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Sorry for the silence and good luck Floridians and beyond

Sorry for the lack of blogitude. I’ve been minioning. Then when The Wandering Monk lost energy this afternoon, I sent him home and took over the last bits of earth moving myself. I’m beat; but it’s looking good.

All that remains before I can cross that project off the summer’s list is for me to do a touch of final leveling (after spraying the area down this evening and seeing where the water tended to pool), then lay down plastic, then find somebody to bring in gravel that I can rake around that 12 x 24-foot nice, FLAT area. Easy-peasy. After that I should have more pix.

The final-final drainage improvements won’t come till next summer, but that will merely entail putting up new or replacement gutters on the east, south, and west sides and feeding their downspouts into underground drain tiles. Nothing on this scale. The most serious drainage problem will be officially solved with delivery of that gravel.

Before I go veg with a cup of sweet decaff tea, I wanted to wish good fortune to all you south Floridians, east Floridians, and others up the coast. In fact Irma’s looking like such a b*tch, I heartily hope you Floridians are temporarily EX-Floridians.

Wherever you are, if you’re in the path of Irma’s fury or in an area affected by the storm in any way, please keep us posted as you can. Your blog friends will be awaiting word in comments.

82 Comments

  1. Miguel
    Miguel September 7, 2017 7:05 pm

    We are not gonna lie: we are a bit scared down here. Hurricane-wise, this is worse-case scenario; nobody ever considered a hurricane this magnitude. I don’t think there are any buildings capable of sustain 175 mph. This is a F3 tornado writ huge.
    We pray for a landfall in the wilderness followed by a fast weakening. or simply a sudden right turn before reaching Florida.

  2. Claire
    Claire September 7, 2017 7:33 pm

    I’m sorry you have to endure that, Miguel. I hope fear drives people to be prudent. Because boy, fear makes sense this time.

    The worst storm I was ever in had peak winds of 137 mph, and those were so hellishly destructive I have a hard time imagining a storm whose winds are 40-50 mph more.

    Have you got a bug-out location and a way to get there in the next day or two?

  3. just waiting
    just waiting September 7, 2017 9:55 pm

    My folks live in Naples. Dad is almost 90 and unwaveringly believes that either god of gov’t will be there to save him. His preps consist of 1 flashlight and 1 case of water. It took my sister and I 3 days to convince them to go to her place. Unbelievably, they got a flight out this morning and are safely in CO for the near future.

    I lived in South Miami when Andrew came through town with its gauge busting winds. The destruction was total and complete and stretched out in every direction as far as the eye could see. It reminded me of folding up the Monopoly board and pouring it all back in the box. 4’x4′ thick concrete electric poles snapped like straws. It was the most amazing devastation I’ve ever seen.

    If anyone here is still there, please, be safe.

  4. larryarnold
    larryarnold September 7, 2017 10:32 pm

    feeding their downspouts into underground drain tiles

    I started to ask if you had considered saving the rainwater, but then I remembered where you live. It’s probably not a priority there, like it is down here.

    Sure wish we could take all our south and east coast rain and drop it on your fires. You plugged my area, are there places to donate for your disaster?

  5. Miguel
    Miguel September 8, 2017 5:22 am

    That is what is so “evil” about this hurricane: There is no safe place in the State. Outside a few government bunker-style edifications, nothing is built to withstand a monster hurricane of 185 mph.
    Then the path, South to North following the only means to escape: Turnpike, I-75 and I-95. Traffic was bad 3 days ago already and last night was Hell’s parking lot.
    So you need to decide if go and brave it i the middle of Interstate Nowhere with only the few supplies you can carry in your vehicle and no protection from the monster or chance it at home where hopefully your home may survive partially and where you have more supplies?
    I am starting to think that moving out of Florida is the proper answer. Having to deal with a 500 mile wide F3 tornado is no fun.

  6. chad
    chad September 8, 2017 5:45 am

    I never thought I’d be hoping for a Cat 1 hurricane, but I’m doing just that. I’m 20-some miles due east of Cedar Key. The current track has Irma 27 miles east of me, in Ocala.While I’ve been through many hurricanes I don’t relish the thought of being that close to a Cat 2 or 3.
    Of course the track will keep changing, but at least so far I’m on the west side of it.
    Always prepped so no worries there, or having to fight the last minute crowds.
    I’ll start boarding windows today.
    Just another day in the Sunshine State!

