Hurricane Irma.

I’ve been watching this system since it came out of Cabo Verde a week or so ago. It has concerned me since it first formed.

Initially, I felt that a high pressure system developing across the central U.S, would do what forecasters were saying – keep the system south of the U.S. But as we’ve gone through this Labor Day weekend, the track – that awful dome of uncertainty- has crept steadily north of the Leeward Island and Cuba and Florida.

My first check is usually the National Hurricane Center. Over the years, I’ve found their forecasting to be accurate. They were right about Harvey – but predicted 25 inches of rain, with a possibility of as much as 48 inches, something that appalled them because it seemed so unlikely. Instead, the final total was 52 inches.

My other checks for reliable information are the Weather Channel, the Weather Underground (but they don’t post often enough) Accuweather, and the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel’s hurricane center. I also listen to the planetary empaths, who days before Harvey hit Houston were emailing us. (scroll down to the latest entries)

There’s a lot of talk on all these weather sites about the American and European models for forecasting the paths of these hurricanes. And the spaghetti models have been all over the place – throughout Florida, veering away from Florida and out into the Atlantic, staying South and tracking through the gulf. But most of the models comes through Florida. But the bottom line is alarm: Irma is now a cat 4 hurricane with 140 mph sustained winds and gusts of 165 mph. Its central pressure is 943 mb; Wilma, the strongest hurricane on record, has a mb reading of 882.

Our house is concrete, with a wooden addition added several years after it was built in 1994. There are two skylights that were supposedly built to Hurricane Andrew standards – to withstand cat 5 winds. I somehow doubt this. During Wilma in 2005, which struck us and stalled when it was only a cat 2, those skylights vibrated and hummed and I felt extremely uneasy about being anywhere near them. Fortunately, Wilma, in spite of her stall, moved rather quickly. We were without power for 10 days in the aftermath, our Dusky Conure, Kali, died, and everything commercially was shut down.

Last year, Hurricane Matthew was predicted to hit West Palm Beach as a cat 4 or 5 and, in the 11th hour, veered away from the coast and we got nothing more than a bad thunderstorm and several hours without power. But it tore up the coast, just offshore, and went inland around St. Augustine and the devastation was bad.

Today, we went to the dog beach, taking all three dogs for a fun day in the sun. But we stopped at our local Publix first to buy some sandwiches – and found that the water aisle was cleaned out. Empty. I think that’s the moment when I realized Irma may not be like Matthew. There’s a collective knowing that happens with hurricanes. It’s as if people sense, at some deep level, that they’d better pay attention and stock up. The caveat to this is that Harvey was so recent, the scenes so heartbreaking, that people generally are more aware now. But.

The bottom line here is layered. I don’t think our house, even with hurricane shutters, can withstand winds of 160 mph. We live 39 miles from Lake Okeechobee, the second largest fresh water lake in the U.S., which supplies water to all of South Florida. It’s surrounded and enclosed by more than a 100 miles of a dike built in the 1930s, reinforced in the 1960s, and still at risk. When the lake level reaches 15 feet or higher, water is released into the surrounding canals and rivers, just as it was in Houston, and that potentially puts millions of people at risk.

Astrologically, what concerns me is that in late October 2005, when Wilma hit, Jupiter had just entered Scorpio, which it will enter again on 10/10 this year. My dad had died a month earlier, when Jupiter was in its final degrees of Libra, as it is now. Some of the broad astro patterns were the same. That worries me more than anything.

I really don’t relish the idea of standing on the rooftop of our house with two dogs and two cats and whatever else we can salvage waiting for an airboat rescue.

The day after Harvey devastated Houston, Rob remarked that 52 inches of rain would leave Wellington underwater and maybe it was time for us to  get the hell outta Dodge.

And go where? Back several years ago, it was estimated that the evacuation of the 4 southernmost counties that include  the keys, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Palm Beach – would take 3 days. Now, given the population growth, it probably would take twice that time. The only thing worse than waiting on your rooftop for rescue is being stuck in an endless line of traffic on an interstate as the flood waters around you keep rising.

And rising.

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12 Responses to IRMA

  1. Vicki DeLaurentis-momwithwings says:

    So glad that you have left!

    • Rob and Trish says:

      We didn’t. The path shifted slightly to the east and we were concerned about gas shortages. As it turned out, the town of Cassadaga, where we considered going, is going to be evacuated because the buildings are so old.
      We have shutters, food, a generator, water, gas. Two dogs, two cats. We’ll post as we can.

