Hurricane Irma with your own eyes – chronology of events

Of course, we looked at the forecast and know that from August to October it is hurricane season in Florida, but many hurricanes are born over the ocean, but not all of them reach land, and even fewer cause serious damage to people.

Ураган Ирма своими глазами — хронология событий

Nevertheless, approximately 3 days before the events described, it became clear that one of the most pessimistic forecasts was beginning to come true. America began preparing the southern part of Florida: Miami, the Keys and the coast for the impact of the elements. Within 24 hours, it was officially announced that the Key West airport would cease to operate, followed by Miami International Airport.

Ураган Ирма своими глазами — хронология событий

Hurricane Irma began in the Atlantic, as usual for hurricanes off the coast of Africa, and with a force of 5, which is quite destructive for humanity, headed to Florida.

Do you know that hurricanes are usually called by female names in alphabetical order, and when the alphabet ends it starts over.

Well, Irma went to the shores of Florida, and for two days, it prevented us from flying home as planned.

Ураган Ирма своими глазами — хронология событий

We were faced with a choice of what to do to save ourselves.

The path to Miami was cut off and completely useless. Friends from New York, who had already seen the hurricane live, actively frightened us and called us to their place to save ourselves. But you also need to get to New York. Having delayed a little, believing in the good, we did not have time to buy plane tickets to New York, all tickets to the Northern part of America were sold out, and booking sites simply froze, not allowing us to see or book anything.

Going to New York along with the flow of cars hastily leaving Florida seemed dangerous to us. It was decided to dig in in Orlando, especially since having already studied quite a bit «the topic of hurricanes», we knew about a significant reduction in their destructive power when they reached land. I don’t know if it was a bold or stupid decision, but to justify it I’ll say that Orlando is located in the center of the Florida peninsula and is quite far from the coast.

Ураган Ирма своими глазами — хронология событий

Having celebrated the birthday, protecting the holiday as much as possible from gloomy thoughts, the next morning we began preparations. First, we called our airline Lufthansa and exchanged our tickets for a later date directly from Orlando International Airport, because no one knows when Miami airport will open again. Lufthansa did everything quickly and without any penalties. Secondly, we drove up to the office of our rent a car company, today the car rental agreement was expiring and we were waiting for the car at the Miami airport. We extended the rental until the new departure date from Orlando, and also without any questions or penalties. Everyone understood everything, everyone had to save themselves…

But our apartment could not be extended, as we later realized, due to the fact that it was on the first floor and the owner, quite rightly, was afraid of flooding; there was a lake 200 meters away. While moving out, we saw sandbags being brought in to block the doors to the terrace at ground level.

We managed to rent an apartment for 3 nights in the same complex, absolutely no worse and even cheaper.

Obviously no one was trying to make money on us in this situation!

True, the new apartment was on the third floor under a roof and we could only rely on the integrity of the builders who erected it.

Then we had to stock up on water and food; stores were promised to be closed for at least two days during the hurricane. And having filled all the containers with water found in the apartment, purchasing food in reserve, we went to the very heart of Orlando — Downtown.

We haven’t seen this part of the city yet and it was interesting to see how the city of Orlando and America along with it are preparing for the impending danger.

Ураган Ирма своими глазами — хронология событий

In the very center of Downtown is Lake Eola — Orlando symbol — and the park around it — a wonderful place for walks, jogging and picnics for vacationers.

Ураган Ирма своими глазами — хронология событий

Restaurants are open here, fairs are held on weekends, and other city events.

Ураган Ирма своими глазами — хронология событий

But today there were not many people on the lake, tension was felt, but not panic. People calmly strengthened the display windows of their shops and cafes and blocked the doors with bags. A lot of things were still working. The wind was picking up, but it wasn’t frightening yet.

We took a leisurely walk and decided it was time to go home, place our insured car in the safest possible place, no trees or poles in the neighborhood, lock the doors and windows, turn on the news and monitor what is happening so as not to miss anything .

Ураган Ирма своими глазами — хронология событий

By the way, even someone who was blind and deaf at the same time would definitely have learned about the danger threatening him and received recommendations on how to avoid problems and get help. Our cell phones started receiving alerts from the city rescue services already in the afternoon; we were told exactly what time the wind would become dangerous and it was better not to go outside, where and how to look for help, and the addresses of evacuation points for everyone.

The notification was accompanied by a rather vile sound that penetrated directly into the brain, bypassing the ears. In short, it was difficult not to know about what was happening.

Ураган Ирма своими глазами — хронология событий

On the way home, we passed a convoy of rescue vehicles moving to the supposed places! problems, equipped and ready to save people. This sight shocked us and finally confirmed the idea that everything would be all right. Indeed, how could it be otherwise if a whole army of specially trained people and machines is ready to save you.

What kind of cars, equipment, uniforms and stripes were there! We watched as if spellbound, at that moment it became clear and obvious: Why do we have to pay taxes?! and Where Are They Going?!

The phrase has received a new meaning: «Let’s rebuild!», — which is uttered by the hero of one recent Hollywood disaster film, and you don’t doubt it for a second: They will definitely rebuild it! 🙂

By the evening, the mayor of Orlando declared a state of emergency in the city, everything in the city had to be closed and you couldn’t go outside.

We monitored changes in hurricane strength and direction on television and online. Two online forecasts helped us a lot and saved a lot of nerves. There was a heavy downpour outside the window, and the already strong wind was getting stronger.

I’m sharing something useful: while waiting for a hurricane, two simple and clear online weather forecasts helped us a lot: and

We tried to go out onto the balcony a couple of times, but a person of my weight actually had a feeling of being lifted off the ground and a hysterical desire to grab the fence. In addition, when you go outside in a couple of minutes you get wet to the last thread. Further attempts were abandoned.

The children went to bed, and we watched as the hurricane hit the islands. Miami, which shone before our eyes just recently, went to the Gulf Coast because the hurricane changed direction a little, and then came towards us, having weakened considerably on land.

How we became Floridians, or HURRICANE IRMA with our own eyes

And so, Hurricane Irma September 10, 2017

Chronology of events:

18:30 Everything is just beginning

19:30 The scale of the disaster becomes clear

22:30 Evening

0:00 Night — It’s still possible to go outside

0:30 Night — Shooting from the window

Next morning — Irma’s tail goes away

In the morning we woke up alive, with electricity and the Internet, which did not turn off for a minute, thanks to our temporary home and its builders.

I know that not all areas of Orlando are as lucky as ours. In some places they cleared away the rubble and restored networks for more than one day.

By noon the state of emergency was lifted, the sun came out, the first people appeared on the streets.

P.S. There will be something to tell at school!

Ураган Ирма своими глазами — хронология событий

We had a hard time finding the only pizzeria that opened that day in the city. The whole family worked, the waiting line was an hour and a half, but they gave people delicious warm pizza 🙂 thank you very much to them and prosperity to the business!

Here are some photos from hurricane Orlando:

Ураган Ирма своими глазами — хронология событий

Ураган Ирма своими глазами — хронология событий

Ураган Ирма своими глазами — хронология событий

Ураган Ирма своими глазами — хронология событий

In general, we did not see any serious damage, despite the wind force of almost 200 meters per second. Yes, they were ready… 🙂

The next day we calmly flew from Orlando to Washington and from there across the ocean to Europe.

As usual, satisfied and happy with the baggage of impressions!

🙂 We are planning our third trip to America… come in! 🙂

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