Hurricane Matthew

Since I moved to Florida I’ve seen my fair share of rain, but we fortunately haven’t been hit by anything major…that is, until the arrival of Hurricane Matthew this week.

I honestly didn’t even know we were expecting to get hit with anything until about Monday. I wasn’t really worried about it yet – I’m from Virginia, where we panic if there’s half an inch of snow on the ground. I’m used to people freaking out about weather. But as I heard more info about the storm, I began to get a little worried. People were rushing out to buy water and bread and putting boards over their windows, comparing this hurricane to Katrina and Charley…should I be worried about this??

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A screenshot from the AccuWeather app with the radar as of about 6pm Thursday night…that little marker in white is us. yikes!

A convenient thing for us is that one of our best friends happens to be a meteorologist. Our personal weather forecaster Brandon gave us lots of updates. I started to worry a lot because I heard it was going to hit us hardest on Thursday night into Friday morning, and Chris was scheduled to work Thursday night.

Thursday morning the predictions just kept getting worse. Brandon told us to bunker down and predicted that the theme parks would close – and less than an hour later, they did. For the first time in 12 years, Disney announced they would close early Thursday and remain closed Friday for the hurricane. Universal and SeaWorld also closed their parks.

Chris’s managers called and let him know not to come into work. Despite the closures obviously meaning we were in for a bad storm, I was honestly so relieved. At least Chris wouldn’t have to go into work and leave me worrying at home.

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This picture was taken at about 3:45 Thursday afternoon. No rain yet…

We’d already stocked up on supplies in the days prior and pretty much had all the necessities. We made one more quick Publix run to get cereal and trash bags and it was a madhouse. We also kept an eye on the forecast and it was looking rough. I don’t know a lot about weather, but I learned that the pressure kept dropping, meaning the storm was only getting stronger. I was starting to get pretty scared, but I felt a lot better knowing that Chris would be with me.

Some of our supply stash – candles, flashlights and batteries, lots of water, dry snacks like cereal and cookies. I know, these are some of the most interesting photos I’ve ever posted haha

Before the roads got too bad, we also had our friend Christian come over to join us so he wouldn’t have to be chillin alone in his house. He brought all his necessary supplies and we settled in to prepare for the worst.

Chris and me chillin out. We had the Big Brother live feeds on and hoped that the power would stay on for a while so we could stay entertained that way lol

It took a while for anything to happen – it rained on and off for a few hours. This pic was taken about 5:00, and it was raining pretty hard:

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Nothing else happened for a while. The rain and wind got stronger, to the point where if we stepped out into the breezeway in front of our door we would get misted from the wind blowing water in. Chris, Christian and I kept ourselves busy having dinner, making cookies, watching Great British Bake Off, and keeping an eye on the news.

Brandon did call us around 10:45 our time to chat and get updates. It really was nice to have someone who knows a lot about storms and weather talking to us about what was happening. He gave us some updates from his end and reassured us that we’d be okay!

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An updated radar screenshot, taken right after midnight on Friday 10/7. It’s coming….!

We all got tired and fell asleep around 12:30. We were fully prepared to wake up without power or to rain pounding the windows… but we actually slept quite soundly. When we woke up around 8, I called my work to make sure I didn’t have to go in, and checked the weather again.

It seems like the worst of the storm had hit us overnight, and it turned out to not actually be that bad. I guess it ended up staying more east than predicted, and all we really got hit with was heavy rain and moderately strong winds. I still ended up not going in to work, but we were very lucky it was not much worse.

The weather had cleared up enough that Christian was able to go back home around 2. Chris and I hung out the rest of the day, going outside for a few minutes here and there to keep tabs on the weather. It remained really windy all day, but the rain had stopped in the early afternoon. In the evening the sky was literally purple – I couldn’t get a good photo so here’s someone else’s:

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This photo is from a local animal hospital’s tweet. The sky was literally a bright lilac purple. It was beautiful but I had never seen anything like it. I’ll have to ask Brandon why this happened…weather is weird.

Lots of people were joking around saying how this storm was a waste of time and they wish it had been worse…I feel like that’s a pretty silly and disrespectful thing to say when people on the coast literally lost their homes. Even though Christian, Chris and I ended up basically just having a fun sleepover, I won’t pretend like I wasn’t also concerned about what could happen.

That’s all I have for now. It’s about 7:30pm on Friday as I write this, and it’s still really windy outside but I think we’re going to be fine. In the end, it was a fun extra two days off for us but it could have been a lot worse. Yes, maybe we overprepared, but to me it’s a blessing rather than an overreaction. Now hopefully next time get a storm like this we will be more confident getting through it 🙂 hope you enjoyed reading about our hurricane experience!

xo, Kaela

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