#HurricaneIan – #Aftermath – #Update

Another Amazing Rescue in Progress!

Hi, Everyone! Just wanted to get out  a quick update in case the internet goes again.  We were incredibly lucky, considering a) what’s happened to the folks in south Florida and b) even parts of our county received a great deal of flooding, leaving several roads still underwater. Here’s the scoop on us:

  1. My son and his family (who live just 2 hours north of us) weren’t hit hard at all, and escaped any damage to their home, so that was the best news of all for us!
  2. Power finally came back on late yesterday, so three days without in this very hot weather. It was not fun, but with the generator, we were able to run ceiling fans, cook on the range, have overhead lights, and run the little a/c in the bedroom for sleeping at night. Compared to so many, many people, we have NOTHING to complain about. Again, we were truly lucky! 
  3. Of course, we spent a LOT of money on gas for the generator, but it’s still the best investment we ever made.  
  4. Internet is still a bit intermittent, but I don’t have time to be online anyway, as we are busy cleaning up heaps and piles of debris all over our yard. But again, we still have a house and a yard, with no major damage, so … LUCKY!
  5. We were able to find a tree service actually still working in our area and not off helping the far more desperate folks down south. They came, got the tree off the house, cut it up and stacked it on the curb for city pickup. They were super fast and efficient, and we were very, very grateful. Cost us $1200, but it could have been much,  much worse.
  6. Only a small patch of shingles were damaged by the tree being on the roof for two days, and Mark is busy replacing them with shingles left over from the new roof we had to get after Hurricane Irma 5 years ago. So happy there was no other damage to the house this time around! (Unlike the $85,000 worth to the house, and $3,500 worth to our car, last time.) Did I mention LUCKY??
  7. And last, we are very, very grateful and appreciative of all the well wishes and prayers from so many of you! I don’t have words enough to tell you what it means to know folks were thinking about, and praying for, all of us here in Florida. Many, many thanks to each of you, and I’ll be checking in through the days ahead as time allows.

NOTE: I have back-to-back guests on TWS again this week that I know you’ll enjoy. Jackie Lambert will be here on Tuesday, and Kassandra Lamb will be here on Wednesday. I may or may not be able to comment much, but I know you’ll make them welcome!

Now, back to debris removal! 

Still Here! #Update

Most of Southwest Florida looks like this picture of Fort Myres

Just wanted to let you know we are still here. While the generator kept us going most of yesterday, we lost internet shortly after my last check in. Without internet, we had no way to keep up with the storm, and it was a long, scary afternoon and evening. Ran out of gas for the generator during the middle of the night, so Mark is gone to see if he can find a gas station with power at the pumps. 

Spectrum is back now, but if we can’t find gas, we’ll be without power again, and I won’t be able to get online. I WILL at least be able to check news on my phone apps as long as internet stays on. It was horrible not knowing what was going on. 

In spite of this, we are SO blessed to have been spared. I’m just seeing the most recent pictures out of south Florida and they are unbelievable. In my LONG life here, I’ve never seen such terrible devastation over such a large area. It breaks my heart! Entire communities of homes are either smashed flat or  COMPLETELY submerged beneath the flood water! 

Will check in later, if we still have power and internet.  I’m hoping it lasts long enough for me to respond to earlier posts, but we’ll see. In the meantime, please stay safe, especially those of you who are still in harm’s way as the storm moves north! 

#HurricaneIan – #Update

Just wanted to let you know we are alive, and mostly well. While Ian had slowed to Tropical Storm speeds when it passed over us, we still got a ton of wind and rain, and for the first time that I can remember, flash flood warnings were issued for our county. We still came through remarkably well, compared to southwest Florida.

We did, however, have a TREE FALL ON OUR HOUSE AGAIN!!!! This time, it was a very tall, spindly live oak that the tree people said didn’t need to come down. It was all the way at the back of our property, and Mark didn’t think it would catch enough wind to fall. But with all the weeks of daily heavy rain, the soil was totally saturated, and it just plan FELL over, roots and all. It is lying across the master bedroom roof, but doesn’t look like it damaged it. We won’t know for sure until the rain and wind gusts finally stop and Mark can take a closer look. He might even be able to cut it in pieces and drop them over the edge himself, thus saving us $800 – $1000, and a LONG wait in line for a tree service. We’ll decide on that as soon as he can get up there and assess the situation.

