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Saturday, February 1, 2014

From Music to Disaster!

Well, I feel like I'm playing catchup with my January posts. The last few weeks of January sure were eventful. January was in the throngs of summer with hot days and fun filled nights. It actually had been too hot what with the temperature in the the high 90's and the nights in the 80"s

January 16th, a Thursday night, saw the first full moon concert held in El Fortin de Santa Rosa
January 17th, on Friday was the "White Night" event in La Floresta.

January 18th, Saturday, I heard that a music concert was to be held at the beach parking lot near my house. I have my congregational meetings on Saturday nights instead of Sunday. After coming home that night, I ate dinner and then I did something that I should do, more often. Because there weren't any mosquitos out that night I went out to my terrace with a Rum (Ron in espa├▒ol) and coke in hand and my now 3 dogs in tow to stand guard for me, I went out to enjoy the warm night. I was happy that I could hear the promised music concert, so clearly, coming up from the beach. Concerts here usually start with the most well known bands then move on to the lesser known and in need of more practice ones. It was true that some trees were blocking my view of the bands but I had the best of both worlds, no crowds and my bathroom just inside of my house should I need it. I stayed outside all night with my feet up listening to the beach bands play. Little did I know, how much that respite would mean, or how things were about to change.

January 23rd, Thursday I had my congregational meeting. The night was somewhat clear. After the meeting I came home and I had dinner and dessert, then I let the dogs out to pee and poop for the night. Right after that, it started to rain. Then the winds started to blow and blow and blow. I was glad that the dogs were already inside for the night. Then it struck! The winds started to slam into our neighborhood. Coming up from the water, Southward and blowing North inland, the force was intense and loud. Nathan, my cat ran to my bedroom door and when I opened it he ran under my bed. That is something he has never done before. He is no scare-dy cat but is normally quite fearless. Then the electricity went out in the neighborhood and the telephone service. I went to bed.

January 24th, Friday, we were without power and phone until 1:30 PM. Others toward Atl├íntida didn't get theirs turned on until 3:30 PM.  When I went outside. I saw that my front yard dog house had been blown out from its corner and was now on my front steps.

My planter, filled with bamboo, had fallen over (it was a little top heavy in design). It had stood upright however, through other wind storms. Surprisingly the ceramic cup it fell onto remained unbroken but the saucer under it broke instead. My heavy wooden patio furniture had been blown as a group (they are chained together for security reasons) across the entire patio and they were now up against my shutters. I am so thankful that I have heavy locked shutters covering my huge picture windows, otherwise the furniture corners would have broken my window.

Those things were the things moved by the wind, they were not damaged. The only real damage that occurred was to my solar hot water heater. I lost 4 tubes.

Since I didn't have power or phone and it was lightly raining, I decided to wait until Saturday to call around for a person to fix my solar heater and replace the tubes.

I was very fortunate that I didn't sustain more damage. The reason for that was that I had already cut down all of my dangerous trees and had them hauled away last year at great expense. Now I can sleep like a baby during any wind storms unlike before the tree removals.

Friday morning, I went out into the neighborhood to see what was what. The neighborhood didn't escape the storm as unscathed as I did.

My street entrance was now blocked from 4 fallen trees lying across it. The 5th tree had fallen away from the street.

My neighbor up the street had a tree now leaning just on the edge of his roof. It amazingly didn't really damage the roof itself.

Around the corner gates were smashed. Fallen trees were everywhere.

Last year, one corner lot on Avenida del Mar had 19 trees fall, well this storm blew the rest down. I guess that corner is a terrible wind catcher!

Going past my few blocks, I started to see some heavier damage towards Salinas but still in my barrio of Marindia.

The worst damage by far was captured in the photos below by a person posting on Facebook to the Balneario Marindia site. These photos may have been taken by Maria Cristina Franco because they said "with Maria" and there were no people in the photos. I am just trying to give credit were credit is due.

The middle picture of a wooden cabin style home shows a house that used to be 1 1/2 stores high having an attic bedroom and window, now it was reduced to only 1 story. The last photo is of an interesting garage in my neighborhood. Part of the main house has the same odd design as the garage. These are all from my barrio of Marindia. These photos are near the highway by the Estorill store.

Amazingly, the power got turned on very promptly as already mentioned, by the next day.

The work of cleaning up the neighborhood went about orderly. It is still going on. The air is scented with pine bark and needles. The sound of chains saws fill your ears. Life goes on without grumbling.

The weather is now overcast and the days are cool but humid. Who knew that when I was outside enjoying music from my terrace on a hot summer night a week ago that things would change so quickly. From music to disaster what a difference a week makes.

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