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Old 09-10-2017, 11:22 PM   #1
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Default Irma's Impacts

I'm now watching the eye of Irma about to cross directly over our house. Fortunately we're not home, we took off early Saturday morning and we're now in Brunswick GA. A direct hit on your house sounds like a terrible thing but in this case we seem to have gotten lucky, the worst part of the eye wall is on the east side and that will pass to our east. The north-south center of the eye wall looks to be much less intense.

Other good things happening to us from this monster storm are;

1) The intensity of Irma was at Cat4 a few hours ago and is now at Cat2. Big difference in structural damage potential. Big difference in storm surge potential.

2) Irma is moving much faster now. At one point it was going 6 mph and it is now moving at 14 mph. Big difference in storm surge potential since there will be less time available to push the water inland.

3) The wind hitting our house started out coming from the east. After the eye passes it will switch around and will be blowing from the west. Our house has large glass surfaces facing south and a ready source of debris the wind can get a hold of. But we should not see any wind from the southerly direction due to being center punched by the eye.


I have no real idea what we'll find when we return home. We could have structural damage but hurricane Charley had similar strength at our location and we did very well. The big problem and the real unknown for us is the storm surge. We're about 1/4 mile from the river but the storm surge can/will travel up river and breach its banks. The fact that we're located more than ten miles from Gulf only means there will be a delay in the water's arrival. If we get ten feet of surge up river we're looking at major damage. Five feet would be less serious but we might still see water in the house. Three to four feet surge and I think we'll be OK.

Fingers firmly crossed.......


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Old 09-10-2017, 11:26 PM   #2
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Best of luck. I have a sibling in Sun City, which I think is north of your home. Current sequences from airports where the AWOS/ASOS has not failed seem to indicate more weakening.

Did you fly or drive north?

Wes


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Old 09-10-2017, 11:34 PM   #3
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Yea Bill best of luck. That's all it is at this point. Glad you're safe.
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Old 09-10-2017, 11:36 PM   #4
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Thanks Wes,

I have nothing to fly so we're in Kathy's car. We grabbed up some percentage of the stuff we'd hate to lose and stuffed it and the two cats in the car. The nice thing about the car is we don't need to stay away from areas where tropical storm winds will be present. Plus, we left at 4:00am with no sleep -- not something I would do in an airplane.
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Old 09-11-2017, 12:16 AM   #5
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I hope all turns out well for you and other Floridians.
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Old 09-11-2017, 12:37 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwilliamrose View Post
Thanks Wes,

I have nothing to fly so we're in Kathy's car. We grabbed up some percentage of the stuff we'd hate to lose and stuffed it and the two cats in the car. The nice thing about the car is we don't need to stay away from areas where tropical storm winds will be present. Plus, we left at 4:00am with no sleep -- not something I would do in an airplane.
Good luck Bill, I'm next! My house is at Eagles Nest Airpark FD44 where it will be worst around 3am Monday but as you say, it is weakening. I'm in Canada right now, well out of the way!
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Old 09-11-2017, 01:11 AM   #7
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I have visited many areas right before and after a hurricane. quite a destructive beast. although I live in the midwest, I have never seen a tornado in 64 years and slept through the one that hit the city when I was a kid. ice storms are pretty nasty though. my sister lives in west palm beach, my aunt near the springs outside ocela. they both stayed put. no word on any damage.

here's my line though:

know what the difference is between a hurricane and a blizzard?

in a blizzard, you go home. in a hurricane you leave home. I would rather go home. no place to run from a hurricane or water. the only way I would move next to any water is on a very high spot. like a steep hill.

best of luck.

video of Tampa Bay losing its water ahead of the surge:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/tampa-bay...181327290.html

I heard Mobile Bay was pretty empty ahead of Ivan before it all came rushing back in.

Last edited by garyg; 09-11-2017 at 02:21 AM. Reason: added video
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Old 09-11-2017, 01:19 AM   #8
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My FLL house was 0.3 miles from the projected track on Thu... We packed up and left. The track then moved and went pretty much right over the airport (2IS), with two planes I could only grab one. So I grabbed the Pitts and flew it to Leeward Air Ranch.

I am currently sitting in Zephryhills, FL and the storm just started hitting us.

After the event, I will secure the Zhills house, ensure the Fort Lauderdale house is alright, then I will grab the Pitts and head to 2IS. I have my car and emergency equipment there and will head to the area that I am needed most.

