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After Irma UPDATED

I spent most of Sun­day night in my closet.

Not in the coming-​out-​of-​the-​closet fig­u­ra­tive way: I actu­ally was lying on a down com­forter on top of a foam pad with two pil­lows while hur­ri­cane Irma pounded away out­doors. I’m for­tu­nate to have a closet large enough to sleep in, and it was the qui­etest place to be. I played my old Gre­go­rian Chant by the monks of Santo Domingo de Silos CD that I had uploaded into the iPod years ago, and dozed on and off.

By 5:00am or so the wind had died down enough that I went back to my bed. Power was cut off at 5:45am with a “pop!”

Liv­ing through Irma in Cen­tral Florida was as fright­en­ing as when I spent hur­ri­cane Sandy in the fam­ily room of my Prince­ton house in 2012. I would have much pre­ferred to have been din­ing with Pete and Stacy instead.

How­ever, the amount of dam­age where I live was min­i­mal. No flood­ing, a few tree limbs down, no elec­tric­ity, but the house was com­pletely intact, and we had nat­ural gas and run­ning water. We were under trop­i­cal storm warn­ing until 4pm on Mon­day and it remained cloudy, but the strong breeze helped to dis­si­pate the humid­ity and cool the house.

This is the view from the back porch at 10am Monday,

My sis­ter in Miami, who had fif­teen (!) peo­ple stay­ing at her house, also had no dam­age to her prop­erty — and nei­ther did any of her guests.

We are grate­ful beyond measure.

The local FM radio sta­tion has been cov­er­ing live on talk radio since before the storm, and they have done a great ser­vice to the entire area with very infor­ma­tive updates and a great amount of emo­tional sup­port to all the callers. Local offi­cials, util­ity com­pany spokesper­sons, res­cue per­son­nel, own­ers of pri­vate busi­nesses, all reg­u­larly call in with updates.

Elec­tric­ity was restored yes­ter­day, much to our delight. The food in the freezer didn’t thaw.

Parts of Florida are greatly affected, but every per­son and orga­ni­za­tion (pri­vate and pub­lic) in the state is work­ing towards restor­ing nor­mal­ity. The coor­di­na­tion between pub­lic and pri­vate is extra­or­di­nary. I have never expe­ri­enced any­thing like it.

If you are trav­el­ing to Florida, make sure to check your route/​airport in advance. For instance, Miami Inter­na­tional air­port is still under lim­ited schedule.

On the bright side, the Gainesville Police Depart­ment promises a cal­en­dar, and per­haps the offi­cers from Sara­sota may, too.

In thank­ful praise to Our Lord,

UPDATE:
For the win,
Nun With A Chain­saw Becomes Sym­bol Of Post-​Irma Cleanup: ‘She Rocks

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin Amer­ica at Fausta’s blog

I spent most of Sunday night in my closet.

Not in the coming-out-of-the-closet figurative way: I actually was lying on a down comforter on top of a foam pad with two pillows while hurricane Irma pounded away outdoors. I’m fortunate to have a closet large enough to sleep in, and it was the quietest place to be. I played my old Gregorian Chant by the monks of Santo Domingo de Silos CD that I had uploaded into the iPod years ago, and dozed on and off.

By 5:00am or so the wind had died down enough that I went back to my bed. Power was cut off at 5:45am with a “pop!”

Living through Irma in Central Florida was as frightening as when I spent hurricane Sandy in the family room of my Princeton house in 2012. I would have much preferred to have been dining with Pete and Stacy instead.

However, the amount of damage where I live was minimal. No flooding, a few tree limbs down, no electricity, but the house was completely intact, and we had natural gas and running water. We were under tropical storm warning until 4pm on Monday and it remained cloudy, but the strong breeze helped to dissipate the humidity and cool the house.

This is the view from the back porch at 10am Monday,

My sister in Miami, who had fifteen (!) people staying at her house, also had no damage to her property – and neither did any of her guests.

We are grateful beyond measure.

The local FM radio station has been covering live on talk radio since before the storm, and they have done a great service to the entire area with very informative updates and a great amount of emotional support to all the callers. Local officials, utility company spokespersons, rescue personnel, owners of private businesses, all regularly call in with updates.

Electricity was restored yesterday, much to our delight. The food in the freezer didn’t thaw.

Parts of Florida are greatly affected, but every person and organization (private and public) in the state is working towards restoring normality. The coordination between public and private is extraordinary. I have never experienced anything like it.

If you are traveling to Florida, make sure to check your route/airport in advance. For instance, Miami International airport is still under limited schedule.

On the bright side, the Gainesville Police Department promises a calendar, and perhaps the officers from Sarasota may, too.

In thankful praise to Our Lord,

UPDATE:
For the win,
Nun With A Chainsaw Becomes Symbol Of Post-Irma Cleanup: ‘She Rocks

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog