|Wilma aiming at me!|
Hurricanes that come in from the Atlantic Ocean toward south Florida don’t seem to cause the massive destruction and loss of life (except Andrew) and I’ve been thru several of those when I was living here on and off since the 1970’s.
Wilma in 2005 was different. Wilma was another category 5 just like Andrew but she circled around the keys into the Gulf Of Mexico and made a sharp right turn across the Everglades toward the western suburbs of Ft. Lauderdale.
Laurie and I had split by this time and I was living in a nice apartment about a mile from the Everglades and there was nothing to stop the storm from blasting us pretty good.
I wasn’t doing a show at the time so I could devote my full attention into being safe and secure for myself and my kitty. Actually he took it pretty good but he doesn’t like loud noise and he heard a lot of that for a couple of days and nights!
My apartment is on some water...a small lake and the winds were blowing the water onto the patio. That was unusual.
The strong firedoor of the apartment was starting to cave from all the heavy wind and I feared it would get blown off its hinges so I moved a very large and heavy bookcase over to block the door from caving. We weren’t going anywhere anyway!
The power was off of course. FPL, the power company here has had much trouble in south Florida for years which seems strange since we don’t have the ice storms...snow and other stuff that other locations have to cause problems. They have finally begun improvements in the past few years and even so you can still count of needing batteries for flashlights and radios during intense storms here.
The storm eventually moved away after doing considerable damage up and down the state. MY car had been parked under a tree. That’s a mistake that won’t happen again. It was not a new car...about five years old but it was totaled. The insurance company had no patience in these cases because of all the claims filed and it was easier just to write it off and pay you off. I was lucky to have one of the new cars (forgot which model) for review so I had that one to drive....knowing they would replace it with another in a week.
So that you’ll understand the intensity of this kind of storm...my patio was enclosed with screen and facing north. The car was parked on the south side of my lot near some huge old trees and a pool and tennis courts.
A few days after the storm I went out to search for some new cushions which blew off my patio chairs. I found one...didn’t find any others. The cushion I found was on the tennis courts! So that cushion would have had to be taken by the wind...pulled thru now broken patio screens...hurled high...and I mean high enough to clear the top of this section of the apartment complex and then...higher in the air above tree top heights and about 100 yards further on to the tennis courts. Now that’s a trip. All this and it still looked fairly new!
That was a hurricane named Wilma back in 2005 and it convinced me of one thing. The next time a storm like that comes in from the west...get the hell out!