  7. Shel
    Shel September 8, 2017 6:08 am

    The latest prediction, as I understand it, is for Irma – which is as wide as Florida – to come up the middle of the state. On the radio this morning they said for north central Florida, which means north of Orlando, there will be sustained 70 mph winds late Sunday and early Monday. That means limbs and trees down, power outages in spots, and flooding in susceptible areas. Beats a category 5 all day.

    Bought a much needed new gas cap for my chainsaw Wednesday. On the drive in, I decided to ask them if their business picked up before a storm; when I saw the parking lot I knew I didn’t need to ask. I-75 and I-95 have been turned into essentially one way roads (I imagine with a single southbound lane) and many gas stations are out of gas. For the last few days, there would be lines in the morning and no gas in the late afternoon. I should have plenty, but just in case I went to a couple of stations last night. At the first they told me there wouldn’t be any more deliveries until after the storm. At the second, there were enough cars and people waiting all over the place that it made me think of teenagers hanging around the local drive in, a memory that took me back a very long way. A friend just told me that gas deliveries are being diverted to the stations along the interstate so people can be getting out of the area. Works for me.

    I can get north of town so long as I take the back roads; going through the center would be slow but possible. I honestly don’t feel all that worried right now, although tornados are definitely possible events.

  8. Pat
    Pat September 8, 2017 8:09 am

    I’m delghted to hear 70 mph – just hope it holds true.

    I have a good friend in FL who’s just sick at heart. She has a sick husband, sick father-in-law, sick mother-in-law, and daughter with 6-yr-old son, all of whom she’s responsible for, and she’s afraid to get on the road because of the traffic. She has food, water, extra gas, etc. but the thought of driving with all of them in the traffic at some 30-40 mph in a hurricane is worse than staying put in a relatively-substantial house (relative to how hard the wind blows, that is). I talked to her last night, and I could hear the panic growing.

    I’m following this thing closely, and am afraid for all of FL, not just her family.

  9. Shel
    Shel September 8, 2017 12:37 pm

    Where is your friend in Florida? That’s going to make a big difference with this hurricaine.

  10. deLaune
    deLaune September 8, 2017 12:59 pm

    I’m sheltering in place (Tampa area). The funny thing is…I didn’t have to do anything to get ready for the storm. Except empty my water barrels and refill with fresh water. Prepping sure is handy.
    BTW, the outer bands are already here, with the storm still 500 miles away. Yup, it’s a bigun.

  11. Claire
    Claire September 8, 2017 2:12 pm

    jw — Amazing that you and your sister were able to get your folks a flight out of there.

    How are you doing with the wildfires in your area?

  12. Claire
    Claire September 8, 2017 2:13 pm

    deLaune — So far, so good. I hope you can keep us posted as that beast gets closer.

  13. Claire
    Claire September 8, 2017 2:22 pm

    From the sound of it, we’ve got people here who are able to give reports from a pretty wide swath of Florida. I hope you’re all well and remain able to stay in touch with the world.

  14. Pat
    Pat September 8, 2017 2:39 pm

    Shel -Were you talking to me? She is in Ocala, FL

    But I’m not sure that will really help any.

  15. chad
    chad September 8, 2017 2:46 pm

    Finally done boarding windows. It’s been so long I’d used wood for other projects, so had to cut more.
    As of the 5pm track it will now pass 1.3 miles west of me. West is Bad! Probably move farther west before it gets here.
    Handy site for my fellow Floridians to see how close it will get to you:
    http://stormcarib.com/closest.htm
    Select the pre-filled form for Irma and enter your Lat and Long.
    Good luck and be safe!!

  16. Claire
    Claire September 8, 2017 2:50 pm

    1.3 miles? Yikes. Thanks for taking the time to post that link for the benefit of your fellow stormistas.

    Plywood. Anybody know how quickly that emptied out of the lumberyards? And what thickness works best for hurricane protection?

  17. chad
    chad September 8, 2017 2:53 pm

    Pat
    The further west it moves the better off Ocala will be.

  18. chad
    chad September 8, 2017 3:00 pm

    Claire
    It will hopefully be a bit farther west by the time it gets up here.
    I prefer thinner plywood…nominally 3/8″. It’s solid enough to protect from debris and easy to handle.
    Glad to help with the link…I’ve got somewhere between dozens and hundreds. Been my hobby for the last 30 years or so.

  19. deLaune
    deLaune September 8, 2017 3:01 pm

    Chad, thanks for the link. It may pass 39 miles east of me. If it maintains its strength and unexpectedly shifts to my west, the death toll could be horrific (I’m next to Clearwater). I bought my house specifically because it’s 65′ above sea level. But I could (temporarily) be living on an island.

