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Here is how we deal with and what we go through in the aftermath of a Major Hurricane in Florida. Day-1

69 Sleeper Bee

Well-Known Member
Local time
11:40 AM
Feb 18, 2021
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Tallahassee Florida

These are the daily recovery updates and an insight into what it's like on the ground in the aftermath of a major hurricane and the best perspective of what it really feels like. I guess the after effects are a lot like a tornado but a 6 hour long one and if you are anywhere near the coast it's the storm surge that causes the most damage. The only positive thing I can say about the difference between the two is you get days notice in advance of a hurricane and not minutes like in a tornado.
These can be long winded but if you really want to know what it's like stick with it.
I decided to post this in the general discussion forum so more members can see this.
Do not turn this political or I will call you out on it. If you see something you think is, please let me know and I will do my best to edit it out.

Hurricane Ian Recovery Update​

September 29, 2022 | Sundance | 393 Comments

I don’t even know where to begin. Hopefully this hotspot holds up long enough to transmit. Thanks Ad Rem for earlier.
First things first, myself and family are okay. We are blessed and fortunate. Thank you for all your thoughts, prayers and well wishes.
For those who are familiar with Hurricanes, Ian was unique; painfully slow and painfully unique. However, it had similarities to three previous storms, Frances (location), Michael (intensity) and Andrew (aftermath). What made Ian very unique was the duration.
Normally there is 1 hour scary, 1 hour hell, 1 hour scary. Soup to nuts three to four hours. For Ian, that was just the first half. With a start time around 1:30pm and a finish time around 9:30pm this one was brutal. That’s why so much infrastructure failure.
When I saw the search and rescue flight path overhead at daybreak this morning, I knew the barrier Islands were catastrophic. Indeed, Fort Myers beach, Sanibel Island, Upper Captiva and Pine Island all suffered topography changing events. People will reevaluate living on barrier islands.
The Sanibel Causeway is destroyed. The three spans still exist, but the spoil islands which held the road are totally wrecked. No way on/off the island by vehicle. The Pine Island bridge also failed. The only way to Sanibel or Pine Island is by boat. The dozens of air national guard flights today were all heading to those locations. Regional Southwest Airport (RSW) remains closed except for rescue flights.

Several major piers are also gone. Fort Myers Beach, Cape Coral, Pine Island. At this moment 98% of Lee County, Florida is without power and there are major utility infrastructure failures. Electric sub stations completely wiped out. Utility water pumping stations also ruptured and failed. Cell phone towers also wiped out.
The entire shrimp boat fleet docked at FM Beach was destroyed. Boats now sit on houses with trailers on top of the boats and mobile homes from somewhere on top of the houses, boats and trailers.
Most people are shell-shocked at the scale of the damage from this storm. Indeed, I doubt there is a community in Southwest Florida that not massively effected. Marco Island, Naples, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte and all of the inland communities all feel the impact from a major hurricane evdident.
Locally, it’s even more stunning. We haven’t even left the neighborhood today and couldn’t even if we wanted to. Roads are blocked by trees and debris. When you think of debris, normally we think about small bits of stuff the size of a shopping cart or smaller. Ian moved debris weighing tons. Chunks of concrete from who-knows-where can be found randomly all over. Concrete slabs from collapsed seawalls are blocks away from the water.
Every direction of wind was just as intense as the direction before it and we felt every direction. As the front of Ian made debris, the backside then had ammunition for wind weapons of jaw-dropping scale. The sounds of that “stuff” slamming into homes was just incredible. Casa del Sundance has serious steel shutters with double drilled anchor bolts and several of my shutters were hit by something turning them into crash test discards. Just, well and unreal amount of wind power.
Like many others, we had our roof compromise in the second half of the storm. Massive trees that withstood Charley and Irma were no match for Ian’s rage. Thankfully, many people evacuated. If you are one of those people, stay put. Wait until after the weekend before making a decision to return home. Heck, there ain’t no power or water anyway – and word on the street is no gas for miles.
Like hurricane Michael, this was a storm of total utility failure. It could take weeks, depending on the neighborhood because the transfer and sub stations were hit hard.
Today was all about debris removal and that work will obviously continue. It’s easy to be overwhelmed, but industrious people doing the next step, then the next, is the way to get it done. How do you eat an elephant….. One bite at a time. Lots of bites to go.
As noted, the coastal areas took it worst. My gut tells me there are still places we have yet to hear about.
Another odd thing about this specific storm, an alarmingly fewer number of generators running. Easily 75% fewer generators running in the aftermath around me. Perhaps because the outcome was just too bad to try and inhabit while recovering; perhaps more evacuated this time; perhaps with the economy means fewer financial resources to try and cope. Regardless of reason, the drop in the number of people running generators is odd.
Tomorrow, we continue to put a few more layers on those callouses. After mostly securing the immediate homestead, we can now look to help others. This is going to be one long recovery effort.
Thanks again for all the well wishes. Love to all,

