@OldCatLady If you vacate to a hotel check how the beds are assembled as I learned the hard way that some are boxes nailed to the floor and cats can get under the bed due to the box bed frame not being tight to the wall at the headboard end. Then you have to disassemble, with crowbar, the bed to get the cats out from under there. Then they charge you for that. A lot. I now have a large dog cage I put a shelf in that I confine the cats in. If no time for that at least confine them to the bathroom if the bed is a risk. Good luck.
No matter which way it goes I have relatives who are in FL - several in Tampa (and one inland) and one on a island by NASA, 3 houses from the intercostal waterway. Have a niece in Houston (her mom, my sister, is in Tampa) caught in that mess. About now I’d guess all my relatives down there are rethinking this sun and warmth choice after the lot of them/us grew up in the snow belt. Given a choice I’d guess about now they’d choose a blizzard.
@Kidsandliz My sister in T’ville could probably wave across the river to your relative, and my best friend is in Tampa. And I’m trying to decide whether we should try to ride it out or run for somewhere else.
And an awful lot of us don’t live in Florida because we like the sunny beaches. And now I’m going to flounce away in a huff.
@Kidsandliz I evacuated for a forest fire- stayed with my cats at a friend’s house. She was working on the place and had a small hole in the wall. Of course one cat went in there. She came out by morning but I was panicked. (My house was fine.)
@sammydog01 When I was living in a friend’s shed, I had a cat go out one of the holes the first night. She sat under a tree and cried (in the middle of the night) which is the only way I found her - had searched for hours. She was my scaredy cat and had escaped within 2 hours of arriving there. I thought she might have been gone forever (they were in the country, 2 of their 4 dogs lived outside, other creatures…). I left the holes open and put the other cats in a cage so they couldn’t get out. The next morning I went and bought expando foam and used two cans filling holes.
@Kidsandliz We would not stay here for a Cat 4 storm, let alone a Cat 5, so we’re packing stuff up for go-bags and plastic-wrapping a lot of stuff that might survive even if the roof and/or walls blow away. It’s really difficult to do, thinking that whatever we tote out to the car could be all that we still own if we lose the house. Meanwhile, we’re watching the forecast updates and will make a firm decision by early Saturday. My sister, who’s 125 miles south of us, has told us to come down there; they have a lot better storm protection and a brick house. As things are going now, I’m pretty sure we’ll be heading south by mid-morning Saturday.
I’ve been dealing with hurricanes since September 1960, when Donna blew through, noticed the portable classrooms my school was using, and thoughtfully wrapped it around the top of a tall pine tree. Last year’s Matthew took about a third of our roof off, on the day before we were to start a vacation in the NC mountains. This year, we’re due to be in a nice, cozy rental home in the NC mountains for 10 days in early October, I had to call the property owner to see if we could still get a refund on our payment even if we’re 2-3 days the deadline for a full refund, she was very understanding – perhaps because she’s from Tampa and knows hurricanes? Bless her heart, she’s had nearly a dozen other vacationers call today to cancel.
No one that I’ve talked to in grocery lines is ignoring this storm and its deadliness. Everyone seems a little frightened and very sad, but also very busy preparing.
And in the meanwhile, we now have Hurricane Jose far southeast of us and the newly born Hurricane Katia sitting in the playpen of the Gulf of Mexico. I’ve never seen weather like this. We might be safe from Jose, though, since it’s pretty unlikely Trump will let him into the country.
@Kidsandliz I’m in NE Florida. We’re packing a couple changes of clothing, a bit of sentimental stuff (pictures and a few tchotchkes), toiletries, legal & banking papers, and not too much more. With two dogs in the backseat and their crates in the wayback (family name for the “trunk” in a Honda CR-V), every little lantern and flashlight (I, um, have a sort of collector’s obsession) we can find, and microwaveable food. My sister’s generator is hard-wired into the house circuits, so they can keep the fridge, a few lights, and couple of fans going. And the ever handy microwave. And two gas grills.
The Spouse is not real cheerful about the wisdom of heading south into the storm’s path, but if most of the southern end of the state is evacuating, we’d have to drive to Pennsylvania to find a place to stay.
And did I mention I’m supposed to have cataract surgery Friday morning? And a brief post-op check on Saturday morning? It’s all good. Either we’ll have a house or we won’t. Can’t do much at this point to change that.
I’m practicing composure, serenity, and letting things go as they will. I’m not doing real well at it, alas.
@magic_cave Before the surgery they’ll give you a Valium script to fill, and you’re supposed to take one before you go to the office. Ask if they can make it for ten or so, because really, this stress is off the chart. You’ll love the way the world looks on Saturday, though.
@Barney I’m actually on the phone with my brother about it right now. They are talking about evacuating Miami. He lives in fort Lauderdale. He’s planning on coming up here at the least. Depending on the next few updates, we might go all the way to Tennessee to stay with family. I’m getting worried.
I’ve got 15 gallons of extra gas right now, and my brother is going to grab a 55gal drum and put it in the back of his truck for diesel. Because I have animals and my mom can’t get into his gigantic truck, we will have to take both vehicles.
I’m really hoping it turns enough that we don’t have to evacuate. I don’t want to have to leave everything.
@Barney I’ve never left for a storm before. I honestly wasn’t planning on leaving at all until my brother started talking about the roof tearing off if the path continues the way it currently is.
