The worst is over.

It is around 7 am and I just went outside.

The wind is down considerably, though still strong. No rain. Cloudy gray. No sun to be seen yet.

Ike is not completely gone. But enough has moved on that we can begin to live normally again.

I found yesterday difficult. I stayed in all day and night, except for those times when I went outside on the deck. Sometimes I just had to get out of the house! Even if only for 10-20 feet!

From my perspective, yesterday was horrible! Strong winds all day. The rain was generally light, but steady.

The winds reached steady gusts of 70 miles per hour. A cat 1 hurricane is 74.

At one point I heard loud banging. I figured it was the gutters going. I opened the garage door to go outside. The garage faces east. Directly down the street about .2 of a mile is the Atlantic. There is nothing between my driveway and the Atlantic but a wide open street.

As I stepped out onto the driveway, I almost got knocked on my ass! The wind bent me over! It was that strong! I rushed back in. The hell with the shutters!

Some of the streets along the Atlantic flooded. I did not see it. National TV showed me. And Lisa and the family drove out at dinner time and told me also. I thought Lisa was nuts to have gone out. She thought I was nuts to have stayed in.

We lost power several times during the day and night. I had planned for this event. Candles all over the house with matches next to them. And 2 flashlights.

I don’t know how Lincoln read by candledlight! You cannot do anything by candlelight!

My gutters are gone. Probably in Cuba or Texas.

This has been an experience. An interesting one! Never again, however! I will be the first one to leave in the future. And this was a nothing storm compared to what it could have been!

The build up to the storm hitting causes anxiety. Gnawing anxiety. For several days! Will it be a cat 4? A cat 3? Will it downgrade? Will it hit Key West head on? Should I stay? Should I leave? What about Lisa and the kids? And so on!

Then the solitude of the storm. The darkness of a house with plywood covered windows and doors is not a thing of joy either. And the noise! You can hear the wind. Like you never heard it before! And when the rain is heavy, the banging against the house!

The rain does not fall straight down as is normal. It comes horizontally in sheets driven by the wind.

I should be grateful and I am grateful it was not worse. Had a cat 3 hit Key West, half the island would be in ruin. A cat 4 would have completely devestated us. Look at what happened to Cuba and the earlier islands. We were lucky!

I am going to shower and get out of the house now. I can’t wait to drive into town and take a walk. I am sure everything is still boarded up and messy. However it is going to be good to be FREE AGAIN!

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