I’m back from the Far East, but what have I come back to? As you know, Hurricane Wilma pounded into Florida while I was away. We had toyed with the idea of coming home to prepare in advance of the storm, but Wilma kept changing speed and direction, and we weren’t even sure if we were needed back home. Quite frankly, we weren’t sure we’d even make it back in time: that would have left us in the USA but not home, so ultimately, we decided we’d be better off finishing up the trip. After Wilma hit, we tried to come home, but there simply wasn’t any way to get home. The airports were closed, and if we flew to an open airport (Atlanta, for example), there wasn’t gas available to drive — a situation that is still a problem.
My home has sustained extensive damage. The exterior has severe damage to the roof (most of it’s in the backyard, instead of on top of the house where it belongs) the roof needs to be replaced: it is not repairable. There are holes in the roof, the tiles, felt, and tar paper are stripped away, and the wood underneath is exposed, damaged, and broken. There is interior ceiling damage in the garage, downstairs hallway, upstairs hallway, closet, bedroom, and bathroom. Lots of drywall will need replacing, plus the related mold and mildew problems that will come along with it.
I have a broken window pane: one of the big ones in my kitchen (4′ x 2′ panes). Although I have covered this, the repair of this window, which is comprised of six of these panes will be difficult. As a result of the broken pane, there is water damage.
My lush landscaping is gone. In fact, our entire neighbourhood has been entirely denuded. Whatever trees Katrina missed, Wilma got.
My exterior paint has lots of embedded grass and crap in it. If you’ve been through a hurricane before, you know how detritus literally gets blasted into and becomes part of the paint.
Today I took a few dozen pictures for the insurance adjuster and after I talk to him/her next week I can begin the slow clean up and repair process. Today, I piled up the broken tiles on the ground, but the ones on the roof I can’t get to. I am unhappy.
11-6-05 update: The insurance adjuster called, and we have an appointment for 11-29. Yay. I’ve been cleaning for days and the yard and everything looks presentable (except for no landscaping) but the roof is still missing large chunks. My roofer and I signed a contract, but they don’t expect to be able to start until after the first of the year.