Posted in Hurricane Ida, Uncategorized

Hurricane Ian Recovery Update Day 2​

September 30, 2022 | Sundance | 274 Comments

Hopefully this hotspot holds up. First things first, we are surrounded by the grace of a loving God, and we are thankful.
To begin updating day #2 on the ground in Southwest Florida (SWFL) allow me to please remind everyone to take these storms seriously and take all the advanced preparations needed to protect yourself and your family. You can never overprepare. Additionally, if you did evacuate from the area, stay where you are. There’s no need to come back into the recovery zone and there are virtually no utilities (electricity, water) operating in most areas.
Working today with a search and recovery team from Fort Walton Beach, Florida, there are multiple agencies from around the Southeast sending resources. We are incredibly grateful, and every resource is a blessing.
Day 2, while efforts continue, there are parts of the barrier islands (Sanibel, Pine Island, Matlacha and Fort Myers Beach) that are still inaccessible by anything other than air. There is an evacuation ferry operation running every 90 minutes from Sanibel (West side of where causeway used to be) to pull people from the island. 10am – 5pm
Matlacha (North end of Pine Island) is also a boat rescue operation after the bridge failed.
Incredibly, the historic Sanibel Lighthouse did survive the storm albeit with damage. The lightkeepers house is gone as are all the buildings around the Southern tip of the Island, but the Lighthouse is standing. There’s a metaphor and a message in that outcome.
Unfortunately, there are many people missing, and frantic out of state families looking for their loved ones. Hopefully, those missing were just last-minute evacuees that don’t know people are looking for them, and/or people with no way to communicate their status. Local radio stations are broadcasting names and addresses of missing persons in the hope that people can call in with information. This is why a communication plan is so critical for anyone in an extreme weather impact zone.
Search and rescue units are still working throughout Southwest Florida by air, boat and house-to-house searches. Some power and some water services have returned to the Eastern side of the impact zone, but as you go west (toward the coast) the power and water services are in much worse shape. [Tip: This is why garbage cans full of water are a part of the proactive planning. You can hydrate with bottled water, but you cannot clean without a stored potable water supply.]

The origination and transfer stations for electricity have been hit hard. There is no reason for linemen and pole diggers to be in the western zones because there is no infrastructure to trigger the origination of electricity. That’s why power will return in a systematic way from East (inland) to West (coastal). The thousands of power company employees are working on eastern impact areas where their efforts can restore power, while the longer engineering work of rebuilding transfer stations is happening in the west. Power will likely be out for several weeks in multiple areas.
Debris removal is about 50% throughout the zone. By ‘removal‘ I mean temporarily moved, shoved, pulled, cut or sawed out of the way. Again, the further West the more debris remains. Main roads are cleared, but local roads are blocked throughout. Stay close to home if you don’t need to travel or secure critical supplies.
Some food retailers have begun limited operation to open for the community. This will continue improving each day. Publix Supermarkets have generators running primary store functions.
There are nighttime curfews in affect throughout the Southwest Florida impact zone.
Fuel is a major problem, in part driven by the absence of power. A gas station without power is just a big underground gas tank. Most recovery teams are traveling with their own fuel supply.
Unfortunately, the heavy rains from north Florida are still flowing downstream into rivers and the flooding inland continues. The Peace River is expected to rise to a historic 24 ft above flood level; the previous record was just over 20 ft. Additionally, the current Myakka River flood has caused I-75 to close from North Port to Englewood.
Evacuations along the increasingly flooded inland waterways continue. Ian will be known as a storm carrying the deadly combination of wind and water as a storm event. Wind damage extreme, storm surge extreme, and river flooding (rain) extreme.
Janet, a 40-year-old single mom in a wheelchair, who just moved to SWFL a week ago, stranded on the second floor of her apartment building without power and without a community of friends to call for assistance. Her story is typical. Delivering food and supplies to people like Janet is a relief service anyone can handle. Radio networks are doing a great job using their format to organize local person to person assistance. Listeners are responding to each request; it is inspiring to see/hear the community pulling together. Fellowship lives here.
Alice, a 75-year-old woman without cash, and the only gas station she can find will only accept cash. Within seconds she is in line at the station with cash in her hand. This is what people do. Define living and you will find the light left by these comfortably invisible community stars. These are ordinary angels that defeat the looters by orders of magnitude.
There are many Janet’s and Alice’s right now, and fortunately there are overwhelming numbers of people responding to each call.
Yes, this is the fellowship part. Sweaty, perhaps a little scruffy, often accompanied by the smell of fuel-oil mix in the hug, but when you remove all class distinctions the remarkable human spirit that surfaces makes the back pain and callouses insignificant.
Electricity is nice, potable water even better, but perhaps fellowship is the most important part of the restoration process. At least, I think it is.
The desperation and worry on that unknown face tell me that you need my spot in line; here, take it.
I am not alone.
Every person reading this knows exactly what I am talking about without me even writing another word.
The best part.
Many people ponder the great universal questions of “why” these disaster events happen. I don’t have any idea.
Perhaps it’s just the way I’m wired, but I can only look at the immediate task at hand. Usually, I’m too busy focused on making the next two feet of my immediate surroundings better, because looking at the hundreds of miles scares me. If I can make these next two feet in front of me better, then I will have accomplished something; and then – another two – and another two. Perhaps that’s my goofy way to deal with it.
However, when I think about fellowship and my community – perhaps we shouldn’t wait for hurricanes.
Love to all,

Posted in Hurricane Ian, Uncategorized

Hurricane Ian Recovery Update, Day 3​

October 2, 2022 | Sundance | 257 Comments

First things first. We are blessed by a loving God who continues to provide the greatest nourishment we need, food for the soul. You’ll find it all around, including in the gift of a temperature irrelevant shower, the first in five days, and a belly full of beef stew, Dinty Moore of course. Finest gourmet dining in years. Perfect.
Airborne search and rescue efforts continue with particular emphasis on the barrier islands and back bay region. If you haven’t watched the video of U.S. Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin aircrew from Airstation Miami, you should [See Here]. It’s a great example of the hundreds of rescue flights taking place all day, and the kid who used the mirror to signal the flight crew and protect his grandma is, well, sharp.
Again, if you evacuated the coastal region of Southwest Florida (SWFL), stay put where you are. There is no power and no water system; literally nothing to sustain you that you do not bring yourself. If you do enter this region to check on your property, do so with the intent to leave again because there’s no current timeline for any restoration. A strict sundown curfew remains in effect throughout.
Rescue ferry service from Sanibel Island continues for those who can make it to the Western side of the destroyed causeway. The entire island is being evacuated leaving only the national guard in place to provide security. No reasonable estimate for any recovery. Officials need everyone off the island. Earliest estimates for repair of the major damaged infrastructure are being made in terms of years.
Air and boat rescue from Matlacha and Pine Island continues. Like Sanibel Island the bridges are gone. State and county law enforcement resources are too stressed to operate in a location now inaccessible by road. Mandatory evacuations have been ordered. See Graphic for how to leave Pine Island today (Sunday):

Residents are asked to make their way to the location above and national guard trucks will take you to Coast Guard boats. Evacuees will leave their vehicles at the pick-up point. This is a mandatory island evacuation until interim recovery efforts can take place to make returning the island possible. My heart goes out to the people forced to leave their homes, some, likely many, with no place to go after the shelter stay.
It’s a mess. Pine Island is mostly salty good people with working callouses and a mix of retirees who just wanted to live quietly in an old Florida location. Now this assembly of people need to figure out where to live with no available housing for 50+ miles. According to local media every hotel and motel within 50 miles of the western impact zone are full of evacuees. Long term, I don’t think anyone knows what this is going to look like.

