For days we had been following up the news on tropical storm Earl and it just kept heading towards us. It was not until it made landfall in the evening of August 4, 2016 that they officially declared it a hurricane.
We had been doing the usual drill – stocking up on batteries for flashlights, food and medicine and filling up empty gallon jugs with clean drinking water. Securing everything in the yard that could easily fly off or become a culprit and nailing boards against the glass windows to the west. Our most important documents and passports along with dry clothes were packed into a tight plastic drum.
It was the morning before Earl made landfall when I took the above picture. The sky darkened and the formation of the clouds looked strange -like an omen. A drizzling, slight rain set in. Something was in the air- the inkling of the coming storm.
Evening came. I felt helpless when I turned the cows loose into the pasture.. hoping for their instincts to tell them where the safest place would be for them. That was the hardest part to worry about all the animals we couldn’t take into the house with us.
It was very calm until late in the evening. Then the wind started. I kept chatting with friends but one by one they told me their power just went out and it was just a matter of time for the phone signal to go too. The last thing I read on the news was about lootings in Belize City and everybody’s power going out. Luckily we have our own solar system and we had lights and power through the whole storm. When the wind got more intense my phone signal went and along with it the internet connection. Knowing we’re miles from town, our road most likely going to be cut off by falling trees; it was an uneasy, scary feeling- to realize that now we were also cut off from communication.
The wind was howling loud now; like a train, coming in waves, shaking up the house. The strongest ones shook it so hard that one started to wonder how long the roof was going to stay on. Oh yea – and the heavy rain poured on the metal roof and added to the noise. It was so loud that we never heard the big Mimosa shade tree beside our house break.Suddenly we just smelled this strong odor of wooden sap.
We were all cuddled together. Sometimes trying to doze a little ..none of us was really sleeping. Just waiting eagerly for the storm to be over and the new day to come.
Shortly before daybreak the storm slowed down – and we opened the door ; with mixed feelings of course. What would await us outside ?
After a short walk to evaluate the situation we were relieved. Yes, we lost a couple trees, our banana patch and the sugarcane were down.. flat on the ground, we were cut off from our water pipeline, the fence of the cow pasture was down, our small bridge was under and the road was blocked with fallen trees. But we and all the neighbors were okay and all the cows and other animals alive!
And with the realization of the damages a strength evolved inside of us: the strength to clean up and repair and go on with life!
Thanks for stopping by and reading ❤