By now, Irma has passed through Florida, Georgia and Alabama and made its way through Tennessee where it downgraded to a tropical storm. While Irma was less severe and devastating for some in Florida, it caused catastrophic damage to the Caribbean islands as a category 5 hurricane. Major damage and flooding was suffered by the Florida Keys where the eye wall made U.S. landfall as a category 4 hurricane and near Marco Island as a category 3.
At one point, our town of Fort Myers was looking at a direct hit from Hurricane Irma as the storm started shifting west. Thankfully, the massive hurricane shifted again and downgraded from a possible category 4 hit to a category 2. We were lucky. Very lucky. While areas south of us, like Bonita Springs and Naples, got higher winds and more flooding, it appears Fort Myers and Fort Myers Beach is dealing mostly with downed trees, fences, mailboxes and minor structural damage to homes and buildings. Most of the state of Florida is dealing with power outages and as of Wednesday, September 13th, 3 days after Irma passed through Fort Myers, 60% of Lee County is without power (154,680 Florida Power and Light customers).
We’ve received news from Snookbight Marina via their Facebook page that they were “delighted to announce that after our initial assessment at Snook Bight there was no significant damage caused by Hurricane Irma.” This was great news for us as our trawler was stored in their hurricane-rated boat barn. We are so thankful to know that we will have a home to return to! At this point, we are simply waiting it out at our friend’s home in Louisville, KY until we can confirm that the power has been restored to both marinas (Snookbight and Salty Sam’s) or to my parent’s home in Fort Myers before we return.
Even though it looks like we lucked out with Hurricane Irma, our family isn’t returning home unscathed. Sunday evening as Irma was making landfall on south Florida, Corey was running through my friend’s back yard without shoes on and stepped on an old rusted spike just beyond their property line. Thankfully, he’d recently had a tetanus shot but still had to visit the emergency care center to have it cleaned and stitched up. He’s doing great now and will be on crutches for the next 10 days.
And if that isn’t enough, our dachshund, Sophie, started having pain while walking and jumping just prior to evacuating Florida. After two days of rest in the car, she got worse when we arrived in Louisville and while walking, had wobbly hind legs and started dragging one of them. We took her to a vet here in Louisville who diagnosed her with intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), a very common back disease in dachshunds and recommended surgery because of her loss of motor function in the hind legs. If left untreated, she could have lost all function in the hind legs and been paralyzed. Sophie did great during her surgery but has a long road to recovery. She has 6-8 weeks of crate rest but is now home with us and resting comfortably. She now sports a reverse mohawk on her back where they shaved her for the surgery.
Now that our “kids” are on the mend, we are patiently waiting to return to our home, though dreading the long drive to south Florida. We’d like to thank everyone who has reached out to us and offered their concern for us or even their homes. We are very blessed to have such wonderful friends and family and to have dodged major damage with this hurricane. We hope south Florida, the Keys and Caribbean islands are getting the help they need and getting back to rebuilding.