I'm going to break it into different parts because, well, there is a lot of stuff that I actually used a pen and paper to write. Hope you enjoy, please forgive any bad analogies or wanky descriptions, I was running on exhaustion and heat frustration.
11:15 p.m., 8/13/04 -
Around 4:30 the power went out. We were all watching the news (because, really, that's all there was to watch, even though we still had a DirecTV signal, which usually craps out when a dog farts close to the dish) instead of really watching outside, and then, with the power mostly out (around 3, it started cutting in and out, we managed to make some microwave nachos, have to eat something for the munchies, no? before it cut completely out at 4:30) we went to the back of the house to watch the storm unfold through the sliding glass doors.
Around 6:30 the wind died down. Around 7:15 I went outside. It was still drizzling, but people had begun to emerge from their homes to survey the damage done. I couldn't take anymore digital videos because the battery had died and there was no way to charge it since we had no power. :)
I took my analog camera out and got some shots of the neighborhood. The first thing that struck me was how it felt like a fall day. It was almost chilly and very moist. The next thing that hit was the smell of evergreen. How strong the smell was next to one house that had been covered in trees that fell over in the storm. The house is okay, they just need to move the trees of the roof, but even their mailbox got the shit kicked out of it. Insult to injury if you ask me.
There were branches of all kinds in the streets, people were peeping out of their homes to see if it was safe to walk around. They reminded me of those little prairie dogs that peep out of their holes to see if it safe to eat. I saw people drive by in their cars videotaping everything. Sadly, with the power out, that meant, no air conditioning. Now, I grew up in a house without air, but we had fans and open windows. Here, no fans (no power) AND the windows...are sealed shut, so that no a/c leaks out! :)
It's really hot as I write this. Some of you may wonder, "Why the HELL did you stay in an area that was about to get a category 4 hurricane???" Answer: I was curious, and I felt that we were safe enough in this house that I didn't need to evacuate. Sure, we are only about 15 ft. above sea level, but we were also about 20-30 miles inland, so there would be no storm surge problems for us, unless it was a 10,000 foot tidal wave or something. :)
The other reason I stayed, I was absutely curious to see what it would be like. When Hurricane Andrew hit in 1992, I was in West Palm Beach, and we got a lot of the feeder storms/bands/whatever and thunder and lightening, and a couple of tornadoes, but I also slept through most of that. I think our power was out for a few hours too. So, here was my chance to see a Cat 4 in action and to say, "Hey, I made it!" I would do it all over again. Hopefully we will have some power soon, it's really hot. I'm going to go lie down and hope that I can sleep.
That was Friday night, I wrote that in candlelight and we were all sweaty the next day. I shall post the next entry either tonight or tomorrow. But probably tonight :)