House devastated by Charlie
...Yeah, It was 5 years ago when all hell broke loose. You and I have experienced a number of adventures during the 9 years it took to write Thief, your true story. But nothing could compare to the magnitude of that awsome event.
Back to Charley...At the last minute the category 4 hurricane veered northward up to Port Charlotte cutting a swath of water across Upper Captiva Island. I marvel at that new channel whenever I go out on boat patrols. It's called Charley's Pass for obvious reasons. JJ said I called her in case something happened and I wasn't able to get through on my phone the next several days, which is exactly what occurred. You and I watched in amazed silence as palm trees and other large debris blew by your north-facing front window, luckily sparing it. The north side took less of a hit than the south side. The yachts below in the harbor looked like toys someone had dropped from the sky, they were in such a jumble.
I was actually one of the first people to venture out in my car after Charley. It was still raining quite hard and the wind was still blowing quite hard. But I was determined to get home to see if my apartment, that faced southwest, had sustained any damage. Earlier I'd stowed my computer and a few other important things in my bathtub, the only room with no windows. It was like trying to maneuver through a mine field snaking my way along Fowler Street. Downed powerlines and telephone poles made going difficult. Think I saw one other vehicle, a fire truck. Together, the firemen and I moved a huge limb out of the street so we could get by. An hour later (usually a 10-minute drive) I made it home. I remember I had no running water for 4 days and no electricity for 7 days at my apartment, but at least no major damage. The wind had been so fierce that it forced water up through my cement floor on the south side of my apt. That was nothing compared to what folks in other areas experienced. Some are still recuperating!
Boy, what an experience! But it was only a minor inconvenience and I was soon back to writing Thief.