It’s honestly going to be a nightmare trying to drive that far.
I can just hope that the next few updates steer it more favorably.
I’ve always lived just outside the major catastrophes when it comes to hurricanes. The worst was when I was without power for a couple of weeks. Never dealt with any major damage. I remember driving south and seeing the damage from Andrew. Seeing apartment buildings have their entire sides sheared off and just looking into their trashed apartments. Going to a trailer park where my mom lived a long time ago, seeing some of the trailers completely ripped away and others standing there like nothing had happened.
@RiotDemon I feel much the same. I was born here, bounced around with my US Navy family till we ended up across the river from the Cape. Six months after we arrived we rode through Hurricane Donna (9/10/60), and I’ve stayed in my home for every hurricane since then. Last October’s Matthew arrived the day before we were to head to NC for a vacation and took off 1/3 of my roof.
I’m not real sure we’re gonna stay for this one. My son moved to NC three months ago and is horrified that we’d even consider the idea of staying. It’ll all depend on how big the damned thing is, how fast her winds are, and how fast she’s moving. I’m not feeling good at all about this one, though, so we’re doing the stuff necessary to evacuate, just in case.
@magic_cave Seriously. I fully agree with @CaptAmehrican. Run. My family members are all long term FL residents and the lot of them are planning to run if it lands on their side of FL (and they have stayed more than once). That level of wind (never mind the rain, waves, etc.) is incredibly destructive and with nature vs man it is always nature that wins. This one is so much stronger and bigger that what they normally are, so much of FL is drained swamp… everything (the drainage systems - natural and man made, water entrapment systems, etc.) is going to be overwhelmed.
@magic_cave Take the pups & go NOW. You KNOW it’s gonna be a goat rope getting out and there is construction up I-26 that will slow stuff down. I think I’m going to tell my husband I love him and I’ll see him next week. I do not want to be in this hurricane. Yes, I’m selfish.
@sammydog01 We decided it was best for me to stay. Trying to convince our two youngest to take all four pets and head over to Pensacola in the morning. We have family over there, so there’s no problem finding a place to stay until this is over.
Holy Shit. Stay safe @RiotDemon, @OldCatLady, everyone else.
They are showing that the eye of Irma may pass over the small island of Barbuda. It is being suggested that barely a building or a tree will survive the winds of this storm.
This storm shit is sadly insane.
If it looks like it might come your way it would be good to get a motel room in Johnson City or there abouts for the weekend. If it misses you well oops, if you get hit by cat 3 or above nothing you can do to your home will matter anyway. If you’ve got hurricane shutters close them or put them up before you leave. Nothing more miserable than living in disaster area the week or two after the storm.
@cranky1950 I live in Bluff City, literally 5 minutes from Johnson City. If any Mehricans here are legitimately looking for a place to crash during the hurricane, I’d be willing to offer my guest area. I think it’ll sleep 5-6 without a problem.
@sammydog01 No shelters in the Keys at this time. They don’t accept cats anyway and she won’t leave them. She is a stubborn old broad. All I can do is send my prayers for her and everyone else in the path of this storm, then help her as best I can in the aftermath.
@sammydog01 There are no shelters in Monroe county. Evacuate. I think the highest point in Key West is about 10ft above sea level and the whole island will submerge in a storm like this. The up side is this ought to solve the monkey island problem.
@mehnyblooms I’d agree she is nuts. maybe you can talk her into loading them into her car and heading north. Then at least she and her cats will be safe. She can worry about where to stay once she gets out of harms way. Worst case she can sleep in the car. At least then both she and her cats will be OK.
I have heard that concrete houses are all over Puerto Rico. Never visited, so I don’t know if that’s true. If it is true, I can see why.
The point of monolithic dome construction re wind disasters is that they are all one piece of heavy-rebar concrete, with no edges for the wind to grab. The one on the beach in SC (Eye Of The Storm) is built with steel shutters I think. Some of them are designed and built to survive flooding or even total immersion as well. Plus the insulation is insane.
When I was young my family used to rent an octagonal house on stilts on the Gulf Coast beach for a week each summer. Because of the stilts and octagonal shape, it survived many hurricanes when other houses were reduced to toothpicks. I don’t know if it’s still there. It was somewhere near Freeport, Texas.
@cranky1950 Hmm I might have to live on a boat there though and I had to sell mine several years ago to pay rent and health insurance. My tent does not float (speaking from experience more than once in more than one country LOL).
They are staying, they are 16" above sea level, walls are limestone and 16" thick so are figuring they’ll survive. Apparently 10 staff are staying with the cats. The people at the turtle rescue are staying too with the turtles although they may be at higher risk since the Hemingway house is on the highest point of land there.
Elsewhere they are saying the deer in the keys may well be wiped out.
We’re going to a hotel and sneaking the cat in. This will be my first Florida hurricane and I’m getting pretty freaked out. I’m from the north and have ridden out many storms, Gloria, Sandy. Blizzard upon Blizzard. This feels different. Be careful everyone. If they tell you to evacuate, please do so.
@bloondie2 I have heard that Holiday Inn has a policy of allowing pets during mandatory evac orders AND that they aren’t supposed to charge sales taxes on the rooms. Not positive on this, but might be worth checking into.