  20. Claire
    Claire September 8, 2017 3:12 pm

    “I prefer thinner plywood…nominally 3/8″. It’s solid enough to protect from debris and easy to handle.”

    Thanks, chad. That’s good to know.

    If I lived in hurricane country, I’d want to keep plywood in my garage — possibly pre-cut pieces — and I’d want it to be easy to handle in an emergency.

    Living instead in earthquake country, I’d still like to have some around for after-the-fact covering of my and my neighbors’ broken windows. But my windows are very large and I have no covered place to store the wood. So I’ve settled on keeping rolls of heavy clear plastic and lots of staples on hand to keep weather out if The Big One comes along and shatters glass. Entirely different need, I realize. But one of these days when I build a shed, I’m going to begin storing plywood in it.

  21. chad
    chad September 8, 2017 3:25 pm

    deLaune
    Glad it helped.
    My sister is in Seminole, so I know what you mean.

  22. chad
    chad September 8, 2017 3:29 pm

    Claire
    I keep my plywood leaning against the house, tied down under a tarp. It’s lasted for years.
    Except for what I used for other things.

  23. Shel
    Shel September 8, 2017 4:10 pm

    Pat, yes I was asking you. Sorry for the ambiguity. Actually, I was listening to an Ocala station. Now a break for a musical interlude. I took this ride long ago. I’ve never been to Disneyworld. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=iJFGAX77zw4

    Using coordinates from Wikipedia, 29.18 N 82.12 W, Irma should pass 26 mi. west of Ocala on Monday, Sept 11, at 9:36 AM. Thanks for the link, Chad.

    Hopefully your friend isn’t in an area at risk for flooding.

  24. Pat
    Pat September 8, 2017 4:43 pm

    I took my son to DisneyWorld when he was three, and took It’s A Small World ride. He was bug-eyed the entire time.

    Thanks for the coordinates; I’ll pass them along.

    Unfortunately she lives in a development built on top of a marsh, surrounded by several man-made lakes, one of which is out their back door – but there is a five-foot-high rise from the lake onto their property. (There are also alligators in the lake; I saw one come up onto the lawn next door when I visited a year or so ago.)

  25. just waiting
    just waiting September 8, 2017 5:11 pm

    Claire,

    You cannot know how happy I was last night to get the call they were in Denver. They didn’t see what Sandy did until 9 months later, when most of the cleanup was over, so they have no idea of what a disaster looks like and the hardships of the days and weeks after.

    Our local fire keeps growing in big spurts, up to about 180k acres right now. The nearest evac zone was about 7 miles away, but the lines change constantly and quickly. We’re only a mile or so from the ocean, so the prevailing winds have kept us mostly smoke free until a week ago. Had our first rain since May yesterday, today its the clearest its been in a long while.

    We were up in super,super big city Monday night, just after Columbia Gorge got going. Woke up to an ash covered, kicking up dust when you walk world. Reminded us of every Pompeii/volcano movie we’d ever seen. Rather than sticking around and trying the city, we dropped sis at the airport, got our state fair exhibits, spent our prize money at the closest Popeye’s fried chicken joint, and got the heck out of town.

  26. Claire
    Claire September 8, 2017 6:20 pm

    http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-irma-miami-patience-20170908-story.html

    Ten officers responded to a Home Depot near downtown, just outside the evacuation zone.

    About 500 people were waiting in line to get plywood. The line was buzzing with complaints about alleged price gouging at a different hardware store down the street, which was charging $45 a sheet.

    By mid-morning Home Depot’s supply of plywood was gone. Customers stayed in line anyway, hopeful another truck would soon arrive.

    Among them was Beatrice Ayalla, 60, who had been there since 2 a.m. There were 50 people ahead of her.

    “They were selling plywood, but then they finished,” she said. “They say now the truck will arrive in an hour and a half or two hours.”

    Her family needed the plywood badly. “We don’t have impact windows. We don’t have storm shutters. Our house is exposed completely,” said Ayalla’s daughter, Marcia Perez, who was also in line. The family needs to stay put, Perez said, because she works in a hospital surgery unit nearby that needs all hands available. They also worried what would happen to their dog, a large Rottweiler-Lab mix, in a shelter.