I’m not going to repeat the prior post, but Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is rightly calling out the Lee County Electrical Cooperative (LCEC) for not seeking more help to deal with the catastrophic situation surrounding full infrastructure collapse of the power grid. There is almost no energy recovery effort taking place in the western impact zone and thousands of homes have fallen powerlines atop them, around them, or blocking the roads in front of them.
More people are starting to notice the absence of LCEC recovery efforts. It’s good that Governor DeSantis called them to task personally and publicly.
Recovery operations continue with a street-by-street debris removal process. Once most debris are dealt with, the residents who remain can start to organize life in semi-livable structures albeit without electricity or potable running water.
Thankfully many people evacuated the coastal region including Cape Coral. The remaining population needing resources is less than normal. Those who remain are traveling up to 30+ miles for gasoline for generators. Utility restoration is being discussed in terms of multiple weeks. Most businesses are closed. Reality is starting to settle in, and tough decisions are being made.
If you lift your head up from the chainsaw buzz and listen, just about every conversation is about the void of longer-term information that would help people make decisions about their next move. It’s like tens of thousands of people in a holding pattern trying to figure out what comes next. The current status is short-term sustainable for most, day-by-day, after all inherently people are resilient. However, two weeks out or six weeks out, no one can see that far.
Naples is in full restoration mode. Bonita Springs and Fort Myers are not far behind. The inland areas are doing similar yeoman’s work getting some semblance of life back to a sustainable place, including their ability to earn a living. But travel west into Cape Coral, a town of approximately 230,000 residents, and it’s an entirely different situation.
The barrier islands are being forcibly evacuated. The western or coastal areas of southwest Florida are hammered in every imaginable way. Everything, including the ability to restore, rebuild, operate a business or work in the region, is contingent upon the return of utilities like power and water. Right now, those are questions without answers. Hence, the holding pattern for tens of thousands.
Amid all of the uncertainty the resiliency of the ordinary person or family is on full display. Neighbors helping neighbors, generators being shared in four-to-six-hour increments to allow multiple homes to maintain a fridge, that sort of thing. Fellowship and connections deepening. Good stuff.
Gus is a 55-year-old air conditioning repair man. But Gus cannot work without power, and Gus’s bosses will not put the 50+ employee workforce on the road. Jesse is a 25-year-old barber, with no electricity at his shop, ergo no income. Mac is a single 25-year-old auto mechanic living in a town without power to operate a business where he could work, and there’s no electricity or water at his house. Juan is 35 with a lawncare service, a wife, kids and a trailer with a broken roof.
Gus’s kids and their spouses and kids are now under Gus’s roof sharing resources. Jesse’s mom, sister and cousin have assembled at his home to do the same. Mac couldn’t see a future, so he left for Georgia. Juan is busy making money with his chainsaw and new fuel delivery service in lieu of lawncare customers, which is good because Juan is now covering the missing paycheck for his sister-in-law and her husband who just lost their work. This is the reality for people putting one foot in front of the other.
For a few moments today the elephant looked bigger, but immediately I noticed more people are biting it now.
I hope that civic and community leaders, elected or installed, will pause – look around- and cherish what they are seeing in We The People.
Those officials need to commit to be better stewards and work to deserve their role in whatever capacity they hold. The working middle-class are the backbone of every community – and this nation is full of grit and determination.
Love to all. Steadfast,
Thank you for the update, It’s amazing how humanity can be restored after a disaster. But then again how it can be lost by a few.

There are so many people working their asses off to help. May the Lord watch over and keep everyone safe.
As of yesterday our condo near Cape Coral Bridge ( south end of Cape Coral ) had power back on.
Pretty amazed at that, well that and the fact it's even still there and did not get flooded or washed away
being on a canal and about 7-8 foot above high tide water level.

Hurricane Ian Recovery Update, Day 4​

October 3, 2022 | Sundance | 219 Comments

I am going to start the Day 4 update with the golden words from dear Sharon, who eloquently writes:

“…..the holding pattern for tens of thousands…..”

“That’s just one thread in the word pictures presented by Sundance–a thread that is sort of a knothole in the fence…. and looking through it, there are details to be seen….confusion, uncertainty, counting the cash in one’s pocket (again), checking (again) for any possible cell phone coverage, glancing over to the neighbor who hasn’t taken a break for several hours (perhaps for fear that if they sit down, they won’t be able to get back up again)…. men at work with chainsaws…. women returning to what remains of the house to dig through the kitchen or the bathroom cupboards in search of some more, still usable everyday things….
And, … this is an open-ended transition. Length uncertain. Ultimate destination uncertain. How to get there–mostly undetermined at this point.
In terms of individual lives, places to live, jobs/careers…. most of them probably don’t know for sure, yet, whether they are on an onramp or an offramp.
Sometimes I wonder if reaction to such events from a distance clouds the reality that those who are living it have no capacity to step away from it, not even for a moment. The lines on the field have been obliterated and none who are living this can be completely sure of how far away the goal line is.”