@OldCatLady we’re going to a Marriott in W Palm Beach. Its actually a little south (we live in Jupiter) but we’re staying there because its close to the VA in case (God forbid) my dad needs to go. Where are you from? Please be safe, protect all your fur babies!
@LaVikinga thank you for the information, its good to know. The room tax sure adds up. We got two rooms (one for my parents) from Thursday to Tuesday. Hopefully Irma will go out to sea and we’ll all be fine!
@Barney It’s coming up the spine of Florida. I’m packing, and have asked a friend in Knoxville to find me a short-term rental; a month sounds reasonable. I will not be here for 120 mph winds on Monday.
@Barney Sweet Pea, I’m currently just over the mountain from PennState at my Dad’s cabin debating with my husband by text messaging whether to pull chocks to head for Jax in the wee hours of the morning & ride the storm out with him, the kids who are living at home, the two cats, & the two dogs. HE is at home. We want me safe. My dad says it’s foolish to go home to sit thru a hurricane (I’ve done a few hurricanes in my life). Other than be miserable, and help with the cleanup (I hope the damage is minimal–we have some very ugly/tall/big-ass brittle pine trees very close to the house), there’s not a whole lot to do but ride it out. So I go home & ride it out, or wait until next week for the weather system to pass up over PA, & the roads clear. Selfish Me is battling with Mom’s/Wife’s Place is at Home Me.
My mother-in-law is down in Miami. Cinderblock home, plaster & lathe. Husband says it’s bombproof and that they have metal hurricane shutters already in place. Can’t help but worry. Darned sure don’t have room for them to evacuate up to us.
@LaVikinga Chances are they’ll be joining you if they can get a car running if the storm does hit, because for 2 weeks after nothing works and air conditioning and a hot shower are a mighty powerful draw.
@cranky1950@Barney I’m staying put. Figured it was best knowing I was already safe. Will try to convince our kids to take the animals & evacuate. Husband says he’ll stay for a Cat 3 or under. Anything stronger and he will follow the kids West to family.
@LaVikinga If your house has an exposed eastern wall cat 3 will blow any storm panels away not to mention if a tornado touches down nearby. With Andrew, I lost everything on the back side of my house took a 200mi/hr aluminum storm panel right off the sliding glass door. I lived 25 mi away from where the eye made landfall. Sat in the middle bedroom on the west side of the house watching stuff blow up the attic access. Was like the wizard of oz.
@Barney Darling man texted me a bit ago. Had gone to the bank to pull out cash for the kids to have in case the ATMs went down. He says the Twins are adamant they are riding out the storm with him “in case he needs their help with something.”
@cranky1950 I haven’t asked when they plan on hanging the panels. They all get screwed into the frame. Our home sits in a natural “holler” to use a Southernism, so it does get a bit of wind protection. I’m more worried about run off from the creek that runs across the adjoining property. We sit at a lower elevation, so if it overflows, it’ll be heading for my home. Looks like the storm will be moving fairly steadily, and we’re not anticipating the deluge that Houston experienced.
Just looked at the WX map to see the other depression out in the Atlantic has become a TS. Isn’t that just fab news?!
@LaVikinga At this time (4am) NOAA is showing La Douce making landfall over the Keys around 8am Sunday, and the eye staying essentially on the beach. The European model for tracking (which is preferred by Channel 4, which means it’s Holy Writ for me) shows a relatively hard turn to the north several hours ago, so it seems there may be a chance she’ll move even a little more NNE, which would be nice. One can only hope, hmm?
Meanwhile, Katia seems to be headed for Mexico after slurping up the Gulf’s nice warm water for growth and speed.
@magic_cave I’m worried most about the enormous pine trees in my yard. You know how those monsters like to snap off and crash onto roofs. Each one of them is too close to a bedroom for comfort. Relying on husband’s promise to keep all souls confined to the central area of the house while the storm passes through.
@mehcuda67 Don’t freak out Florida is a bigger place than you think. If it goes up the west coast then those folk need to leave, or the east coast then they need to get out of the way, but generally even if you’re near the fringe winds, it’s a pretty nice day where you are. That’s the paradox of living in hurricane country. You do need a 2 day jump on the storm though, because the north south routes gridlock easily. Normal Sat. afternoon traffic shuts down I-75 near Tampa.
Wishing the best for those of you in the potential strike zones. Stay safe and get a move on if it’s coming your way. I have a friend who works at the hospital in St. Thomas who is completely freaking out. She’s holed up there but her husband and pets are riding it out at their house. These are the moments I’m glad I don’t live in any of the hurricane/tornado alleys.
One caveat. When you leave your house, turn the main circuit breaker OFF. When you return, leave it OFF until power has been restored all over your area. A friend in MS evacuated after Katrina, and returned to find his 100-year-old house minus a few shingles and windows but okay otherwise. He took a ton of pictures, then he and his wife went over to their son’s house for dinner. When they came back, power was on, but it had surged, house wiring had caught fire, and the only thing left was the two-story fieldstone chimney. I saw the before/after pictures. His truck had been parked next to the house.
@RiotDemon Our two poodles are used to sleeping in separate crates, so we’ll take both folding crates, and everything else you mentioned. And toys. Especially the three cowfoots (cow hooves, for those of you who aren’t into silly family words) and a couple of their fave squeaky toys. If your animals stress out when there’s chaos and noise, if you have time you might want to ask your vet for some mild tranquilizers for them.