  27. chad
    chad September 8, 2017 6:45 pm

    Really? I was in line at the pharmacy a couple days ago and heard this:
    “Publix is out of water, Winn Dixie is out of water, Walmart is out of water! They tell us to be prepared but there are no supplies. I’m going to call the mayor’s office!”
    ::sigh::
    What part of prepared do you not understand? Do you wait to buy a fire extinguisher when your house is burning?
    ::sheesh::

  28. deLaune
    deLaune September 8, 2017 7:24 pm

    Ya’ll are shopping in the wrong stores. I stopped into a tobacco shop today and got into a discussion with the manager: cute girl in her late 20’s, about 5′-1′. She couldn’t decide whether to keep her AR in her car and her riot gun at home or vice-versa. Got all excited when she found out I’m a Garand shooter. Gave me her card and asked me to call her next time I go to the range–so she can try it out.
    Chad, I’m in Largo.

  29. Shel
    Shel September 8, 2017 8:19 pm

    Was told by a friend tonight that starting tomorrow at 8:00 PM there’s a curfew because of the expected winds. I’ve lived here 20 years and haven’t seen that before. On the Weather Channel they said that the percent chance of hurricane winds in Gainesville (which is north of Ocala) is in the 30’s. So I suppose expectations for Irma are like most weather predictions – nobody really knows. But it’s an absolutely beautiful night tonight and I’m enjoying it.

  30. Claire
    Claire September 8, 2017 9:35 pm

    Yup, larryarnold, not that much reason to collect rainwater in these parts. 🙂

    As to this: “Sure wish we could take all our south and east coast rain and drop it on your fires. You plugged my area, are there places to donate for your disaster?”

    That’s typically kind of you, but as to the wildfires, I wish they had your rain, too. I don’t really know about contributions. While the fires are catastrophic, and while some people are under evacuation orders, the fires are usually in wilderness areas, on large swaths of government land, in parks, and so on. I have not (yet) heard about people being burned out of their homes or otherwise being put in desperate need. (I’m not saying it hasn’t happened; just that I haven’t heard of it and haven’t heard any appeals for help.)

    If I do hear, I’ll post something. If others know of places in need of wildfire-related donations, please speak up. But it’s looking as if the greater need is going to be in Florida and the Caribbean. If, after we find out what happens with Irma, some of the Floridians posting here want to put up addresses or URLs for help in their communities, I’d more than welcome that.

  31. chad
    chad September 8, 2017 11:52 pm

    deLaune
    I definitely need to find stores like that, Mine are all in the “run in circles, scream and shout” category.
    Picked a random set of Largo coords. Based on the 11;00PM you are now roughly 20 miles west of projected path. Site doesn’t do intermediate updates so next one will be at 5am.
    Even insomnia is good for something.

  32. deLaune
    deLaune September 9, 2017 2:48 am

    It’s 5:45AM. Irma is now estimated to pass 17.7 miles west of Largo (equidistant from Chad and me).
    But the storm is still 2 days out, and its course will change. I have all the windows open and am enjoying the cool morning air (79 degrees, 90% humidity).

  33. Shel
    Shel September 9, 2017 5:35 am

    Now the radio report for Ocala says Irma is to turn in from the Gulf and hit the Tampa area as a category 3 storm and lose strength rapidly. The MPH estimates keep changing.

    FWIW, I found this site: http://www.floridadisaster.org/index.asp

    It looks like Levy county, where you are Chad, doesn’t have any mandatory evacuation orders. http://www.floridadisaster.org/info/ I guess you’re far enough inland anyway, especially if you’re east of Rt. 19. Yankeetown could get exciting, though.

  34. chad
    chad September 9, 2017 8:52 am

    I’m in Citrus county, near Levy & Marion. We have mandatory(yeah, right) evacuations for all low areas and mobiles. I’m high and dry at 129′ ASL, and on a hill. If I flood half the state will already be under water. After Irma leaves the coast of Cuba it will likely strengthen.
    The tracks are really having trouble narrowing down the turn, but I’m now looking at possible Cat 2 or 3 force winds up here according to some models.
    Again, we won’t know until it gets here.

    Be Safe!!

  35. deLaune
    deLaune September 10, 2017 10:15 am

    This is a test message from DeLaune (cell phone). If the cell towers don’t come down, I’ll try to post updates. After the power goes out.

