Over the past 27 years, I have felt the effects of over twenty-five named tropical storms or hurricanes here in the Florida Panhandle. Some of the effects where just the outskirts of the storm, a few were direct hits. I’ve been up to a week without electricity after a storm. I’ve seen boats from harbors dropped two and three blocks inland. And the only major damage my house ever suffered was a stupid little tropical storm that spawned a tornado and dropped a couple trees it. My house is about four miles from the beach.
I have never evacuated for a hurricane. I don’t take them lightly, but I’ve never left. As a matter of fact, I drove through a tropical storm making landfall in 2002, in Alabama to get back home from Mississippi. That’s not as fun as it sounds. LOL. It wasn’t fun at all. I would much rather shelter in place during a storm than be driving in it.
Hurricanes Erin, Opal, and Ivan are the big ones that I have experienced. And as bad as Ivan was on the Florida Panhandle, you should see what it did to Grand Cayman. I saw it firsthand a month or so after on a mission trip. We got pretty lucky here that it weakened before making US landfall. During Opal, I watched a roof from one house fly overhead, crash into the road, break into two smaller pieces and keep moving down the road. I also watched trees snap in the wind. I know it sounds weird, but there’s something exciting about being witness to that kind of natural power.
With all that said, if Hurricane Irma was to head my direction at it’s current strength, I would leave. My undefeated streak of Me vs. Hurricane would come to an end. I have plenty of experience weathering dangerous storms, but I don’t think I would tempt fate with this one. Although, it would be a once in a lifetime experience. I would probably still leave. A couple months ago I posted about Tropical Storm Cindy that made landfall close enough to bring winds, rain, and a couple tornados. I wrote about the hype involved from some of the weather reporters, and how they play things up. Folks, this is not hype. Irma is dangerous.
While Houston, Texas and the surrounding areas continue to recover from Hurricane Harvey, lets keep those in South and Central Florida in our thoughts and prayers as Irma makes landfall sometime between Saturday night and Sunday early morning. This is going to be a disaster for the record books. I have messaged with some of my friends down there that aren’t leaving. Some have jobs that require them to stay, and some are just going to ride it out. Whatever the case, I hope they take care of themselves and stay safe. Oh, and to my friend in Arizona I was chatting with the other day, yes, I would still rather ride out a hurricane if any size than take my chances on an unpredictable earthquake. At least we know when a storm is coming, even if the path of the storm fluctuates some.
Thanks for reading this week. Good day, God bless.