I am in Port Saint Lucie, on duty at the fire station right now (and will be stuck here for the duration), we have all 3 shifts in the house at all 15 stations...just waiting to see how bad we get it.
At the moment (0945) the news is projecting a landfall here, or in Vero Beach...
When the storm is over, we are going into a county-wide SAR mode (if needed)
We are just starting to get the wind from feeder bands and the outer wall of the eye, with some rain.
We have been standing outside behind the wall of the bay, watching the wind pick up...so far, some tree limbs have snapped, but the winds are just into the 45 / 50 MPH range.
A few minutes ago we saw a duck in the air, riding the wind...he never flapped his wings, but he went past us at about 50 mph
Well...I have finally been able to gain internet access (at a friends house)...
Spent the hurricane holed up in the fire station (Station 3)along with all of A shift, and some members of B shift...(and spent the last week on duty).
About an hour before the eye of the storm came, the roof blew off our station...So we had to wait for the eye (in a busted up fire station), so we could evacuate to another station.
When the eye came, we made a "banzai run" for Station 5 (about eight miles away) in the middle of the night, in the pitch black.
11 people in one fire engine, two rescue trucks, and a brush truck...dodging debri that was cluttering the roads, and traffic lights swinging back and forth like pendulums five feet off the ground.
It was wierd moving down US#1 with pitch black, and no other signs of life on the road.
When we arrived at Station 5, and joined that crew...we had 30 people crammed into that station, and IT started to take damage when the hurricane kicked back up
After it was all over...we began our SAR, and damage assessment of the county.
I took some pictures that I will post the next time I can find internet access (dont know when that will be though)
Was finally released from duty 5 days later, to find my parents house took heavy water damage (ceiling is caved in throughout most of the house)
Wow! Sounds like it was pretty intense for you fellas. Glad you are all OK and thanks for your hard work.
What was it like when the roof ripped off?