WHILE WE WAIT FOR IRMA

Noah (big dog) and Nigel (little pup) are getting acquainted while we wait for Irma.

The hurricane is forecast to hit the Florida keys as a cat 5, with winds of 160 mph. However, the track has shifted farther to the west of Florida, with a landfall in the keys, then in southwest Florida. Ft Myers, Sarasota, Tampa. This is good news for the east coast of the state in that it won’t get the cat 5 winds. It means that Fort Lauderdale and parts of Miami are no longer in the “cone of uncertainty.” But the storm surge on both coasts is going to be huge.

Forecasters caution people not to focus on the exact track because Irma is so huge it will cover the entire state. BUT. And it’s a big BUT. The spot where the eye makes landfall is critical to everything. That area within the eye wall will experience the greatest winds and potential destruction.

I’m not a TV binge watcher. But in the last 3-4 days, I’ve become a binge hurricane track watcher. There has never been a storm like Irma – Andrew was as strong, but not as large. Andrew moved from west to east across the state in just 4 hours.  Irma is traveling south to north and will take about 24 hours to traverse the state.  Irma set a record for the longest period of time – 35  hours – that a hurricane has maintained a speed of 185 mph. With more than 5 million people evacuated, it’s being called the largest mass evacuation in Florida and possibly the largest evacuation in the history of the U.S.

Given how large this storm is and how far it’s going to push into the southeast – to Tennessee – getting back to normal is going to take time. A lot of it. It’s estimated that millions will lose power and it’s unlikely that it will return quickly. We downloaded an app called Zello Walkie-Talkie- and have tried it out with friends in Asheville, Orlando, and points farther south. Snopes says it doesn’t work without WiFi or broadband. That’s not exactly true. It will work with a minimum broadband signal. It was used in Houston and the aftermath of Harvey, so we’ll see how it performs during this storm.

Tomorrow we wind up our preparations. Close up the last few shutters, make sure backup batteries are fully charged, that our supplies are situated at various spots in the house. We have a safe area – the back bedroom and bathroom of the house – and my walk-in closet. All the art and  travel memorabilia  that decorated our walls has been wrapped up in plastic garbage bags, taped shut, and stashed in high, safe spots. We have a generator for the aftermath, gas in our cars, propane for the grill, food, ice, coolers, and more than 100 bottles of water.

So, tomorrow by noon, outer bands of tropical storm force winds move in. After that, my hope is that the track moves farther west and out into the gulf, where Irma, a sentient beast,  dies.

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10 Responses to WHILE WE WAIT FOR IRMA

  1. Rob and Trish says:

    Five-day after update:
    Still working the chain saw on our damaged trees, but otherwise things getting back to normal. Trish found gas today. So she filled up. Grocery stores are open, but supplies are low, like a third-world country’s shelves. But no long lines. So overall semi back to normal. The yoga studio still doesn’t have AC, but most of the classes don’t use it. I teach beginners and older students and many like the room cooler. So not many coming. Meanwhile, I’m handing out avocados to anyone who will take them. More than 100 fell from our tree.

  2. C.J. says:

    Irma has arrived. EVERYONE BE SAFE!!!!

  3. Shadow says:

    You are in my thoughts, I pray for you all to be safe And thems pups, I need to cuddle cuddle cuddle *grin*

  4. Mike Perry says:

    Thinking of you … best wishes.

  5. C.J. says:

    Of great interest (to me), Irma hasn’t taken that abrupt turn to the North. It is still over Cuba, moving at a slow 9mph motion….still due West. Like you, I rarely watch TV, but
    I consider this situation to be necessary. The weather experts now predict it will make that right turn to the North, skirting just outside the Gulf Coast of FL. This storm has a mind of its own, and it isn’t following the projected path laid out by the experts. Yep, it is almost twice the size of this state, but if it continues on its due West track, we will be in less and less danger. They refuse to note that it hasn’t made the turn they said it would. It may not. Yet, they STILL put the entire state of FL under mandatory evacuations. Doesn’t maker sense, doesn’t compute, to me. We are well prepared to stay in place, and am simply watching and waiting. Our youngest son, who is profoundly grounded but highly intuitively ‘tuned into” things that go bump in the night, has suggested that TPTB are controlling this. Conspiracy theory? No doubt. Possible? Worth considering.

  6. lauren raine says:

    I am sending my love and concern to you and your family. This is beyond belief, and yet, it is beginning to look like Gaia is telling us that the change has come. I don’t know how to help in your time of difficulty, but am glad you are so prepared, and sure that you’ll come through this safely. I have the sense you’ll be helping others a lot too.

  7. DJan says:

    My sister lives in a mobile home in Zephyrhills and has moved herself and her dogs and son up to her daughter’s rented home in Tampa after doing all you describe here. Now she’s right in the path, and I’m scared for her and all the other older residents who live in Florida. I hope you and everything else will be okay. I appreciate your posts!

    • Rob and Trish says:

      I hope they all come through it safely. A house is certainly a better place to ride it out than a mobile home, even if they are in the path.