  36. deLaune
    deLaune September 10, 2017 10:16 am

    The predicted track has hardly changed in 24 hours. CPA is now 14 miles (East, thank God). The eye is 23 miles in diameter, so I will see the maximum winds that Irma can offer. My location will have hurricane force winds for at least 6 continuous hours.
    At this point, I can still run. In a couple of hours, all bridges will be closed and Pinellas county will become, effectively, an island. But I am making a concious decision to hunker down where I am, mostly to face my fear of the unknown.
    BTW, I’ve already discovered a few shortcomings in my prep plan, and the disaster isn’t even close yet!

  37. Claire
    Claire September 10, 2017 10:25 am

    Glad to hear from you deLaune. But holy sh*t! I don’t know your circumstances, but running at this point sounds as scary as staying put. Once you come through this, I hope you’ll post about your preps and how they worked or didn’t. I’d be glad to give you a guest post on the blog.

    Meanwhile, thank you for thinking to check in. It’s a relief to know you’re okay. May you remain so, there on your “island.” BTW, your cellphone test post came through, but I left it pending because it had your full name on it and I wasn’t sure you’d want that revealed. But it worked. I can change the name on all your comments to deLaune, so I’ll do that if/when you’re forced to resort to cell.

  38. deLaune
    deLaune September 10, 2017 10:43 am

    I’m sure the NSA already knows DeLaune’s identity. So don’t worry about my anonimity. If there are any younger, single readers, maybe I can introduce them to the tobacco shop manager (I’m way too old for her).
    Running would be iffy at this point. But it would be doing something. Waiting for the inevitable to arrive is nervewracking.

  39. chad
    chad September 10, 2017 11:29 am

    Just waiting now here as well. The way it’s zig-zagging it could be anywhere from 10 to 40 miles west of me. 2pm (EDT) showed a 0.3 long. shift back to the west. Off the coast over warm shallow water is the worst scenario for everybody.
    Best of luck to all in the path.
    Gonna be a long night…

  40. Claire
    Claire September 10, 2017 12:19 pm

    “Gonna be a long night…”

    Boy, I don’t doubt that. Good luck indeed. And after the waiting’s over and you get through this, remember that the cleanup can be more dangerous than sitting through the storm. So please be careful out there!

  41. Claire
    Claire September 10, 2017 12:30 pm

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/09/10/dozens-dogs-abandoned-left-unable-escape-irma-bears-down/651030001/

    This is the second article I’ve seen about people abandoning their pets to Irma. Worse, apparently people are leaving dogs tied up or enclosed in pens from which they can’t escape the storm. Rescuers are trying to save the animals and now some departed residents might face felony charges.

    I could almost sympathize with people who thought there were no shelters that would also take their animals, but leaving them deliberately with no possible escape — to drown or be battered to death while chained or penned — is monstrous.

  42. Pat
    Pat September 10, 2017 12:56 pm

    I’m happy to see that my friends in Ocala will not get the brunt of the hurricane, but it isn’t over yet for them, and I wouldn’t wish the worst of it on anyone else. either. Mother Nature can be a bitch.

    I lived and worked in Bradenton for 1-1/2 years, and I’m holding my breath to see what happens to it all. I always thought the wesstern side was the most beautiful part of Florida, from Clearwater on down. I would hate to see it devastated.

    Good luck and successful prepping to everyone on the West Coast of Florida.

  43. Thomas L. Knapp
    Thomas L. Knapp September 10, 2017 1:25 pm

    We’re sheltering at our church just outside Gainesville. Last time I looked, we were right on the edge of the storm track and it was expected to be Category 1 when it arrived, but now it’s apparently picking up strength. Guess we’ll see. We thought about evacuating but the storm track kept changing to encompass the places we were thinking of going (e.g. Tupelo, Mississippi), so we finally just decided it was safer to stick it out in shelter we know is strong. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Irma’s path.

  44. Claire
    Claire September 10, 2017 1:37 pm

    Best to you always, Tom, and thanks for checking in. I hope we’ll keep hearing from you as you’re able. The uncertainties with this storm seem as tremendous as its winds.

  45. deLaune
    deLaune September 10, 2017 2:22 pm

    Looks like the eye will make landfall at Captiva/Sanibel/Cape Coral. Hundreds of millions of dollars in luxury homes will be gone. Even the islands may wash away.

    Track hasn’t changed much. Straight up Tampa Bay between Hillborough and Pinellas. 13 miles from me. It would be so cool if I got to see the eye from the inside!

    We have tropical storm winds and flickering power. One power line is already down in front of my neighbor’s house. No biggie, it only supplies the streetlights. I’ve heard 6 transformers blow (in the distance). May have power for hours, yet.

