This doesn't mean we aren't affected by hurricanes. Matthew makes five for me. As the storm hits land we aren't directly hit but feel the outer bands and the winds strength with gusts over 100 mph. Tropical disturbances are an everyday part of life, summer to fall in Florida and life goes on.
The Gulf Stream and shape of Florida protect North Florida from direct hits. Matthew was projected to hit Jacksonville but instead choose Flagler Beach and St. Augustine. Most of the storm stayed in the water but heavy bands swung around and pounded the northern coast.
As we sat inside our house the trees swayed from the winds and the rain poured at a slant. Branches were ripped from trees and deposited in the driveway. We watched the news from time to time and I was distraught over the damage to the Northern coast.
The coastal road was washed out in Flagler Beach and St. Augustine looked like a lake. The areas I've driven on, restaurants I've eaten at, not destroyed, but almost unrecognizable. Overall, the damage was minimal.
As Matthew barreled through he weakened to a category 2 as he moved into Jacksonville and took a wobble to the east. That wobble and downgrade kept the heaviest winds off the coast. Late into the evening and throughout the night they continued to blow and by this morning the storm disappeared for us.
We had sustained winds of 50 plus miles per hour and gusts much stronger. Our electricity blinked out several times but came back on within minutes. Our wifi dropped a few times but came back up right away. We were prepared for loss of electricity and minor damage yet we have none.
I'd say we got lucky but don't at all think it was luck that saved us. It was divine intervention from friends and family throughout in the U.S. and all over the world. Thank you for your prayers.