Perfectly and succinctly stated.
Day 4, is exactly like all day fours I have experienced before this one. The autonomic response starts to give way to adrenalin exhaustion and human batteries need to be recharged. Day four is also when internal callouses become valuable.
For some a quick “stay focused on ‘the task at hand‘” can suffice. For others it’s, ‘go home to your family – take a break – see you the day after tomorrow‘.
When you build internal callouses you train yourself not to look at the miles, you look at the two to four feet in front of you. Look up and you will allow the whisper of despondency to creep in. Stay focused on the 2-to-4-foot task at hand and your brain remains wired in a manageable condition.
Steady, we fill that 20 or 40-yard container, then go eat. Reengage, clear the path, fill another 20-yard and then move… Always forward. If you start calculating the time it will take to clear and fill 4,768 40-yard containers the gremlins will whisper in your ear all day and wear you down.
Ignore the gremlins.
Instead, listen to the faces – hear their stories, then keep going to the next set of faces…. Always forward.

I should also mention that sunscreen is an essential hurricane supply. If you see the 30 or 50 block version, the thick stuff on sale, throw one in your battery box. If needed, slobber it all over yourself during morning coffee time and again early afternoon after chainsaw sharpening.
It has been a long time since I have seen so many east/west helicopter flights all day. The southwest Florida skies look like the air highways around Fort Campbell, Kentucky. I can only imagine what RSW airport looks like. Probably quite an ocean of helicopter aviation. The gremlin wants me to imagine lots of things related to seeing so many search and rescue missions ongoing this far after the event. I’m ignoring the whisper. Death toll at 76.
Warning in advance – What follows below comes from my cracker disposition:
SWFL has a tremendous amount of unemployed ‘service workers‘ right now. SWFL also needs a massive and organized laundry operation. Hint to SWFL management, please put those two elements together. Thank you in advance.
Mandatory” evacuations continue on the barrier islands. There is a considerable resistance effort underway from the ‘crackers.’ Hint to SWFL management, if the resisting resident has a boat registered in the county (easy to check), then retreat from the severity of your effort. Again, thank you in advance.
On a practical note, I see the millionaire/billionaire boating class are being told they must remove their status yachts from a couple of major locations.
Having grown up in the region and remembering where the barges operated before the roads and bridges were built, I suspect we are going back to pre-1960’s municipal port operations as an interim action to supply the islands. This type of infrastructure repurposing makes sense, but a whole generation of the white wine spritzer tribe is big mad right now [insert cracker squinting smile here].
I mentioned on Day 2 the historic Sanibel lighthouse is still standing.
Since 1884, every twelve seconds the lighthouse beacon blinked twice, creating a sequence of four navigational alerts per minute. Ask me how I know that, and I will show you the clock of my childhood.
I learned how to read a sextant on the front porch of the Lightkeepers house. I traded Mr. Brennan 4 fresh trout from Dixie Beach flats for the lessons, there were two (one day and one night), on using a sextant. From that moment at the age of around ten, I was known as “Trout” when I came back. It wasn’t funny.
Long before there was a ‘city glow’ on the eastern shore, the Sanibel beacon remained my waypoint in life. Twelve seconds, blink twice, four per minute. I spent tens of thousands of minutes with the comforting beacon at my six. I was always safe when I could see it and I never strayed beyond its reach.
My first bull shark took me for an almost 1,000 blink-long tour of the back bay inlet during a particularly memorable night.
I also ‘caught‘ my first Silver King within reach of the beacon at sunrise. Recording the moment by removing (then laminating) the trophy scale which to this day sits in an old cigar box filled with buttons, wire, ribbons, weird metal bits and mysterious childhood treasures.
That particular morning was exceptionally memorable because I proclaimed myself a ‘king fisher.’ Unfortunately, it was a short-lived moment of ego quickly deflated by an unusually furious mom – because I was going to be late for middle school. “King Fisher” shouts I, dashing out the door, while hearing “fisher fool” chasing my ear from behind.
The Calusa Indians were smart enough never to live on this particular narrow finger of barrier islands. Instead, they buried their dead out there.
As I get older, I realize that many generations made the Calusa wise.
Love to all,

(left) Before Hurricane Ian – (right) After Hurricane Ian

Posted in Hurricane Ian, Uncategorized


Hurricane Ian Recovery Update, Day 5​

October 4, 2022 | Sundance | 172 Comments

Fortunate is a word often accompanied with thankfulness; the complicated conversations always begin with both. We are blessed, fortunate and thankful. Personally, I have tried to avoid the complicated conversations, choosing instead to throw the starfish back into the water one at a time.
According to most, hurricane recovery and restoration is complicated business. They are likely correct; however, I do not see a broom, mop, screw gun or sandwich delivered as complicated business, so y’all are not going to read analytics of the complex from me. Instead, the focus is on seeing a person with a problem and tackling it in a way to make their situation just a little bit better.

I’ve watched ants move rocks because rocks needed to be moved. The task did not seem complex, the only variable seemed to be the number of ants needed. I doubt they used extras. The ants somehow knew exactly how many of them were needed for the task and modified their assembly based on the terrain. If you watch closely, the ants keep arriving until exactly the rock moving number of ants are on task – and they move the rock.
Perhaps it is a complicated process for ants to move rocks. Is there a boardroom of ants, with ant planning and zoning? Or does one ant just start pushing on the obstacle and the other ants join in. I think the latter is more likely.
Need gasoline, we can get it. Need the road cleared, we got that too. We can make a sandwich, deliver fuel, saw, sweep, mop, scrub, clean and/or make just that little space closer to the normal of memory. It is entirely possible to replace a missing downspout, and it is entirely possible to provide an uncomplicated ear to listen. Both tasks are equally important during recovery because both outcomes reduce burdens.
Day 5 finds more ants arriving in the western impact zone of Hurricane Ian. Here’s the rock:

Right now, there are tens of thousands of unemployed service workers looking for wages.
We need an uncomplicated way to put hands-on tasks and move the rocks.
More later….


