Hurricane Irma was a force of Mother Nature like none other. As I write this now, two weeks later in the comfort my air conditioning, I am so incredibly grateful for our only moderate inconveniences that resulted from the storm. Still, I cannot bring myself to really take in the joy of how our area was spared and my friends are all safe when this season has seen such catastrophe and so much sorrow.
With my children held tight, the bathtubs full of water, and my camera battery charged, I documented our experience. We had no idea if we'd be under the eye or not as we watched her barrel through homes over islands and ocean. But we hoped and wished, twirled our arms at, huffed and puffed at, trained love bugs to flap their wings at the same time, threw coconut oil at.... everything we could do to somehow will Irma to pivot out to sea.
Whether or not to evacuate was a huge dilemma. With a breadth wider than the great state of Texas, the ENTIRE STATE OF FLORIDA was in the path of Irma. And if you did evacuate, where could you go when nearly seven million people were pouring out of Peninsula of Destruction? Add in that the cone of uncertainy during the best time to evacuate still covered Alabama to Georgia. You basically had to go to as far as Wisconsin to be safe.
And there were no flights, even though airlines graciously capped ticket prices. There was no gas. Not to mention bumper-to-bumper traffic that required consuming even more of that precious resource. It took a full day of driving to get sometimes 4 to 6 hours away. Children screaming. Dogs whining. Collisions, breakdowns, panic. Evacuating was a mental, financial, and logistical nightmare.
So we weighed our situation and joined the majority of our neighborhood by hunkering down. This was our experience leading up to, during, and following Hurricane Irma in a small neighborhood in Fort Pierce, Florida.