Lets go back to the month of October 2005...Hurricane Wilma Hit us hard, my first hand recollection of this Catagory 3 Hurricane

 It was a calm day.....not a breeze in sight, not an iota of movement appeared. The animals were scattering about displaying an odd and peculiar nature. The town became a race track everyone scanning the stores for canned foods, loafs of bread, ice cubes etc. The big box home stores had lines from in the store all the way through the parking lot with worried families wanting to purchase last minute supplies such as candles, oil lamps, plywood, flashlights, tapes, generators, ropes and anything to aide in safety . The wait in line was about 4 hours so we went  out of town real quick for supplies. I bought a combination tv/radio that ran with batteries, lots of candles, foods , flashlights, pet foods and water.

At this time I had many animals such as ducks, cats , dogs, rabbits to care for. We quickly barrowed time and boarded all the windows securely ,all out door furniture put in the garage along with the ducks......yes I said ducks crazy me!  Meanwhile as late afternoon approached only a couple hours till Wilma made land fall everything became quiet no one outdoors. A police car came through announcing that a mandatory evacuation had been put in order and no one was to stay in their home everyone must evacuate to the towns shelters. So that's what my family did......not me I wasn't going to leave my animals behind . The family was very cross with me because I would not go.

After everyone had packed and left the house I lit all the lamps and prepped my weather tv. As nightfall approached it began to rain and after a bit the wind started to howl and no sooner the lights went out completely even the street lights. My windows were boarded so  I couldn't really see what was going on outside but my front door had a semi circle glass paned window so I put a step ladder up to it so I could take a look but all I saw was darkness but I could here loud clanks as if someone was throwing large metals items around. According to the weather radio the wind would reach 185mph. My home was made of cement lucky for me. I walked about and reassured all the frightened pets carefully trying not to display my worry. The rain was coming down full force along with the wind but I somehow knew that we would be ok. I sat and listened to all the racket and fell asleep from exhaustion, no sooner did I close my eyes I woke to a bit of light shining thru the front door window. When I stepped up to look out I was devastated...there were actual walls and pieces of garages ,houses  roofs covering the whole lawn and streets it was a sheer vision of demolition. I took a deep breath of worry.

The wind seemed to come to a still stay and it looked like everything was just still in an artificial way so I pulled the ladder away from the door and carefully opened it up, every inch of yard ,street, sidewalk was covered with debris. I could here cry's of sadness from a distance. So I slowly stepped out and was told to go back inside quickly from a neighbor who also disobeyed the evacuation order, "this is the eye of the hurricane so get inside now", no sooner did he tell me that the wind picked up once again so bad that I had to hold the door handle tight to get back in to the house. So I propped the step ladder back up to the door to see and the wind was once again whipping, rain began to fall debris was blowing by as if I was in the movie Wizard of oz when they all went into the cellar and Dorthy hit her head. I kept thinking perhaps I would be flooded out because I had lived so close to Marco Island. All at once I heard a wind breathing sound coming from the from window that had an air condition in it and then heard pop and the glass shattered and the carpet soon became wet with rain. This went on until about noon time until it was over.

Neighbors had all returned to view their damages. One neighbors house had completely been leveled, many lost siding, roofs, garages and many trees. Our water had been shut down  as well. We cleaned up for 2 weeks and went with no electric etc. The red Cross came through once a day with prepared hot meals bless there hearts. The military supplied bottled water and ice as they set station at our local elementary school.

It was a good month before we got everything back to almost normal but we survived...washing clothes out doors, cooking on grills using other forms of entertainment besides electronics. Neighbors were helping each other and everyone pulled together to insure that everyone was fed, and taken care of. My animals were a bit skittish for a while but eventually went back to normal. We now have generators , oil amps, gas foods just in case. They are predicting hurricanes for this season so we want to be ready. One experience that I will remember for the rest of the years to come.

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