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Lou Pickney's Online Commentary

Surviving Frances

Monday
September 6, 2004

It's 12:20 AM Eastern as I begin this, but since I still have electricity (knock on wood), I thought I'd update things from Tampa. It's barely Sep. 6, but I made it this long with the power intact, so I figured I'd mark that with a website update.

I spent all day in my apartment, following the advice given by state officials who warned of the dangers of heading out on the roads. My insane neighbor Lara upstairs wanted me to ride with her out somewhere late tonight, but I told her to get lost; the only way I'd be out there right now is in the case of emergency.

Tugger
Hurricane Frances knocked a palm tree into this house in Pahokee, FL.

Unlike the damage suffered by the eastern part of the state (and I'm talking Melbourne, West Palm, that range), over here the wind gusts and sustained winds weren't fast enough to cause the widespread damage that my neighbors to the east endured. If I start talking like a meteorologist, it's because I've inundated myself with Hurricanes Frances coverage on TV. Major props by the way to Dave Bohman reporting from over in Melbourne -- better you than me, buddy. He did a phenomenal job with it, with great storytelling elements and solid visuals (from whomever his photog is over there) going on little sleep. Compounding the difficulty is that without power or any businesses open in the area, he's having to do his difficult job without the things we take for granted on a daily basis (like hot water, meals, the ability to go buy something from the store if you need it, etc.)

My Bright House cable finally went out tonight at about 8:30 PM or so (and it remains out as of this writing). It teased going out a number of times throughout the day, and I'm just grateful that I had it as long as I did (along with still having power). My cable box itself still works, which allowed me the nearly 3 hours to watch the long version of Das Boot that I recorded on my DVR from Cinemax last weekend. It's a good movie, but I think I could've been satisfied with the regular length version. One recommendation I do have if you ever watch that movie is to watch it with the closed captioning turned on. The English dub is done in a British style, and there are a number of variations in the translation in the closed captioning compared with the spoken word (plus there are many times where the lines come across nearly unintelligably).

The rain is falling like crazy, and it's still windy, but that's been the story of all day. At least today is Labor Day so I don't have work to worry about. It would be a tough call about heading out on the roads (though it's almost all I-275 for me), but nonetheless I'd prefer to let the last of this pass and have the cleanup crews make some initial assessments before I have to get out into the mix.

Enough writing, I'm going to watch some more Hurricane TV coverage now. With the cable out I have the rabbit ears hooked up, which unfortunately can't pick up ABC Action News (28) or Bay News 9 (which is cable-only), but I can get the coverage that's on NewsChannel 8 and Channel 10. Fox 13 I can also pick up, but they've ended their Hurricane Frances coverage for the evening...


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