Living in the Path of a Hurricane

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    Oct 04, 2016 9:53 PM GMT
    We've finally gotten a hurricane, after years of missing them. A close one came a few years back, the evacuation shelters were opened, the routes north were being cleared. The eye was projected to pass right over our condo. But it veered into the Atlantic at the last moment.

    I was Chair of our condo association's Hurricane Committee, which southbeach1500, if you remember him, took great delight in mocking me about. But it meant I had to worry about 150 units, not just our own.

    I declined that honor the last 2 years. Now someone else can sweat it out.

    As for the storm, at the moment looks like a close hit, with some high winds. I filled up the car's tank last night, station empty of other cars. Same with the supermarket. Today there are car lines out into the street from the local Chevron.

    Our elderly neighbor suddenly told us her cat is out of food, 1 can left. Really? You didn't see this coming? She wanted me to run out and get more food for him.

    Well, today there was no parking at the supermarket, people were illegally parking everywhere. I can only imagine the mayhem inside the store. Friends we met who managed to get in there said the shelves were stripped. I guess she thinks the cat's gonna starve, although they actually don't that quickly.

    I really don't want to have to be ordered to evacuate. And strip our outdoor patio of all the plants and decorations. The satellite dish will also have to be unbolted & removed. And I can't recalibrate it, meaning I'll have to call in DirecTV afterwards. Who knows how long that will take, with tens of thousands of them to perform or entirely replace?

    If we try to weather it out here we still have to find a safe (and secure) spot for the car, not too far away. We don't want it remain in its assigned parking space near the river, which has flooded over in the past. Otherwise we've just gotta drive away totally, but we have no idea where, like war refugees. I guess to a State evacuation shelter, if not full, to live on cots. And hope we have a livable home when we return.

    This hurricane business is a bitch. icon_sad.gif

    Still, maybe better to get a warning, than the poor people who suffer a sudden tornado, and find themselves in the same boat as us in a mere moment. Or an earthquake, or every other kind of natural disaster. The US is a challenging place to live.
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    Oct 05, 2016 12:03 AM GMT
    RUN
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    Oct 05, 2016 12:31 AM GMT
    2Bnaked said
    RUN

    You do remind me of a fond gay anecdote, from some dozen years ago.

    I had my camper trailer at this annual gay summer campout. Sleeping in the trailer were my BF, and in another bed, a gay couple who were my best friends.

    Sometime after midnight a thunderstorm struck, with high winds. One of my friends shouted and woke me up: "Bob, the screen room is blowing away!"

    I looked outside, and there he was in the rain, struggling to hold down one of the supporting poles of the attached canopy, from which a screen room was hung. Tearing away would have caused a lot of damage and cost quite a bit of money.

    I raced outside, still naked from bed. I took my place beside him, trying to hold the pole down with him, as the wind got under the canopy and was pulling it up with incredible force.

    But the gusts only lasted a few minutes, and we soon had it under control. I went outside the screen room and hammered back down the ground stake tethers that had been torn free.

    Next morning at breakfast we were relating our experience to the 50 or so other gay campers. And just as I got to the critical moment, one guy said: "What did you do?" Some jokester interjected, with a falsetto voice: "RUN, GIRLS, RUN!"

    We all fell into hysterical laugher, us included. And for the rest of that campout, whenever the occasion might call for it, some difficult or frightening moment, or just the possibility, someone would yell: "Run, girls, run!"

    Thanks for recalling for me a favorite camping moment. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Oct 05, 2016 12:55 AM GMT
    OK, this is not good. Every time they update the track of this thing, it keeps moving more west, towards us. It's been clear of us until now, not making Florida landfall until north of Palm Beach. Now they've showing it coming inland right at Fort Lauderdale, which is south of us.

    Not the eye, which still shows over the Atlantic, but the outer hurricane force winds would hit us. Now I gotta plan to strip our 2nd-floor patio of all my husband's plants, hanging and box. Will fill the entire living room, quite a project.

