Dear Readers, I live on the west coast of central Florida, where we who dwell here are awaiting the DIVA Storm Irma. As of Saturday afternoon (9/9/17), there are only a few more hours left before we will have to hunker down until Miss Irma passes over and then exits the state leaving behind flooded streets, debris, fallen telephone poles and trees, power outages and peoples suffering shock and loss. Most of us will be grateful to have survived another one.
There have been some snags. There are only two main highways which are used to exit the state, and so traffic has been bumper to bumper for too long. Tempers are frayed. At the stores there have been shortages on items like bottled water, plywood and sandbags. Numerous gas stations have run out of gas and people have been sleeping in cars while they wait for space to be made available in shelters. State officials are aware of all these issues and are taking the appropriate steps to address them.
Most of us who have lived in Florida have the basics down pretty pat. We have cars filled with gasoline, cash, plenty of books to read, our cases of bottled water; plenty of food that does not have to be refrigerated, bags of ice for coolers, batteries for lanterns, flashlights, fans, radios and candles with matches. I personally have hurricane shutters in place along with bags of kitty litter placed on the edges of the lanai. Everything in the lanai has been moved indoors except the heaviest of wicker furniture. My tub is filled with water.
I was planning to be staying with friends in Sarasota only because I’m too fearful to be alone. But one must be flexible. As I learned that Hurricane Irma would be heading in the direction of Sarasota, I made the executive decision to remain in NE Tampa, an area called New Tampa. This region is in zone X on a flood zone map, which is as good as it gets.
My friend in Sarasota has a home in a safe enough area. While getting there would have been okay, there’s a pretty good chance that I could have ended up being stuck there for days.
Instead, I have another single friend who will be able to take advantage of being sheltered at my place If it were not for the Florida summer heat, I would not even mind the inevitable lengthy power outages. Meanwhile, I’ll be drinking Prosecco with a friend as we wait out Hurricane Irma.
Because my attention will be devoted to Irma, I won’t be blogging for the next couple of days.
Let’s pray that Miss Irma will be gentler on all of us than we have a right to expect. Mother nature has away of having the last word.
Here is the latest September 10th Washington Post news update as of 11:00 am ET:
“The fierce winds of Hurricane Irma regained Category 4 strength early Sunday as the storm’s eye made it to the lower Florida Keys just before 9 a.m. The massive storm already has caused hundreds of thousands of power outages across South Florida, its leading edge lashing several major population centers.”
“The National Weather Service said the storm made landfall at 9:10 a.m. on Cudjoe Key, with wind gusts reaching 130 mph. Forecasters warn that a second landfall could happen later on Sunday as Irma heads north to the U.S. mainland.”
“Officials said storm surges in the Keys could reach a devastating five to 10 feet there before the hurricane slowly proceeds up the state’s west coast.”
UPDATE ON 9/13/17
I survived Hurricane Irma just fine but I have been without power from Sunday evening (9/10/17) until the Wednesday evening of 9/13/17. It is safe to say that with the Florida heat, I have been a bit under the weather. There are still thousands in Tampa Bay area without power, but according to our local power company, this issue should be resolved by Sunday evening (9/17/17).
It will take me a couple of days to get back to a normal schedule.