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I sit here in Tampa waiting for Irma to arrive.  A little scared and nervous.  Thought about evacuating when they issued the mandatory evacuation but there really is no where to do.  If you want to "leave", you sit on a highway and run out of gas.  Otherwise you go to a shelter.  As of the last check, they are all full other than one, which is not pet friendly.  I have neighbors staying also and I will probably spend tomorrow night with them so that I'm not alone.  Everyone says I'm such a strong woman but I realized today that I got a lot of my strength from Dennis.  With him gone I feel like a sissy :)  Lord get me through this storm in one piece.

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Hope all goes well with you! My sister in law and family are in Fort Myers. Have not been in touch with her. Hope it goes well for her too.

Hope they evacuated.  Fort Myers is the point of entry.  Prayers for all of us.  Funny I took a valium and feel so much better :)

I am in the Ft. Lauderdale area and the bands of Irma are over us now. I decided not to evacuate. My son and his wife were in an evacuation area and they are staying at my house.I was afraid of being caught on the highway. There are no hotel rooms available. I am trying to stay strong but it is very hard. At least the winds are not 185 mph anymore. We have had tornado warnings for the past 4 hours. I hope all goes well for you. Please take good care of yourself.

I am not so afraid of the winds it is the storm surge afterwards.  I hope it moves further inland so that the storm surge is not as bad.  I probably would be this afraid even if Dennis were here.  The difference is that he would be telling me, don't worry we'll be fine.  I think I'm going to imagine him talking to me.  Please stay safe. 

Gunnerx2 I hope all is well with you. I did not have any house damage and did not lose my utilities. Feeling very fortunate. Be careful when cleaning up debris and stay safe. Peace.
So sorry you had to experience that awful storm. That was certainly the mother of all storms, and if anyone claimed they had no fear whatsoever, there has to be something wrong with them! Not only was it huge and powerful, no one knew if it would ride the coast and resume it's strength to a cat 4 or 5. Fortunately, it moved inland. I was truly amazed how it sucked the water from the rivers and bays. I watched a lot of the reporting on TV yesterday as they followed it from the Keys on up.

My sister and husband live 20 miles away from Tampa and my niece and her three daughters live on the east coast. Was relieved to hear this morning that they are OK but haven't talked to them to hear about damages yet. Jacksonville still flooding--what an awful shame. Misery factor must be off the charts down there. I continue to keep you all in my prayers! I hope power is restored to all soon and that arrangements for those unable to return home are made quickly. Who would have ever thought a storm could be so large that it could cripple an entire state and cause so much damage, what a nightmare!

For our widowed friends in Florida-- this has to be especially hard for you. The pre-storm hype, the storm itself, then the aftermath! We are forced to broaden our shoulders and it's not always easy. We do so because we must.

Once I was in a storm with 110 MPH winds and that was frightening. I was in college then with no husband or children or house to worry about and it still was frightening. I simply cannot imagine what TX and FL and the rest of the SE are having to deal with moment to moment. And, for you, getting back to normal will go on for months or longer, if ever.  Wishing I was in a position to come help you all. Instead...positive thoughts, prayers, virtual hugs. 

I was so lucky.  No damage, no flooding, no loss of power.  Right after Dennis passed his cell phone disappeared.  I had always put it in one place and when I went to get it, it wasn't there.  I looked all over and could not find it.  In the days before the storm I was talking to Dennis constantly.  I was asking him to make sure I made the right decisions and to watch over me.  The night the storm was arriving I went to take a t-shirt out of a drawer, and there was his cell phone.  I have no idea how it got there, I cannot imagine putting it there myself.  I took it as a sign that he heard me and I was going to be okay.

Gunnerx2 very happy to hear that all is well with you. Peace.
Gunnerx2, that is great news, you are lucky! Funny, I do the same thing when I misplace something--I talk to my husband! He was always so good at finding things and I still depend upon him! I have gone through the trash on many occasions too. Part of it was due to widow's brain but I also have some short term memory issues so I had to be extra careful. Glad you found the phone!

We had Sandy pass through here a few years back and it scared me. Now it was only a cat one but there were a lot of trees down--one big one down the street took out the power for four days. My yard was a big mess with hunks of trees and various debris, took several days to pick it all up. Of course, we didn't have storm surge but many people had flooded basements. I had a water powered backup pump so I was OK there. Still, it was a harrowing experience going through it alone. Can't imagine dealing with that on a yearly basis, but my sister and family willingly take it in stride. I deal with winter and sometimes lots of snow and cold but I can handle with that.(so far)

Callie where do you live?  I used to live in East Brunswick, NJ and we survived Sandy.  That was pretty scary.  We lost power for a week and after 2 days Dennis told me "I have nothing left to say to you, I've said it all in two days"  Lord I miss him.

I live in SE Pa. I thought it was scary too, mainly because of all the trees. Large oaks and I have one very large elm. I had a very big tree removed from next to my house about a month or so prior to the storm. It was dropping very large branches and when one landed next to my neighbors house, I thought that's enough! Wind would twist the high branches off--I was sooo glad I had it taken down when I did, that would have caused problems for sure. Other than a huge mess, I was pretty much spared! Four days w/out power was an inconvenience, I was dying for a cup of coffee! Had no phone, cell or landline so I decided to wait for the power to come back on, not knowing what was out there. I don't remember what the recorded wind speeds were but when it arrived, I thought my windows were going to break and all the house noises were eerie.

I cannot begin to imagine a 4 or 5 and then have to worry about the surging waters. I feel badly for the people in Texas, Florida and the affected islands. I hope everyone gets the emergency help necessary, especially the Virgin Islands and the Keys where many have lost everything. Water damage in both states--just as devastating because little can be salvaged in those situations either.

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