@magic_cave I just called my vet; if you leave during office hours, he can give them a 6-hour sedating shot. Otherwise give them plain Benadryl, 1 mg/lb of body weight. Kids pills come in 12.5, adult 25. You can cut them as required.
@OldCatLady I was just at the vet for my dog, and got the papers. They were out of most sedatives. People are super panicked. Even the vet tech was pretty shaken when she was talking about the lack of supplies.
I got valium for my dog, but that’s because she has a hurt back and it’s necessary to keep her calm. Don’t have anything for the cats.
Any idea how to get a cat to urinate on the road? I don’t have a big enough kennel thing to have a litter box inside. I couldn’t find harnesses to fit them either. Grabbed a dog one but it was too small. Going to try a few other places today. Hopefully we will be stopping in Georgia for some rest and then I’ll be able to put the cats in the bathroom.
@RiotDemon Stop in Petsmart and get a larger dog one. I just ordered five cat ones online, because you can cut one up to make extenders on another one if you have a fat cat. Which I do. IRT pee: I would try pee pads; before you leave, soak one or two in used litter, and when you can get to an enclosed area, put it down with a layer of litter. I use a foamcore u-shape to surround the litter box; if you clip more pee pads around it, they may feel more authentic.
@RiotDemon I was going to GA. Based on the latest track, I decided that was a bad idea, so I have a reservation in Pensacola. There are no hotels to be had within 50 miles of Atlanta, but if you need to stay in Smyrna or Athens, I have reservations in both that I was going to cancel. Email me at AluraWilson at gmail, and we can talk. I have spent all day, since 10 AM, hunting for rooms. I have Hilton, Starwood, Marriott etc. member cards, and they were no help.
@OldCatLady sorry, just saw these posts. I have family in north Florida towards the west and I have family in Georgia and Tennessee… So luckily I have quite a few options.
Didn’t have luck with the dog carriers either. The only things I found were carriers that were so huge that wouldn’t fit in my car. I ended up getting a tote that I’m going to drill a bunch of holes into. I saw it on a cat rescue YouTube video. It’s not the most ideal thing, but my one carrier is too small for both.
Sadly I had a bigger carrier but it was really old, rusting, and sad looking. My brother suggested I get rid of it because I never use it. I never have evacuated so I didn’t think I’d ever have a use for it.
@RiotDemon if you can’t fit a small litter box in the crate, you can put pee pads or old towels (or both) in the crate. If your cat pees/poops, just throw it away. Pee pads are good but if your cat is active in the crate, they scrunch up & inevitably, s/he will miss the pad. At least that’s how it works with some of my cats! Good luck.
@mikey Also in Orlando here, near downtown and MCO. We’ve dealt with several storms before and never left (Andrew, Charley, Frances, Ivan, Jeanne, etc.) but I don’t know that any of those were as large or angry as Irma is at the moment. Hopefully this pooltoy won’t get blown away!
@PooltoyWolf I’ve got a rental right near 436 and Curry Ford. Was down south for Andrew and I’m hoping Irma will weaken and not quite measure up to that. CFIJ were pretty tame in comparison for us back then.
Have you been able to get all the supplies you need? I picked up a bunch of non-perishable dessert options for the fam today and am just picking up extra water every morning at this point.
@cranky1950 oh my goodness, that’s so awful. Thankfully our condo is only 2 floors and made from concrete. The roof is shingles. We live about a mile from the beach, but the pool here is up against an inlet. Definitely planning on flooding. We’re going to a hotel. Scary shit every which way you look at it.
Waitress during our lunch at Metro: “Use your washing machine!” Dang! Never thought of that one.Probably wouldn’t want to drink it, but for washing yourself and the kids or for making the toilet flush properly it would do nicely.
The Spouse opined it was originally thought of at some fraternity having a beer bash.
@magic_cave The frat was likely using it as a beer cooler filled with ice. Or possibly a keg cooler if it didn’t have a central agitator. Sadly, my front-loader would be crap at both storing water and cooling beer…
fill some zip lock bags with water and freeze them.
close all interior doors during worst parts of storm.
have cash handy post storm.
charge your devices in your car, when safe.
don’t download zello. fuck zello.
@marcee If you have a piece of thin plastic (cheap rain poncho), put it over the bathtub, anchoring at the corners. Goal is to prevent evaporation and keep your bathroom from turning into the Great Dismal Swamp.
I did manage to get one reservation in Smyrna, and one in Athens, contingent on whether the chains waive the pet policy. I had my heart set on spending time at the Atlanta National Archives, but it’s not to be. Thanks so much for the suggestions, and if I find the cats won’t be allowed, I may wind up in AL. I haven’t been there since we lived in Talladega when I was five.
Looks like they’re expecting it to make landfall at Card Sound and go up the coast hitting from Miami to mehbe WPB then go out to sea a bit and follow the Gulf Stream. Looks like the Keys are gonna miss most of it.
Yeah but their showing the center track as going up the east coast. Key West is out of the storm track or is that the Dry Tortugas?.
S. Bahamas have hurricane warning while Keys are under watch. Hope it doesnt follow that line, I’m gonna get rained on pretty bad if it does.
