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Thread: Well, here we go again

  1. #1
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    Well, here we go again

    Well, it's hurricane season again, and this year its Idalia that's heading in our direction. Expected to be a Cat 3 storm as it passes by us, so major hurricane. Been preparing for a few days. Pretty well second nature after living here for 26 years.

    Storm surge is projected to be up to 7 feet, which would be a concern as we're at 7 ft elevation, but we have a few barrier islands and an acre of mangroves between us and the Gulf of Mexico, so hopefully that will provide significant protection. Not thrilled that it's going to be a full moon, with normal 3 foot tides scheduled. Oh well. 7-10 inches of rain predicted for my area.

    The power companies have been aggressively replacing power poles this summer, and trimming trees around power lines (which should help), but not burying them underground (way too wishful thinking about that. Way too expensive and they never do it). And, FWIW, they are great in responding en mass after the power outages to restore power. They really do coordinate that with multiple state's crews in impressive fashion. Really glad I built that back up power supply for our medication fridge. Hopefully it won't get tested. Lots of ice packs frozen in the freezer, cars gassed up, and Tesla fully charged.

    Gulf of Mexico is crazy warm this year, which will definitely power things. I think we'll just get tropical storm force winds, and hopefully not much more than that. The Big Bend area of the panhandle will get the direct hit if the course stays on the projected track (which it sometimes does, sometimes doesn't). I'm thrilled that Punta Gorda, Ft. Myers area isn't getting a direct hit again. It's still rough down there after last year. Lots of rebuilding still to be done.

    Anyone in its path, please take this seriously. We always worry about newbies that move down here from up north and haven't been through a hurricane before (which is plenty of people the past few years), and haven't learned the lessons from them.
    - Its not that Im so smart, its just that I stay with problems longer. Albert Einstein
    - Welcome to Florida. Where the old folks visit their parents

  2. #2
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    The question of why power lines are not underground comes up here every time there is a major storm that knocks out several hundred thousand customers. Luckily, such a storm has not occurred for several years. The power companies talk about the cost to put utilities underground and the higher ongoing cost to maintain underground lines. Apparently, it costs more to maintain underground lines than overhead I guess due to the cost of digging up or replacing underground lines. My parents had their underground feed go bad at least once. The power company thought an animal chewed on it.

    My city has required underground lines since the late 1970s so there are few power poles. The power companies have been putting all new residential services underground for 40 years or so. I demolished a house with overhead service in 2001. The new house the power company ran the feed underground even though it goes overhead at the street.

  3. #3
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    'Glad you have the foresight to prepare...I think it's incredible that there are still folks who delay until it's nearly impossible to do anything effective enough.

    It's also amazed me that so much of Florida remains using overhead power. I've wondered about that for years and wondered if the cost of so many "fixes" may have exceeded the cost to bury it earlier on. Who knows?

    Stay safe!
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #4
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    A friend of mine lives in Fort Myers and he never lost power during the hurricane last year. No damage to the house really either. His house is new enough to have hurricane glass and the other updates for hurricanes. No idea if he has underground or overhead service.

    My uncle has a winter house in Fort Myers and it got damaged badly. The house flooded. It has a crawl space and I recall they were talking about maybe having to replace the subfloor along with the drywall up to four feet. Electrical needed replacing. He was lucky to have a relationship with a contractor who started on repairs as soon as insurance approved the claim.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Elfert View Post
    A friend of mine lives in Fort Myers and he never lost power during the hurricane last year. No damage to the house really either. His house is new enough to have hurricane glass and the other updates for hurricanes. No idea if he has underground or overhead service.

    My uncle has a winter house in Fort Myers and it got damaged badly. The house flooded. It has a crawl space and I recall they were talking about maybe having to replace the subfloor along with the drywall up to four feet. Electrical needed replacing. He was lucky to have a relationship with a contractor who started on repairs as soon as insurance approved the claim.
    My daughter went to college at FGCU, so in Ft Myers. Many of her local hangouts at the beach were destroyed. Broke her heart seeing the pictures. And Punta Gorda got a direct hit AGAIN (Charlie too). The college, well built, seemed to do just fine. But it also was a few miles inland. Location matters so much.
    - Its not that Im so smart, its just that I stay with problems longer. Albert Einstein
    - Welcome to Florida. Where the old folks visit their parents

  6. #6
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    We are on up the coast in the big bend area. Have been watching it closely as well. Our neighborhood has all utilities underground which helps. As long as the power plant doesn't go off line, we are usually okay but you can't say the same for other parts of town that have above ground lines and lots of tree canopy.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Parrish View Post
    We are on up the coast in the big bend area. Have been watching it closely as well. Our neighborhood has all utilities underground which helps. As long as the power plant doesn't go off line, we are usually okay but you can't say the same for other parts of town that have above ground lines and lots of tree canopy.
    Unfortunately, really headed your way. Stay safe. Nice that you have underground power lines.
    - Its not that Im so smart, its just that I stay with problems longer. Albert Einstein
    - Welcome to Florida. Where the old folks visit their parents

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Lightstone View Post
    Unfortunately, really headed your way. Stay safe. Nice that you have underground power lines.
    The last track, Advisory 8, had it going more south east I think. We are in Tally and it looked to show the eye somewhere between us. Not good for anyone in Florida though. You stay safe as well!