Hurricane Ian Recovery, Day Six – Survivors vs Victims​

October 4, 2022 | Sundance | 261 Comments

Ms. Veronica, an incredibly wise and multigenerational counsellor of souls.​


Ms. Veronica is a lady of impeccable generosity, identified not simply by the hospitality and greeting, but also by the few moments of grace deserved and afforded in polite request to make herself more ‘presentable‘ for unexpected company.
Upon return, Ms Veronica immediately became Vera, a woman, widow, great grandma and neighbor who may not have enough, but she’d give a stranger half – and they would never know.
This is a powerful woman filled with a message. “Hurricane Ian did not create victims,” she immediately captured my full and undivided attention. She continued, “I am not a victim.”
There are dead people, and there are survivors.”
Long pause. The depth of her eyes, intense.
I am wise enough to notice moments when my prior opinion of self, strength and fortitude are immediately being redefined. I am also smart enough to stay silent.
Our loving God does not create victims, and apparently he is not finished using me.” Veronica’s eyes now alight. “In this moment I am filled with rejoicing,” she said, “because I know there is a purpose I have yet to fulfill.” From me, more smart silence. “How incredible is it for me at 90 to realize there’s more use, more purpose, and more time,” she concluded.
Then, just as casual as one might order a familiar coffee on any ordinary Tuesday, Vera asked…. “How is it I can help you boys?“…
There are rare moments in life when we say the right thing. For me today was one of those moments. My reply was simply, “I think you just did.”


You know something, she’s right.
All the Mr. and Mrs. Veronica’s are not victims; none of us are. God doesn’t create victims – people do.
How stark is the reality of hearing, “there are dead people, and there are survivors.”
If you are not in the former, none of us are, then we should rejoice and realize we have purpose yet unfulfilled.
♦ Scott from Fort Myers beach lost every worldly possession including his home. Scott is not a victim. How do I know this? Because I’ve seen Scott over several recovery efforts, and today I worked side-by-side with Scott for almost two hours before someone passing a water bottle told me he lost everything.
Eventually after the task at hand was accomplished, ear plugs removed, I asked Scott what he needed. His reply was simple, he didn’t know enough yet to be able to answer that question. Oddly, I think I understand. Scott needs to accomplish the two feet in front of him. Purpose within this moment, because his new normal is miles ahead. Yes, today I was the incredibly shrinking man.
Now the fun part of this…. Remember Veronica? When she said, “how is it I can help you boys,” Scott was the plural, he was standing right beside me.
When we jumped in the back of the truck, he leaned over and said to me, there’s the answer to your question.
The message was big. Ms. Veronica was the vessel, and it was Scott -not me- who was the intended target.
♦ Cynthia (aka Cindy) and John are successful small business owners. They are as attached and committed to the Cape Coral, Florida, community as any young couple could be. After originally planning to ride out the storm, they changed their mind. Late last Tuesday they loaded their car with all their most important possessions and evacuated a few miles inland to stay with friends.
Cindy and John survived Hurricane Ian and returned late yesterday to survey their property and evaluate if they could start to rebuild. A massive power pole and tree blocked their driveway, but from the street it looked like the house was structurally okay. Nervously John and Cindy navigated the debris and went inside to check.
In the fifteen minutes they were inside their home, someone stole all their possessions from the car they parked on the street.
Cindy and John are victims, that’s the difference.
Oh, and the guy who handed me the water bottle and told me about Scott’s loss…. That was John.
Today I learned again that bearing witness makes you small in comparison.
Love to all,
~ Sundance

Posted in Hurricane Ian, Uncategorized
what a mess, mother nature is one cruel BITCH

love the photo of the kid & his dog

I wish you all well, a full & speedy recovery
you have great state leadership, that will help

I wish & hope the best for Floridians, affected by Ian

good luck, stay strong
Last edited by a moderator:
Keep strong...

you have a great govn. & that helps

good luck in the pending months

Mother Nature is one cruel BITCH at times
what a mess, mother nature is one cruel BITCH

love the photo of the kid & his dog

I wish you all well, a full & speedy recovery
you have great state leadership, that will help
Luckily I am in the panhandle so this storm did not effect us but we did at one point think it was headed this way early on so we dodged a bullet. I knew this storm was bad when all the rivers and bays in our area went way down like Tampa bay did as the storm approached and we were 400 miles from the eye when it hit.


The boy and his dog are the author of these stories grandson.
Thanks for posting this series, it really brings the situation and struggle to light, while also shining on the strength of faith and human spirit in this time of devastation and despair.
I've not often, if ever read of such incredible destruction. These passages were so gifted with words that drew pictures of something nearly incomprehensible. I severed myself from any form of news accept sports about a good year and a half ago. Its only snippets that get by here and there that tell me of things going on in our world. I've done this for a very specific reason that won't change for the foreseeable future. But I do come on this forum mostly for good reasons. I had not an inkling of the ferocity of this storm or the devastation left in its wake. No clue. I read every word above with a stunned mind and a bleeding heart. I think of some things going on in my world that worry or aggravate me - then I Come across this series of what many hundreds of thousands are going thru across the country in Florida. I have no words, no ideas, no support to give save money. But I do have my/our Lord and Savior to whom to pray to. To ask for comfort and lifelines for the weary. Those so terribly impacted by this incredible storm. That's what I can do - that's what millions are doing across this great nation and I believe the world. The world doesn't often, if ever run to Americas aid - it's we who do the running into the paths of destruction in other lands to help other people. That American way will serve well to destroy the destruction sown here. We can all take our bite of the elephant by giving and praying. The Lords people need help at this time. I just wish I myself could do more to clear that next two feet. God Bless all those afflicted, worn and weary. The light will indeed shine once more.......
I've not often, if ever read of such incredible destruction. These passages were so gifted with words that drew pictures of something nearly incomprehensible. I severed myself from any form of news accept sports about a good year and a half ago. Its only snippets that get by here and there that tell me of things going on in our world. I've done this for a very specific reason that won't change for the foreseeable future. But I do come on this forum mostly for good reasons. I had not an inkling of the ferocity of this storm or the devastation left in its wake. No clue. I read every word above with a stunned mind and a bleeding heart. I think of some things going on in my world that worry or aggravate me - then I Come across this series of what many hundreds of thousands are going thru across the country in Florida. I have no words, no ideas, no support to give save money. But I do have my/our Lord and Savior to whom to pray to. To ask for comfort and lifelines for the weary. Those so terribly impacted by this incredible storm. That's what I can do - that's what millions are doing across this great nation and I believe the world. The world doesn't often, if ever run to Americas aid - it's we who do the running into the paths of destruction in other lands to help other people. That American way will serve well to destroy the destruction sown here. We can all take our bite of the elephant by giving and praying. The Lords people need help at this time. I just wish I myself could do more to clear that next two feet. God Bless all those afflicted, worn and weary. The light will indeed shine once more.......
Man, all I can say is those are beautiful and inspiring words of support !
God Bless America !
Well written :thumbsup:
God bless you and everyone who was in the path. The Lord does everything for a reason. We can’t comprehend the reasons for this type of tragedy, all we can do is pray and hope. Take care!
Day 7 Update,