@OldCatLady as it should as the storm is only about 1/4 as wide at the widest end of the cone. So as the storm progresses the cone narrows as the NWS is sure of the path. Toldja to look at Greenville.
Don’t worry be happy
@cranky1950 wrong there will be massive danage outside the cone. The cone is the projected path of the eys. As the forcast gets closer it narrows . This storm is about as wide as the entire state of florida is tall.
@llangley Well now it looks like you will be a direct hit with the eye. Hope you will be dry and still have a roof. I hope now you are going to change your mind and leave…
My sister and a cousin and their respective families, including a 2 week old baby, are still there as they were expecting to be “safe” more or less. I am hoping the lot of them all bail. Have another cousin NW of Gainesville who is practically under the new projected eye as well…and another cousin on a barrier island near NASA - I guess they will get the nasty NW side of it. Hopefully the entire lot are on their way out of town.
From what the morning forcast says they expect it greatly weaken over land, probably be minimal hurricane/tropical storm by the time it gets to the Florida line. S. Fla is gonna nailed though probably won’t lose much till north of Lake Okeechobee awful lot of hot water to the south. Andrew tore up the Glades pretty good.
@OldCatLady I’d wait too. It’s not going to get to you till Mon, you’ve got till Sunday afternoon to make a decision. Just try to keep the cats ready to book. This storm is saving a lot of grief by moving in land. All those folks that moved to West Broward and Palm Beach counties are in for rude awakening though.
@Kidsandliz I’m staying. I had a Pensacola Townplace Suites reservation, but after the 2 PM update, I cancelled it. And I am not going to Virginia. I’m more interested in what @RiotDemon and @LaVikinga’s family and the rest are doing.
@OldCatLady Because I dithered about leaving PA (and reeaaally didn’t want to drive 15 hours home worrying about gas availability during the trip when I got into the Carolinas & GA), we opted for me to remain in place.
Because of the importance of my husband’s job in Kings Bay, he had no choice but to remain in the area. He’s been making that drive up & down the I-95 corridor. Thankfully, the traffic wasn’t too heavy at 0500 each morning, and not too many people have been heading south on his return trips home.
We have two adult “kids” still at home, so for the last few days they’ve been moving patio furniture & potted plants, picking up any potential FOD in the yard that could get airborne, gassing up all the cars & filling spare gas tanks for the generators, propane & charcoal for the grills, and making sure they had food & supplies for during & after the storm. The more unprotected windows were boarded up yesterday. Generators are going to be staged today. They have coolers ready to go to store the few things they’d normally be in and out of the fridge for to keep them from having to open the refrigerator/freezer doors as often once the power goes.
Son says because we are so close to a power relay station, we should see power restoration fairly early post-storm.
Because of the proximity of enormous pine trees to my bedroom, Dear Daughter stood & my room, looked around for anything that was “near & dear” to ol’ Mom’s heart and safely stored items in one of the sturdier rooms of the house.
As long as no trees come down on the house or cars, I am telling myself they will all be ok.
The biggest challenge for me will be determining when will be the safest day for me to make that trip down from PA. Husband does NOT want me sweating fuel the issue. I don’t want to sit in traffic jams–and there WILL be traffic jams because people just don’t know how to keep up with the flow of traffic.
@LaVikinga NAS announced yesterday that Sun- Mon would be essential personnel only, and everyone scheduled to work Monday (including civilians) would be given admin leave. If KB does the same, at least your husband will have less traffic to deal with.
A thing I did this time is freeze a small container of water. After it was frozen, I stuck a coin on top. Depending on where the coin is afterwards, I’ll know if my freezer was completely compromised. I know my deep freezer will stay cold for 2-3 days.
@RiotDemon A few days ago I told my family to fill up ziploc freezer bags with water, & store them upright in the freezers. Once frozen, the bags will fill the empty space in the freezers to help keep stuff frozen as long as possible AND will be a source of fresh water should they need it.
@moondrake The models show it turning north well east of the Bahamas though. Cape Verde storms always start out looking like they’re heading for Miami, it’s what the do as they near the leeward islands that matters.
@OldCatLady My husband’s cousin had to evacuate from Coral Gables. She sent a text yesterday afternoon: “Mandatory evacuation for CG. Took us 29 hours to reach Atlanta and now the storm is heading for ATLANTA???”
To anyone wondering, @Barney, @Sammydog01, @OldCatLady, @mfladd and anyone else that asked. We decided to stay. Tough decision, but with the track moving more west, it sealed the deal. The biggest issue is, my mom wouldn’t of been able to deal with the car ride. She has a really bad infection in her hip which caused multiple fractures in the pelvis and femur. Sitting up is agony. She’s also on a ton of meds that make her pee several times an hour. TMI, I know. We had booked a hotel in Orlando, which was more of a tolerable drive, but with the track moving more that way, we cancelled it. After looking at photos of the hotel, I feel safer in my house. We have shutters and a generator. The thought of traveling with my pets was giving me anxiety. My dog is sick right now and my one cat always got sick when I moved apartments, so the thought of stressing him out was stressing me out.
@RiotDemon I am sorry to hear about your mom and pets not doing well. I also just hope you are going to be safe. I would be sad if your metal-ass was not safe. I hope you were able to get gas for that generator.
I hope all of you who are in this storm’s path are safe, and come out of this unscathed!