    The official word is that Hurricane force winds will start later tonight and continue for 9 hours.

  46. chad
    chad September 10, 2017 2:31 pm

    “It would be so cool if I got to see the eye from the inside!”
    Yeah, it was, once. But not worth the before and after eyewal!
    I’m currently 28 miles east of the forecast track. More land time means more weakening.
    No fun for the folks on the coast, but not as bad as if it was just offshore.
    Keep yer powder(and everything else) dry!

  47. Claire
    Claire September 10, 2017 3:09 pm

    “But not worth the before and after eyewall!”

    I was trying to find some good way to express that. You beat me to it and did it better than I would have.

    I always thought those “hurricane hunters” who fly into hurricane eyes to take measurements had an incredibly fascinating job. Not one I’d want to do, thanks, but fascinating.

  48. chad
    chad September 10, 2017 3:47 pm

    I’d much rather face the eyewall in a plane than on the ground. It just seems you’d have more control and briefer contact, but I’ve never done that so I’ll never know.
    I had a tornado go through my back yard once…the eyewall was worse.

    More rain now, winds only 20-30mph.
    …and hours to go before I sleep. 🙂

  49. larryarnold
    larryarnold September 10, 2017 5:11 pm

    Waiting is always the worst part, particularly if there’s still time to change your mind. Then you aren’t waiting, and that’s the worst part. Then…

    My daughter, SIL and twin grandkids are in their brand-new (45 days ago) first home in Brunswick, GA, between I-95 and the coast. They were under mandatory evac, and ready to bug out when Irma changed its mind and decided to aim at their bugout location. So they’re staying put. My wife is keeping busy making Halloween costumes for the 6-year-olds.

    They work on Sea Island. It will be interesting to see what happens there.

    I reminded SIL of his promise, 15 years ago, to take care of my little girl. He will.

    Waiting is the worst part.

  50. chad
    chad September 10, 2017 5:27 pm

    8pm(EDT) update moves the track 0.1 long. degree east.
    It’s weakening over land, a very good thing.
    Gusts here are only 40+. They’ll probably increase some over the next few hours.
    I’ve mostly been very domestic, doing laundry, running the dishwasher…all those things we rely on power for. But the Coleman stove is set up for coffee.

    Otherwise just sitting on the back porch watching the weather.
    I have a visceral attraction to violent weather…always have.
    I don’t like the after effects, but the weather itself fascinates me.
    And the morning after a hurricane is the best imaginable weather…peaceful.
    Probably why I’ll always live in Florida.

  51. deLaune
    deLaune September 10, 2017 5:54 pm

    Still have power! Small leak in Florida room roof. Not much rain (for Florida). Wind speed at Clearwater airport 75 mph. Weather underground says 3mph, gusting 5. I think it’s broken.

    Some branches down, debris bouncing off roof and windows. When the wind started to get serious, it was a bit scary. Now I’m used to it. The track looks like it could miss me by 20 miles. Or zero.

    The coffee stopped working, and I’ve been up since 4:30. I think I might got to bed. The eye is still eight hours away.

  52. Claire
    Claire September 10, 2017 6:44 pm

    “Weather underground says 3mph, gusting 5. I think it’s broken.”

    Some hurricane you got there, deLaune. 🙂

    And chad, good to hear you’re enjoying your weather watching — so far. Sounds like post-hurricane weather is a lot like post-thunderstorm weather. Peaceful, clean, and blessedly cooler.

  53. Claire
    Claire September 10, 2017 7:31 pm

    I’m signing off for the evening. Good luck to you all, and may everybody wake up dry, safe, and hopefully even with electricity or at least cellphone service. I’ll be thinking of you.

  54. chad
    chad September 10, 2017 8:29 pm

    Huh…shoulda knocked on wood.
    11pm(EDT) update puts it 6.5 miles west of me in 8 hours. Likely a Cat 1 at most since it’s been running inland and weakening. Winds 40-50 here best I can estimate. Minor power blips but still on.
    Looks like it will go right through Brooksville, Crystal River & Chiefland.

    Just had 2 brief power outages, so probably more to come.

    Guess I’ll go doze for another hour or so.

    Be safe!

  55. deLaune
    deLaune September 10, 2017 8:37 pm

    Slept for a couple of hours, then a loose screen banging woke me up. Fixed it. Irma seems to “like” Chad more than me. Hurricane is moving inland and our wind speeds will start dropping soon. Currently 81 mph at the airport down the street.

    Power still on.