    We may also have to assist our 91-year-old hall neighbor, who likewise has an entire garden on her patio. It isn't just a matter of losing these things, but they can become projectiles that cause damage & injury to others, and need to be secured indoors.

    I don't how we'll respond to a "mandatory" evacuation order, if issued. How do they check? Where do we put our car for best protection, since our condo complex has no garage?
  • Geoffreysays

    Posts: 261

    Oct 05, 2016 1:15 AM GMT
    Is there a root cellar?
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    Oct 05, 2016 2:06 AM GMT
    Repent for Gods wrath is upon you!
    650x366_10050120_hd25.jpg

    http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/hurricane-matthew-may-threaten-us-atlantic-coast-next-week-dangerous-surf/60414938
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    Oct 05, 2016 1:53 PM GMT
    Geoffreysays saidIs there a root cellar?

    There are virtually no residential cellars in South Florida, where there is no frost line. Any basements or sub-floors are for the stability of taller commercial buildings. These 3-story buildings in our condo complex have no sub-level spaces, except directly below the elevator shafts for equipment clearance.

    And even where there are basements, that's the last place you want to be during a coastal hurricane. The rainfall amounts can become record-breaking with extensive flooding, and there's also ocean storm surge. Plus a storm surge can push inland up tidal rivers and canals, causing them to overflow and flood, a large problem we can have in South Florida's Atlantic coast area.

    If you look at a detailed map of this area you realize how extensive the canals are. Smaller ones for drainage, larger ones for recreational watercraft access. Tens of thousands of inland homes have small docks for their fishing boats (or yachts, closer to the ocean with larger canals). They say Florida is the golfing capital of the US, but it's also the personal boating capital.

    And those endless waterways become flooding channels during a hurricane. There's a tidal river right outside this home office window, where I can see its current direction change each day with the tide, even though we're nearly 2 miles from the ocean. It has back-flooded in hurricanes before, destroying the first floor apartments in this condo building, and flooded parked cars, too. Hence my concern about ours, our assigned parking space being just 30 feet from the river bank.

    No, you don't wanna seek shelter below the ground. The flooding comes during the height of the winds, not only afterwards when you emerge.
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    Oct 05, 2016 3:16 PM GMT
    Also managed to get into the supermarket this morning at 7:30, to get the cat food requested by our elderly neighbor. Again almost no parking, the handicapped spaces of course all taken, but a regular one opened across from a front door so I grabbed it. People were literally running ahead of me into the store, I'd never seen anything like it.

    There were no shopping carts available, so I took a plastic hand basket. I put a whole load of the prescribed cat food cans into the cart. Some shelves were indeed stripped bare, but I didn't linger to see what they were. Most of the supermarket had full shelves.

    I thought maybe I should get some milk, being low. But I saw bundles of plastic-wrapped bottled water in everyone's cart, despite hearing water had been the first to sell out yesterday.

    Well, hubby had asked me to buy some if I managed to get inside the store, in case our tap water fails or becomes contaminated, so I grabbed the last one of 5 on the shelf. Everyone else with a cart had at least 2, but the damn thing weighed a ton, 24 pint bottles. I tucked it under my arm, and carried the basket with the cat food cans and the milk gallon in the basket with my cane hand.

    I miraculously found a short checkout line. There was no Express lane open. Puzzling me, since other lanes were snaking back down the aisles. The lady in front of me saw my plight, and invited me to rest my things on her own cart. I gratefully put the water bottles on top of her own 2 water bottle packs.

    Then she put my bottle pack on the belt when we moved forward, and told me to put my other things there, too, as she set out the belt divider bar, and started to load her own things behind it. I protested that she was ahead of me, next in line, and had a lot more stuff, but she insisted.

    Yah know, despite the near panic of some people over this storm, there are still some people with real consideration and, dare I say it these days, class. I met one today.

