I earlier blogged about Erinn Clark evacuating Jacksonville, wondering what she was afraid of. Apparently even a weakened Frances hundreds of miles away was enough to wreak utter havoc here in Jacksonville. :-( It doesn’t help that Frances’s path through Florida kept it within striking range of Jacksonville at all times. It is as if she was strafing around us.
We didn’t take severe damage, not like places further south of us like Cape Canaveral. However, Frances did enough damage to take out power to several hundred thousand (at least) of Jacksonville’s occupants, who were among 6.5 million Floridians with no power. This is especially serious in cities where the water supply must be pumped, as residents lose power and water simultaneously.
As I’m typing this, my cable service is shot all to hell, which is a pity since it handles my Internet connection. I had a bried period about 14 to 15 hours ago where I had both power and cable Internet, but that unique arrangement has yet to repeat itself. I have just recently passed what I think is the eighth consecutive hour with electricity. Electrical service has been spotty here for 36 hours, including a stretch of 16 hours straight with no electricity. This means that I have to throw away most of the things in my freezer and refrigerator, and I’m one of the lucky ones. :-/ I miss my yogurt though, as it is easy to eat with my still sore lower jaw, and it’s not like I can just run out to get some more, as grocery stores are either closed for repairs, for Labor Day, or because they have no electricity either.
With the loss of power also comes the loss of traffic lights, which I thought would be absolutely horrible. But it turns out that the other drivers on the road were for the most part very well behaved at the intersections, yielding to other drivers as necessary without any conflict.
A friend of mine had asked me over while the weather was calm last night. We were standing outside as I was leaving when we noticed that one of his trees grew out of the ground at an odd angle. He didn’t like the way it was swaying, so he backed his car out of the driveway and onto the street. It was a wise precaution: Today he told me that the tree did end up falling, and it would have destroyed his car if he had forgotten to move it.
I am hoping that Ivan, which is predicted to hit Florida as well, fizzles out or something, because its projected path last time I was able to check has it curving almost up the coast of Florida, which would be devastating to a state already weakened by two direct hits. Also, I don’t want to be without power again. This is the longest that I’ve been without electricity in my life, and service is still spotty as bands of thunderstorms buffet Jacksonville, undoing all of the hard work of the utility company electricians. Now that I’m without cable, I find that I’ve been effectively cut off from the rest of the world, as I can’t check weather updates on TV or from the Internet. Radio would be nice, but it’s so hard finding a station that is playing a weather report at the time you happen to be listening for one.
Anyways, I’ve been using this downtime to re-organize my music collection, and the network copy operation just finished, so I guess it’s time for me to end this meandering entry.