  56. chad
    chad September 10, 2017 9:12 pm

    I could use less ‘like’.
    my transformer just exploded so my power is out for the duration. my internet connection is on the same pole so it went as well.
    I hate typing on the phone!

  57. deLaune
    deLaune September 10, 2017 10:08 pm

    Know what you mean, but my power is still on.
    I’ve been standing outside watching my oak trees swaying in the wind. It’s awe inspiring and a little frightening. Our wind speed (average, last hour) is down to 45 gusting 60. In a thunderstorm, I’d say “so what?”
    But it keeps going and going and…

  58. chad
    chad September 10, 2017 11:21 pm

    haven’t been outside much, rain is sideways.
    lost a large red bud tree out back already…grave marker for the dog that owned us 22 years ago when we we bought the house.
    2am(edt) update shifted 0.3 degrees west.
    seems like every update is in the opposing direction.
    watch them broken limbs…they keep going too!

  59. deLaune
    deLaune September 10, 2017 11:28 pm

    In the past hour the winds have been 50 gusting 66. But the center of the storm is now past.
    Unless it turns sharply.
    I lost 40 feet of privacy fence (with a loud thump) and my outside floodlights.
    Looking over the airport data, as opposed to the “news,” I think we had cat 1 winds for less than an hour.

  60. chad
    chad September 11, 2017 3:02 am

    looks like I’m in the east side of the eye. should be coming out shortly.
    lots of trees and branches down. I’ll see more after sunrise and coffee.
    getting too old for 3 hour sleep.

  61. Shel
    Shel September 11, 2017 4:45 am

    Agree, hate typing on a phone. Drove home yesterday evening from a friend’s house (visit was necessary due to cabin fever). A tree lying on the power line it broke completely blocked a street. I reported it to 911 and tried another way, only to find another tree blocking a different street, along with a deputy sheriff who had gotten there before I did. Tried again, dodging some branches along the way; the third time was a charm.

    Lost power about 11:15 last night. Wind has not been subjectively bad, nothing I couldn’t walk around in without a problem. In about an hour the eye will pass about 32 miles west of Ocala. Precipitation is minimal right now. Treetops are swaying. A tree is down in my front yard and lying over my neighbor’s fence. I’ll break out the chainsaw later today. Some good sized branches, at least, are down in back. Precipitation started perhaps 22 hrs. before the eye will pass. Expect it to last less time than that afterwards because Irma is now moving considerably faster and also is quickly becoming weaker. The bacon will have to wait, though.

  62. Claire
    Claire September 11, 2017 5:29 am

    Good morning! I’m glad you guys are still able to talk with the world. Even with Irma having weakened, it sounds as if she did a lot of damage all over.

  63. chad
    chad September 11, 2017 7:26 am

    Overall we dodged the bullet, around here anyway. My back half acre is a disaster…trees and parts of trees down all over. Front is just a mess of limbs and leaves. Large limb on the power line across the street. likely what blew my transformer. also fried my router.
    No damage to the house that I can see. it’s too windy to get on the roof yet.
    Back side of Irma is passing through now. Was no eyewall, it weakened quickly.
    Gusting around 30. Winds hit 70 or so early this morning.
    Poor Texas got it much worse than we did.
    Hope their situation improves quickly.

    Thank you, Claire, for letting us report/rant here.

  64. Claire
    Claire September 11, 2017 7:39 am

    “Thank you, Claire, for letting us report/rant here.”

    And thank you for reporting and ranting — and for getting through that mess last night and in the near future.

  65. larryarnold
    larryarnold September 11, 2017 8:41 am

    SIL in Georgia sends “No power but we all safe:)”

  66. Claire
    Claire September 11, 2017 9:53 am

    Glad to hear, larryarnold — and no doubt you’re even gladder. Two hurricanes in a row, two daughters hit by them? Yikes!

  67. Shel
    Shel September 11, 2017 11:52 am

    FWIW, an empty container I put out last night had 12″ of rainwater in it this morning. A neighbor who is about forty and who grew up in the neighborhood said the pool of water on a nearby street was something he had never seen before.

  68. DeLaune
    DeLaune September 11, 2017 2:14 pm

    DeLaune Reporting from Largo, FL.
    Cells are iffy. No power. Just dropped some food off at a friend’s. No traffic signals working. Few police in evidence. Nothing open.
    Spent all day cleaning up branches. Lost most of my fence; neighbor’s tree smashed a corner post and the rest followed.
    But I’m safe, well-fed, clean and thankful.

