I wrote this a week ago, because I am so fucking on top of things.
My husband and I have lived on the coast for six years. This was our first legitimate hurricane. Hermine doesn't count, since she knocked back to a tropical storm by the time she got here.
I arranged for Archie's herd to have a place at TE's facility an hour inland and by Wednesday night the decision was unanimous to send them off on Thursday. I did try to ride on Wednesday, though it was miserable and windy and Ox thought I was bonkers. The horses that stayed were spray-painted with their owners' phone numbers.
After a silly half-day at work on Thursday (two printer installs and some configs, wtf for?), I ran by the liquor store and the grocery store, both of which were intense. D and I had made the rough decision to wait out the storm and it felt like everyone else made the same choice, given the madhouses. I've gotten some flack about this choice, but this is what it came down to: the mandatory evacuation zone was arbitrarily decided by highways. We verified our house on all the available flood maps. We were two miles inside the evac zone based on the position of the highway, the proximity of which made moving two dogs and three cats nonsensical. Even if we had decided to leave, rooms were booked all the way to Chattanooga.
Friday was spent dawdling, napping, day drinking, and doing laundry. The wind had picked up and it had started to rain. At some point, I blissfully slept through a tornado siren. Per D's request, I made a giant pot of vegetarian chili and some cornbread and we lounged about until roughly one in the morning. The ETA for the storm kept changing, but at that point we were tired and figured we'd know once it really hit.
So I slept through the hurricane.
Saturday, we got up a little earlier than normal and took the dogs outside to use the yard. The wind was still howling but the rain had stopped. We walked around a block in our neighborhood, talking to neighbors and assessing damage. There were a handful of houses hit by trees and three trees blocking roads. And at this point, our neighborhood still mostly had power. It started to rain again after our walk and we spent more of the afternoon watching movies and napping. And day drinking, let's be honest.
We saw a lot of traffic on the roads by our house, so we decided to see what was open. Because stir-crazy. We drove a little ways down the road and everything was still closed. Lots of trees fell over everywhere. When we got back to our house, we realized we were in for an adventure because the garage door button wasn't responding. We'd lost power, after the storm. We waited in the dark for a couple of hours, talking, illuminated by candles, before I finally lit the gas stove and reheated the leftover chili and made some grilled cheese sandwiches to go with. Husband is a smart man.
Sleeping without air conditioning is fucking miserable, even in fall because Georgia. D managed to sleep in our bedroom, but the dogs and I went out to our living room and I opened the patio door to let in the breeze. Sunday morning was devoted to reclaiming our front yard from Matty. Then after showers and a nap, we headed out to a local city for actual food not cooked in the dark. Driving was a slow process and we made a point to stay in our county, because those that evacuated weren't allowed to return until after 5 pm on Sunday night.
Our electricity returned late on Sunday, after we'd take the dogs on a walk to watch a pole and transformer be replaced. I have to say, the response from tree cutters and electricians has been fucking phenomenal. They are everywhere. They are devoted.
I didn't have to go to work on Monday because my boss was concerned about the impact of walking excessively and climbing stairs on my knee. #win? So I was able to go with my trail buddy to pick up the boys from camp. They all look like they've fattened up a little bit and we were so pleased to see them. They traveled well and look no worse for wear for having hung out for the less-severe storm that Statesboro received.
So now it's Tuesday and I'm back at work at a ghost town. Clean up continues. We've lost a huge chunk of our tree population, but very few people were actually injured or killed locally. Everyone keeps saying, but it could have been much worse.