If there’s one thing I’ve learned since moving to Fort Lauderdale it’s that going through a hurricane isn’t easy. Sure, when you get little-old category 1’s, which don’t generally cause much damage, then it’s not particularly hard to get over them. But when the eye of a major storm, like a category 3 with 120+ mph winds passes over your house and in the process makes your town look like a stampede of a thousand elephants just went through it, then things get a bit more disturbing.
Over the past week, I’ve seen things I’d never really thought I’d see: squadrons of army helicopters flying over my house, hour-long lines at the supermarket, 5-hour long lines at gas stations, homes and cars demolished by falling trees, martial law-style curfews… If I didn’t know any better, I’d think that I was living in Soviet Russia. Then again, this year has been especially good at smashing my assumptions about my place in the world.
What follows is a few of the pictures I was able to take right after Hurricane Wilma, and even a few videos of the storm itself.
The following videos were taken between 8 am and 12 pm on Monday, October 24, 2005. Each shows a different level of storm intensity. Although I didn’t get to record the heaviest gusts, I was able to take a shot of the heaviest steady winds. Those were scary enough, especially after the tree refered to in the recordings (the one which was 10-feet from my house) smashed through my bedroom window.
The following are some of the pictures I was able to take after the storm. Unfortunatelly I couldn’t take more because the memory card in my camera ran out of space, and since no one had any electricity I couldn’t upload them to the computer and free up some room on the camera. Anyway, these should give you a small glimspe of some of the havoc the hurricane wrought on the area. I’ve omitted pictures of the massive lines at the grocery stores and the gas stations because since they were all over the news — as I thought they’d be — I didn’t feel the need to take pictures. (Thanks to Pez for that memory-saving bit of info.)
Note that clicking on these thumbnails leads to a page with more information regarding that picture.
There’s more information, and I’ll update this post with it as soon as I feel like spending more time writing. (There will be a “Last edited on X date” message atop the post when this happens, so bookmark this post and check it a few times in the next couple of weeks.) There were some observations made during the hurricane that made for rather interesting conversation during those long hours without electricity., like “why was it that no tree on or around any car lot looked like it was even touched by winds. It’s like these places had force shields around them.”
One bright side to note, this hurricane was followed by a rather gorgeous week weather-wise. With temperatures in the 50’s at night, and 70’s during the day, not many complaints dealt with the lack of air conditioning. Normally, post-hurricane weather is very hot, very humid, and makes life generally miserable for all those having to live through it.