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Old 09-09-2017, 09:32 AM   #1
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Healhustler in Irma bullseye

Looks like Irma is heading for the Tampa area now with big winds and dangerous storm surge. Larry has been hustling the last few days to get Bucky and his house ready, but being on a barrier island he has decided to bug out for higher ground. Keep him in your thoughts.

I have a flight arranged from Houston to Tampa for Tuesday night to check on my boat and see if Larry needs any help, but now I wonder if I will be able to fly into to Tampa that soon after the storm? Will power be restored to the airport? Will I be able to drive my rental car on the roads towards LaBelle?
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Old 09-09-2017, 09:54 AM   #2
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Looks like Irma is heading for the Tampa area now with big winds and dangerous storm surge. Larry has been hustling the last few days to get Bucky and his house ready, but being on a barrier island he has decided to bug out for higher ground. Keep him in your thoughts.

I have a flight arranged from Houston to Tampa for Tuesday night to check on my boat and see if Larry needs any help, but now I wonder if I will be able to fly into to Tampa that soon after the storm? Will power be restored to the airport? Will I be able to drive my rental car on the roads towards LaBelle?
No way to know. Doesn't look promising for your trip at the moment since winds don't really drop in Tampa until Monday afternoon.
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Old 09-09-2017, 12:45 PM   #3
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Yeah I made that reservation before things stalled a bit. Seems like almost all other Southwest flights are sold out now however.
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Old 09-09-2017, 12:59 PM   #4
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Yeah I made that reservation before things stalled a bit. Seems like almost all other Southwest flights are sold out now however.
Yes, with a few million people being shuffled around not likely to be a lot of availability. All those people who left by car will be heading back too and probably all want to come at the same time.
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Old 09-09-2017, 05:29 PM   #5
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When Sandy hit us, they would not let property owners back on the hard hit barrier islands for over a week (some several weeks) until it was "safe". Man did that make everyone mad! There were miles of backup trying to get back to their property then getting turned around day after day. Many survivors of Sandy said they will never leave again because they were not allowed back.
So, I would not count too heavily on zipping down there in a rental car. Maybe FL is different, but this evacuation looked like Sandy only bigger.
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Old 09-09-2017, 05:43 PM   #6
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Healhustler in Irma bullseye

Yeah. Especially since Tampa might take a direct hit. It's a Southwest flight so I can cancel or change it within 24 hours and get a refund.

Wanted to go check on the boat sooner rather than later for insurance purposes, check batteries, etc, but that might not be doable. Guess I could fly into Orlando or maybe FLL?

Edit:: as I was typing this Southwest texted that my flight was canceled. So yeah, it was obviously too soon. Rebooked for the following Monday.
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Old 09-09-2017, 06:57 PM   #7
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When Sandy hit us, they would not let property owners back on the hard hit barrier islands for over a week (some several weeks) until it was "safe". Man did that make everyone mad! There were miles of backup trying to get back to their property then getting turned around day after day. Many survivors of Sandy said they will never leave again because they were not allowed back.
So, I would not count too heavily on zipping down there in a rental car. Maybe FL is different, but this evacuation looked like Sandy only bigger.
Well, typically as I've observed them doing in Galveston before they have two reasons to secure the areas. One is safety if wires down, etc. The other is stealing. Who knows what they'll face. FPL is sure lined up and ready.

In spite of being in an evacuation zone our house does not fit the definition. We don't have a surge worry. Odd how they say surge is what you evacuate for but then you hear the reporters warning people of the winds. Even with our mild hit, I could see our streets out impassible for days. Fortunately, we can get out by water.

We almost feel guilty that we just made homemade Pizza and had a big party. However, there's just nothing to do right now but wait.
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Old 09-09-2017, 10:35 PM   #8
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Orlando or West Palm Beach might be a better bet for a flight and having rental cars available. If Irma hits Tampa as it is forecast, flying in there and getting a rental would be problematic. You will need to make sure you take food, water and everything else you will need because it might not available in the area you are traveling through and too.

Looks like Orlando is going to get hit but not bad and West Palm will be mostly spared so driving over from the east coast might work. The major east/west roads should be clear to help move supplies and people around BUT if the rain fall amounts happen as forecast, it is likely to flood many roads delaying road clearing.

The Florida DOT website should show which roads are blocked.

Good Luck,
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Old 09-09-2017, 10:54 PM   #9
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The Florida DOT website should show which roads are blocked.

