Thursday, September 2, 2004

Dispatches from the hurricane zone, before it hits

Please keep a good thought for Mom, Jenny, Kevin, the cats and all my friends in Florida as Hurricane Frances approaches. Here are some excerpts of e-mails I've gotten from friends today as they wait for the storm to arrive:

From Jon and Kathy in Boynton Beach:
I've never been a big fan of the group e-mail, but for expediency's sake I'm
afraid I have to fire off one so no one needlessly wonders where Kathy and I
are during the hurricane.

Current projections have Hurricane Frances hitting land 30-60 miles north of
where Kathy and I live- Boynton Beach. If Frances retains its current size
and force, our apartment will be hit with massive winds, possibly hurricane
force. Our apartment building is made of concrete and flooding should not be
a factor because we are on the third floor. We are moving our valuable stuff
to Kathy's dad's house south of us, where the winds are not expected to be
as severe. Kathy and I also bought our supplies this past weekend for the
hurricane, well ahead of the stampeding hordes.

Regardless of where the hurricane strikes, Kathy and I will not be in our
apartment. We will be hunkered down in a makeshift newsroom in the
Sentinel's Deerfield Beach office where the printing presses are kept. It
appears we may be spending Friday night there. This office building was
designed to withstand such weather. It appears that the Sun-Sentinel main
office in Fort Lauderdale could be shut down as early as tonight because the
property owners won't allow us into the building.

This is some seriously scary stuff. All the gas stations around our house
are out of gas. Batteries and bottled water are impossible to find. There's
a real air of dreaded, hopeless anticipation. But Kathy and I are prepared
as much as we can be and we will be in the safest place possible.

From Antigone in Lantana (and her cats, Nat and Blondine):

Nat went nuts this am. when loaded into carrier, so Blondine figgered she should too. Mother is half calm half a wreck. I am a total wreck. Got two minutes of sleep last night.

From Meghan in West Palm Beach:

I am making last minute preparations for the hurricane, so sorry I
didnt get back to you and sorry for the mass email.
  I am not coming to Philly, obviously, because the airport is closed.
So thanks to everyone who offered to pick me up at the airport/let me
stay with them on Friday. Southwest gave me a refund so that was nice.
   I am staying in my apartment tonight. Right now they're saying the
wind will start tomorrow morning and the storm will hit late
Friday/Saturday. Tomorrow I am leaving by noon and heading for a shelter
for my own safety and to file stories for the paper. This is all very
tentative but I will probably be heading to the Boynton Beach High
School shelter.
     If this thing hits us, like they're saying it will, please try not to
tie up the phone lines... I'll call when I can. We'll probably have no
power and I'll be trying to conserve battery power on my cell.
  Honestly your best source of info might be the Palm Beach Post Web
site, even thought I do knock it more than it deserves:
  OK, this is probably all for nothing but it's better to be
overprepared than not at all, right? I'll keep you updated. Tomorrow
I'll probably send out an email saying don't worry, the hurricane is

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