We have electricity! The power was restored Friday afternoon. We went 5 days 22hours 56 minutes without power. It sucked. Yes, other areas of Florida, as well as several tiny island nations, suffered horrible losses. The scope of the outages and shitty management by our power provider were frustrating and brought our area to its knees.

The linemen out doing the work were amazing. They did an outstanding job. The people running the show suck. For example, if your meter was due to be read this week, they just did an estimate as reading the meter was impossible. The estimate consisted of looking at your usage from the same period from last year and doubling it. Really. I haven’t even bothered to look at our bill online as I’ll just get mad.

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After a day or so, the power company said they would send readers out next week and would adjust everyone’s bill. That is what they should have done in the first place.

Their website sucked for getting information. They couldn’t or wouldn’t answer questions. If they had been open and communicative, the week would have been easier to deal with. In contrast, the company that handles the power across the bay did a great job. I knew more about what was going on over there than I knew about our power.

Anyway, here are some more pictures from the during and after the storm.

The police were out as soon as the power started going out.

This was sunset in the middle of a hurricane. It’s a 30-second exposure. Everything at ground level was pitch black but the clouds still had a little glow from the sun that would have still been about 30 minutes from dipping below the horizon. The light in the house across the street is from their flashlights. They saw my flashlight on the porch as I was taking pictures and looked out to investigate. At this point, the rain wasn’t even falling. It was just blowing sideways, parallel to the ground.

I did go out when shit starting getting really bad around midnight. The way my front porch is laid out offered me protection from the wind, rain, and debris, it was frightening to be outside. I opted to not take pictures and hid inside.

Looking down towards the bayou the morning after the storm.

The storm surge brought the water level back to normal as the direction of the winds pushed all the water out the day before. Over in Tampa, you could walk a few hundred yards out into Tampa Bay. Our bayou, which is connected to the bay lost about six feet of water.

A few of the damaged power poles in the neighborhood.

The bottom one came down with a bunch of small trees, taking out that fence, a metal driveway gate, and a bunch of other crap with it. A backhoe was needed to clear it all out.

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This was the largest tree that fell within a block of my house. I did see many other larger ones while out during the week. This one took out several power lines, but somehow missed houses and parked cars.

The tree extends another 20 feet out of frame.

The good thing in all of this was the low light pollution levels at night. I took full advantage of this and went out for several night missions.

This was the moonrise on Monday night.

While waiting for the moonrise, I took this. It’s 39 consecutive 30-second exposures. Somehow, the streetlights along the bayou had power, but nothing else did. I got a little more light bled and flare that I thought, but I dig it.

And finally, on another outing, I did a similar shot, pointed out across the bayou. It is 48 continuous 30-second exposures. The non-star trail line is from a helicopter. Most of the folks over there were still without power, though a few did. Or they at least had generators. It was really beautiful, still, and quiet out; though you could hear people sitting outside making the best of the situation. There were a few bosterious conversations that would occasionally echo from across the water.

That’s all for now. Things are starting to get back to normal. I worked a little for the first time in almost two weeks. The week before the storm was spent prepping the house, so work had to take a back seat to making sure we were are ready for Irma as possible. Very glad things are seeming like they should again.