Batten down the hatches, we are lucky that it is already a Cat2
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Old 09-11-2017, 01:28 AM   #9
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Best wishes and my prayers for you all.

Jack
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Old 09-11-2017, 03:40 AM   #10
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All you Florida guys need to stay safe. Getting back could be more dangerous than getting out. Hope your damage is minimal.
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Old 09-11-2017, 04:36 AM   #11
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Hoping for no biplane losses and most importantly no biplane people lost. Sending out good vibes and prayers to my friends in harms way. May the damages be minimal. Stay safe! We are all behind you. Hoping you all get any and all needed help We or the government etc can offer.
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Old 09-11-2017, 05:05 PM   #12
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Best of luck, everyone, and stay safe. I was listening to some of the WLRN coverage yesterday, it sounded pretty terrifying. Things can be replaced; people can't.
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Old 09-13-2017, 03:03 PM   #13
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Brief update;


We're back home. Lots of trees down but the driveway only had one large tree (a maple) across it. We have cleared everything except for that tree as we're waiting on my chainsaw to be repaired (they didn't get it done before the storm and now they're waiting on parts). No chainsaws to be had in this part of the world at this time.


The house came through without a scratch -- no flooding, no wind damage.


The trip back was easy, no traffic problems. I-95 south to Ft Pierce then west on SR70. We got gas twice on the way home because we didn't want to arrive here on low fuel. Gas here is a problem with many stations either out or without power (or both).



We have an old generator that works pretty well but it needs to be equipped with a 35ft pigtail so I can plug into our emergency panel. Extension cords suck.
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Old 09-13-2017, 03:12 PM   #14
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Glad to hear all is well, Bill. My brother on Merritt Island came through ok also. When we went through this on Guam the power was out for a month. Turned out that wasn't much of a problem. I like cooking on my camp stove. The problem for us was running water and drinking water. So my hope for you all is just that: Good, clean water under plenty of pressure.
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Old 09-13-2017, 03:21 PM   #15
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Thanks Eric,

We have a well so all we need to do is supply it with power. Right now that means dragging the generator to the well and running it for showers, cleaning dishes, etc. PITA. That pigtail to plug into the EM panel would solve that problem as one of the circuits on that panel is the well system.
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Old 09-13-2017, 08:30 PM   #16
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Storm was projected to be 0.3 miles from my house. So for the first time ever, I evacuated. We went to Zephryhills. I had two planes to move and could not move both, so I grabbed the Pitts and flew to Leeward Air Ranch near Ocala. A buddy with a C150 flew up and grabbed me and flew me back to ZHills.

The storm then shifted and was supposed to go right over my hangar... Leaving my SeaRay. It then shifted again and headed right for.. Yep - Zhills. We had another couple that evacuated with us, and they left to go back to West Palm.

The Zhills house was right under the eye, but had no damage. We cleaned it all up and headed South. The FLL home had some minor damage from wind and trees. Mostly cleaned up already.

The Pitts and the SeaRay's hangars both don't have power, but are fine so both planes are safe.... I just can't get to them. And as a bonus, I put my car in the hangar and now can't get it out till?????

So both planes are fine, but stuck. The house is OK.
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Old 09-14-2017, 01:43 PM   #17
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Have a friend in Atlanta that just got power back last night after losing it Sat. already.
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Old 09-14-2017, 02:21 PM   #18
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Glad to here you did ok bill. No damage here in fll house and hanger just got power yesterday am. Had a generator and it crapped out after 24 hours. Luckily my son in west palm had power so I grabed his generator. Roads were clear day after storm so got up and back in 2 hours
Just lots of trees down in the yard. Have about 1/3 done Hope kids help me this weekend
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Old 09-15-2017, 03:54 AM   #19
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We just got power and internet late this afternoon. Still no land line phone for some reason (our internet connection comes through the phone lines). We had just stocked up on fuel for the generator of course! Lines at gas stations seem to be improving. There's still a lot of debris laying around.
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Old 09-15-2017, 06:27 AM   #20
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The path was supposed to be ft Myers and punta gorda area. So my daughter came here from ft Myers. Some friends evacuated their place in punta gorda and came to stay with us. 8 of us plus 2 dogs and 8 cats all in cages gathered at my parents house. The storm path ended up with the eye passing directly over us. Luckily, it had lost a good bit of strength before arriving here at 3am Monday.

