The Diary Of Hurricane Charley

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Friday, August 13, 2004 – Something horrible happened today. School was cancelled because of hurricane Charley. We started preparing for the hurricane at around 2:00pm when Charley took a turn toward Punta Gorda instead of the path it was projected to take which had it heading toward Tampa. 1.2 million people were told to evacuate the Tampa area. At about 3:00 I decided to clean out mom’s closet, because that is where we planned to hide for the hurricane. Mr. Pat called and asked dad to help him put sand bags at his back door so the water didn’t come in. We all headed down to watch the storm together. Katie and I watched 13 going on 30. Then we made up a game called The Jenkins Family. Pretty soon after, William went to bed. Katie went back to her room to get her PJ’s on and I did too. Right after that, the light s went out. We all headed back to Mr. Pat and Miss Stephanie’s room where we thought it would be safe. Hurricane Charley moved through our neighborhood at about 9:30pm. William woke up because the storm was so loud. We saw green lightning in the sky. The trees were blowing so hard. Dad said the wind was blowing at 105 mph during the gusts. It lasted about 40 min. When it was safe to go out, Mr. Pat and dad went outside to look at the damage. They said there were lots of branches down on the streets. We walked home soon after and saw that the oak tree in our yard had broken in half and was laying in the front yard. A piece of our roof had come off too! There was a woodpecker still on our tree! He looked real scared!! We slept at our house that night in my mom and dads room. It was hot!



Saturday, August 14- Once it was light, we started to look around at all the damage. A big tree had fallen at the end of our street and you could not get through that way. The roots came right out of the ground! Everyone was startled! That morning, Jessica, Emily, my dad, Mr. Jeff and I went to get a Winnebago. We didn’t know when we would get power again. The damage around our neighborhood was really bad! There were trees on lots of houses! Most of the streets were blocked because of all the trees blocking the roads. It took us 45 min to get to Leesburg. When we got back, the Schloot’s came by to check on us. We didn’t have any phone service or cell service so no one could get in touch with us. Kyle and I spent the night with them because they had power. Mom and Dad cooked out with all the neighbors.



Day 3- We got up in the morning and went over to Gram’s house to start cleaning up over there. She was out of town in Seattle with Judy. We cleaned off her patio. It had lots of moss and big limbs on it! The swing set was covered with branches, but it was too big of a job to try to clean that up. That night my mom and dad came over for dinner at the Schloot’s and spent the night. We all watched the Olympics on TV and then went to sleep.



Day4 Still no power! Dad cut the rest of the tree down with a chain saw that Grandma brought to him. It was so hot at our house and Molly was panting and breathing hard. We had to go somewhere that had air! We decided to go over to Gram’s condo, because the McLeod’s and the McClanahan’s were going over. We found out that we didn’t have to go back to school until Tuesday the 24th! So we headed over to the beach, but when we got there we found out there was no air! We were so mad and frustrated. The elevators were broken too, so we had to walk up 8 floors with all our stuff and Molly. Molly had never been able to go to the beach with us and we hoped Gram would not be mad at us! It was so hot in the condo and only part of the lights worked! We were not having a good day!



Day 5 Tuesday The Andros’s were staying at their condo next door so we went over there to cool off. We ended up staying the night with them. We got Pizza from Manny’s for dinner. Molly and Winston had so much fun playing and Molly was so happy not to be hot!



Day 6 We headed home in the morning and when we got home, there was still no power! Everyone was so frustrated and hot! We found out that Gram had power at her house so we decided to sleep there for the night. Kyle had football practice, so while he and dad were gone we got a phone call from Miss Kitty and she told us we had power! We were so excited. The Andros’s came over for dinner. We decided to sleep at Gram’s because we knew that our house had to cool down.



Day 7 We packed up from Gram’s house and unloaded at home. It felt so good to be in our house again and it was finally cool! We went to Chick Fil A with the Williams for lunch. When we got home, Katie and I made cookies and lemonade. We went to the Hook’s house to bring them our goodies because they still didn’t have power! We couldn’t find too many people at home to help. Most everyone had gone to hotels or to friends or families houses to stay. That night we went to Gator’s with the Andros’s, and the Fisher’s. The Andros’s spent the night because they still didn’t have power! It felt so good to back in our home in our beds and sleeping with our fans again!





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