Good Luck,
Dan
Florida also have a website, https://fl511.com/

A lot of information there. In the state you can even dial 511. And they'll send you alerts if you wish. For example, current alert showing the Sunshine Skyway Bridge is closed due to high winds. It is the bridge from St. Pete across the Tampa Bay toward Bradenton. With it closed you'd have to go through Tampa turning 10-15 miles into 50 to 60 miles.
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Old 09-09-2017, 11:01 PM   #10
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Got a flight going into Lauderdale, but earliest I could get was 9/18. Roads should be cleaned by then maybe. And maybe power will be back on.
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Old 09-10-2017, 07:07 AM   #11
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Got a flight going into Lauderdale, but earliest I could get was 9/18. Roads should be cleaned by then maybe. And maybe power will be back on.
That's about the time I am hoping I can get back down there. Currently living on the boat in Ct.
Right now our house in New Port Richey is in the bulls eye. Will probably start driving back on the weekend.
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Old 09-10-2017, 08:21 AM   #12
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So I got a text from Larry last night finally. He evac'd to a friend's house that's hopefully sturdy enough he said. After working his butt off securing his condos and Bucky for days, he didn't feel comfortable with the possibility of a big surge and waves that could possibly cover Longboat Key. I've been there and the elevation is not super high so I agree.

Hopefully he will chime in and give us some updates.
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Old 09-10-2017, 08:27 AM   #13
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If the predicted surge actually happens , lots of cars will go under water and a rental will be hard to find.

With all the electronics in modern cars , even shock absorbers can be electronic ,
I wonder how many of these underwater cars will ever run again?
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Old 09-10-2017, 08:48 AM   #14
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Healhustler in Irma bullseye

Being in the car biz, I can say from experience that flooded cars are a nightmare. They can be dried out, but they are never "right" after being flooded because of all the electronics. Window motors and locks begin to fail, bad connections everywhere due to corrosion, bad ECU connections and corroded wires caused strange drivability problems that were a bitch to run down and fix.

Back in 1998 we had a big flood in the town where I had the car dealership, and I got extra greedy and decided I would make lots of money doing flooded car insurance claim work. I created an entirely new group of people who hated me after that fiasco.
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Old 09-10-2017, 09:08 AM   #15
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my boat is docked marathon Boathouse Marina Coral Lagoon oceanside
car at sisters winter home Cudjoe
i am in michigan in a dither
i'd like to be in the keys soonest
all advice appreciated
thanks, Mike
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Old 09-10-2017, 11:49 AM   #16
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Healhustler in Irma bullseye

Scot Free is in the water at Progressive Marine in St. Petersburg. Originally was gonna stay on the boat as the path was up the East Coast. As the track shifted west thought I would be good as the power of the storm would diminish as it headed north up the spine of Florida. But when it moved to the west coast it was time to think again. Now we are the bulls eye for landfall.
The boat is secured to a floating dock. I have fifteen lines out to the dock, pilings, an oak tree, a concrete post and a stern anchor on the other side of the channel.
I was lucky enough to have become friends with a local and am at an apartment where the ground floor is 47' above sea level and the apartment is on the second floor. I brought all the perishables and frozen food off the boat. I also emptied my safe of all the paperwork and my gun.
Not much more I can do now but wait for the storm to hit sometime just after midnight.
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Old 09-10-2017, 12:03 PM   #17
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Best of luck. Sounds like you are as prepared as you could possibly be. Healhustler's boat is out on Longboat Key so let's hope it makes it through OK. Don't think he is on a floating dock however.
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Old 09-10-2017, 12:20 PM   #18
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Yeah, you're gonna get it, a lot of us are going to get it. I did all I can do with line geometry to absorb surge, but now my canal is getting surge from Sarasota Bay first and later over the berm from the Gulf. I dunno, my guess is the wind and double surge is just too much. 1st floor of residence probably too. I actually removed the sand bags from the garage door before I left, knowing all they would do is hold water in. I'm so physically and emotionally exhausted from these last two days of prep (probably for nothing) that I welcome the growing numbness as the storm approaches. I literally had to heave the cats into their carriers and am staying in a friends home (abandoned) about five miles inland. If the center hits here, well... Best of luck to our ofher TF members on the Gulf Coast. Just think of all the bragging rights you're going to have when you can tell 'em you lost her (or maybe even saved her) in Irma. Do you think that after Harvey and Irma, we'll actually know what's important?
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Old 09-10-2017, 12:32 PM   #19
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I lost my sailboat from Katrina. This is like deja vu all over again.
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Old 09-10-2017, 01:23 PM   #20
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I'm so physically and emotionally exhausted from these last two days of prep (probably for nothing) that I welcome the growing numbness as the storm approaches.
Wifey B: I feel so for all you on the west coast and those in the keys. Although the cone thingies always showed it possible and Euro leaned your way, everybody just kept talking Keys and Miami and the east coast.

We're all sort of numb because it's like we're in a protective cocoon and outside of what little we can see from our home, we only know what it going on by storm chasers and television. We just know a lot of people are going through a lot of bad stuff and we'll have no idea what until it's all over. 60+ mph winds and 80+ mph gusts and we feel so lucky and just sort of blind to them knowing what's going on the west coast.

It's weird to see side by side Miami and Fort Myers and they look the same. Problem is knowing the west coast is going to worsen so. Well, think I'll watch a movie and snack while the world outside crumbles. Maybe that's the worst part that all any of us can do is wait.
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