  69. Claire
    Claire September 11, 2017 2:49 pm

    Shel and DeLaune — Glad you both checked in. Funny thing; the media seem disappointed in Irma for failing to live up to the most disastrous scenarios. But it sounds as if the whole state got walloped hard. If there’d been one point of focus, one gigantic locus of catastrophe (e.g. Miami after Andrew, San Francisco’s Marina District after the Loma Prieta earthquake), they’d have been all over it. What you’ve suffered, they already seem to be moving on from because it doesn’t have cinematic appeal.

  70. larryarnold
    larryarnold September 11, 2017 9:54 pm

    Watching the coverage, I lost what little respect I had for the talking heads.

    Video after video of “brave news reporter” in winds that were about to knock him/her over, which means someone with a camera was likewise exposed, talking about how flying debris can kill people and no one should expect rescue since all the first responders were bunkered down until it was safe to be outside.

    What kind of example were they setting for some kid who might be thinking, “Well, if they can do it…”?

    They were lucky. That kind of bravado gets people killed.

  71. Thomas L. Knapp
    Thomas L. Knapp September 12, 2017 6:27 am

    Hey, everyone — just a note that we weathered the storm just fine (in fact, I slept through it, although others told me it was relatively noisy). We’re still sheltering at our church because a pine tree took out the roof/ceiling of the kitchen in our trailer. Our landlord has a LOT of stuff so I expect it will be a bit before repairs. We’ll be out looking for a hotel or motel for a few days starting today. Right now I’m posting via a cell hot spot being recharged from a generator. Presumably the parts of civilization that have power restored will also have wi-fi 🙂

    Hope everyone else came through safely!

  72. Claire
    Claire September 12, 2017 8:46 am

    Tom — Ouch on that ceiling, but I guess this is one of those times you can be glad you’re not the responsible property owner. I’m very glad you and Tamara came though otherwise and that you’re able to communicate with the world.

  73. Jim Brook
    Jim Brook September 13, 2017 11:57 am

    Claire, I am glad to see you are still posting interesting items and commentary. After backwoodshome, I was unaware of this site. I look forward to visiting here periodically.

  74. Claire
    Claire September 13, 2017 3:08 pm

    Hi, Dr. Jim! Glad to see you here. I didn’t realize I’d lost you, but I did miss your occasional comments. Hope things aren’t too interesting in the land of medical adventures.

  75. Desertrat
    Desertrat September 13, 2017 6:56 pm

    Whee! The electrons are moving again!

    At my house near Thomasville, GA, a non-event. But a strong storm cell west of here took down many trees over power lines. I discovered darkness about 7:30AM on Monday; lights came back on today at 11:30AM.

  76. Claire
    Claire September 13, 2017 7:41 pm

    Yay! Although I feel worse for the people who are without — ick — functional sewers, not having electrons moving through the wires is no fun, either. Glad to hear they’re back after “just” two days. I hope everybody else gets back online quickly.

  77. chad
    chad September 15, 2017 6:08 am

    Our local cell tower went down after my last comment so I’ve been completely out of touch until this morning.
    Still no power. Finally found some ice yesterday but too late for most things. Grilled all my steaks and salmon night before last. Down to canned veggies and such.
    Stores aren’t restocked much yet.
    Gas stations either haven’t no fuel, no power or very long lines.

    This too shall pass
    ::sigh::

  78. Claire
    Claire September 15, 2017 11:00 am

    I’m surprised your local cell tower held up as long as it did, chad. Sounds as if it came down after the storm was mostly over.

    Yeah, this too shall pass. But I hope you and DeLaune (maybe others) will be interested in writing guest posts on the blog about your experiences and what you learned about your preps, good and bad.

    In the meantime, are you good? Or at least as good as you’d expect to be under the circumstances?

  79. chad
    chad September 15, 2017 3:20 pm

    good as it gets, I suppose. but I swear if I have to take one more cold shower I’m going out to kidnap electric workers!!
    Even with the heat as it is cold showers are no fun at all.
    I’ll see if I can come up with something interesting and useful. My writing days are mostly behind me, but if I do I’ll let you know.

  80. chad
    chad September 16, 2017 1:58 pm

    Ahhh…power came back this morning after 6.5 days.
    Laundry! Hot showers! Internet! And lots of work…
    Hope to catch up with the rest of the blog soon, but I’ve got a few days of hard cleanup ahead. No rest for the weary and all that.
    ::Arnold voice:: I’ll be back. 🙂

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