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Nice work Joe!
I am fine here in Tallahassee, we never saw much of the storm except a few hours of 50 mph winds and a lot of rain. I never lost power, though most of town was out at one point or another. Good portion of my friends are without power as well as most of my family. My sister in the Orlando area is fine, they had a tree land on part of the house, but she said there doesn't appear to be major damage. My parents down on the coast are fine, just going to be without power for a few days as a tree took at a pole on their street.
I think its time to fire up the grill.
Still not much here, but I know that @CrazyJoe is getting hit pretty decently: my sister lives in his area and she just lost power.
Tampa and St. Pete are getting walloped pretty good right now with the real danger coming after the eye passes in the form of a massive storm surge. I am afraid that Keaton Beach, Dekle Beach, Steinhatchee and Cedar Key are going to be completely underwater right as they were finally starting to recover from Hermine last year.
Also, I might've started on the vodka. And the beer. And I still have power so I made steak sammiches.
I don't expect sobriety or power to last much longer.
looks at projected path of Irma
looks at what a weak cat 1 Hermine did to this area
I will ride out a cat 1, 2, or 3, but a 4 or 5? NOPE!
This is coming from a native Floridian. When we get scared, GET THE FUCK OUT! This storm is no joke, unlike Hermine, which was more like a really bad t-storm. I went through Kate (granted, 2 years old, don't remember), Storm of the Century (not a hurricane, but just as bad), Opal, Charlie, Katrina (even in Tallahassee, 300 miles away, we had tropical storm force winds and lost power), Francis, Jeanne, Ivan, Dennis (ok, so I was in Alaska when that hit, but we lost the beach house) and countless tropical storms, depressions and waves. When I get worried, shit is getting real.
I am worried about this storm and the complacency that has developed since Wilma (last major hurricane to hit the state). I helped bring supplies into Pensacola after Ivan; went up in a helo to help survey after the storm and the shit I saw in the bayous, nope, I can never get the sight of those bodies out of my head. Those people were never counted in the official death toll because they were homeless I went to help out a family friend in NOLA after Katrina, hardest 45 days of my life: 18 hours days helping rebuild the restaurant, then 12 hour days of cooking once we could open again followed by drinking until sleep cause all the ACs were shot (IT IS HOT ON THE GULF COAST IN AUGUST/SEPTEMBER).
These storms are nothing to laugh at, they will, and have, ruined lives.
I am not a religious person, as most regulars know, but at times like this, I send up a thought to whatever is out there, to protect my family, my friends, the strangers I have never met. The power of mother nature has to be seen to be believed and I am afraid that far too many have never seen her almighty power.
Update #14 - 11:41 9/5/16
I have had power back for over a day now but life is still difficult. Many places are still without power and a lot of the businesses that are open are operating on a cash only basis. The destruction was pretty bad for a weak Cat 1 storm, but haven't taken a direct hit from a storm this strong in almost 31 years.
Some neighborhoods are completely cut off from the outside due to trees and power lines being down. One neighborhood lost something like 90% of its power poles; just snapped them clean in half. I live in the downtown/campus area of Tallahassee and there are still people without power due to poles and lines being severed.
I am about to go down to the Salvation Army relief center to get food; thank God someone is providing meals, crappy, canteen service meals, but free meals none-the-less. After that I am going to help some friends cook and distribute meals to the Line Workers, tree cutters, and clean up crews. Those folks have been busting their asses, some came from hundreds of miles away on a holiday weekend to help. Giving them a hot meal, some cold water and a cup of coffee is the least we can do for them.
My friends house at the beach (Alligator Point) is fine; they just can't get into it because the front and back steps were taken out by the storm. They are taking a front loader down tomorrow and using it to lift them up the back porch so they can assess the damage inside, which should be minimal, that house has survived every storm since it was built in 1947.
The worst part out of all of this is that one of my absolute favorite places on earth, the Gulf Specimens Marine Lab, may lose all of its marine life. This place is so awesome. It is an educational place but you can play with fish, starfish, sand dollars, fiddler crabs and more in its touch tanks. They also rehabilitate injured sea turtles. The problem is that rising storm surge flooded their underground saltwater reservoir tank with polluted water (fecal matter, fresh water, general pollution) and they were forced to cut the pumps out, literally, they used saws to cut the water feed lines. They also lost their educational dock where school kids were taught about the marshes, bays and bayous as well as were new specimens were unloaded. http://www.gulfspecimen.org/
It is going to take weeks and probably months to get everything back in order; too many trees down, too many homes destroyed, too much chaos. I am very grateful this was "ONLY" a weak Cat 1 storm; anything worse and Tallahassee would've been on its knees a lot longer than a week or two, it would've been months or years before things started to return to normal.
At least it turns out I know the guy who ended up on national TV running through Cascades Park with a Stormtrooper helmet on. I need to buy him a beer or shot the next time I see him. That guy is a hero.
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