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Old 10-28-2005, 09:22 AM
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Uncle Ben Uncle Ben is offline
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Hey all,
I normally don't post this kind of thing but I thought it might be of interest to some. As mentioned before my brother lives in Davie Florida, which is fairly close to Ft. Lard (Lauderdale). He called me the evening after Wilma went over but at that point he knew nothing other than what happened in his neighborhood. Here is an update he got out today....

Hurricane Wilma will stick in our memories for many
years because from the day she was named she showed a
fierce independence and refused to do anything in a
"normal" fashion. When she finally gave up her reign
of terror over Cancun her target became the the other
tropical resorts such as the Florida Keys, Southeast
Florida and the Bahamas and there was no question when
she arrived at each destination. Her Southern eye wall
passed directly over my house but she must not have
been very impressed with the neighborhood because she
passed in just a few hours as she raced toward Ft.
Lauderdale where she quickly became an unruly,
destructive tourist.

Surprisingly, she didn't seem to have much of a taste
for blood although her passion for anything taller
than 10 feet was unmistakable. Nearly all the trees,
telephone poles, towers and high-rise buildings got
shredded. Today it's almost like living out in the
Great Plains for me because I can see for miles in
every direction. My house suffered very little damage
although the roof will definitely need to be
re-shingled and chimneys and roof ventilators will
need to be replaced. Unbelievably, none of the windows
blew out or even got cracked but the high wind pushed
in the door frame of my South-facing front door. The
carpet was soaked under every window because the rain
was being driven through even the tiniest of cracks
around the window frames. As the eye passed away the
wind coming from the West was icy cold and extremely
high velocity. I believe the wind at that point must
have been traveling at 120 to 130 miles per hour.
What's left of the trees and bushes clearly show how
hard those winds blew because they are all leaning
toward the East with the roots on the West side pulled
up out of the ground.

Monday and Tuesday were used exclusively for chopping
through tree branches and power poles to clear a path
in the streets for emergency vehicles and of course, a
way to venture out in search of gasoline, food and
water. Almost all of Broward County has been without
electricity, water and phone service for the past 5
days. That wicked cold front that propelled Wilma
across Florida has blessed us with very cold
temperatures so we are able to work all day in the
yard and not get overheated. Somehow I was able to
call my mother's answering machine immediately after
the eye passed but then the batteries at the telephone
substations ran out of juice and there's been nothing
since. Last night the phone came back to life long
enough to deliver some annoying marketing message so I
decided to send out this message via email to inform
as many people as possible while it might still be
possible. Cellular service has been almost non
existent because so many cell towers got blown away
although I was able to call my brother at one point.
Florida Power & Light is telling us not to expect
power before November 22nd but, fortunately,
out-of-state contractors have been brought in also and
they work much, much faster so I'm pretty sure we
should have power within the next week.

Finding gasoline has been especially frustrating but,
by working with the neighbors, we've managed to keep
the generators whirring long enough for a hot shower,
cooked meal and a bit of TV even though TV coverage is
almost completely dedicated to stories about torn up
trailer houses (Duh!).

I was fortunate enough to find a station yesterday
that had gasoline and a big generator so I was able to
buy $140 worth. Even though I waited in line for a
little over 5 hours it was time well spent.

I'm hoping all of you have good things to report
also. Wilma doesn't deserve any glory for harming any
of you.

I'll contact you again when I can.

Jerry
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