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Huricane Irma question from a life long midwesterner


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I'm not completely up on this stuff for obvious reasons, but Irma is starting to sound like a complete monster.  Friends brother and fiance just bought a place in Fort Myers, a block off the coast, water front channel, supposedly are really nice place, three stories.  They are planning on riding out the hurricane, they got a safe room in their new place.

So from people that are far more familiar with this stuff, how stupid of an idea is this?  Is it as completely idiotic as it seems to me or no big deal.

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“Computer models are in strong agreement that by Saturday, Irma will be approaching the Florida Keys — where dangerous storm conditions are likely. Then, they show a sharp northward turn by Sunday morning. The precise timing and location of the turn has huge implications for Florida.” It’s not clear how the storm will track after that, The Post reported – east Florida, west Florida or straight up into the state.

 

With luck they will still be alive next week.

After a 15 foot (5 m) sea level rise Miami, Key West, St. Petersburg, and Fort Myers are completely flooded.

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Just now, JerrySTL said:

I've always thought that living somewhere that has Hurricane as a season is pretty idiotic. Of course us mid-westerners have Tornado season.

Yes, but that usually takes about a block or so, not an entire city.  Yes there are exceptions, but as a weather spotter, I get the hell out of the way of tornadoes if I can.

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I would not try to ride it out, even with a safe room. Having lived on the eastern seaboard thru more than one hurricane (DC and South Boston), I would not try to ride out a hurricane like this in Florida. This will be a big one and they may be safe and dry but it is scary when the wind is howling and rain runs sideways and then the eye hits with 15 minutes of calm and then the howling starts again. I would run from this. But that is just me. I'd vacation somewhere else for a few days, return and clean up the mess.

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Not worth the risk. Apparently the west side of Fla (Gulf Coast) is very shallow water which makes for much higher surge. One block is not much. The models have been jumping around, and current ones are more on the east coast, with Georgia and South Carolina at risk. But still, I wouldn't take the risk. Every big storm has people saying they made a big mistake trying to ride it out. 

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As a Floridian living 12 miles from westcoast. I'm staying put. One block from coast? I'd be gone. 

I've ridden out three storms that have been near misses each case. The trouble, as been stated , isn't so much the storm when it doesn't hit you but the storm surge.

Last big one missed us by almost a hundred miles and right after that we had a cat 1 just north of us. Lots of rain, wind, localized flooding. Bad but not world ending. Course Tampa hasn't been hit directly in almost a hundred years. Ironic that an article in my local news covered this problem about two months ago. 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/articles.nola.com/hurricane/index.ssf/2017/07/tampa_hurricane_not_prepared.amp

 

We've bought some supplies to supplement our "hurricane" bag and I try not to scare the wife. This is her first one so she's super nervous with the newborn and all. Oh, and the SIL is still here. Her flight back to Europe is Monday. 

When the hurricane would hit if it actually comes to us....

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After "riding out" Hurricane Matthew last October,  I would have to really think about not evacuating for another one.  Even with a LOT of preparation, when the lights go out (the power company turns power off to the island when the water starts to rise) it gets absolutely dark, as in cave dark.  That's scary.  Then the monsoon rain and the howling wind, and wondering if any tornados are going to spawn off of it.  And if something does happen, you are on your own for who knows how long.  That's the most scary part.  Matthew only gusted to 95mph, so I could not imagine one that would gust higher than that.   But staying makes a nice "war story" if you're still around when it's all over.  :whistle:

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Just now, maddmaxx said:

If Irma passes up the east coast off Florida offshore then most of Florida will have dodged a very big bullet, especially the west coast which would have been presented with the more dangerous right half of the storm.

Can we get DeathJim's confirmation on this.  He should be certifying these facts before they are published.

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33 minutes ago, maddmaxx said:

If Irma passes up the east coast off Florida offshore then most of Florida will have dodged a very big bullet, especially the west coast which would have been presented with the more dangerous right half of the storm.

I speculated about Texas dodging a bullet after Harvey appeared to be moving ashore.  The damage in Corpus Christi did not seem bad.  

Then it stopped.

Then I heard about Rockport and Port Aransas.

Then Houston and everything around it went under water.

No more bullet dodging for this cowboy.

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Rode out two back to back storms in Opal and Erin in 1995.  Both pretty direct hits on Pensacola where I was stationed.  I was military and didn't have a whole lot of choice in the matter.  It is cool and creepy all at the same time.  I lived in a marina on a houseboat.  I doubled up lines on the boat and stayed in a friend's apartment during the storm.  I helped a lot of people get their boats out.  We put a lot of boats out in the bayou on big anchors.  Most made it OK.  The eye of the storm is cool as hell.  It was about 30 min of peacefulness.  The aftermath was not too bad.  We had about 12 inches of storm surge.  Streets were flooded, but you could walk down them.  My Jeep could still drive down the streets.  I got groceries for some old people.  All in all I would have to say it was pretty fun.  Power was out so meat came out of freezers and was grilled before it was wasted.  Beer was drank while it was still cold.  A big clean up party ensued.  I have pretty fond memories of being at a bar the night before it made landfall and all of the locals were glued to the weather channel cheering it on.  I remember the storms fondly and thought that they were "fun".

 

Having said all of that.... I was not a land owner.  I didn't have a wife or kids.  My sole possession was a 3,000 dollar Jeep, a rented houseboat and a Fender guitar.  I would not ride out another storm with kids.  Maybe if I were older and retired and my kids were grown, but no way I would endanger them.  And this storm is a lot bigger than the two that I rode out.  A LOT bigger.

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1 hour ago, maddmaxx said:

If Irma passes up the east coast off Florida offshore then most of Florida will have dodged a very big bullet, especially the west coast which would have been presented with the more dangerous right half of the storm.

I agree with this, but I wouldn't say west coast FL is out of the woods yet. It's a big hurricane, so grazing up the east coast of Florida would still be a big deal. 2 O clock update should give us more info.

 

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19 minutes ago, BuffJim said:

Latest models have stopped their eastward drift from what I can tell.

Direct hit for Miami as a pretty strong Hurricane, and another for Hilton Head Island as a less strong but still powerful storm.

 

That's the Jim we all know and love.  More good news.....

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22 hours ago, JerrySTL said:

I've always thought that living somewhere that has Hurricane as a season is pretty idiotic. Of course us mid-westerners have Tornado season.

Tornadoes give you enough time to head for a basement, and that's about it.

Hurricanes can give you several days, days in which people wiser than oneself about meteorology can give you models and good reasons to GTFO of the probable path of the storm.

I'm with the law enforcement guy in Texas, we can repeat his advice to those in Florida:  "If you're planning on staying, tattoo your SSN on your arm so we can more easily identify your body later."

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