Hurricane Micheal came across parts of Florida's panhandle with a Cat 5 force. Okay, so it was one mph lower than a Cat 5. I'm calling it a Cat 5. I cannot imagine what the people who live there are going through. Many lost everything. Some were spared (like a client of mine with a beach house in Panama City) but some lost jobs, homes, livelihoods. Lives were lost.
By the time it got to my house it was a Cat 3 and it was 2 hours of maximum sustained winds in that level then 2 hours before and after that while lower were still devastating.
I live in a pecan orchard. We "pick up" or harvest pecans starting mid-October so this storm hit at exactly the wrong time. Cotton was just starting to be harvested and peanuts turned (you dig them up, let them dry out then a combine picks them up).
Estimates are that 25 percent of the cotton and 35 percent of the pecan crops are gone. I think that may be low.
I hid out at my family's farm inland. 75 miles further inland. I am glad that I did. My home sustained minor damage. Really minor. My screen door sprung. We were lucky. Neighbors not so lucky as you can see above. We have 6-10 trees down. Not sure if all ten damaged trees will have to be removed yet. The orchard however is devastated. Probably half of the trees lost or damaged. 80% of the pecans at the orchard are expected to lay unharvested as they try to figure out how to do it.
Bumper crops of pecans and cotton gone in 12 hours.
The shop needs a new roof. Period. I rent, so it's not my problem. I will have to stay on top of it to get it done, but it's not going to affect us.
We have electric power and water at the shop, not at my house or those of my staff. We are reopening today. My clients are anxious for normal activities to resume and even though they have no power or water they want "normality ". So we will give them normality.
And chargers. :)
Please pray for all affected. We will, as usual, be forgotten about by the news cycle after 3-4 days, just like all the other catastrophes before this. Florence. Irma. The tornadoes here last year. The tsunami last week in Indonesia.
Disasters aren't sexy. They aren't political. The news will pack up and be gone before we pick up all our pecans.
People will need help for a long time to come. Check on your friends. Offer help if you can. Offer shelter if possible to family from the area. Many will be without power for months. My mom us letting us stay with her. Thankfully.
In the upcoming weeks I will be collecting equipment for groomers who lost theirs. Since we lost the GEAF we need to to band together and make sure our people are cared for. Stay tuned for updates.