“Never lose hope. Storms make people stronger and never last forever.”
― Roy T. Bennett
A storm is brewing! “Beware!” the zopilotes caw from the tree tops. The U.S. Embassy warned us about tropical storm Nate. We didn’t think much about it because the storm was supposed to pass to the east of us along the Caribbean coast. We’ll get some rain and maybe a little wind we said to ourselves.
It rained all night Wednesday and we woke to the sound of the wind howling through our bananas. The waves crashed to our shore and all ferries were suspended. The relentless rain pounded our house horizontally, drenching our bathroom through the screened windows. The lights flickered and snap…all was dark and foreboding.
A coconut frond flew off the tree and landed on our power line, snapping it in half. I had a full charge on my phone, so I sent a text to a neighbor. “Hay luz?” The response was “No hay!”
Should we take a chance and repair the line while there is no power? It could take days before the electric company could repair our power line after the storm.
Storms make people stronger…or braver and more foolish I suppose. During a lull in the rain and wind, Ron ran out and spliced the power line back together and hung the line up in a tree while securing it with rope and a PVC pipe. Now, we waited to see if it fixed the problem.
While we waited, I played a gazillion spider solitaire games on my iPad, read three books on my Kindle app, and napped… a lot! We watched the waves rearrange our beach…a small gamolote or floating island washed to shore. Trees uprooted surfed in the waves. This was a serious storm, I said to myself nervously.
Thank goodness for a battery operated charger to keep my phone and iPad charged, a water tank with a reserve of 600 gallons of gravity flow water ( mainly so we could flush the toilet), a phone with 3G and a data plan so I could stay connected with the outside world, instant coffee with a full propane tank to heat the water, solar lanterns, and two battery operated light bulbs that we could turn on and off to conserve their three hours of light before the battery ran down. And the best of all…a cool night to sleep without fans.
Others weren’t as fortunate as we were! We wondered if there had been another landslide, the number of homes flooded, and how many people were huddled together in a dry spot among their old tin roofs and plastic walls.
Our friends in Moyogalpa posted photos of a giant tree that fell across the road. Two of their electric poles toppled under the strain of the wind. One of my friends was trapped in her house because the lake rose covering her sand beach path into town. Now, if she wanted to leave, she had to wade through knee-deep water.
Concepcion volcano shed more of her blanket of lava rock and covered the road in the same place as the landslide in 2014 which destroyed the village of Los Ramos.
Plantain and banana crops bent and twisted in the raging storm. Many crops were lost.
Tin blew off roofs leaving frightened families exposed to the rain.
But, the devastation was even worse in the coastal town of San Juan del Sur. The boats that weren’t securely tied down washed ashore during high tide. The boat below had to be demolished.
The Lila Michell fishing boat came very close to crashing into a bar and restaurant. I hope it can be saved!
Incredible! The fishing boat looks like a beached whale.
But the worst and most frightening was the mountain road from Matagalpa to Jinotega. I don’t know if there is another way around to connect these two cities.
Tropical storm Nate struck Nicaragua on Thursday, bringing maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour, with some areas of the country receiving as much as 30 inches of rain. Out of the eleven deaths reported so far, ten have been killed by floods, while one person died at sea. Today our vegetable truck man said one person died on the Maderas side of the island.
Nicaragua continues to struggle with mudslides, washed-out roads, no electricity or drinking water, and communities cut off by surging waters. But, the best that we can do is never lose hope. Storms bring us together to help each other and they eventually pass.
Thanks to the anonymous people who posted many of these photos I grabbed off Facebook. Information is still scarce, but most of us have electricity restored and are thankful that it was a tropical storm with less winds. I can’t imagine what a category 5 hurricane must be like!
Hunker down Louisiana! We are keeping you in our thoughts! Stay strong.