Looking pretty grim for the entire state of Florida now, barring any unforeseen swings into the middle of the Gulf. This is the latest from NOAA, as of 8:00am today.
This storm is so wide, it will be hitting BOTH coasts at once, and they are saying that ALL of Florida will be getting full hurricane winds, whatever they happen to be when it reaches your location. Currently, the prediction for almost all of the state is “M”, or what NOAA calls any storm 110mph or more. So Category 4 or 5. 😦
Again, we are located slightly east of where the “L” in “FL” is, on this map. So, you can see we are dead center between the two RED “Here Comes the Hurricane” lines. 😯 My son & family are slightly north of us, and my nephew & family are west, so closer to the Gulf. But the truth is, the storm is going to bring its full fury to the ENTIRE peninsula of Florida, and the chances of it moving farther into the Gulf are slim. Our best scenario at this point is that it might continue to weaken. Sadly, since the eye will be passing along the very warm waters of the Gulf Coast, that isn’t likely to happen.
I know some of you are wondering why we don’t evacuate right now. There are 5.6 million reasons why we aren’t going to. And ALL of those reasons are on the highway, heading north from the bottom THIRD of the state. As they should be. They are in the gravest danger, and really MUST get out. Seminole County, where I live, has not been given any evac orders yet, not even voluntary ones, and I don’t think it will be. I’ve never seen this part of the state evacuated, because it is far enough inland, and high enough (by Florida’s standards) that it isn’t usually deemed necessary.
Now, don’t get me wrong. We can still be slammed very, very hard here. Roofs will be torn off, and huge oak trees WILL come down. In fact, that is my biggest worry. We have an ancient laurel oak (on city easement) that I don’t expect to see still standing when this is over. It should have come down two years ago, when the city removed the one next to it. But even with threats like falling trees, we are NOT in the same level of danger as the folks in south Florida, on both coasts. The Ft. Myers area on the west coast, and the Miami area on the east, MUST evacuate, while we haven’t even been told to voluntarily leave.
And evacuation isn’t always the best answer, especially when there are literally MILLIONS of people already doing so. Traffic is horrendous and you can only creep along at 30mph so many hours, before you run out of gas. Then what? Miles from an exit, maybe? Gas station out of fuel, maybe? Stuck on the highway when the hurricane hits, with your only protection being the metal walls of your vehicle? I’m thinking I’m better off staying put, and not adding to the problems of the people who’ve been told they MUST get out. They need those routes to safety more than I do right now, so since we couldn’t leave earlier, we aren’t going to try to do so now.
Long post, I know, but I suspect we won’t have power tomorrow, so I might not be back for some time.
One more thing on the storm. This is the wind chart, showing the level of wind expected. As you can see, the entire state is purple, which is the very highest level on the chart. 😯
PLEASE keep Florida in your thoughts and prayers, because we are going to need them. And, if the bridge don’t go, an’ the creek don’t rise, as they say, I’ll see you guys after Irma finishes her miserable rampage. ❤ ❤ ❤