Hurricane Ivan tore through Pensacola, FL.
On Sept 14th we packed everything up at work, then went to tend to our own homes and families. We boarded our windows at the house, a first for us because although we live 12 miles inland, Ivan was bigger than anything we had experienced before.
We didn't go to work on the 15th, the winds had already begun to blow in the early morning with landfall scheduled for 2:30-3:00am the next morning.
The wind was blowing hard enough to break off the top of a 70ft pine which hit our fence and shook the house by 8:30 pm. We lost our power at 10:40pm, with all the noise in the house gone, you could really hear how the wind had picked up. We switched to battery operated radio.
At 1:30am a loud crash was heard on top the house and I couldn't resist the urge to investigate. It was the garage and water was already pouring in. Coming back into the main house, I went to a door that had glass that was not boarded in the back of the house, just in time to see and entire southern pine tree, one of our largest, at least 100 ft tall, fall on the west end of the house.
I can still hear the crashes and sounds as trusses cracked and smashed under the weight. The roof may have had water pouring in and the ceiling was getting ready to collapse, but it held until my wife and I were able to get most of our stuff out including 4,000 rounds of .223 match.
In all we had 6 trees on the house, including the pine that broke off 30 feet up and threw the rest onto the roof. The wind sounded like a jet engine outside the house for several hours
At 6:30am I dared look out the back window again to find a completely different landscape. Nearly all my trees were gone, what trees were left had much of the foliage blown off. The only utility we had left was the phone since it is buried cable. So we were able to open the insurance claim during the storm.
No worry from storm surge or flooding being at the top of a hill. "Spring" began 2 weeks later as new leaves grew on the trees.
Here is the day before, 4:30pm Sept 14, 2004.
Here is after, 10:30am Sept 16, 2004 after the neighbors cut their way out of the street. Wind kept blowing all day. I can sympathize with those who had losses during Katrina.
The wind is perfectly still tonight, 1 year later. Time for me to sign off and sleep this time.
Why not post a "one-year-later" pic from recent. It might give some folks a little hope that are feeling bad right now about all the rebuilding ahead of them. As a So Fla "Andrew" survivor... it was a long,long haul, but we made it. Glad all your people (I guess) are OK. Stay safe
I had personal experience with Ivan as well. We did engineering assessments of flood vs wind damage in on residential and commercial props in Pensacola, Gulf Breeze, and Gulf Shores.
I was my first CR (catastrophe response) work, and the first time I got to see the effects of a powerful hurricane up front.
For the first week I was in so much shock of the power of mother nature I could not really focus on my job, and I believe Ivan was a strong CAT 3 or low 4. In all we worked on 30-40 properties.
I was awestruck as to the effect of storm surge. I cannot imagine riding out a CAT 3 if I lived right on the coast.
I met numerous home and business owners who had lost much and were pretty ticked about their insurance company, but we tried to tune that out and focus on our tasks.
Anyway I gained alot experience and have a greater appreciation for mother nature. I vowed to never live near the coast after witnessing the results of Ivan.
By the end of October, it seems that Ivan was no longer mentioned in the media. 1 year later no one even remembers it except for those who live in the panhandle.
I am wondering how long before Katrina fades from the media.
For the one year later pic, look at pic 1 and imagine it without the tall trees. We now have none in the backyard and 3 smaller hardwoods in the front. The pines were always a pain, since I would have to rake pine straw every other month, but I miss their shade. My AC bill is $30 higher per month this summer.
The experience was an education. I was fortunate to be able to babysit my contractor's subs. They needed it, so I was able to make sure repairs were made the way I wanted them done. Contractors get too much on their plates and depend on their subs doing the job right the first time, which isn't the case with most of them. We had a roofing family from GA do our roof and they really knew how to lay shingles. Not a leak.
My advice to MS and AL residents--check out your all contractors with the state and county records for license and insurance. Never pull your permit for them. Lots of scam artists will be around. Be on your guard the whole time with any contractor you get bids from because sharks don't just live in the ocean. (I didn't mention NOLA since it sounds like the Feds are going to have all of us pay for it.)
My wife is from Cantonment, and every tree in my M/L yard was like that. She lost four big pecan trees and one of the largest and oldest Magnolias I have every seen. Luckly every tree fell away from the house, the only damge to her house was a few shingles and some vinyl siding.
I agree, post a recent pic....