…turned out to be a bust. Which was OK with me.
Week before last, the projected track of Hurriance Isaac had it coming ashore around Apalachicola, a historic fishing village about 90 miles southwest of where I live. Since we would be on the northeast side of Isaac, we’d be getting a lot of rain.
My house is atop a hill, so I’m not worried about flooding. All that water is going downhill into the homes of my neighbors across the street, who are below the road elevation. ( I’m mystified why anyone would buy a house below the street elevation.)
But I decided to get ready for the rain. Just in case Isaac’s westward drift did not continue, which I believed would based on historical patterns.
During the 25+ years I’v lived in Tallahassee, there has been only one hurricane that hit here. That was Kate, a Category 1 that came ashore on Tuesday before Thanksgiving 1985. I was in Tampa on business that day and my late afternoon flight was cancelled when Tallahassee airport was closed.
Following the airline agent’s advice, I showed up at the airport early Wednesday morning and was able to get a seat on a small (15 seater maybe) commuter plane home. (I think I was given a seat because I belonged to their frequent flier program.) What normally would be a 20-minute drive home from the airport took a good hour as I hunted for roads which did not have a huge tree across both lanes. There was no electricity but fortunately few folks were on the road. (Where would they go? Nothing was open.)
I had scheduled Wednesday as a vacation day to spend the long Thanksgiving weekend with friends in Jacksonville. After I made it home, I repacked my carryon and left town. When I returned Sunday evening, I learned that power had been restored to my neighbohood just a few hours earlier.
Some far northern portions of the county did not get power back until the following weekend. The southern portion of the county, which is at a lower elevation, had massive flooding.
So Saturday of last week I got on my roof to sweep off the accumulated pine straw that somehow collects there even though there are no pine trees closer than 15 feet to the house. Unfortunately, my roof isn’t sloped steeply enough to wash the pine straw off when it rains. I survived that job.
Next, I cleared the off the leaves and other debris that had washed off the roof and settled on my gutter guards. In the Pihlippines, I rarely saw a house without gutters. When those typhoons come, you need those gutters! But in the U.S., many homes have no gutters. (In fact, my house had no gutters when I bought it and so I wisely paid to have them installed.)
I was ready for Isaac! Of course, it continued its westward drift and whacked some high school friends of mine who now live in Louisiana.
There’s one more month of “peak” hurricane season. So if another storm heads this way, I’m ready. But geography is in my favor; something has to turn a storm to the north once it gets into the Gulf for it to come to my area. The most likely trajectory is towards the western Florida panhandle or further west. Which is why there’s only been one hurricane to hit here in over 25 years.
I like those odds….