Hurricane Ian Recovery, Day 7​

October 6, 2022 | Sundance | 89 Comments
It was a week ago Wednesday, around 1:00pm, when Hurricane Ian first approached the coast of southwest Florida. In the aftermath, once again the coastal topography has changed.
Incredibly, rescue workers are still going through rubble on Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel Island, Captiva Island, Pine Island and Matlacha while recovery operations continue in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Arcadia, Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte. Approximately 50% of Lee and Desoto counties are still without power and water.
The closer to the SWFL coast, the more devastating the infrastructure is damaged. However, the inland areas were also heavily impacted by wind damage and historic flooding. Hurricane Ian left a wide swath of chaos in his slow and sizeable wake.
On a positive note, there are fewer helicopter flights crisscrossing overhead, which would indicate most of the barrier islands have been searched and residents rescued in one of the largest air mobilizations in Florida hurricane history. The flights seem more focused on delivering personnel, equipment and supplies for recovery efforts.
The rednecks and roughnecks also delivered a remarkable accomplishment today, opening a temporary bridge to Pine Island. A few days before Governor Ron DeSantis announced the State DOT effort to help build the temporary bridge, locals from Honc Marine were already in ‘git r done‘ mode.
Incredibly a week after Hurricane Ian took out the bridge connecting Pine Island to Cape Coral, the temporary bridge was finished and five semi tractors/trailers from Publix Supermarket were first to cross into Pine Island with relief supplies. {Direct Rumble Link} WATCH:

Matlacha, the small area between Cape Coral and Pine Island that encompassed the bridge, has been devastated. However, the ability to drive into (and out of) Pine Island is a major cause for celebration amid the blue-collar working-class community.
Pine Islanders are known for their grit and independence. The devastation on the island is large from Saint James City (south) all the way to Bokeelia (north), but these are hardworking and industrious people. They will rebuild and restore their community street by street, and the bridge will speed up that process. An exceptional outcome in only a week. Many joyful tears flowing.


Above picture, Today – Below picture, last Thursday


The result is stunning, but, well, then again…. that git r’ done sensibility is locally known to live on Pine Island. Honc Marine is also a local company that knows how to git sh*t done. Put those two elements together, get the hell out of the way… and well, that’s the result. There ain’t no gender confusion, wokeness or cufflinks in this tribe.
….Additionally, Governor DeSantis announced yesterday that the contract to begin repairs to the Sanibel Causeway was awarded. Equipment was mobilized last night, and there is already a team on the ground to begin repairs. The repairs to the Sanibel Causeway are expected to be completed by the end of the month. (link)
Jumpin’ ju-ju bones. If they can get roadway access to Sanibel completed within a month… that’s beyond awesome.

