Friday, September 08, 2017

Hurricane Irma: To Go or Not To Go

We got back home from our Summer Tour just in time for hurricane season. Home is Fort Lauderdale, in southern Florida. We were at home for some of hurricane season last year as well. We were threatened by hurricane Matthew. We shuttered all the windows and brought all the patio items in from outside. Stocked up on food, water, and batteries and went to bed. It hardly even rained and the hurricane was gone.
That happens SO often in South Florida. It's hard to take hurricane warnings seriously. They twist and turn in unpredictable ways, often it feels like they're playing chicken with you and veer off at the last minute. I've been known to say I prefer earthquakes to hurricanes (I was in the big one in Alaska - Good Friday 1964) because they happen, or they don't. None of this anxiety, work, and worry, for nothing!
Also, our townhouse is a very sturdy, concrete block building and foundation. We are not in a flood zone, and the building has a brand new roof. My Mom lived in this townhouse for 21 years and weathered many a hurricane. During Andrew in 1992 I went there to ride it out. She always had friends who came to stay because it was such a safe place. Here is a little video she made from there during Hurricane Wilma - the worst one to hit this area in our memory.

Hurricane Irma demands attention. Most powerful ever recorded in Atlantic 185mph winds

If it follows anywhere near the projections, there is nowhere to go in Florida to get out of the way

We pulled everything in from outside, shuttered the windows, packed the Roadtrek RV, and drove north.

First destination, Alex's house just outside of Gainesville. We've stayed there in our RV many times in the past. Once there, we'll watch the direction of the hurricane and decide what to do.

We were in stop and go traffic on the Turnpike once were passed Ft. Pierce. It backed up for nearly 20 miles before each service plaza. We got off after Orlando and took back roads thru Ocala Nat'l forest. Most all of the gas stations were empty. It was a joyous feeling when we saw one with a line - that means they have gas! We arrived safe and sound at Alex's house and we have a full tank of gas for the next step once it becomes clear. We aren't the only ones taking advantage of Alex's hospitality. Thank you Alex for hosting "Irma Palooza" :-) 

I've been asked if we brought my Mom with us. Sadly, no. There was a time when she loved coming with us in our RV. Those times are over. She doesn't really know who I am any more, she doesn't have the strength for climbing up steps, she is incontinent and there's just a lot I don't know about how to take care of her any more. She is in a facility that is not in a flood zone. She's been there over 3 years now and the staff all know and love her. They know how to take care of her. I don't.


Sue Malone said...

Wow, good to hear from you. Been worryingvabout our RV friends in that part of the world. My friend zbel rode out manyva hurricane in Ocala, and her parents lived through Andrew. Sounds like you are making good chouces. May you all stsy safe.

David Cross said...

Sure glad you decided to leave. I went through Andrew in Tampa in 92 and it was no big deal there, but this one is different. Get out of Dodge. When it is over, material things can be replaced, but the world needs the Geeks. Please stay safe.