Hurricane Irma - Clean Up and Debris!!!

Discussion in 'Misc. Posting Board' started by zackiedawg, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. zackiedawg

    zackiedawg Member Staff Member

    Well the hurricane came and went, and mussed up my yard pretty good, but spared the house...and for the first time in 5 hurricanes, I still had power after the storm went through. As always, hurricanes are messy, even when you don't get a direct hit - all around my town and the town where I work, power is still out in lots of places, many stoplights are down or not working, so intersections are like Russian Roulette...and trees and branches (when we say 'branch', we're not talking about a switch you hold in your hands - we're talking 12" around and 15 feet long!) are all over the roads, the yards, the sidewalks, leaning on buildings, etc. My commute to work has been extended to 50 minutes from the normal 25-30...due to the extra time it takes getting through intersections without working lights.

    Still, it could have been MUCH we're thanking our lucky stars around here. Even the worst-hit parts of Florida were spared what could have happened, if this storm hadn't rubbed up against Cuba for an entire day and scrubbed off some speed before coming ashore here.

    Sunday, the storm came through, lasting through early AM on Monday. Monday became a day off of work for almost everyone, since it was clear the roads were going to be blocked for a while as crews got out to clear things and power was out for large swaths of the county. So Monday became clean-up day for many of us. I started out at 7:30am, clearing the large branches from my driveway, pulling large limbs out of my backyard that were crushing my hedge, hibiscus, and fence, and then walking around the neighborhood pulling as much of the large debris out of the road so we'd all be able to get around and out of the neighborhood. Then for the afternoon, I dove into the cement swamp I used to call my pool - the water was almost black, the surface was nearly all leaves, and at the bottom of the pool, where you couldn't see what was down there, was nearly 2-feet-deep of branches, leaves, and debris. 3 1/2 hours of scooping, diving, and hauling got all the stuff out of the pool, though leaving the water still a dark greenish black color until I could pour 10 gallons of Chlorine in there and let it work...and turn the filter and pump back on, which I had to shut down or it would have burned out from ingesting leaves.

    Wednesday, I was finally able to get a tree service to come into the backyard with chainsaws to cut away all the large branches and trees which were not movable my hand, and all the debris is now piled up along the road in front of my house - 50 feet long, 8 feet high, 6 feet wide of trees and branches waiting to be hauled away. From experience with Hurricane Wilma, it could be a while - we waited over 1 1/2 months to get rid of our debris piles after hat storm.

    During the storm, and just after, I went around the yard and the neighborhood and took some photos of the damage - thankfully no one's homes appeared to be damaged significantly, but the lush, old-growth tree covered neighborhood is looking beat up again - after 12 years since Wilma stripped us, things had just about grown back to normal - now, back to looking like a war just ended.

    My gallery of house and neighborhood shots here:

    And with fair warning that I am not a 'video' guy - much as I love stills photography, my video skills are down to pointing and pressing the record button, with all settings at default - I also had recorded some video of the storm coming through the area. I was obviously very limited as to where I could stand and shoot - I could only go out onto my front porch, or north wall since those were out of the winds and rain...and I also was mostly shooting during the early approach of the storm - the first 4 minutes or so of video were the outer bands of the storm, and the last 3 minutes or so were the closest pass of the eye - about 75-80 miles west of us, which put us right on the edge of minimal hurricane winds - we guessed we were probably around 65-70MPH sustained winds at the strongest point, with gusts up to 115MPH.
    Here's the video on YouTube:

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