From the Governor’s Office:​

There are currently 298,820 reported power outages. They have already restored power nearly 2.4 million accounts across the state, representing 88.92% of accounts restored since the peak. There are currently 11 fueling depot stations open statewide, and a mobile fuel truck has been deployed to Arcadia to support residents without access to fuel.
Additional programs that have been put into place to aid communities include the activation of the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, the initiation of the Army Corps of Engineers’ Operation Blue Roof, and FDOT’s diligent work to construct temporary bridges into areas that are cut off from motorists.
First Lady Casey DeSantis announced that the Florida Disaster Fund has raised nearly $35 million since activation. To read more info, click here. To contribute, please visit www.FloridaDisasterFund.org or text DISASTER to 20222. Additionally, the First Lady has worked with the State Disaster Recovery Mental Health Coordinator Sara Newhouse to compile a webpage of resources to help first responders navigate resources for mental health needs post hurricane. To visit the site, click here
Mental health resources for individuals and communities are available at MyFLFamilies.com/HurricaneIan. Floridians’ health and well-being are a top priority, and the Department of Children and Families is reminding individuals that they are not alone. All Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian can find someone to talk to today through the Disaster Distress Helpline by calling 800-985-5990.
Safe and found persons can be reported safe at http://safe.fl.gov.
State response efforts include:
Search and Rescue
  • There have been 2,500 rescues made to date.
  • There are more than 1,000 team members performing search and rescue.
  • DCF has created a First Responder Support Line: 407-823-1657 – that all first responders throughout the impacted areas can contact. This line combines current resources into a single point of contact that will connect first responders with mental health professionals.
  • Florida National Guard engineering resources were deployed to assist with route clearance in Pinellas and Lee Counties.
  • The Missouri Task Force 1 Disaster Situational Assessment and Reconnaissance (DSAR) Team is deploying to Florida through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact to support urban search and rescue efforts and incident assessment.
  • A Florida Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Team deployed to Central Florida to support state USAR Task Forces and incident assessment.
  • Following Governor DeSantis’ authorization, Joint Task Force Florida has 5,050 personnel activated and is executing missions in response to Hurricane Ian. The Florida National Guard has supported a total of 247 missions.
  • 27 POD sites operating and distributing food, water, and ice to local populations:
    • 2,728 pallets of water distributed
    • 2,331 pallets of food distributed
    • 606 pallets of ice distributed
    • 385 pallets of tarps distributed
  • FDEM is working with feeding partners to open kitchens for impacted and displaced residents. More than 410,800 were served on Tuesday, October 4, and more than 936,100 hot meals have been served since volunteer kitchens opened.
  • FDEM is coordinating with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct infrastructure assessments of water treatment plants, wastewater treatment plants, and assisted living facilities.
  • Through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), more than 1,800 personnel from 26 states have deployed to Florida to assist in response and recovery efforts.
  • FDEM has activated the State Assistance Information Line (SAIL) to provide an additional resource for Floridians to receive up-to-date information regarding Hurricane Ian. Residents and visitors can call this toll-free hotline at 1-800-342-3557.
  • FDEM Recovery staff are conducting rapid damage assessments in Charlotte, Flagler, Glades, Hendry, Highlands, Putnam and Osceola counties to expedite available federal assistance for disaster recovery.
  • FDEM has eight active fuel depots throughout Central and Southwest Florida to ensure first responders have the fuel they need to conduct search and rescue operations. An additional two public, mobile fuel depots are open in Arcadia and the Dunbar community to provide fuel for vehicles and gas cans for generators to impacted residents.
  • FDEM is leading the State Emergency Response Team (SERT) for the Hurricane Ian response, with more than 350 SERT members staffing the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC).
  • FDEM has received more than 4,500 resource requests for Hurricane Ian and fulfilled. Over 3,700 of these requests are currently being processed and are either en route or being mobilized. This includes the coordination of resources such as: trucks of food and water, generators and tarps.
  • FDEM is mobilizing pet food and supplies for displaced pets, including: rabies vaccines, dry and canned dog food, dry and canned cat food, cat litter, disposable pet bowls and disposable leashes.
  • FDEM is deploying the following resources for distribution to impacted areas:
    • Coordinating to set up 4 barges to aid in the delivery of commodities in Lee County to Pine Island and Sanibel Island.
    • Trailers for restrooms, showers, laundry, sleeping and sanitation to ensure the care of first responders in the field.
    • More than 4,000 gallons of diesel to Lee County to power water plants that provide water to nearby hospitals.
    • Drone teams to assess flooded areas.
    • 500 traffic barrels to Charlotte County to safely modify traffic patterns.
    • More than 400 bottles of oxygen to Charlotte County.
    • 255 ambulances
    • 200 trucks of food, water and ice
    • More than 500 generators for traffic signals and other traffic needs
    • 2 full service mechanical shops
    • 500,000 tarps
    • 375 kits for parents of infants and toddlers with critical supplies that will last for 10 days each
    • Four mobile triage units to Miami-Dade County
    • Five truckloads of blankets and five truckloads of cots to support displaced residents
    • Coordinating the provision of meals for first responders staged in Orange County
  • FDEM is in constant communication with all 67 county emergency management offices and state agencies to coordinate recovery actions and needed resources as communities experience storm impacts.
  • There are currently 298,820 people without power.
  • Nearly 2.4 million accounts have already been restored across Florida.
  • For a full report on current outages, click here.
  • 42,000 linemen from utilities across the state are working 24/7 to restore power.
  • 325 Florida Highway Patrol are transporting utility crews.
  • 560 health care facilities have had power restored since the onset of the event.
  • MORE

Lastly, on a personal note… I also have some good news. Jesus put a roof over my head today.
Literally, at my house today the crew leader for the roof repair team was a guy named Jesus.
How could I not forgive Jesus for poking fun at my carpentry (plywood cutting) and roof patching skills.
Jesus the roofer and carpenter. Big smile too.
Yeah, subtle as a brick through a window…. God is good and filled with humor.
Love to all,
~ Sundance

Day 8 Update

Hurricane Ian Recovery, Day 8

October 7, 2022 | Ad rem | 54 Comments

I just received the following message from Sundance…
“Camped on Pine Island. No electricity, water, or internet, and limited cell service. Hopefully, I’ll be able to provide an update tomorrow.”
The following photo and video show the utter devastation that occurred on Pine Island. The only bridge to the island was heavily damaged, so earlier it could only be reached by boat or air. Out of respect for those who may be involved, I’ll let Sundance describe what he’s seen take place throughout this past day….in his own words. They decided to take a pass on the last boat out.
I do, however, take great comfort in knowing that a caring God is watching over him and his team.


Day 10 Update​

Not sure about Day 9 Update yet.​

Hurricane Ian Update, Day 10​

October 8, 2022 | Sundance | 178 Comments

There is a particular texture and smell familiar to those who have trekked through saltwater marshes. In ordinary times the moment when the greyish matter takes custody of your shoe, you quickly ponder whether to stick your hand into it or just buy another pair of sandals and move on… often it’s the latter.
The sand, sediment, dirt and decomposing nature -to include fish bits and wildlife food sources- creates a blended muck and grows slowly over years. The moist muck does not like to be disturbed. It has a very particular smell when it is disturbed, until it dries, almost like a natural defense mechanism. Hurricane Ian disturbed the backwater shoreline inland and introduced that sludge mix to places it was never before, like inside buildings. Thankfully it is drying out now.
The officials in charge of Fort Myers Beach have determined that almost every structure on the island is unsafe after the storm pushed a massive surge of water onto the island while the wind destroyed the buildings. Residents are being carefully managed and kept away from areas where search crews are still looking through rubble.
A plan for a limited number of residents to be bussed into one part of the area to look for belongings has been released [link]. Beach officials are calling it, “debris management and the effort to locate our friends and loved ones.” It is now a full ten days later, and no one wants to use the real words, ‘dead people.’ I think about Ms Veronica being so clear and true in her point a few days ago, “there are dead people and there are survivors.”
Further north and to the west on Pine Island there are lots of survivors. With the temporary road giving access, there are lots of people picking up bits, fragments, and other important stuff that holds their memories; each bit revisited in the handling of it, many bits thought about tenderly for the first time in decades. Fragmented bits hold memories, and those memories are exactly what make up the invisible links of our lives.