    She's one of the better memories I will keep with me from this hurricane experience. A simple gesture, but a telling one. That meant a lot to a guy who was hurting at that moment, but naturally wouldn't say a thing himself (men seldom do, it's like asking for road directions).
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    Oct 05, 2016 3:20 PM GMT
    Florida and where ever of the east coast i hope everyone is safe
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4435

    Oct 05, 2016 3:54 PM GMT
    Good luck. Are they still forecasting a Cat4? If so, I can't imagine they're not going to evacuate. Why not just run across to the west coast now while you could still get a hotel room? Thank god we haven't had any hit up here since the awful summer we had 6 directly hit us. Not to mention Katrina that went right by us on the way to Nola. The traffic jamb if you wait for evacuation would be horrible. I remember that summer I evacuated to my son's place in Atlanta and got all of about 120 miles in the first 15 hours. Had to keep turning the car off to save gas. Awful.
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    Oct 05, 2016 4:41 PM GMT
    The problem in America is that the houses are not build to sustain the blow of an hurricane .
    I am still surprised to see how houses are built in Florida , Georgia , North Carolina and along the Gulf of Mexico , 3 feet cement blocks high for the foundation slab and the rest is a wooden skeleton hold with bolts and covered with panels and siding , and i am not talking about 150.000 dollars houses , i have seen 800.000 dollars house in luxury gated subdivision built that way ..
    In North Queensland , Australia , we have been hit many times with powerful cyclones with a 10th of damages compared to the damages caused by hurricanes in North America ...
    Also our power lines are buried in the grounds instead of being hung on top of poles , we still have power outages but only if a power plant is damaged instead of you guys who are plagued with power outages and power lines lining the streets after a storm has passed ..
  • Muscmasmat

    Posts: 124

    Oct 05, 2016 5:42 PM GMT
    Having lived in Houston for over 30 years and weathering at least 2 hurricanes and some tropical storms, I would fill up any containers you have with water just as the storm is almost on you and the weather is getting bad. If the water goes out, you will not have any way to flush your toilets. If you have a bathtub, fill it with water. Just make sure that the bathtub is not leaking. Sometimes sustained water in the bathtub over days can cause leaks if the seals are not perfect.

    I will assume you have flashlights, since your electrical may not come back for days (or weeks in some cases). Your emergency food should be so that refrigeration is not required. For short electrical outages just leave your refrigerator closed. Most food will maintain for some hours.

    It looks like you may get sustained winds of 50-60 mph for over 12 hours. Hopefully your electrical grid can maintain for this amount of wind and you won't suffer any inconvenience, just a lot of tree and minor building wind damage

    Good luck!

  • Oct 05, 2016 5:55 PM GMT
    icon_eek.gificon_eek.gificon_biggrin.gif
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    Oct 05, 2016 8:10 PM GMT
    WestCoastJock said
    You forgot to tell us the prices. And whether you paid cash or used a credit card.

    The prices at the Publix supermarket were normal. In fact, on a small purchase I still got nearly $2 off. And the gas I bought the night before was the normal price, still is. Although long lines have formed.

    I've seen, and have heard, of no instances of price gauging. Even for the bottled water, which was selling out like crazy. Publix just kept restocking the shelves, at the regular price.
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    Oct 05, 2016 8:54 PM GMT
    Muscmasmat said
    Having lived in Houston for over 30 years and weathering at least 2 hurricanes and some tropical storms, I would fill up any containers you have with water just as the storm is almost on you and the weather is getting bad. If the water goes out, you will not have any way to flush your toilets. If you have a bathtub, fill it with water. Just make sure that the bathtub is not leaking. Sometimes sustained water in the bathtub over days can cause leaks if the seals are not perfect.

    I will assume you have flashlights, since your electrical may not come back for days (or weeks in some cases). Your emergency food should be so that refrigeration is not required. For short electrical outages just leave your refrigerator closed. Most food will maintain for some hours.