@mfladd thank you. I was able to get gas, easily, luckily. Filled up cans earlier this week along with my car. Yesterday we filled the generator and distributed the gas from a bigger gas can into some little ones so we could try and find more gas. The station two minutes from my house ended up having gas! So I have roughly 26 gallons for the generator. It supposedly runs for 11 hours on a half load using 5 gallons. I mainly wanted a generator because I have well water. I can literally plug my pump in and have water. I’ve got tons of propane for the grill to boil it in case I feel it might be compromised due to any flooding by the well.
I’ve got a ridiculous amount of food in my freezer. I just won’t open the doors unless necessary. I don’t have to plug those in that often to keep them cold. My deep freezer will stay mostly frozen for a couple of days. I lined the top with a bunch of reusable ice packs as well.
@RiotDemon OK you’re not going to listen to me, but people are more important than pets. You being there won’t change that much whether your pets survive. If you aren’t in an evacuation zone that means they think you are making the right decision. If you are in a mandatory evacuation zone at least get your mom to a shelter. I’ll stop lecturing now- please keep us up to date as I am already starting to cry.
@cranky1950 eggs will be ok for a few weeks if they were fairly fresh when you lost power. The only reason we have to refrigerate our eggs is because they get washed before packaging. This is why in other countries eggs are not in a fridge when sold, but they have poo on them.
South end of Sarasota county here - looks like we are in for a wild ride. Have non-perishable food & botted water stocked up, as well as food for the wuffies. Just finished putting up the plywood over the windows, & have all the electronics charged - but we live out in the boonies on 3 acres, so who knows how long our power may be out for.
We have 7 assorted breeds, all small but 1, & they are a single happy pack. They all came to us quasi-accidentally, needing forever homes. As the hubs & I are both retired, can afford them, & have the space for them, they are all livin’ la vida loca ( aka: spoiled rotten ). The ancient maltese can feel the change in the barometric pressure, & is hiding in one of their little houses shivering right now - she HATES storms.
@OldCatLady nope. My landlord has already started the task of replacing it. Waiting for a permit before anything happens. I had it pumped last Sunday. In 6 days, there’s no way that I put almost 1000 gallons of water in it. I swear there’s a crack in the tank and it filled with all the rainwater from the last few days. I guess it’ll get pumped on Monday or Tuesday. Until then, I’ll take a shower by standing outside in the rain. Maybe I need to dig a hole in the ground and make an outhouse.
Harvey and Irma, Married 75 Years, Marvel at the Storms Bearing Their Names
(Here is the beginning of a longish NYT article)
Harvey and Irma Schluter have been married for 75 years. He turned 104 in July; she will be 93 in November.
They vividly remember many of the major events of the 20th century, from her first time spotting an airplane, during the Great Depression, to his wonder at watching Neil Armstrong walk on the moon. In a recent phone interview, Mrs. Schluter even recalled the weather near her home in Spokane, Wash., on the day that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. (Cool and cloudy.)
But never before have they seen two major hurricanes bearing their names threaten the United States.
“I don’t know how they’ve done that, to have a Harvey and Irma,” Mrs. Schluter said Wednesday. “I don’t know how that worked out.”
The explanation is simple. Since 1979, the World Meteorological Organization has alternated men’s and women’s names for tropical storms born over the Atlantic.
When Harvey and Irma were born, in the early 20th century, radio was a new invention and cable television was decades away. In a new century, after 75 years of marriage, they can only watch as their names flicker across the screen with reports of death, destruction and evacuation. “Really sad,” Mrs. Schluter said of the news reports.
“I have no idea what I’d do; I’ve never been in that kind of a situation,” she said. “I’d try and help some people, I don’t know how.”
That’s the philosophy you might expect from someone who spent decades taking children into her home. “You just do whatever you think would be best to do,” she added. “If you can help someone, then help them.”
All powerbanks and Kindles charged. Rechargeable batteries in process. Lots of bottled water etc. Patio furniture inside. Coleman lanterns and flashlights loaded with batteries. And now Windy.com says we’re getting 45 mph with gusts to 77, around 9 AM Monday.
@OldCatLady If you get the metal ones, you’ll leave the header above the window and paint it the same color as the house it’s not very noticeable. You can do the same with the bottom clip plate. You still might get grief from the HOA and have to hire someone to button up your house before a storm and take them down again.
@OldCatLady definitely get metal shutters. They withstand a lot more damage, and they’re easy to put up. Don’t take a lot of space either. I know a lot of HOAs around here have to let you put shutters up. Accordion ones are the easiest since you just pull them shut like curtains and lock them.
/youtube hurricane shutters test
Forgot to mention the polycarbonate panels. Those are nice if you want to watch the storm.
An HOA should take care of the common areas, keep rules about weeds (and maybe weed), and common sense upkeep. Dictating what color a house may be painted, what can be planted, etc. … that IMHO is overreaching already.
Many municipals already have rules and regulations for the general upkeep too, preventing half dismantled washing machine yard ornaments.
Here she comes … nope, scratch that - she’s already here. Hours to go before we are supposed to get the really heavy stuff, & the trees are already blowing sideways with the heavy wind & rain bands. “She’s gonna be a dirty blow.”
@scfd0766 For the first hour or so the flying debris pummel your plywood and finally breaks the windows, then you fill up with water. But, not too bad because it runs out the bottom of the sliding doors.
