Today, we sat here in Perry at Fair Harbor and watched Tropical Storm Irma come through. I would say we had some gusts up to 50 or 60 mph and it rained pretty much non-stop from last night, all through the day, and until probably midnight tonight. The wind didn’t affect us, although the power went off and back on multiple times, so I switched to generator power to protect our appliances. It is cold enough here today that we turned on our heat for the first time since we’ve owned the coach. We kind of had to figure out how it worked and what we have…turns out we have a heat pump in the front with a gas furnace for backup, but the rear is electric only, the furnace ducts don’t go to the bedroom/rear of the coach. Then there’s the fireplace in the sitting room, which puts out some good heat and it’s electric. We’ve been as warm and toasty as we care to be.
There were only two fairly minor problems…the bedroom window (over the bed of course) leaks around the frame, right through some of the screws. I could probably fix this by removing, caulking, and replacing the screws, but I don’t have any caulk and I’m NOT going to the store, if it’s even open. So, we just have a bunch of wet towels while we’re catching the water at the frame…good thing we have a dryer or we would have run out of towels.
The other problem is acorns and walnuts. I knew I was sitting under some trees and evaluated the limbs before I rode out a storm under them. I decided they looked tall and healthy enough to stay in this space, but I did not notice the acorns and walnuts. When they hit the top of the coach they are LOUD, they’re kind of like tiny missiles in high winds, and they wake you up when you’re trying to sleep with the gentle pitter-patter of the rain on the roof. It’s sort of pitter-patter, pitter patter, THOCK, pitter-patter, pitter patter, WHAP, pitter patter. They’ve pretty much stopped as the wind has subsided, but geez, there can’t be too many left up there either.
We got some very positive reports from the home front today, several people who stayed including one of the ladies, Patrice, who works for our management company and one of the resident board members, walked around and sent out an assessment. One portion of seawall collapsed (which is on the city to fix), but all boats and cars under the carports look OK. That means the Harleys are probably just fine…whew! Punta Gorda dodged a bullet on this one, because after Irma hit Naples, it slowed down and turned slightly east, so it went by PG on land and didn’t push any storm surge to speak of. The water came up 3 or 4 feet, to the edge of the sea wall as she passed by, but we get tides almost that high sometimes (over the docks), so that wasn’t high enough to cause any problems with the boats or flooding. So far, the news is encouraging for us, but there are a lot of parts of Florida that fared very badly, especially the Keys and Naples/Marco.
Now we’ll have to decide when to head back. I don’t want to go too soon because of traffic and gas concerns along the way if everybody races back at the same time. Plus, there is still a curfew and a chance there will be power outages while they are repairing lines, even though we have power at the condo now. We think maybe we’ll stay here another day, then go back to good ol’ Bushnell on Wednesday, if the campground is OK, then home Thursday, but we’ll see what the word is back home before we decide.