We have just returned home after being evacuated for Hurricane Irma. I live in Port Charlotte, FL, directly on Charlotte Harbor, and our area was forecasted to receive not only terrible winds, but also catastrophic storm surge flooding.
We almost didn't leave. I've always been a little bit critical of people not leaving their homes in the face of an impending disaster, but now I understand. It was so hard to leave, knowing that what we could fit in our trunk might be all that we owned once the hurricane had come through.
But, we also have 2 kids, 2 cats, and a dog, and ultimately, they were all that was truly important. We boarded up the ornament shop, which is about a mile away from our house, and put all of our fabrics, materials, ornament kits... everything we could... as high up from the ground as we could. We did the same with our house. Then our entire human & animal crew went to invade my mom's house near Orlando to ride out the storm.
The whole time we were there, all I could think about was what might be happening to our house and shop. I was glued to the television, watching the newscasters showing video and photos of the destruction as it happened. We watched as Irma's eye came very close to our area.
When we finally arrived back home, after passing flooded houses, completely uprooted trees, downed power lines, and even the canopy of a gas station knocked over... we found our house perfectly intact, looking almost as though the hurricane had went right around it.
It looks like we only got about 1-2 feet of storm surge (which didn't even come over our sea wall), and somehow, miraculously, the only damage to our house was a broken tree limb.
There is major damage all up and down our street. Our next-door neighbors to the left lost a large tree (thankfully, it fell away from their house).... and our neighbors to the right had a pipe behind their sea wall collapse, which in turn caused this enormous hole right behind it:
I don't know how it is possible that our house remained nearly untouched, but we are so thankful. I know that not everyone in the path of this storm was as lucky as we were.
Our shop is also completely safe & sound.
If you ordered any ornament kits or supplies from my shop during the last 4 or 5 days, I will have those orders out in the mail just as soon as the postal service is back up and running. We were told this morning that it would be at least a few more days before we have mail again. I will have any orders out to you just as soon as I am able, I promise.
Also, I received a lot of emails over the last few days to make sure we were okay, and I just want to say thank you so much for your concern!! My family, and also all of our OG employees who live here in FL, are all safe & sound, thank goodness. It feels like a miracle. :)
Thank you for reading!