    It looks like you may get sustained winds of 50-60 mph for over 12 hours. Hopefully your electrical grid can maintain for this amount of wind and you won't suffer any inconvenience, just a lot of tree and minor building wind damage

    Good luck!

    Thank you! All good advice. We've both been through hurricanes before, him right here in this same condo.

    We already have a ton of flashlight batteries. And 50-60 mph will be nothing, we've had those before. We just can't be sure what we'll be getting.

    My husband had windows and patio doors installed in all 150 units of our complex a few years ago, when he was the condo association President. Rated to 165 mph force. Which got us a lower rate on our group insurance, that we pay with our monthly maintenance fee. I'm just not sure about what flying projectiles might do.

    The bathtub and some sink water (we have 4 sinks) can be scooped up into the toilet tanks to flush them. We don't consider that potable water and drinkable, anyway. I think the Jacuzzi bathtub is safe to fill for a day or so, it hasn't leaked previously.

    We have enough canned and non-refrigerated food to get by. We've checked with some of our local hangouts, and they have their own electrical generators, and believe they can provide food and drinks during any outage. Some even air conditioning. Water supply failure would, however, cripple them. Plus, of course, them suffering any serious wind damage to their property.

    But barring that, if we just have an extended electrical power failure, which we've had before, we can still eat, drink and be merry with our friends. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Oct 05, 2016 10:16 PM GMT
    You know they say: "only the good die young!" Thus you have nothing to worry about mate. We well recall you too mocking and having a go at Southbeach; our precious lady muck. As you are the one that normally starts the attactes of anyone beholding a diffrent political point of view. We know, in your pretentious narcissistic mind, you are always right; even when you publicly demean your boyfriend.
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    Oct 05, 2016 11:33 PM GMT
    OK, just finished stripping our 2nd-floor outside patio within the last hour. More crap than I realized we had. And HEAVIER. He keeps putting stuff out there. I'm surprised the patio hasn't collapsed under the weight.

    I told him a lot of this stuff, currently sitting in our living room, has to go. He begrudgingly agreed. It serves no purpose.

    And we're mostly ready for the storm. Except for the satellite dish. I've gotta unbolt and take that down. First time I've tried.

    Last big storm we had, Isaac, which veered offshore at the last moment, still had strong winds. And the dish acted like a sail.

    Tore our patio railing apart, to which it's attached, and ripped one end of the railing away from the wall. We had to have someone come in for the repairs.

    This time the dish comes down. If I can do it. That's the project for tomorrow, too dark now, before the storm hits later in the day.
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    Oct 06, 2016 1:42 PM GMT
    Thursday morning updates. Tried the fastening bolts on the satellite dish on the porch, and was able to break all of them loose. I'll actually remove the dish in a few hours. Delaying the final step, because after that we lose TV and local news coverage. Which is totally about hurricane Matthew right now, on all network stations.

    Have hard-boiled our eggs, because we can eat those if the power goes out. And will keep better than raw eggs without refrigeration. We also brought our big cooler out of storage. We can put essential perishables in there, with ice and freezer packs, when we lose power.

    We'll have Internet for a brief period on our battery wireless iPads, which we're keeping on charge until power loss, along with our iPhones, to ensure full charges. The wireless router has a battery backup, but I don't know how long it'll last. Nor if the local Internet system will stay up. During hurricane Wilma, which was a bad one, the power and land lines went out, but a nearby cell phone tower stayed operational.

    Have a full tank of gas in the car. Reparking it in a safer spot after we return from lunch, which will be otherwise a normal thing, meeting friends as usual. Getting some winds already but nothing much, no rain yet. Will fill the bathtub & sinks a little later. Got a chilled (and some frozen) supply of drinking water, plenty of food that doesn't need cooking. Also have enough of our medications on hand, won't run short of them.

