caused excessive damage in Pensacola, Escambia County, and Baldwin County.
The major roads into Pensacola have suffered damage. I feel like the town is isolated.
September 17, 7:37 am
Em is sick. She woke up around 6 am vomiting and running to the toilet with diarrhea.
My windows are opened! Neighbors got the boards down.
Em is feeling better. Had given her some Pepto. She’s sitting up reading a book.
I’m waiting for an announcement for water and ice. There will be a mad rush for it. There are estimates that water will not be turned back on for at least a week.
News radio says that estimates of power reactivation range from three weeks to two months. FEMA is bringing food, water, and ice to Pensacola today. Announcements of stations will be made.
People are out and about cleaning their yards. Not much to do here.
I am going to throw away all the chicken I cooked. I’m afraid it’s not good and this is why Em is sick.
Stores are beginning to open. Non-perishable food items. No gas. No ice. No water. No generators.
Can’t get in touch with Mom and Shawn.
Drove to Eight Mile Creek. Lots of trees and power lines down. Though the phone rang on the cell, there is no service at her house.
FEMA set up a distribution center at Brent and Palafox. The line was extremely long. The traffic at the intersection, crazy crowded. All four stops congested with people trying to get to the center. I heard one man to my left screaming at the National Guard, “What about us?! We’ve been waiting ten minutes!”
Army National Guard is all over town directing traffic and putting order to things.
The PJC campus distribution center ran out of ice and water.
There are cherry pickers, trucks with heavy machinery, and other maintenance vehicles on the road. I can see Palafox from our living room window and there was a convoy of them that had passed.
If Mom can get gas, she’s going to Memphis tomorrow. I want to go but am unsure of what to do with JJ.
Nearly a million people without service along the coast as a result of Ivan.
Oh! Forgot to mention, Mom’s shop has water.
The G’s are back…returned about thirty minutes ago. I don’t have to worry about JJ any longer. If we leave for Memphis, we can go. The cats will be fine. …
We went back to Mom’s house for dinner last night with every intention of going home afterwards. We spent the night because of the curfew.
I stayed up to 4 am with Shawn and Allison. It was fucking fantastic to sit up and talk with people.
We are going to Memphis. Had meant to leave this morning but was unable to because of flat tire, a missing cell phone, and a delayed Shawn.
Shawn had waited at Home Depot to buy a large generator for several hours. Two cars in front of him, and the size he wanted went out of stock. Issues with people cutting in lines. He came back in an awful mood.
We’re finally on our way to Memphis. …
Gas is one of the most precious commodities around Pensacola. Lines that last hours. People running out before their turns at the pump. Slowly gas stations - More and more stations are opening.
Mom’s shop has electricity now. The area near Pine Forest and Wilde Lake is slowly getting turned back on. Haven’t been home since yesterday morning.
There are now eleven confirmed dead in Escambia County. They are still doing search, rescue, and recovery on the Barrier Islands (Perdido Key, Orange Beach, Pensacola Beach, etc).
Life in Pensacola is moving on.
We came home from Memphis. We left after Jenn on Tuesday, about 9:30 pm. Had to stop a few times because Mom was sleepy. Got in about 6:30 am.
Came home to both lights and water. Hooray!
(still a bit more)