Tuesday, October 11, 2016

10/8 Hurricane Matthew Damage

This turned out to be an extremely long day.  I had to drive from Lake Seminole to Jacksonville, FL, to drop my friend off at the airport, then I had to find a place to stay for the night since I had had my original reservation cancelled by the Florida State Parks, which had closed all of the state parks during the hurricane and until tomorrow. 

I needed to get to Bahia Honda State Park in the Keys by Monday night, so I needed to get closer.  All state parks east of I-95 were still closed, so I ended up driving all the way to Jonathan Dickinson State Park near Jupiter.  It turned out to be a world record (for me) of 411 miles!

I wish I had taken more photos, but it was windy and I needed to concentrate on my driving.  In any case, there was really almost no damage on the trip to Jacksonville along I-10, but we did notice a lot of convoys of utility trucks from all over.  No photos, but we also saw the Florida National Guard and a lot of other trucks containing disaster relief supplies, all headed east.

Signs of damage were evident along I-95 south of Jacksonville, all the way to Jupiter.  There were a lot of trees broken off or pulled out of the ground, like this one below.

About 70% of the billboards had no signage on them.  Only a few were actually fallen over.  Also, saw a very few highway signs pulled out, mostly the smaller ones.  The bigger signs seem to be anchored better and survived.

Even when there was no other obvious damage, the ditches everywhere were overflowing.  No flooding on the interstate or entrance ramps that I could see, but when I got off to get gas, there were power outages almost everywhere east of I-95 until way past Daytona.  I got off twice to find gas and the only gas station open and functioning was a Love's, except there was an hour long line, so I skipped it.  I figured it would be easier to get further south.

A lot of trees were bent to the west, even if limbs seemed OK.  My first night's stay was at Lake Louisa, just northeast of Disney World.  It is relatively inland, and I did notice Disney was in business because I heard fireworks at 10:00 pm!

The next day, another 170 miles of driving got me to Jonathan Dickinson SP and Jupiter.  There are some photos of piles of leaves and branches along the city streets.  People were very busy cleaning up but almost all stores were open and had stuff on shelves.  Except peanut butter, I should add.  It was the only thing missing from the shelves at the grocery store, I guess because it does not need cooking and keeps a long time.
Tomorrow I drive to the Keys!  Can't wait.

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