We lost power at the shop and my house st 9:30 pm Sunday. Power out st dad's where we were staying midnight Sunday. We had a generator st dad's to keep us going and had the tv/ weather channel as well as a slocalnststion up through the night. I didn't sleep.

At first light, I went out to survey the property, shop and houses even though there was a mandatory curfew in our county. Shop ok. Houses ok. One storage building with wind damage. About a dozen trees down. Power lines down in 3 places on our land. A straight line path of trees along the north edge of our land all twisted and knocked down missing 3 houses and shop by a few hundred feet.

We are still without power on our place. Shop and 3 houses and have a generator at each of 3 houses and one at the shop. We run the house generators at night only. The shop one all day and evening sincenit is powering the well that gives water to all of our homes. Using about $100/day in gas and $75/day in propane to run the generators. I have had to go 15 miles to get gas and 15 in the other direction to get propane each day since we don't have large tanks for either. Each trip takes about 2 hours since many traffic lights are out and the intersections back up being 4 way stops.

Power was restored to the traffic light st the highway nearest us last night. The gas stations should have power st that intersection by morning. So, I hope fuel trips won't be as bad. We are told we will have power back by Sunday night. I will stock up on fuel for the weekend.

We began storm prep Wednesday. By Friday night, we had everything inside the hangars and the doors cables and bolted. We had windows boarded up in the houses. Friends and family here with us. Tuesday we began to open the doors and move everything back into place and same all day Wednesday. Thursday we got a bit of real work done. Finally. My house is still boarded up as it helps keep the sun out and inside cooler during the day.

One ironic thing is my daughter's condo in ft Myers and my friends home in punta gorda both were fine and didn't lose power. They went home Monday night after the storm.

For those who haven't gone through a major hurricane, it is hard to express the experience with words. Evacuated or stay either way you still have the stress and drain on your body and mind that isn't easy to convey. I grew up in Louisiana and then here in Florida. I have been through a few hurricanes in my life. Here on this property, now 4 hurricanes. Each time loss of power for about a week and weeks or months to fully clean up and recover.

I am writing at 2am with my phone so please excuse errors in grammar. My sleep schedule is still screwed up from all of this. Hoping to see power trucks in our place today to fix the lines that feed us and our neighbors. Good luck to all others affected.
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Old 09-15-2017, 01:31 PM   #21
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Glad to hear you are safe - Hurricanes suck - Daytona area got off got lucky this time.
If we can help in any way let us know
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Old 09-15-2017, 08:21 PM   #22
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Glad to hear all are safe and sound. What an ordeal Kevin. Best of luck getting back to normal day to day affairs.

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Old 09-15-2017, 08:26 PM   #23
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We have phones as of today. We spent the late morning getting the driveway fully open for car traffic although there's still more to be done. We would have started earlier but we slept in since last night was the first night in the last week that we had the chance for a normal night's sleep. It was 94 when we finished our work and I'm beat.

Home Depot had chain saws in stock yesterday and even though I have a 'better' one it's in the shop waiting for parts. This one is an Echo 18" and it did great with easy starts and plenty of power for cutting live oak. We are both mainly relaxing now -- enjoying the AC and ceiling fans after that ordeal.

Kevin is correct about these things taking a toll on you. I started prep on Thursday and it will take a while to get back to some form of normalcy. I have lost about 8 pounds since last week but I don't recommend the Major Hurricane Diet Plan.
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Old 09-15-2017, 09:45 PM   #24
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Quote:
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Kevin is correct about these things taking a toll on you. I started prep on Thursday and it will take a while to get back to some form of normalcy. I have lost about 8 pounds since last week but I don't recommend the Major Hurricane Diet Plan.
And that is exactly why I live in the north. The deVASTation of a hurricane is quite impressive.

one year we drove/floated the whole outer banks to Kitty Hawk and then drove to Raleigh where my son lived at the time. Pretty desolate in between. A hurricane passed thru NC shortly afterward. We went back during Christmas and drove back to Kitty Hawk, and I bet for 80 miles every tree in the swamp like forest was at a 60 degree angle. Thousands upon thousands of trees, mile after mile.
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Old 09-16-2017, 12:41 AM   #25
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I understand Gary. I tried living in the north and it was nothing but depressing from the time the leaves hit the ground until the weather improved in the spring. The summers were no bargain either because the air quality was poor much if the time. It was as if there was no sky. I spent way too much time at work and in the bar after work trying not to think about it. And I hate being cold........


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