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VG wrote I guess a hurricane is pretty bad, but isn't as deadly as one would think.
If I was near the coast and a Cat 4 or higher hurricane came barreling down at me, I would evacuate faster than you could imagine. However, being 40-50 miles inland a Cat 4 is around a 3 when it reaches us and a Cat 5 would be a 4 (I'd probably evacuate for this one inshore).

View this website for a few of the worst pictures http://www.floridatoday.com/!NEWSROOM/hurricane/jeannegallery.htm
I think you'll see the hurricane's deadly forces.

In the US not many people die there is always a few but we are a little safer than others due to house building codes. People in low wealth nations like Cuba, Haiti, Domincan Republic don't have the money to construct a house that will bear the brunt of a hurricane. So we are lucky here, a Hurricane is dangerous and it can go from bad to worse in the blink of an eye. Don't think a hurricane is not deadly it certainly is, however information and preparation will save your life.

So valueguy88 you want more, I'll give you more.

After the storm everyone instantly became one of two things
1- a roofer
2- a tree remover

The morning after people had signs in their yard letting people know that their services were available. Most of these fly by night business's were not licensed or bonded but desperate times call for desperate measures. A few people I knew did the roofing themselves and pocketed a few grand from the insurance company. Bad idea if you ask me, in 15 years baring any more major desctructive forces the entire state of Florida will be needing a new roof at the same time again.

I flew out of Orlando about a week after the hurricane and I joked that from the sky we had beach front property because almost every single house had a blue tarp roof. It was pretty amazing to see from a few thousand feet.

Driving in a Hurricane is a bad idea, when Jeanne was on her way my friend and I had scored some Florida State vs Clemson (I think) football tickets. We weighed our options carefully and even called our friend who has a Meteorology degree from FSU and he thought we would be ok. But a weekend of football and hanging with our old college friends was too much to pass up and off we went.

We won the game and watched the weather closely and started to realize that maybe we made a mistake. When it was time to leave we got in the car and headed east on I-10 right into the Hurriance's path. For the first 50 miles we thought we had made the right choice. The 50 miles after that we thought we were going to die.

We were driving at about 60 MPH on an interstate and winds were moving our Ford Explorer like it was a toy car. We could feel the car swaying from side to side and we were waiting for a gust of wind to blow an 18 wheeler into us for our demise. The rain wasn't actually that bad at the time. We decided to pull of on a service ramp to wait it out. With the car on idle it didn't even seem like a hurricane. So we thought we would get back on. BAD IDEA, the winds got worse as we got closer to the center and the rain was unbelieveable.

Finally we reached I-75 and we knew that saftey was in Lake City about 10 minutes away. We reached Lake City with more of the same bad wind and rain. We were starved and needed gas (didn't fill up when we left Tally, dumb, dumb, dumb) I went into a gas station (surprisingly they still had power) and they would not except my debit or credit card, CASH WAS KING, I went out to the car as we pooled our money together. Enough to fill up and head over to the Waffle House for some grub to wait this sucker out.

Now you know you have reached a new low in life, when the Waffle House will not accept you as a customer. The news of this drained our morale like a hole in the bottom of a cup filled with water. We looked at each other and thought what are we going to do?

My friend said maybe we should seek shelter. I thought we should continue down I-75 and get home asap. He talked me into seeking shelter and also decided it was my turn to fell the power of this hurriance by making me drive. So I drove under the covered area of a hotel that had gone out of business. I will never forget what he said to me at that point.

"What are you doing?" he said "I am going to wait this puppy out right here." I replied. His eyes I swear to you turned RED and he grew horns right at that time as he replied "I WAS THINKING OHHH I DON'T SOME REAL $%(*ING SHELTER, MAYBE A HOTEL WITH A LOBBY OR GETTING A ROOM AND WAITING IT OUT". My friend is very mild mannered and not a fighter at all, I realized at this point he was scared and he wanted out. I decided if I ever wanted to see the light of day again I had better listen. I raced over to the nearest hotel like Jeff Gordon.

We exited the car and ask politely if we could watch the TV in the lobby for a minute. The storm was barreling down on us and it was pissed at us for underestimating its power. After about 30 minutes he decided (I was ready for more on the road) that we would get a room. Well one problem they didn't have any. Finaly after begging and pleading we found out they had one room that was not guaranteed. One problem, it was a king size bed, so we would have to sleep in the same bed (this was not cool). But safety & survival was more important.

We decided it was now or never if the power went out we couldn't pay as we didn't have any cash. We arrived in our room at around 6ish and by 6:30 the power was out. The wind was ripping through the town. I fell asleep and woke up the next day at 7 am, a 12 hour sleep.

Lesson learned under no non-emergency situation should you drive in a hurricane.

Chainsawing
I think I cut up around 20 tress after Hurricane Charley. Surprisingly trees were not a problem for Hurriances 2 and 3. I guess the strong survived and the weak perished after the first.

I cut trees off my friends house. I had a rope around my waist hanging of the edge of his roof cutting this massive oak tree off the roof. He was holding me in place on the other side of the apex of the roof in case I lost my balance. Someone took pictures of this but I have never seen them.

I cut trees to clear a path to my parents house. These were mostly pine trees and were not fun. I also had to cut trees that fell on our fence. No fence equals dogs escape and thats not good. That was about 4 little trees.

Finally the worst but most fun was cutting trees off cars. Something I never thought I would have to do. When a foot and a half diameter oak tree, falls on the roof of a car its not pretty. Imagine next time you get in your car the roof is at your shoulder level, thats what it looked like. Now Chainsawing this was tricky. Branches were coming off this tree in every direction. The main piece was lying paralell to the ground.

Cutting this from above will pinch your blade as the tree wants to collapse in on its self. From below you work against gravity and have to muscle it through plus the weight can swing the chainsaw back toward you and into your leg, torso, foot, arm, or pick you own body part. Neither is a good answer to the problem. So I cut huge v shapes into the tree, I still managed to pinch it, but after I got it out and cut a little more from the bottom the thing broke loose and luckily I was able to prevent my leg for being mistaken as a tree in the eyes of a chain saw.

I hope these two posts will give you a total perspective of what a hurriance is like. I hope I don't have to deal with that again but it comes with the territory of living in Florida.
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