The Aftermath

Hurricane Irma

I was stationed at Melbourne High School for Hurricane Irma, it was one of the hurricane shelters opened by Brevard County.

We spent four days in the shelter, where I was the amateur radio operator; relaying information to/from EOC to the shelter manager.  This was the first year that the American Red Cross was no longer in charge of the shelters and with the county in charge.

Not to long after getting set up probably within twelve hours we lost power and we were on generator back up…one thing with being on the generator was there was no a/c, no ventilation…so it got hot in that gym very quickly.

There were numerous tornado warnings and at least five confirmed touchdowns in Palm Bay and Melbourne.

My Yaseu FT-8900R is a casualty of the Hurricane.  It sparked during one of the power surges prior to me being able to get on to battery backup.  I was lucky that I brought my HT with me. *Edit as of 20 September, Don (AF4Z) has repaired the FT-8900R and I am very thankful to him for doing so. *

It was one big cluster @#$&, at first they wanted to put me in a room with no ventilation, no air, no fan…which took a few hours to get straighten out (with reaching out to EOC). We had people rioting because they could not have a cigarette,  people drinking…and the fire alarm going off numerous times (people smoking in bathrooms). They were more animalistic than human…I had to remind myself numerous times that Christ said “what you do to the least of my followers you do to me.”

We did have a few people that stuck out.  One of the maintenance men for the school, George, he was very soft spoken and had a pocket bible that when he had a few moments he’d continue reading from his last place.  Come to find out he has read the Word from cover to cover over 90 times in his lifetime.  I was moved to bless this man with a year devotional book that I had packed for down time…it was large print and faux leather binding…you should have seen this man’s face…The other was one of the food service workers.  With the heat and lack of a/c Snowie and I both started feeling poorly.  I had went to one of the ladies and asked if they had a cold Power Ade to trade for an unopened warm one…I needed to get my wife hydrated…she went into her personal stash and gave me a bottle and a cup of ice and refused to take the warm one.  She said tend to your wife.  About ten minutes later she was back with a big cup of coffee for me.

We didn’t get much sleep over four days, probably a total of six hours.

I didn’t get much sleep, but Snowie caught me dozing.

Trying to relax

The aftermath of Hurricane Irma…

We got the all clear from EOC at just about noon time on Monday.  Snowie’s jeep was flooded…we had to leave it there at the high school for a few days to dry out but thankfully no real damage done.

We arrived home to find no real damage.  The crown in the jewel of WTF was the place I worked part-time for extra pocket money fired me because I couldn’t come into work (I worked in a Deli and hadn’t showered in four days you would think hygiene and food would be important…evidently not).

We had no power until Wednesday (13 September) night around 9pm.   So we did a lot of car rides and spent money we didn’t have to get one meal at a time…Snowie must have had a feeling we were getting power back because she cleaned the fridge and freezer while I was out running errands (looking for coffee, gas and food).  We are waiting to hear back from the insurance company if they will help replace what was in there.

Around 6:30 pm we decided to go and try and find dinner and try and pick up a few non perishables from the store. This is the sight we saw as we neared the end of our driveway.

By the time we had gotten home the lights were on and the A/C working on cooling down a house that was registering 90 degrees on the thermostat.

I’m not feeling well…I’ve got some sort of bug…not sure if sinus, bronchitis or just a cold, plus the fibro is inflamed.  I’ve been miserable for three days now.

Please keep those that still have no power in your prayers, as well as the linemen, telephone workers, police, fire and EMS.

One thought on “The Aftermath

  1. Padre Tatro, Eddie & Snowie, This is the most thorough account I have read from anyone re the storm & your experience & personal struggles. I was sorry to hear what happened to your Yaseu FT-8900R but so glad for you that brought your HT with you. Without repeating the ups & downs of your storm experience that you relate, God blessed you with loving people coming to your aid. What sermons will come out of this chapter of your lives like the custodian who read the Bible over & again so many times & your gift to him. There is also a message in that Deli dismissing you!!! I am sorry to read of your health problems as a result of the storm no doubt. With more help from Above that has brought you & Snowie literally out of the storm, may the Lord continue to watch over you both & make you whole,,, We pray!!! And the sight of that truck & electric company near your home must have brought cheers & tears of joy!!! And now for the community to heal & return closer to normal & bring you another form of employment. Work for a non-profit as a result of this experience. Love, Phil & Geri too


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