For now, we have lost power, but the generator is working like a charm.  We also lost internet for about an hour, but it’s back, at least for now. The important thing is WE are safe, our house is safe, and best of all, my son & family is safe, too! (They are two hours north of us, and didn’t get nearly as much wind and rain as we did. YAY!)

With the power not restored, we are having to cope with heat, as the main a/c is too much for the generator, and we have an enormous clean-up job ahead of us, once it finally stops raining. But the bottom line is, we are alive and safe, and our house is still standing! I’m filled with gratitude for that, and praying for those who haven’t fared as well.  Also sending prayers to those still in harm’s way as Ian crawls northward, bringing more storm surges, wind, and rain to others in the path.

I’ll probably be pretty scarce for a couple more days, but I’ll check in with updates when I can.  Stay safe, everyone!

#HurricaneIan – #LatestUpdate

Ian is slamming the holy heck out of southwest Florida, and things are looking grim. Over 1.1 million without power (with more coming), and terrible storm surges. It’s very sad!

For us, a bit of good news. I mistakenly posted the maps for the Tropical Storm winds percentages earlier, instead of the  ones for hurricane force winds. Now that I’ve taken a look at the correct map, I see that our odds for the hurricane winds are lower, plus, the storm will likely decrease as it moves north. So we might be dealing with tropical storm winds here in Seminole County. That’s still a miserable mess with plenty of opportunities for damage, but much less dangerous than a Category 4 hurricane, which is what Ian is right now as it pounds Naples, Cape Coral, and the nearby islands. (We are sitting on the cusp between brown and orange so 60% chance of hurricane strength winds, instead of 90%.)

Again, the worst things about this storm are 1) the astonishing size (it covers the entire width of the Florida peninsula), 2)the flood surges it’s causing along the coastline, and 3) the fact that it is moving so slowly. (That gives it longer to slam the heck out of every mile it covers.

It has rained all day today with some heavier gusts of wind in the last hour or so, and only time will tell what’s ahead. But I’m feeling better that the correct map says we are not as likely to get the full hurricane up here as I’d originally thought. Maybe I’ll get some sleep tonight, after all! 

#ThankYou & #Update

HURRICANE UPDATE AND THANK YOU

Raining here this morning, and only gonna get worse as Hurricane Ian makes landfall and marches across the state. We are located directly under the “L” in the updated header image, so we’ll be in the thick of it all. Flood surges from south Florida past Tampa are predicted to be as high as 12 to 16 feet, so  potentially deadly for any in those areas who didn’t heed the evac orders. They are now saying this is going to be worse than Katrina!!

We will have more flooding than usual in central Florida, too, though our area should be okay in that regard. The usual power outages will probably happen, so I don’t know if I’ll be able to remain in contact or not. But, we have done all we can to prepare, and now it’s a question of hunkering down until it’s over, which could be few days.

I want to thank everyone who responded to Jaye Marie’s guest post yesterday! And I want to say thanks in advance to all who respond to Mike Allegra’s #TenThings post today. I’ll be checking in when possible, but doubt I’ll be able to respond to much. 

You guys ROCK!! 

SEE YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE!

Another Quick #Update – #Evacuation? – #HurricaneIan

Thanks to all of you who are wishing us well here in Florida! It’s greatly appreciated!

Nancy Homlitas mentioned evacuation ahead of Hurricane Ian in her response to my earlier post, and I thought maybe I’d best clarify what’s going on currently. They have just ordered a mandatory evacuation order for Hillsborough County, because it includes Tampa and other communities that are on either the Gulf or Tampa Bay, and they are very likely to have heavy flooding and storm surges there.

Evacuation has never (that I know of) been ordered for Seminole County/Orlando area because we aren’t on the coast, and seldom have major flooding, though we can certainly get plenty of wind. The damage we received during Hurricane Irma was from a tornado spawned by the storm, but those can and do pop up randomly with or without hurricanes, and can’t be predicted.

