Friday, August 31, 2007

Hurricane Ivan - Part 5

Through all of this, the tension between B and I was growing. We were just barely speaking to each other. I wanted to get off this island. I was petrified at what was coming. I wanted to be somewhere far away and safe. B was unmovable in his determination to stay put, even though a Category 5 hurricane was bearing down on us. It made sense to stay. After Gilbert hit the island in 1988, also a Cat 5 and also on September 13, the people who left were not able to get back for a month. By that time, anything that had survived the hurricane had long since been stolen. B was not going to have our house looted. I begged, I pleaded, I even put my hands on my hips, all to no avail. I knew that there was a very small window of opportunity remaining before all boats were totally shut down. I was not about to leave him here alone, so I just resigned myself to staying and being terrified out of my mind.
this is the street in front of my house. the water eventually came up to the road but did not cross over it.

After a hot meal on Sunday night, which we thought would be our last for awhile, we finished packing the last of the essentials and moved them next door to our little sanctuary. I couldn’t help myself. I kept stealing glances at the water across the street. I couldn’t see much by this time since it was dark. But I could hear. The roar was absolutely terrifying to me. I could hear the waves breaking and crashing across the street. From the glow of the street light I could see the foam at the top of them when they crested. It was reported later that they were cresting at 25 feet! I really wanted to just sit down and cry from sheer terror. But that was a luxury I could not allow myself.

The winds had picked up by now but they really weren’t that bad on Sunday night. Stronger than usual but really no worse than some of the storms we have here called nortes, which always come in from the north. Much like a strong thunderstorm with lots of wind and rain.
We had run a long telephone extension line to the upstairs bedroom and were able to check the internet. We found that Ivan was still on track for us and his winds had intensified and extended further from the eye. Not good news. Totally exhausted, we went to bed around midnight. We were able to keep the door to the bedroom open all night since it was facing south. At least we had some fresh air coming in. Miraculously, we never lost power or phone on Sunday night.

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