Several cities around me have really bad flooding already. My backyard is soaked with big puddles. The front looks like a typical Florida summer storm right now. Really hoping the backyard doesn’t flood into my sliding glass door.
Tornado warnings all around but not where I’m at right now.
@cranky1950 I don’t want to suck water up into the track. I’m keeping an eye on it. I’ve got a ways to go.
@f00l I dunno, a few inches I guess. The yard is uneven. I have stones by the slider and it’s puddling there. I have an easement behind my back fence and that’s flooding. My neighbor’s yard is underwater and it’s slowly creeping into my yard. I’ve seen this before with just regular summer rains, so I’m not crazy worried yet.
@llangley How’s life in Tampa? I have a bunch of relatives holed up there in various houses (along with a couple of one of my niece’s friends (college aged) who ran to there to my sister’s house when they thought the greater Miami area was going to be the direct hit. Bet they are sorry now. I do understand they brought beer and chips though LOL.
@Kidsandliz we made it through relatively unscathed. Lost power about 11pm last night but otherwise just some small branches down in my "yard"en. Brought a shitload of container plants into the lanai but even the stuff I forgot about is still out there. We were in Good Hands. Now I just need coffee lol. Thanks for asking - hope your people also did well
If you want to watch These Weather Channel’s Mike Bettis try to stand up in wind gusts of up to 135 mph, I think you can watch the Weather Channel feed live on the smartphone apps, at least to some degree.
Ok, Mike had to take a break, but that was about 60 seconds. Now he’s back out.
I think the eye of the hurricane, expected to comes directly over Naples I think, is supposedly about 10 min away.
Ok, the Weather Channel crew took cover again. It was too dangerous to stand out in the wind with large branches flying around in the wind every so often, and visibility very poor.
Ok, the camera crew is in the vehicle shooting out a window, but Bettis is out in the 135 mph gusts again. That’s a tough crew.
Finally lost power about 45 minutes ago. One of my roof turbines is toast. Some shingle damage. Listening to the trees smashing against the roof is eerie. I can hear the metal from my neighbors sheds bowing in and out. My one oak tree got a serious thinning out. The tv/internet cables have pulled all the extra cable from the pole down and are almost touching the ground from the tree being whipped around.
The worst part is the septic being flooded, lol. I really wish it had been replaced before the storm.
The really annoying thing is, I was standing at Wal-Mart looking at those portable commode toilet liners that come with some absorbent gel. I had them in my hand and was like, eh, probably won’t need them.
@RiotDemon Ugh that’s one problem we didn’t have the sewer system pump and holding tank was at my property line and the neighbors and I never filled it before they got electricity going again. Pumps ran for quite a while though.
In Orlando and we’re getting tropical storm winds now, expecting worse around midnight. I’ve got the Nest pointed out the window for as long as we’ve got power and internet. It’s pretty boring for now.
@Kidsandliz Peak winds here were supposed to be around midnight, so that makes sense. I passed out at 11pm and slept through the worst winds, it seems. Eye’s to the SW between here and Tampa but it’s weakened to a cat 1 now. Really doesn’t sound much worse at 2am than it did at 11pm.
I got ridiculously lucky with the storm track shifting the way it did. Now I can only assess in the morning. Hopefully it won’t be weeks before we get power. It’s getting hot already, and it’s dark. I can only imagine how nasty it will be during the day. I really regret not keeping a portable ac unit that I bought last year.
I hope everyone else in Florida is ok. Please check in when you can.
@f00l my landlord came by this morning to have a peek. He’s trying to contact the septic company that’s supposed to be replacing the drain field to see what the holdup is and to see if they can pump it out soon. Around 75% of the county is out of power… Looks like everyone I know lost power, so there isn’t really any point going anywhere else. Cold showers everywhere I’ll go.
I’m using a generator. I really regret not having a plug in a.c. right now.
I happen to work at a store that carries them, so if we get a shipment, and I’m still out of power, I’m going to buy it. I’m already getting nauseous from being so hot.
I can go to work if I want to get away from the heat, haha.
I know it’s humid, but get a longish dish towel (14-16" minimum) or regular towel (the longer the better), submerged it in water, wring it out thoroughly, put it around your neck.
Yeah, your shirt will get a bit wet. So what. Everything is already wet.
User the damp towel ends to wipe off your face and hands a lot.
If you do this and you are in front of or near a fan, of in a reasonable breeze, you will stay much cooler.
When the towel dries out, re-wet it.
This works better when the weather is dry, obviously, but it also works when the weather is humid, or even very very humid.
I see people doing this all the time while doing yard word, or working construction or working on landscaping crews. I have also seen it here in DFW, at the coast, and in coastal areas or Louisiana. which is humid on a par with Florida.
You can do the exact same thing with a hat or a gimme cap.
Drink lots of cold or very cold water/tea/whatever, if you have it.
Libraries or a few restaurants or municipal buildings or banks or schools may have power. Go there to get a/c or cold drinks. Maybe even WI-FI and a power outlet if you get lucky.
If your landlords have power and a/c, will they let you hang out there a bit? What about family and friends?
This is one of those times when it’s nice to have a few physical books, even if that’s not the usual personal book format preference.
