Teddy Bear News

We're back after Hurricane Wilma
Author: teddygirl | Tuesday November 08, 2005

We were in the middle of Hurricane Wilma. We lost our power for about a week and a half (many people also lost water and telephones), but we have power restored and the boil water alert was lifted. Life is slowly getting back to normal for those who don't have severe damage to their homes or businesses. Many people still don’t have power.

Here's some of what it was like:

At 6:30 am, the winds really started picking up. At 7:30 am, we lost power. We were in the middle of the eyewall and I think winds are probably 90-100 mph. I think the worst started around 9 am, which is what our local weather station told us (they said the worst would be from 9 am - noon). The windows in our home were shaking. We were well-prepared for the storm. We didn’t need our flashlights when the power went out because it was daylight. As a lifelong Florida resident and native, most storms have come during the night so it was kind of strange that it came during the day.

The first part of the eyewall was consistently windy but there were bigger gusts. Then the eye came. The winds really died down. There were still some small gusts, but it was calm. We didn't see the sun though. We peeked around a little bit outside with the neighbors to see what it was like.

Then the winds started picking up again. The backside of the eyewall was worse than the frontside. Instead of gusts like the frontside, the backside had consistently strong winds. It was pretty wild. I think gusts were around 115-120 mph. Finally, the worst was over about noon. It was still windy the rest of the day and we were still under a tropical storm warning.

Everyone we know lost power. Many of my family members lost their telephone and did not even have water too. For those that did have water, almost everyone was under a boil water alert. I don’t think anyone did not have some sort of damage, whether they lost a tree or had severe roof damage. I was surprised how widespread the damage was in South Florida.

Many windows on high rise condos were blown out as well as many buildings in downtown Ft. Laud were really damaged. We saw many windows blown out in retail stores and offices. Many utility poles were down. I saw one area where there were about 8 of them down in a row. Every yard has huge piles of debris in it, and now all that vegetation is dead and brown. Many trees are just stumps now. Non-native trees don't do well in hurricanes. It looks like winter up north because so many leaves are gone (it is usually green here all year long). Everything looks a little depressing still.

There was a lot of tornado activity; I read there were a lot of vortexes. We saw cars piled up. A neighbor across from one of my family members has a bar and tarp in their backyard; the tarp was picked up and put in the front yard and the bar went over my family member’s house and into the neighbor's house. Lots of things like this happened. Many of the major intersection stoplights are working now but many smaller intersections still don't have working stoplights. Many stoplights didn’t exist anymore after the storm. It's been weird driving around without stoplights. You are supposed to treat the intersections as 4 way stops.

One good thing after the hurricanes, especially when people don’t have power, is that the neighbors talk to each other. I got to know some of my neighbors and wish I had talked to them more before. I think it brings out the best in people for the most part. I think Floridians are, unfortunately, used to hurricanes and the citizens and government are pretty self-reliant.

The teddies here at I Love Teddies played a part in the storm. Having teddies to hug during the storm is definitely nice!

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