On Monday, 8/28/23, the sky was very cloudy looking west in central Florida. With Hurricane Idalia approaching on the Gulf and expecting impact just north of my area, I took steps to prepare ahead of the storm. I already had bottled drinking water and batteries. I had a bug-out bag and supplies. For more information on emergency preparation see Emergency Preparation Are You Prepared.
To the east there were blue skies Monday. We had no rain on Monday and little most of Tuesday. Considering a hurricane was in the Gulf, you’d think we’d have darker threatening skies.
I moved things in the garage so I could store my car and put sand bags by the side door of the garage. My friend Vickie helped with sand bags at the garage door and front door. Then I charged my phone, tablet, and computer, said prayers, and stayed inside until the storm passed and landed. Hurricane Idalia made landfall Wednesday morning further north on the Gulf coast, but the storm around the center pummeled much of the Gulf coast. Storm surge was expected everywhere along the Florida Gulf coast. Storm surge is a change in sea level caused by a storm. Large waves can be generated by the strong winds, pushing high levels of water inland. It can lead to extensive flooding, with waves so strong they can erode beaches and highways and take out buildings.
Sprinkles of rain off and on came Tuesday evening and the morning of Wednesday. Luckily we did not have a heavy rain, and the winds were tolerable. The real damage to most of the Gulf coast came from storm surge. There was flooding around Fort Myers, St Petersburg, Crystal River, and Tampa from storm surge.
Storm surge in my area was predicted for 6 to 9 feet, but I wonder if we got that. That would certainly have knocked out power and flooded my street. (The pressure around the storm can pull water away from the coast as it travels closer. After it passes and the pressure decreases, the water rushes back in a big wave to cover the land. When a storm surge races into land it floods and knocks out transformers causing loss of electricity.)
I sat with the TV on all day Wednesday watching the weather report. Just like with election results, they repeat themselves over and over. They show films of flooding around the coast. By 11 AM the sky was blue again. I was under a Tornado Watch until 3 PM and under a Storm Surge Warning until 7 PM. I thank God that I was spared both. I did not even lose my power. Yeah! I thank all of you for your thoughts and prayers in the last few days. Keep Florida in mind next week as another storm is building up in the Gulf and is predicted to come our way again. With climate change, the number and intensity of storms is growing every year. I am seriously considering selling and moving more inland away from the coast. I’ve been thinking and planning for next year. My medical problem last year and the operation in April delayed really working on it, but I am starting to take small steps. More to follow!
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