@f00l I suppose I could be considered south to south central (east of the lake) cities to the north of me had a lot of flooding. There’s a bunch of flooding in Miami. I think roughly half the state is out of power. Unfortunately, the outage map isn’t working anymore. The ticket for my property just says that they’re working on it, but haven’t determined the exact cause or an eta.
@f00l The family had power until this morning around 9. LOTS AND LOTS of maple branches & pine boughs down in the yard. Lost a small tree/ornamental on southside of house. 8 foot wide fence panel down on south side of yard.
Mother-in-law in Coconut Grove has been without power since yesterday morning. Big pine tree snapped twice, but missed her house each time. Husband says he hears Miami is an absolute MESS.
I consider my family extremely fortunate this go. Am hoping to be home by Friday.
@RiotDemon good morning, thanks for asking! We were very lucky. I thought for sure we’d be flooded since we live on an inlet (east coast) no power for a couple days and some debris but thankfully that’s all. My parents have a mobile home with a lake in the back yard and they never lost power. Though her neighbor stayed and said it was very scary. We stayed in our hotel til Tuesday and spent a day putting the house back together since we moved everything away from the windows. We were extremely fortunate. I kind of feel guilty and very sad for those who did not fare so well. And being disabled, I can’t even go help anyone. But it’s heart warming to see neighbors and strangers helping each other. I’m happy to know everyone here made it through OK. You all are really fantastic people!
@RiotDemon Thanks for asking. Power went out on Sunday morning. Some tree damage and part of the wooden fence was damaged; flooding was no issue. Since then, there was no power [and no running water] with temperatures reaching the lower 90’s. Went to my sister’s on Friday night (which is where I am typing this) after saying “enough is enough” with the heat.
Power came back on 7 hours ago, although there may be trouble with the internet and phone services. Staying another night at my sister’s house so the house can cool down.
Still too windy to go out and walk around. I can see shingles, and a few small pine branches. I’m way up on a ridge, no flooding, but the high-priced real estate with the pretty water views have a whole lot of water inside to view. Underpasses are under water which makes good pictures. Power has flickered a few times. Neighbors had a dead pine they ignored, and down it came- on their property.
@cranky1950 Or I can walk around and pick up shingles. I heard them flapping last night, and can see the damage today. I may get all new shingles. Wonder if the solar power generating ones are on the market.
@OldCatLady That is good, too many fly by nite contractors will show up this week with great looking fake references. If you find that you have leaks and contractor is unavailable, the insurance will get someone out there to tarp your roof.
@OldCatLady That’s great to hear that the insurance companies already vetted them. It’s sad that after any disaster, the scammers come out to play. It’s not unheard of for some “contractors” to pass off (steal) a valid contractor’s information as their own, start the job, take the money, and then leave.
@narfcake@cranky1950 I went ahead and got a quote from the roofing company a fifth neighbor is using. She has used them before, and she went to school with the father of the company’s owner. Still waiting for the beleagured insurance adjustor to call.
My sister (Tampa) has no power and lost all her trees but her house is OK. My one cousin (Tampa) amazingly still has power. Haven’t heard from my other cousins (one three houses from the water on a barrier island - east coast though).
@f00l Jacksonville’s area called ‘Riverside’ has discovered that floodwater returns every 12 hours, and that brackish water is both muddy and salty. Estimates of when the flooding will subside vary greatly.
I got power back last night! We had just refilled the gas cans and generator (with 93 octane because that’s all they had, ouch) and I had just finished rigging a cord so I could plug my pump into the generator. As I go to unplug my pump, I notice there is air coming out of my air conditioner. I literally said, “Why is there air coming out of here?” Then it dawned on me. So exciting. I fell asleep in no time.
Florida power and light said that most of the east coast should be done by the end of this weekend. There was 4.7 million customers without power. It’s down to about 2.2 million.
In Jacksonville, still powerless days later. However the electric authority has made sure to reestablish power for (rich) people on the waterfronts, while those of us in the neighborhoods just have to wait. Also been shooing off looters at night. It’s not a warzone, but it’s close. I would really like a hot shower.
I have power, but no internets or phones at home or at work. Cel phone personal hotspots are getting us through the workday. I hope everyone else is also safe and ok, if not emotionally and physically drained.
@cranky1950 We had internet (ATT Fiber) at home through the whole storm; I only lost DIRECTV (which used to go down with a strong breath) for like 20 minutes even during the worst parts of the storm. Internet went down AFTER everything was over - the sun was shining, the grass was green…no internet. Personally, I think they rerouted our working nodes to power first responders (which is fine, but tell your customers and give them an ETR). At work, we have Comcast… no ETR… no one knows anything. Finally got phones back 5 minutes ago. sigh
@marcee ugh. I had internet through the entire storm (Comcast) even after I lost power, and then it was down on Monday. When I got power back, the internet came on for about thirty minutes, gone since then.
My sister just called. She’s alive! What a relief. She say’s hot, tired and stinky but doing well. Standing in line at Publix waiting for MRE’s, water and ice. The house came through practically in one piece and the car isn’t flooded. It’s been a long six days since I heard from her and I am really thankful. Now I can sleep.
Five weeks later: I’m getting a whole new roof. I’m also getting some drywall and laminate flooring replaced, and living with industrial dehumidifiers and HEPA filters, and the entire back of my house gets painted, inside and out. Insurance covers all but the deductible, and their contractors all work for one office.