Thursday, September 1, 2016

What are you going to do?

We are where the little turquoise dot is.
For more than a week we kept a close eye on “tropical depression nine” as it worked its way – slowly – out of the Caribbean, into the Florida Straights, and out into the Gulf of Mexico south and west of were Kintala sits. Right up until a couple of days ago I wasn't too concerned. At first it was on the wrong side of the State, aimed more at Miami. Even if it turned into something over there, by the time it bashed its way across the peninsula to us it couldn't amount to much.

Then it moved south of the Keys. I still wasn't too concerned, all but one of the “spaghetti tracks” of past storms that moved that way went off further to the west. Most of the discussion on NOAA was all about how poorly organized the depression was, though a lot of rain could be expected. Ah, but then one of the forecasters made a statement; “There is no scenario that leads to the depression becoming a hurricane before landfall.”

That concerned me. But what are you going to do? It is Florida. It is the hurricane season. Given enough warning Kintala could be hauled, blocked, and strapped down in a matter of hours. So we watched and debated and planned, wondering just how much warning we could get on a storm that was already hanging out in our neck of the woods.

And then hurricane Hermine was born this very afternoon. As I type, it is hammering the coast just 162 miles to our north-north west. This morning the forecast for our spot in the world was for rain, thunderstorms, and winds in the 15 to 25 knot range, there was no “tropical discussion” at all. Just after noon the winds cranked up well into the 40s, ripping the driving rain off the roofs of buildings in a blinding spray, trees bent and stuff flew...just like it looks on the Weather Channel videos. A few miles from here a big schooner used as a party boat was sunk at its dock. The Skyway Bridge closed. Fortunately the assault was short lived, but as the day wore on bands of heavy weather blasted the boat yard with tropical force winds and more driving rain. A tornado watch was issued that doesn't expire for another hour and a half. We are currently riding out yet another weather band being spun off of the main storm, if a tornado does come our way we wouldn't hear it over the wind noise; the first clue we will get is the building next to us exploding into shrapnel. The Skyway bridge is still closed.  The fruit basket in the galley is hanging noticeably askew while Kintala jerks against her lines and bounces off her fender board. It is low tide now, but the walkway at our pier is already under water, something that doesn't usually happen at high tide. Sleep will be noticeably lacking this night.

It is likely that all will be well with Kintala in the morning, though there is no guarantee. By morning some people are going to be hurt, others will have lost homes and businesses. Throw the dice, draw a straw, most will be lucky, a few will not.

But what are you going to do?


Atty said...

I was thinking about you guys today, especially this evening when I had all my pets and two daughters in our bathroom because of a tornado warning and reports of funnels in the area over here in Central Florida. Hope all turns out well.

TJ said...

All is well. There was even a little blue sky about this evening. Hope the funnels jumped over you and yours.