Hurricane Michael: Riding Out the Storm Together

We’ve been in a drought for some time here. That is when there isn’t any rain for a long time. In the Summer it is terrible because it gets so hot. I don’t feel like playing outside it’s so hot.

Well, In October the drought ended, just not the way mom had hoped.

Humans like to name things all the time. It is so bad they even name storms. We had one coming towards us. His name was Michael. When he got closer to us he was named Hurricane Michael.

Mom said Hurricanes are pretty scary. She said they are much bigger and stronger than just thunderstorms. I guess she should know. She was in one named Hurricane Andrew.

Still, I find thunderstorms pretty scary.

Mom was worried because the ground was so dry it would be easier for the trees to fall over from the wind.

I do know Hurricanes take a lot more work. Mom was running around taking things out of the yard like chairs and tables and even my balls! I tried to stop her. She obviously doesn’t know what she’s doing. Those are important! She said it was to keep them safe and from flying away. So I let her take them.

We boarded up some of the windows. Mom said she’d feel better if we had enough boards for all the windows.

It took mom two days of running around to get ready. She had to pay someone to help her put up the few shutters we do have. Of course, I helped too.

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I don’t know how expensive that guy was but he only got money. She pays me with hugs, kisses, and treats.

Mom said when she was little people rode out the storm together in one house, the safer house. They would have Hurricane Parties, they called it. People would be in it together and help with preparation, boarding up windows and anything else.

Finally the Hurricane started coming. The night was pretty quiet but the morning started getting real windy. Before the wind got too bad mom had us, Nikita and Dakota and me, run outside for one more “potty”. That’s what she calls it. It’s so cute.

The lights went out for a while but came back on. That was good. It’s dark in the house.

The huskies had to stay in their rooms. Mom kept Arthur in the bathroom with his carrier. I stayed with mom and dad in the bedroom. They both seemed worried…so I worried.

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We heard a lot of wind, really, really strong wind and then loud crashing noises. It went on for hours. By afternoon the lights went out for good.

Mom had to take care of dad with oil lamps and flashlights for light. I thought it was kind of cool. After a while though, I have to tell you, it gets boring. Mom can’t see where she is going very well and you can’t go outside. BORING!

The Hurricane went on ALL DAY! The winds were still real bad even at 11 at night! Mom took the Huskies and me outside in the afternoon one by one. She had us on leashes. We had to run outside staying by the house and then do our business and run back in. One at a time. She was really upset when the wind was still so bad late at night. She said it was supposed to be over by then but we really had to pee. We only got to go outside a couple times all day.

She finally took us out 11:30 at night, one at a time again, with no lights! She couldn’t see anything. We were tripping over big branches trying to find our way to a pee spot. Every time a big wind gust blew mom ran us up against the house or under an overhang. She told me to hurry but there are some things you just can’t rush. I don’t know what she was so scared of. I wanted to stay out. There were a lot of branches to sniff and pee on.

By the next morning things were quiet outside again. Mom and I checked out the territory.

Wow! The tops of all the trees were all over the yard! It was like one big blanket of leaves and branches! We couldn’t get down the ramp or stairs. Mom had to clear it. Trees fell on our fence and made a couple new openings. Mom tied the fencing and blocked it until she can fix it. Bummer.

Mom wouldn’t take me down the driveway but she said there were 6 trees all lying across the driveway! We couldn’t go anywhere for a few days.

Mom was mostly worried about the trees in the forest falling on the house. I don’t know why she was worried about it. It was great! Look at all the sticks! Sticks as far as the eye can see! This will take me a year to eat all those sticks!

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I have a lot of work ahead of me.

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Mom was happy the trees fell away from the house but sad they fell. They all fell over roots and all. It was mostly the real big old trees like oaks. She was sad.

Ever seen the bottom of a tree?

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In one part of the forest right by our house a bunch of trees fell all in the same direction. Mom said it wasn’t a tornado. Dad said it was something called a Downburst (Straight-Line Winds) where the wind comes down and bursts real hard almost like a tornado but doesn’t spin. It goes in one direction. Downbursts can even be stronger than a tornado! There are two spots like that by our house.

Sttraight -Line Winds vs. Tornado: What’s the Difference?

Mom put me inside and went back out. She said it was too dangerous. There were some trees that fell over but never hit the ground. They were just suspended by their roots in the ground. She said they could fall any minute. Mom went back and followed the line of trees that fell. She counted 29 trees just in that one line. That is not counting all the trees that fell in other parts of the forest. WOW! On top of that she saw three that were almost down but still clinging to the ground. She said we can’t walk under those.

“Leaning Tree” is to the right. That big hill is the ground coming up from the roots of the tree.

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Mom said you can almost piece a story together with the trees. The big long line of trees that went down all fell to the North. They fell when the wind was coming from the South. As the Hurricane moved North we got the South end of the Hurricane and got winds from the West. You can see trees that fell on top of the trees that fell to the North earlier.

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It’s really cool but mom didn’t take me to see these trees until she knew it was safe. She said I can go another time and pee on all of them. I’m looking forward to that. Then they’ll all be mine.

Of course, like always, I helped with clean up.

She kept picking up branches faster than I could eat them. It is going to take mom a long time to clean all this up, even with my help. All of dad’s paths through the woods are covered in trees. Mom doesn’t know when she’ll be able to chainsaw those.

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We don’t have money to pay anyone and they are too big for me to chew. She’s trying to get money to have someone help.

We got a lot of branches in a pile. It got so big we had to stop. If we piled all the branches together it would be as big a our house!

Of course, the one advantage to storms is…

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BONFIRE!

With a Hurricane you get TWO BONFIRES! The second one was better…

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..it had food. We had a cookout mom calls it. It was great!

We still have more branches and cleanup so more bonfires.

Then, mom says, the chainsawing begins.

After all the wind and long waiting we didn’t even get much rain!

It took a week to get our power back on. Mom and dad were worried about how to charge dad’s chair so he could get up.

Two of the biggest Hurricanes in the US and my mom and dad were in both. I was in Hurricane Michael and I survived! I’m glad I was here to help them get through it.

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