As a follow-up to my first Hurricane Irma Update which was posted before the storm arrived, I wanted to share the good news about our experience now that it’s over.
We had evacuated on Saturday from Tampa to The Villages which in the central part of the state just south of Ocala. The storm’s track was supposed to take it right over Tampa Bay but the track ended up moving eastward. On early Monday morning, the former eye of the storm passed directly over us. That’s the problem with trying to run from a hurricane. Apparently, scientists can determine the exact amount to the millimeter how much the seas will rise in 100 years because of (cough!) global warming, but the track of a hurricane happening in real time is still a mystery. But I digress…
We got back to Tampa on Monday afternoon and our house was spared from flooding and damage. There was a lot of debris from the trees and part of my back fence blew down but that was about the extent of it. It was really the best case scenario for us. We have no power currently but others in our neighborhood do, and it might be days or a week until it’s restored. Most of the gas stations around us were still closed yesterday and this morning, so finding fuel for my generator took some time. I keep telling my kids that powering a home with a generator is like taking your house camping.
After a quick survey of our house yesterday, I shot downtown and found my 1966 Corvette waiting for me in the garage right where I left her. The car cover had remained on the whole time too. Later that night, I was able to drive the car home and she is now safe and sound back in my garage.
I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback regarding my hurricane plan and Irma was the first time I needed to put it into action. But it was still a hard decision to make. The choice was to keep the car at home in our possession, but risk having it damaged or flooded, or leave it in a public parking garage where it might be safe from the storm surge but because it’s out of our possession, it could make an attractive target for thieves or vandals.
The plan worked flawlessly. Had I left it in my garage during our evacuation, all I would be thinking about is if it was going to be okay. The storm was projected to be a category 3 hurricane when it was supposed to pass by Tampa. A storm that size forces everyone to seek shelter and once the weather really gets intense, there was even a curfew in place, so I had little worry that anything bad would happen during the time it was parked.
Again, I can’t express how much your well-wishes and prayers meant during this incredibly stressful time.