State authorities warned that it could take a very long time for full power to be restored. This left some Florida homeowners facing weeks of camping out in their homes by candlelight. And they were the lucky ones; some homes were destroyed beyond repair and up to 220,000 people had to relocate to temporary shelters.
One Florida home that was affected by the power outage was the Mitchell’s in Gainesville. Chad Mitchell waited until the storm had pretty much done its worst until he ventured out. On September 11, he took to his bicycle to see the damage Irma had wrought for himself. He planned to cycle for a few miles and assess the state of his community. One of Mitchell’s destinations was his local electricity substation – he was keen to know when his lights would be back on. However, the cyclist was brought up short near the corner of the power facility when he heard a weird, high-pitched squeaking sound.
Mitchell was worried that there was something wrong with his bike, so he got off to inspect it for a fault. But, if it was his bicycle that was making the squeak, Mitchell couldn’t find anything wrong. The puzzled man cast his eyes further afield in order to try and identify the source of the noise. That was when he saw a strange object lying next to the roadway.