In the eye of the
hurricane

We moved to Florida two years ago from New Jersey where, surprisingly, we have seen two hurricanes: in 2011 ( Irene ) and 2012 ( Sandy ), the second one caused a loss of power of more than two weeks in our area. I always wondered how long we will need to wait until we will see first Florida hurricane as residents, not that we really WANTED to see it, but like taxes, it is inevitable. We got the answer on September 10th 2017 when Irma paid a visit, came in and left presents. Naples is hit by hurricanes quite frequently even if not really as directly as Irma did in September 2017; the Collier County web site discusses the issue on this page.

Surprisingly, the damage to homes in Naples was limited, I have not seen large scale destruction as I would have expected from a 130mph wind, and I think we have to thank another hurricane ( Andrew ) for it: most of the homes in Naples are built after Andrew and I can attest to the fact that the homes are indeed built to resist the wind. During Sandy we were living in a 2-story wood frame home in New Jersey and I would not care to repeat the experience, I could feel the house shaking and moving, buffeted by the wind. Not so in Naples, while the wind was much stronger and our home was on the East side of the eye, about 15 miles from the center ( therefore it was hit by the worst part of the storm ), the construction had no problems and the hurricane shutters did their job. After the storm I found branches up to 8 inches thick that have hit the house wall or windows without causing any damage. I have of course NOT gone outside during the storm but after I have seen many roofs with missing tiles or shingles in the neighborhood, a lot of broken trees, even palms, a lot of water ( only from rain in our area, we are about 20 miles from the shore ), a lot of pine
needles and cypress leafs. I have seen one carport destroyed but that was the extent of the damage I have seen in our neighborhood.

Here are some images, some taken before the storm, some after, the same general area. And the image of the water coming nearly as high as my boots is taken on my driveway in front of the garage. Most of the water went away quickly ( there are canals crisscrossing the land ), after 24 hours I could already drive my car without any problems.

But in the middle of the distraction I still could see my flowers. Surprisingly, my orchid started to bloom right after the hurricane.

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