Back at the end of May, I mentioned this year’s pending Hurricane season, and until just a couple of weeks ago, storms had been fairly mundane. That was until Hurricane Harvey came into the Gulf of Mexico and devastated Texas.
The coastal cities affected will be recovering from the wind damage and catastrophic flooding for not just weeks or months, but years.
Then, just when you thought it was finally calming down… here comes Hurricane Irma. As of Tuesday night, with maximum sustained winds of 185 mph, Irma had grown into a Category 5 hurricane. The highest, most catastrophic, category of storms on the Saffir-Simpson scale.
Initially, forecasts put the burgeoning storm tracking somewhere off the U.S. east coast. New models have the wench coming into the Gulf with Florida square in her sights.
For me, that means going into hurricane prep mode, and estimating how much space I have in our various cars for our stuff, and our menagerie of Island Misfits (I refuse to leave any of our pets behind), filling water jugs, covering south-facing windows, gathering portable valuables, filling up car gas tanks, emptying the fridge and freezer, and replenishing propane tanks in case of power outages.
The last time my family evacuated for a storm was in 2004 when Hurricane Ivan made landfall near Pensacola and took out the Escambia Bay bridge. Prior to that, we evacuated for Hurricane Opal in 1995, which also grew to a Cat 5 storm before making landfall near Destin.
In 1998, my kids were skim boarding in knee-deep water down our street during Hurricane Georges. We stayed for Hurricane Olga in 2001 and again for Hurricane Dennis in 2005. Then in 2008, we stayed for Hurricane Gustav, but it washed out Highway 98 for a second time since Opal.
Tropical Storm Claudette came ashore near Santa Rosa Island in 2009, and in 2011, I was on the beach in Destin when Tropical Storm Lee came into the Gulf, then on Navarre Pier photographing the rare sight of surfers during Tropical Storm Karen in 2013.
Hurricane Irma has me concerned. Even my dad has offered his house as refuge. Don’t know if I’ll need to make that 600 mile trip, but it’s nice to know I have a safe place to go if necessary.
I’m still hoping the storm will take a sharp turn east before the Keys and head out into uninhabited parts of the Atlantic Ocean.
We’re due, but I’m still keeping my fingers crossed for a good westerly wind to knock Irma off her present course.
Every bad situation is a blues song waiting to happen. Amy Winehouse
This week’s word is:
What to do:
Using “waiting” for inspiration, write 100 Words – 100 exactly – no more, no less. You can either use the word – or any form of the word – as one of your 100, or it can be implied. Include a link in your post back here, and add your story to the Mister Linky list. If you don’t have a blog, you can leave your submission in the comment section, or as a Facebook status post. Remember to keep spreading the love with supportive comments for your fellow Wordsters.