  9. #9
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    We are in Port St. Joe and while the worst is forecast to the north and east of us, we are watching closely while doing the normal prep work (filling sandbags, quadruple checking the generator, double checking that the hurricane shutters are good to go, and that the Kevlar window fabric is laid out and ready to go up.) Hoping for the best

  10. #10
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    Jim Cantore Tour Guide.jpg
    Jim Cantore Watch.jpg
    I've called the Clearwater Chamber of Commerce, and requested that they set up barricades if he comes near here, and shoot him on sight. We'll see if that happens.
    Last edited by Alan Lightstone; 08-28-2023 at 2:46 PM.
    - Its not that Im so smart, its just that I stay with problems longer. Albert Einstein
    - Welcome to Florida. Where the old folks visit their parents

  11. #11
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    For those in parts of the country where hurricanes are more of an abstract concept, here's what the prognosis for Idalia looks like on the official NOAA National Hurricane Center website:

    Idalia_202308290900.jpg

    Alan, whose thread this is, lives close to the Southern edge of the purple band and I'm close to the Northern edge. This is a forecast, Reality will likely differ. You can see how a few miles one way or the other makes a lot of difference near the edges, although not so much in the center. This graphic is only concerned with wtnds of 39 mph which is what we used to call a good day for sailing in a former life. The NHC also has a table of the likelihood of higher winds and although the probablility is not 100% for either Alan or me, it's high enough to take very seriously.

    The purple band to the right is Franklin, which is another problem, but not for us.
    Last edited by Alan Rutherford; 08-29-2023 at 1:42 PM.

  12. #12
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    The wind here will probably not be the issue. We've seen that multiple times before. The storm surge, however, has me really concerned. Just our luck it's a King tide tomorrow. The definition of that is when the Earth, moon, and sun align to generate the greatest tidal effects of the year. This afternoon's high tide is the highest I have seen on the creek in my back yard (which connects to the Intercoastal waterway, which of course connects to the Gulf of Mexico. The creek has overflowed by about a foot, and we've yet to get any weather from the hurricane. So it has me concerned. They've predicted 7 foot storm surge over high tide in St. Petersburg, which would be a record for that city (the record is from Hurricane Elena in 1985 - 4 feet above high tide).

    Now, forgetting me, what's far more concerning is for people living North of me in Pasco, Hernando, Citrus, Levy, Dixie, and Taylor counties. They are predicted far higher storm surge there (10-15 feet), and, of course, far higher winds.

    Jim Cantore is camping out at Cedar Key, which frankly is a pretty stupid place to be. An island with no bridges to the mainland. Beautiful, picturesque place, but evacuation would likely be impossible. Plus it looks like the eye won't go over there anymore. But hey, TV. Those reporters love that video of them standing outside getting pounded by the storm. Whatever...
    - Its not that Im so smart, its just that I stay with problems longer. Albert Einstein
    - Welcome to Florida. Where the old folks visit their parents

  13. #13
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    Given the structures on Cedar Key, if Jim stays there he probably won't be there after the storm and surge pass. I heard he was potentially moving before the storm got there. Don't see how anyone could ride it out on Cedar Key or the areas right around there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Lightstone View Post
    The wind here will probably not be the issue. We've seen that multiple times before. The storm surge, however, has me really concerned. Just our luck it's a King tide tomorrow. The definition of that is when the Earth, moon, and sun align to generate the greatest tidal effects of the year. This afternoon's high tide is the highest I have seen on the creek in my back yard (which connects to the Intercoastal waterway, which of course connects to the Gulf of Mexico. The creek has overflowed by about a foot, and we've yet to get any weather from the hurricane. So it has me concerned. They've predicted 7 foot storm surge over high tide in St. Petersburg, which would be a record for that city (the record is from Hurricane Elena in 1985 - 4 feet above high tide).

    Now, forgetting me, what's far more concerning is for people living North of me in Pasco, Hernando, Citrus, Levy, Dixie, and Taylor counties. They are predicted far higher storm surge there (10-15 feet), and, of course, far higher winds.

    Jim Cantore is camping out at Cedar Key, which frankly is a pretty stupid place to be. An island with no bridges to the mainland. Beautiful, picturesque place, but evacuation would likely be impossible. Plus it looks like the eye won't go over there anymore. But hey, TV. Those reporters love that video of them standing outside getting pounded by the storm. Whatever...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Lightstone View Post
    The wind here will probably not be the issue. We've seen that multiple times before. The storm surge, however, has me really concerned. ...
    The wind makes impressive graphics but water does the real damage.

    I lived around water most of my life but it wasn't until I moved to Florida that I realized how a massive area of low pressure can lift the sea higher than it would ever be otherwise. And so much of Florida is barely above sea level. We're on a ridge 30 miles from the Gulf so more concerned with wind than tide but hope it goes well for you and everyone else.

  15. #15
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    But hey, TV. Those reporters love that video of them standing outside getting pounded by the storm. Whatever...[/QUOTE]
    Here they like to get short young ladies to go tell us how deep the snow pack is. It is always above their heads if there is enough snow to bother reporting. Also useful for reporting on high winds if they are slim, which they are. Bonus points for long hair.
    Bill D
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