I woke up this morning and walked out of my room to hear the TV on in the living room…reporters are talking about a hurricane! Everyone in the neighborhood is running around today, preparing for Hurricane Charley; it is apparently HUGE and is coming straight for Orlando! As we did extra loads of laundry, Allison, Terrence, and I packed up loose things around the house and stocked up on food and water from the supermarket…the fact that it would be here in a few hours started to become more of a reality. By the time Charley had turned into a class four hurricane, the system was roaring with 145 mile per hour sustained winds (meaning that winds didn’t drop below 145 mph). According to footage on the news the western coast of southern Florida had been hit pretty hard, but we hoped that by the time it reached Orlando it would have dissipated a bit.
We packed up emergency bags, lashed down the house, taped up the windows, and got the dog leashes ready. It was pretty scary to think of the magnitude of the hurricane that loomed ahead, but I felt really safe with Terrence and Allison. Lee, James, Tim, and Paul came over after a storm band passed, as did Renee, all ready to spend the night or to move to shelter at Rollins College if necessary. Monitoring the storm on the radio, we stood on the sheltered front porch for a couple minutes observing the force of nature, in awe. At least 15 transformers blew up within a few miles of the house, the sky lighting up green and red with each loud bang. The winds picked up so we all headed inside.
The power went out and we were left listening to the storm’s progress from NOAA on the weather radio by candlelight. Charlie was getting closer and soon we had even lost NOAA’s reception. That moment was kind of like the part in a scary movie where everything seems to stop and the camera zooms in on the main character, who is frozen, knowing something is about to pop out within the next second. The winds were howling outside, but later everything became quiet within a matter of seconds, the eye of the storm seemed to pass directly over us. We peeked outside and the trees across the street that had been almost horizontal were standing upright again. Tonight I definitely learned about the power of nature.