Living is what we do right now, but life is in the memories. I have my own cigar box full of bits that I have thought about recently, and now as we watch how each individual person picks up their bits amid the chaos, I have greater context for why they matter.
Memories matter.
A recently widowed Ms. Grace was describing life after her husband died when she said, “my husband George was here” and immediately -despite all the chaos around her- she reached for one bit to prove it. Memories matter. Yes, those bits matter.
On a practical level the ability to retrieve the mementos of life is a big part of why clearing the way, what the officials call “cut and toss”, is important. Pine Island is accessible now and generally vehicle transit to within walking distance of most bits is possible. However, after a day of retrieval the long-haul perspective sinks in.
The whisper of ‘daunting‘ wants everyone to look at the scale of the challenge. We have new phrases like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to explain what the daunting dance does to the psyche. However, the wise rebuilders are looking only at the two feet in front of them. Move that pile today and it will not be there tomorrow. So, I shall move that pile… for tomorrow. And for the many more tomorrows to come, we are blessed and thankful.
For a great representation of who/how Pine Islanders are, as well as the resourcefulness of those who are attached to the community, this local video story is one example amid hundreds that are identical. WATCH:


Pine Island Strong​


Here’s the notification for FMB…

Love to all. More later….
~ Sundance
Posted in FEMA, Hurricane Ian, Uncategorized


Recovery Update​

October 10, 2022 | Sundance | 93 Comments

Thank you for all the prayers and support over the past two weeks. Your prayers and encouragement have lifted many, including myself. The physical and emotional strain has been challenging; but we are okay and getting a little better each tomorrow.
Power was just restored to casa del Sundance, and thankfully the electrical restoration did not encounter damaged internal wiring as reconnection was accomplished. Many others are not as fortunate. When the power comes back on it is always a mixed blessing. Thankfulness is accompanied by a sense of guilt in knowing there are so many still without basic utility services.
According to the LCEC utility company 42,906 homes are still without power. There is zero restoration on the barrier islands (7,400 homes on Pine Island and 10,946 on Sanibel). Major infrastructure repair work is underway on the islands as the effort to remove debris continues. Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel and Pine Island will be rebuilding for a long time.
Water restoration services are still underway throughout the county and boil water notices still present for many areas. There is joy in the simplicity of taking a hot shower in your own home and having the ability to wash clothes changes the outlook on a task many consider a chore. My prayers continue for those who have a long way before that simple joy returns.
There are no words adequate enough to express appreciation for those volunteers who organized field hygiene stations, portable showers, cooling tents, and even laundry services in community parks and neighborhood parking lots. Trust me, this is an underappreciated and valuable resource needed during emergency operations. Related to this, please remind yourself to include topical antiseptics and skin creams in your own hurricane or emergency kits.

It is also appropriate to give a huge shout of appreciation to the small engine mechanics who keep all the generators, power saws, winches, tools and chainsaws buzzing. One small piece of equipment that stops working can have a major cascading impact. Those who use Lava soap nightly, and undress in the utility room so they don’t drag the smell of diesel and gasoline inside, are another underappreciated crew.
Coincidentally, I had the good fortune to run into the deployment teams who establish internet services for emergency operations. These are the cool cats who quickly deploy satellite systems, including Starlink, to get the emergency communications networks up and running. They have a seriously important job, and they are extremely good at it. That Starlink system is pretty spiffy.
Residents are being allowed back onto Fort Myers Beach now. That’s a good thing. That likely means the search crews are optimistic every structure has been searched and cleared. A survivor was found alive last Thursday under the rubble, eight days after the storm. FMB Residents are being allowed to look for belongings and retrieve personal items, but they will not be staying there. There are zero utility services.
Pine Islanders are picking up the pieces and preparing for the long-haul of restoration. Sanibel will likely begin the same once access to the island is reestablished. Prayerfully and stunningly, an interim roadway system may even be completed this month.
After a full day of sleep yesterday, I will be returning to more regularly scheduled postings now on events leading up to the midterm election. There’s still a lot of work to be done in/around my community, but the immediate emergency aspect is in the rear view.
I have missed you, our Treehouse family, and I am looking forward to our conversations again. Thanks to the site admins Ad rem, Stella, WeeWeed and Menagerie for keeping everything afloat.
Above all, my deepest and most sincere appreciation to YOU. I am thankful for the opportunity to deserve your support and fellowship.
Love to all,
~ Sundance

Posted in Hurricane Ian
Wow!! And how did I miss this thread!? There's so many things on my mind that I can't put it into words. You mentioning the rivers going low just before the storm is a good indication of what's coming. Often times one doesn't need a weather report to know something big is about to happen. I'm not far from Galveston and only 9 miles from Galveston Bay and knew something was out in the Gulf that was big since all the bayous were rising so the wife and I decided to go take a ride to look at the bay. It was very angry and there was water over some low places in the road over 24 hours before the hurricane was predicted to make landfall.

We were packed and ready to roll but was even more willing to go after seeing that body of water doing it's number but as Ike got closer, it started losing it's punch so we pretty much waited until the last minute to leave and then decided to stay. Around here, you either leave days ahead of the mass exodus or wait and go late when the mass exodus is gone. It went from a weak 5 (weak?) to a strong 1 in a matter of hours but it was huge and lasted way longer than any storm I've ever been in. The eye even lasted over 45 minutes. There were several times when I thought the roof was about to go but ever did hear anything tearing off. Found out during the eye just how many in my neighborhood stayed....and it was a lot of folks.

The storm made a mess of the neighborhood but it was mostly debris from all the live oaks out here. Everybody's yard were solid dark green from all the stuff but no one experience any major damage and I thank the good Lord for that blessing!
I live on Pine Island, St James City. Here are some up close pics of my house from Ian.
I'll have to get on my laptop for more pics.




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