Sunday, September 10, 2017

"My Friend Irma"....NOT!

When we first heard about the huge category 5 Hurricane Irma with winds of 180mph heading our way, the state of South Carolina paid attention. 

Many still remembered the devastation by Hurricane Hugo in 1989  when it clobbered Charleston with a direct hit. 

As it got closer, the "spaghetti" trails on the weather forecasts seemed to center on Charleston,

Well, it sure seemed that way to me!

OK, we all began preparations to be ready. 

I moved all of my deck plants inside.

I stored chairs, tables, lamps and other items that would fly around like deadly missiles in the projected huge wind.

I did leave up all the wind chimes, 

I remembered my dad telling me years ago "Don't hang up another one, there's not enough wind for two." 

I think he was joking.

He also said he didn't like all the noise they produced.

Dad could be difficult at times. He thought the same of me I am sure.

A gallon of water per day per person seemed to be the norm suggested. I was all set for the long haul.

Glad I thought ahead because about a week out, all the  expensive bottled water suddenly evaporated from store shelves. 

I filled empty sweet tea jugs with tap water.

Also, the bathtub would be filled to be used to flush toilets if needed. Plan for the unexpected.
I also saw a telling sign at Home Depot.

This warning alerted buyers of generators not to even think about bringing it back after the storm passed.

You buy it, you keep it.

Mine is 11 years old and has NEVER been used during an emergency.

I did crank it up ever so often and followed the suggestion to drain the gas out each year so things didn't get all gummed up.

Armed with a generator,  I decided to hunker down and ride it out. 

I hoped for the best and reminded myself this house withstood Hugo and all the other storms since it was built in the 1950s. 

The 2-story is elevated and never has had more than a large puddle form in the yard so not likely to be flooded.

My buddy booked a room for himself in Atlanta for Sunday and Monday, just in case we remained a major target on the weather forecasts. He also could cancel on short notice.

Charleston started to relax a bit as the projected track wandered Westward. 

The warning tone shifted to a pretty sure tidal surge but I live 12 miles from the coast so didn't worry about beach erosion in my back yard. 

Those with houses on beaches had real concerns of course and it could be very damaging from flooding and brute force slamming ashore on a high tide.

I asked my brother about his son living in Tampa, the new designated ground zero after Irma had her way in the keys and lumbered up the state. 

He responded that the family of four people - and 2 dogs - had hopped in their van and were heading to stay here until it was safe to return to Tampa/Clearwater.

The wind is still just a breeze this Sunday afternoon and, on my tv in the background, I am hearing dire reports from Florida as well as detailed local updates from our mayors, first responders, and even the Coast Guard. We are indeed a harbor city.

Hope to wake up tomorrow with an all clear as stormy Irma decreases intensity and continues limping north into hurricane history.

(Click on the photos for more details.) 

Thanks for hunkering down with me. 
Hope you and your families are safe.

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