    Plus a big supply of flashlight batteries, and lots of candles. Oddly, the only thing we don't have, nor do any of our neighbors, is an old-fashioned battery-powered AM radio. We figure after the storm passes, and if the electricity is still out, we can go down to the car and use its AM/FM radio. Also charge our iPhones & iPads there if they die. Some friends run restaurants that they hope to keep running with generators, that have WiFi, and we'll likely be spending some time at them, lessening our need for food at home.

    We're kinda old pros at this, but still a damn hassle. And you never know how things will develop. My greatest worry is that our broad glass patio door will blow in, and cause extensive damage. Or that one of our adjoining neighbor's doors will, and cause our place to get flooding under the walls or through the ceiling.

    Another neighbor, on the north side, and presumably safer the way Matthew is approaching from the south, has offered to give us shelter if that happens. Too dangerous to stay in our place if the patio door blows in.
  • TheBaise

    Posts: 363

    Oct 06, 2016 4:59 PM GMT
    Don't you know how tedious you are dude? Man, what a bunch of garbage just spews out of you! Garrulous? Yeah! A screaming, bragging, bore!
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4435

    Oct 06, 2016 5:31 PM GMT
    TheBaise saidDon't you know how tedious you are dude? Man, what a bunch of garbage just spews out of you! Garrulous? Yeah! A screaming, bragging, bore!

    Apparently he has more going on than you do. What a nasty little bitch you are.
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    Oct 06, 2016 6:21 PM GMT
    Even if the eye misses Wilton Manor, it still depends on which side of the eye you are on. A hurricane spins counter clockwise, if the eye is north of Wilton Manor, you will get the off shore winds and you will be spared all the flooding, if the eye is south of Wilton Manor, you will get the on shore winds which will pick up and carry the ocean inland and flood Wilton Manor until the storm clears its northward path.
    (if a hurricane spins clockwise, the opposite happens)


    So do your checking to see where the eye of the storms falls in relation to Wilton Manor, the most damage usually done by the on shore winds and the amount of sustained water pushed on shore at one time. The closer to the eye wall, the faster the wind speeds
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    Oct 06, 2016 8:01 PM GMT
    We are a little further east than Bob but in fort Lauderdale. We're getting a little wind now but nothing serious yet...but the lights have already started flickering every now and them...thank you FPL! I went out this morning and Starbuck's was closed, but right next door Dunkin' Donuts had lines around the block! Otherwise there was very little traffic. We're prepared and hunkered down. We've seen a lot of hurricanes and really don't get too nervous about them.
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    Oct 06, 2016 8:12 PM GMT
    Destinharbor said
    TheBaise saidDon't you know how tedious you are dude? Man, what a bunch of garbage just spews out of you! Garrulous? Yeah! A screaming, bragging, bore!

    Apparently he has more going on than you do. What a nasty little bitch you are.

    Those who don't like te truth, hear it as hate.
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    Oct 06, 2016 8:35 PM GMT
    Most recent projections show we shouldn't get much damage from the storm. It's pretty far east of us and a little south right now.
    We even seem to be outside "the cone".
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    Oct 06, 2016 9:03 PM GMT
    rigsby saidMost recent projections show we shouldn't get much damage from the storm. It's pretty far east of us and a little south right now.
    We even seem to be outside "the cone".

    Gosh, you mean I just took our satellite dish down for nothing? We still had to strip the patio, the condo association decreed it.

    But I didn't remove that dish when Isaac was bearing down on us. Its 50mph gusts were strong enough to tear the patio railing apart, to which it's attached, and to rip one end away from the building. I wasn't gonna risk that again.

    We'll see what we actually get. I can tell you that all up and down Wilton Drive, and you're just a couple of miles away, places have closed for the day and boarded-up their windows with plywood sheets. Maybe just a false alarm after all, but if you guess wrong then you could be paying more afterwards.

    I hope you guys are all battened-down. And our best regards to you and your husband.