Written by Nathan Wertheimer
Most people took this Hurricane seriously. People were reminded from Hurricane Harvey’s devastation on Houston. This hurricane was a nothing like Hurricane Harvey. Each hurricane is different from one another. The key to surviving any hurricane is preparedness. People did heed the wake-up call and did prepare for this hurricane.
A week before this storm was about to hit, many people ran out to their local grocery store to stock her on their food and water supplies. Many of the stores ran out of products. Consumers were buying cases of bottled water, canned food, chips, bread, and much more. Plus, people were buying power generators at their local home improvement store. The power generators could not be restocked as fast as they were being sold. Depending on the power generator watts would power just about entire house excluding a dryer and a heating and air system. To power up one’s house one must have a special connector to the electrical junction box. A certified electrician must do this work correctly so you don’t start a fire. A power generator must never be used indoors. This is why our local news keeps reminder the viewers. Plus, local government sent a text alert about using power generators inside of houses.
With all the hurricane evacuees coming through Central Florida, gasoline became a hot commodity. Some gas stations were even running out with demand running high. Plus, the price of gas was going up because of the limited gas refineries were down. The Florida Highway Patrol was even escorting gas tankers to certain gas stations. Then Governor Scott, lifted gasoline restrictions from gasoline bring transported into Florida. This helped with hurricane evacuees to purchase gasoline at many gas stations. Many evacuees were heading to Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.
Before this Hurricane headed to Florida, many county governments imposed a curfew. This was to help first responders and to keep the general population off the streets. Still there were a few people who decided to take advantage of the situation and commit crimes of opportunity. Law Enforcement did make some arrests during the peak of the hurricane. Most residents were getting cabin fever. I know I was.
Then Hurricane Irma impacted Central Florida during the night. Most people were sleeping. I was sleeping and woke up around 3am to check the television to see the status on this hurricane. One could hear the howling wind outside with some rain outside the window. I still had power throughout the entire hurricane moving through. Some people were not so lucky the power went out during the hurricane impacting their area.
Most people survived and experienced Hurricane Irna in Central Florida. Now people are cleaning up at homes and businesses. Some properties had more damage than others. On Monday, after this hurricane had passed, I toured the Altamonte Springs area. It was still very windy when touring parts of Altamonte Springs.
I found that Cranes Roost Park was partially flooded at the large retention pond. It is not usual for Cranes Roost Park to be flooded from past major hurricanes. The floating stage was securely tied down to the pilings and looked in good shape. There was damage on the floating dock on the west side of the retention pond. Parts of the boardwalk were underwater. For many people this is a sight to see. People are curious in general to see the aftermath of a hurricane. I don’t blame them.
Another big problem is the power out in the area, which is sporadic. Even some of the traffic lights were out. The local news media reminded people that if they encountered any traffic lights that were out to treat it as a stop sign. The motto is first stop, first go. However, some careless motorist blew tight through an intersection without stopping. I even saw an unmarked Altamonte Springs Police vehicle pull over a gray sedan that did not even stop at all. Plus, I even encountered this myself when I toured the area. I stopped at a traffic light that was out. The driver hind me blew his horn at me. I guess this driver never got the memo that all drivers are required by law to stop at traffic light that were out.
There was other road damage too. The westbound interstate four right shoulder had a washout by State Road 434 on ramp. The dirt underneath the road along with some exposed pipes washed out the interstate road during the hurricane impact. This area was coned off and monitors by a Florida Highway Patrol Trooper sitting in their vehicle. At some point the Florida Department of Transportation made the decision to close and block off this on-ramp to I-4 waiting to be repaired.
Flooding in certain areas was another big problem for both residential and business properties. On Wymore Road, a few businesses were affected. There was an old abandon motel that was flooded next too two commercial office buildings. Down the way, some apartments are flooded by the interstate. Most of these properties are in low-lying flood prone area, which sit right next to Interstate 4.
The power has gone out for most people residences and some businesses. There are still some power lines that are arcing. Transformers tend to arc when an object comes in contact with them. I have even seen some power poles leaning and or split in half. One does not know if the power lines are live or dead. It is advised to just stay away from downed power lines. Many power companies pre-staged out of the state crews ahead of the hurricane to start working on the downed power lines right after the storm.
There is a gasoline shortage in Central Florida with a limited number of gas stations open right after Hurricane Irna past through. Some gas station had their pumps all tied up with clear plastic. There was a 7-Eleven store in Altamonte Springs on 436 which had the parking lot full with customers inside. The 7-Eleven was the only open convenient store around.
In the end, many people have learned a lot of this hurricane. I would advised everyone living in the Central Florida area to have a hurricane kit ready at all times. One never knows when one will need it. Also, Hurricane Irma will go down in the history books as being one of the most powerful storms to ever effect all of Florida. If you like this article, then like it on our Otownfun WordPress account. Also, join to be one of our followers at otownfun on WordPress. For more great events, places, and articles, please visit us out at http://www.otownfun.com
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