I thought I was prepared for the storm. I thought I was smart. I thought I was ready for what was coming. I was so wrong about everything. Hurricane Odile was not supposed to hit us
There is something about it being in the dark going through a storm that I think makes it even scarier. The wind was picking up and sheets of rain were coming in hard like buckets dropped at 60 miles per hour…..the power flickered a few times around 6 pm, and rumors were going around on social media that the power company was going to shut off power as a preventative measure. All I had was my phone to reach out, and I continued to do so until my battery died.
Even before the storm hit us the house was shaking but nothing like we were about to experience. We moved away from the windows just in case the windows blew in. Josh and I both rode out the storm together, and I am so grateful for him. He kept me sane in the most terrifying moments of my life! I have never felt that scared. We could hear all the stuff being blown around outside……haha we thought we secured everything, but you can’t secure anything from 145km or more winds!
Creaking and groaning and things smashing outside with us, trying to guess what was being destroyed. I wanted to check on my house. We lived side by side in a duplex. It was dark, and all we had were the lights from our cell phones. What we saw was unbelievable….my whole sliding glass door was coming out with the frame! We moved a few things around to secure it with a couch as the wind was wiping around us and raining. In a flash we moved all my electronics…..there were a lot of things, so many that I missed a few. We put them on this bed with wheels and covered them all up and moved the bed behind the wall. We went back to safety on the other side of the house, which seemed safer and less wet.
I hugged a pillow and we couldn’t take our eyes off the windows, praying that the windows wouldn’t blow in…..sitting in the dark but for a few candles. I couldn’t relax and neither could Josh. We started making an exit plan…..what if the windows blow in? What if the house blows apart? Where do we go? We decided on the bodega downstairs. It has no windows so we could be safe or the bathroom.
We sat not saying a word except for “the windows will hold, right”? We will be all right. As the storm hit us direct the house shook and the sound was like a train right beside us…I really thought the house was going to go. Then it calmed down, and we thought we made it through the worst, but we were wrong. We were in the storm’s eye. Another wave of this, surely the house won’t survive this go around. Water was pouring in through the windows, the house was shaking and groaning and creaking and the wind was howling but it was like a sound I have never heard before……of course I have never heard it before as I have never been in a hurricane! At one point we heard a crack and then a car alarm…..later we found out a palm tree was pushed over by the gale-force winds.
It finally passed, and we were so tired but scared to sleep. We both took turns sleeping for 20 minutes here and there, but every time there was a noise, I awoke to attention. Dawn arrives and we look outside and all I see is the complete decimation of my yard. We try to get out the door but the wood has swollen from the rain and we are stuck! We look outside and see a man. I talk to him in English and in broken Spanish if he would come and push on our door.
We are free! Free to see the damage caused by Odile. My house has no sliding glass doors and I have 4 inches of water on my floor. I mopped and wrung 3 or 5 full buckets of water out. The pool is green and black with the pool pump destroyed. Everything we thought we had secured was in the yard or gone! The brick wall around the pool was knocked over and the lawn chairs and BBQ were in the bushes. My beautiful yard…..devastated! No more pretty trees or bushes ……gone.
If only I knew then that going through a hurricane was nothing like getting through the aftermath of a hurricane.
More to come tomorrow