  2. Darren says:

    I’ve been disconnected from the internet since last Friday because of a house move, but I’m glad to see that you guys are evacuating as this storm looks way worse than Harvey to me and I wouldn’t want to be in its path.
    Stay safe guys and I think you have done the right thing in leaving.
    I wish ya luck over there with this storm, because I think you’ll need it, by the looks of the media reports.
    Let’s hope it nothing but just “fake news”.

  3. C.J. says:

    OOPS. Meant to say that the birds and other creature seem to move into some kind of unconsciousnes, not CEASE to move into some kind of unconsciousness.. A typo. Am getting ready to bring our supplies together. We won’t stay. Last year Matthew battered us, and it wasn’t considered especially powerful. However, many folks are still trying to return their lives and properties to normal. Trish and Rob, don’t wait unti the last minute to hit the road. I know you won’t.

  4. C.J. says:

    Yes. It is now 12:40pm EDT in Florida, and Irma is a CAT 5, packing sustained winds of 180 mph. Her pressure has dropped significantly. Yesterday, when Irma was still a Cat 3, then 4, our Gov Scott had already placed the entire state of Florida in a State of Emergency, and the official rescue organizations are already being shifted from Texas to Florida. Here is my personal situation as a planetary empath: As mentioned previously on the blog, I am challenged by stage 4 Parkinson’s Disease. Several of the PD symptoms are quite similar to the PE symptoms. However, I have learned how to tell which is which. One of the ways I can differentiate between them is that my PD medications do not have ANY effects on the PE symptoms, but ARE effective on the PD symptoms. I have had a horrific several days of planetary symptoms and at first thought they were remaining from the agony being experienced in Texas and Louisiana from Harvey. No. They are absolutely
    connected to this CAT5 hurricane Irma. My vestibular system is extremely sensitive to
    barometric pressure. When it starts dropping, as it does in these tropical systems, going down and down and down, for me it’s as if I’ve gone from sea level to the top of Mount Everest. It’s horrific. There’s an unprecedented symptom occurring with me now, and I’m pretty concerned about it because I can’t compartmentalize it. There’s no question it is coming from Irma, almost as if I’m attached to it by some kind of invisible umbilical. But this new symptom….it’s a sense of total, utter silence, total and utter lack of any motion….as if the earth has stopped spinning. I’ve never had such a profound feeling, and it has me unnerved. Sometimes a bad storm is preceded by such silence; the birds and other creatures cease to move into some kind of unconsciousness , and silence and lack of motion prevail until the storm manifests and then is past. The only thing to which I can compare this is Death….or possibly being in a chamber that prevents any and all sensory sensation. It is NOT pleasant. I’ve tried to shake it, but it won’t go away. And, my Lab. Storm. is displaying symptoms of fear…..staying as close to me as she can, trembling, and occasionally whining for no reason. A CAT 5, wherever Irma goes…..very, very bad. We live on an Island, on the beach. The ocean here is beginning to be impacted, even at this distance from the hurricane. We WILL leave if necessary.

  5. Dale Dassel says:

    Looking at the most recent storm predictions, I’d pack up the pets and get out of Dodge asap. Drive up north and stay with friends or relatives until this thing blows through. Definitely don’t want to be trapped without a boat when this thing makes landfall. Good luck, guys!

    • Rob and Trish says:

      We are going to evacuate to Atlanta, where my sister lives. Thanks for your thoughts, Dale!

      • Dale Dassel says:

        Glad to hear it! Better safe than sorry! If you’re taking I-75 north, you’ll be driving right past me at Exit 149! I’ll be sending good vibes your way! 🙂

      • Sheila Joshi says:

        I think you’re doing the right thing and I’m relieved to hear it . Sending prayers for Irma to pleasantly surprise us and turn out to sea.

        • Rob and Trish says:

          THANKS, Sheila! We’re heading to Orlando first. Don’t have any idea how much gas is available,so we’ll be able to find out by stopping in Orlando first.

  6. lauren raine says:

    I am so sorry for the anxiety you must be feeling as this second major storm draws near to your home. I truly hope that it brings nothing more than a little rain, and bypasses you. Lately I’ve felt like Mother Nature is speaking to us. My good wishes for you and your family.