When it comes to evacuating, it is not a good idea to do so if you aren’t told to, because the roads will already be jammed with those who really NEED to get out of their area. I just heard over 300,000 people are expected to be moving out today. I know the traffic on major northbound highways will be bumper to bumper. Because of that, we will not evacuate unless we are told to. It would just complicate things even more. But we also will NOT IGNORE evac orders for our area, should they tell us to go.

Basically, our best option right now is to lay in supplies (did that yesterday) and hunker down to ride it out. In my life time, I’ve been smack dab in the middle of some of the worst storms in Florida’s history, and being smart about our safety during them is just automatic. So far, in this case, our best bet is to stay here, though of course, there are no guarantees. Hurricanes are fickle, fickle things. 

If the situation changes, and we have to grab the cats and go, I’ll do my best to let everyone know. But I haven’t given up on the storm changing course, or even weakening considerably after crossing Cuba. You just never know with these events.

Thanks again for ALL your well wishes, and rest assured, we will do everything we can (even evacuating if necessary) to stay safe. I’ve still got some things on my To Do list, and I want to be around long after this storm in order to take care of them. 😁

I’ll be sending prayers out to all of you in the potential pathway of this storm. Please stay safe, folks, and don’t ignore any evac orders that might come your way.  We’ll try to do the same!

See You After All the Wind & Rain Dies Down!

#HurricaneIan – #Update

Doesn’t look good for Florida, folks. Latest from NOAA has us in the crosshairs of the center of Hurricane Ian. Still a few more things we need to do to get ready, so I won’t be around much today.

Here’s the latest projection. It could still change drastically, and I’m hoping and praying it will, but we have to prepare for the worst! Last hurricane that came through 5 years ago (Irma) did $85,000 worth of damage to our house, smashed our garage flat, and tore up our roof. Oh, and it did $15,000 worth of damage to our car too! Eeeek. I SO hope this one does NOT follow this latest trajectory! If it does, the center of the storm will come right over us. 😮😮😮

#This&That&TheOtherThing – #Wind&Rain&Hurricanes,OhMy! – #Updates!

THIS

HURRICANE IAN!!


THAT


THE OTHER THING(S)

WARNING: Ian has become a “major” hurricane as it heads toward Cuba, which will likely take a severe hit. As with all hurricanes, figuring out where it will go after that and at what strength is always tricky, but the above map shows the currently predicted path. We live roughly a bit southeast of the “L” in FL.

Currently, we are in the yellow/orange band range, so 30-40 mile winds, MUCH better than 110 & above that some areas might get. BUT, 1) the path can change, and 2) that has no bearing on the amount of torrential rainfall we’ll get, or any resulting flooding afterward. We’re far enough inland that flooding isn’t USUALLY an issue for us but you never know, and folks on lakes or rivers are sandbagging as a precaution.

Truthfully, every single thing on the map could change several more times between now and the Tuesday/Wednesday arrival predictions. I just wanted to let you guys know that it is entirely possible I may disappear totally for a couple of days. Or not. But honestly, even if we don’t get hit terribly hard here in the middle of the state, we are likely to lose power at some point. And while our generator will keep our refrigerator/freezer going, power the microwave for meals, and keep the little a/c in the bedroom going at night so I can sleep (all at one time, I might add), it will NOT be sufficient to keep my computer going, nor the internet connection safe if the power goes.


AND ONE LAST THING (OR TWO)

Today, we will be taking down the gazebo canopy and stashing all loose objects that could become lethal flying weapons, so I probably won’t be online much. But having said all of the above, we’re still hoping this storm dies a lonely death in the middle of the Gulf without impacting anyone’s life or home. With any luck, we’ll come through it all just fine, as I hope EVERYONE in the potential path will!

I’ll continue to touch base if and when possible, and update you on what’s going on when I can.  And I HOPE I’ll be able to respond to Jaye Marie and Mike Allegra’s Tuesday & Wednesday posts this week. If not, I know you guys will enjoy each of them, regardless, and will be supportive as always! Thanks for that!


Thus ends my Public Service Announcement for The Day.
Thanks for your attention!
(As you were, folks!)