8/13/04 8:30 p.m. The rain's picking up now, and so is the wind. Still less than a normal summer storm. Right now we're just annoyed with the local NBC station, which insists on broadcasting "news" instead of the Olympic Opening Ceremonies, even when they don't have anything new to say. They say if you want to see the Olympics, watch it on cable. But if you don't have cable.... We looked for live Internet coverage, but apparently NBC nixed that. Funny - we watch TV maybe once every couple of months, and two things we want to watch are in conflict.
8/13/04 7:15 p.m. Charley is now a Category 3, and some of the commentators are talking almost as if it's all over. But it's not here yet, and even if it's a Category 2 when it gets here, that's a LOT of wind and rain. There's still a tornado warning, too.
Andy will be pleased to know that amateur radio is getting a lot of good publicity - hams are providing emergency communication. Nothing else to report, except that the strawberry-rhubarb crisp is very good. :)
8/13/04 6:40 p.m. Time to make some dinner, while we still have power. We've filled almost every available container with water. It's a little funny, since we're much more likely to lose power than water. But we're fresh out of Leyden jars....
Still drizzling lightly.
8/13/04 5:00 p.m. I'm taking a break at the moment. We've brought the potential missiles inside, and have positioned the cars right up against the garage door, on either side. Our collected milk jugs are filled with water; most are in the freezer, some in the refrigerator. We'll fill the bathtub later. I'm experiencing the "nesting instinct" - I thought that only happened when you were about to go into labor; maybe it works for a different kind of labor, too. Janet and I have been cleaning, and I made a strawberry-rhubarb crisp.
One of our friends in the Tampa area just turned the tables on us; they escaped and she offered to let us stay with her....
8/13/04 4:00 p.m. Janet and I just returned safely from her voice lesson. It had looked as if we would have plenty of time, but while we were gone Charley suddenly strengthened to a Category 4, and made a turn directly for us. So the lesson wasn't quite as long as we had hoped, but was still very good and now that we're home safely I can say it was worth it. :) I'm going to make this fast and get back to work, but I wanted to get something new up. We drove through heavy rain on our way back from Janet's lesson, but right now it's raining lightly. More later...thanks for your prayers!
8/13/04 11:00 a.m. We awoke this morning to the eerie, sultry pre-hurricane stillness, though if I hadn't known a hurricane was coming I might not have been so sensitive to the odd mood of the weather. The sky is completely overcast (unusual for here) and there is not a hint of a breath of wind. The latter is supposed to change this afternoon. Latest predictions are for 65–70 mph winds. I went out to run errands this morning and didn't see any unusual activity; perhaps I would have if I had gone to the grocery store. I filled the car with gas because there were no lines at all, contrary to reports. Supposedly there are few empty hotel rooms in the Orlando area, thanks to the 400,000 or so people fleeing the Tampa area. So far none of our Tampa-area friends have taken us up on our offer.
8/12/04 10:00 p.m. Janet just creamed us in Quiddler, so it's time for bed. We'll check on Charley in the morning.
During our 20 years in Central Florida, we had experienced no more than the outskirts of a hurricane, although in 1999 Floyd was enough of a threat to induce us to board up our windows and make other preparations. This year, when Hurricane Charley set us in its sights, I created an online diary to keep family and friends informed—and continued the practice for subsequent hurricanes.(More)