TMSM’s Adventures in Florida Living ~ Our First Major Hurricane #HurricaneIrma

Happy Wednesday everyone.  It’s been a wild ride here in Florida this past week.  Hurricane Irma blew through the entire state of Florida, and caused quite a mess. Lets talk about it!

At the beginning of last week, the news started telling Florida residents to prepare for Hurricane Irma. She was a mean, monster of a storm, and we’re all going to get hit at some point starting on Sunday. So what does a newer Floridian do? Panic? No, we didn’t panic, we started preparing. So did everyone else. By the weekend, stores were sold out of bread, water, basic household supplies, etc. Gas stations were running out of gas. Home improvement stores were sold out of plywood. It was scary. We did the best we could and started buying food early. Water was scarce at the stores, so we started filling up our own containers at home. Once Friday hit, we started boarding up the windows and door wall on our house. We were going to be ready for Irma. As ready as we could. Last year we made it through Hurricane Matthew, but honestly, I don’t count that as our first major hurricane, because Matthew took a turn and wasn’t so bad in our area. Irma on the other hand, oh my gosh. In addition to prepping our home, we were busy keeping our readers updated with closures in the area, and waiting to hear the scoop from Disney World. I knew they would close, but it was just a matter of when they’d announce it. Finally on Friday, announcements started coming and we had concrete information to share. People panic when Disney announces they are closing, because it’s such a big deal, Disney doesn’t close usually. However, Disney did a great job accommodating guests, and Cast Members took care of resort guests who were hunkered down for the duration.

We took one last ride out for supplies on Saturday afternoon, and almost all businesses were already closed. The grocery stores were closed, same for restaurants. It felt like Christmas day, when you’re looking for a snack and everything is closed. It’s particularly odd to see businesses close here in Central Florida. Usually everything is open, later than most places, and it was a ghost town. We found a Publix that was still open, getting ready to close, and it was a madhouse. People were scrambling to get their hands on whatever they could. Complete insanity. We went back home and knew that this is where we’d be for a few days, but truthfully, I felt safer there. I didn’t want to be out and about. By Saturday evening, we were ready. The wind started picking up but it wasn’t bad. On Sunday, the weather started to change, you could feel it in the air. The wind had a whistle to it, and the clouds were moving pretty fast. We tried to keep up to date on the news, but took a little break to watch the Detroit Lions game on tv. They won, so that was a high point of the day. By early evening, the rain was coming down, winds were high, and it was getting scary. We had tornado warnings all day, so watching the news was key. I had a safe spot ready in the house, that’s actually where the kids slept that night. I put the boys to bed, then Scott and I decided to look outside. We stood on the porch and saw trees bending in the wind, water blowing from the rain, it was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Around 11pm we got word that the eye of Irma was due to pass over us within two hours. I was pretty scared. We all stayed in the same room, the kids were asleep, but I sure wasn’t. The sound a hurricane makes is like a fright train outside your window. The house shakes. It’s terrifying. Once the eye was past us, I finally fell asleep for a few hours. When I got up in the morning, the wind was still blowing, but I needed to see what the damage was outside. I opened the front door, and was in total shock.

The tree that I took video of the previous night was completely uprooted out of the ground, and on my neighbors car. Our tree up front was cracked in half. The playground behind us was under water. There was debris everywhere. It’s so hard to explain those feelings, but I felt like I couldn’t breathe. We’ve had some bad storms in Michigan, but nothing comes close to this. As bad as it was in our area, our house wasn’t damaged. It’s a miracle too, because we should have had some damage, thank you God. We had our power go out a few times, but it came right back on. After accessing the aftermath in our neighborhood, I went online and started to check on friends in the area. Florida was hit so hard. Irma really unleashed her wrath no matter where you lived. Cities south of us had it so much worse, and my heart hurt to see what had happened. Thankfully, all my Florida friends were safe, that was a huge relief. Disney made it though as well, with no major damage. I was happy to report on that. There was a curfew in effect until 6pm, and when it lifted we went for a drive. Oh my gosh. The devastation on the neighborhoods and businesses was so bad. Restaurant signs were blown away, billboards down, buildings lost their roofs or crumbled. The only good point, was a beautiful double rainbow down towards World Drive.

Florida is still in clean up mode, especially south of us. My boys don’t have school until Monday, due to power outages and damage, but they’re not complaining. I’m fine with that too, I don’t mind having them here. We made it through our first big hurricane, and I’m so thankful for that. I had people ask me if I’m sorry we moved to Florida, because of the scary weather here. Truthfully, no, weather and all, Florida is still pretty great. I haven’t been to Disney yet, but it’s on my list. My prayers go out of all of those who lost so much due to Irma. Thank you to all of you who checked on us, it’s very much appreciated. That’s it for this weeks update, hopefully next time I’ll have something a little more positive to write about. Sending you all love, blessings and pixie dust! See ya real soon! ~M

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Michele Atwood is the Owner/Editor of The Main Street Mouse and it’s subsidiaries and author of the books “Moving to Main Street U.S.A.” “How Many Sleeps Till Disney?” and “How Many Sleeps Till Disneyland?” Michele also contributes Disney news to the Joe Kelley Morning Show on 107.3 WDBO in Orlando. She and her family made the move from Michigan to the Orlando area to pursue their Disney dreams. Michele is a life long Disney fan, and has two sons who have followed suit, each going on their first Disney trip before their first birthday’s. Part of the goal Michele has for The Main Street Mouse is not only to keep members informed, but to create somewhat of a Disney Family by relating to others through personal experiences and opinions. Also, Michele is making it a priority to share stories of inspiration and hope to other Disney Fans in an effort to share the Magic and hopefully make a difference in the lives of others. ~ I enjoy writing personal perspective blogs, doing TMSM Meet Ups for our readers, and keeping the constant interaction going with others, sharing the Disney Magic to people when they can’t be at their Happy Place.

Michele has 6644 posts and counting. See all posts by Michele


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