Author Topic: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?  (Read 3898 times)

Raenia

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Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« on: September 06, 2017, 10:36:59 AM »
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« Last Edit: November 07, 2017, 12:46:26 PM by Raenia »

marielle

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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2017, 10:44:10 AM »
PTF.

Wondering how bad it will hit SC/NC though I'm pretty far enough inland to not have to worry, we will probably just get a bad storm at the worst. Though some family is closer to the coast, so we'll see.

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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2017, 10:57:19 AM »
I can only say this: If we lived near Sarasota, we'd be heading for Georgia right now. I've seen what the roads can look like during a hurricane evacuation. It's not going to be pretty - especially for those near the southern tip of Florida. Almost everyone is going to try to wait until the last minute to leave, and by then the roads will be packed. Unless your mom has some compelling reason for not leaving early, I would try to convince her to do so. My sister's in-laws (from Miami) will be riding out the storm at our home in North GA. They are on the road as we speak.
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DarkandStormy

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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2017, 11:13:17 AM »
The hurricane has 185 mph winds with gusts up to 225 mph recorded.  It is expected to diminish, but only slightly, in the coming days.  The eye is expected to be off the East coast on Sunday/Monday.  It'll likely be a Cat. 3 when the eye is due east of Ocala, but there's a chance it goes to the west side.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/06/us/hurricane-irma-puerto-rico-florida/index.html

The storm has essentially crippled St. Maarten with many buildings destroyed.

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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2017, 11:42:10 AM »
I would say go today, or stay put.  The most dangerous place to be when the storm hits is likely to be stuck on the highway in the middle of a belated evacuation.
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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2017, 12:20:35 PM »
I'm watching the updates on hurricane Irma with some nervousness, and I want a second opinion to check if I'm worrying excessively.  My mom lives on the Gulf side of FL, between Fort Meyers and Sarasota.  Her plan is to wait until they know for sure if the storm will go up the east or west coast.  If it goes up the east, they stay put.
 If it goes west, her backup plan is to drive a few hours north to my aunt's house, southwest of Ocala.  They've filled up on gas and packed essentials in case they need to do that.  I've offered to pay for plane tickets to bring her and her boyfriend up to stay with me for a few days, but she doesn't want to evacuate.

Given the current size of the storm ("as big as France") I'm not convinced that hanging out on the other side of the penninsula is all that safe.  ...

I would evacuate by Friday morning if nothing drastic changes with its current track.  Currently Ft Meyers is directly inside the 'cone of probability' so a direct hit there is likely, and if the forecasts hold it will almost certainly hit as a major (Cat 3 or higher) hurricane. 
Even if your mom's region misses a 'direct' hit, hurricane force winds currently extend 50 mi out and tropical storm force winds out 185 mi.  This means the entire peninsula of Florida *will* be impacted should it make landfall as predicted.

A hurricane of this size and strength is going to demand all resources to wherever is hit the hardest.  Hopefully your mom will be spared any personal loss but flooding, extended power outages, food shortages and general disruption to everyday life is to be expected for many days following a storm like this. And of course the worst could happen.

Be safe.  Be like Monty Python ("Run Away!")
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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2017, 01:32:30 PM »
I live in the same area.  I'm leaving tommorow, why take the chance?

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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2017, 01:55:12 PM »
Looks like the consensus is that I'm not overreacting.  Any advice on how to convince them to leave now instead of waiting to see what happens?

what do they say when you suggest leaving?  What is their hesitation for leaving?

One thing is certain - it will get harder (and take longer) to leave Florida the closer the hurricane gets to making landfall. The absolute worst place to be when a hurricane strikes is stuck in your car in a traffic jam where water can swamp your vehicle.  Many deaths from storms have occurred this way.
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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2017, 01:55:44 PM »
"I would evacuate by Friday morning..."

The time to leave is now.  If the storm is heading your way, Friday will be too late.  The roads will be completely jammed and the state will have another Rita on its' hands.  Mandatory evacuations have already started in some places.  Better to evacuate and be wrong than get caught and be unable to leave.

Someone on another forum said the best time to leave if you are driving is 3:15 AM.  After the night time crush and before the morning people start.  I would not wait past that time tomorrow morning.  Even that might be dicey if you are in the south of Florida.

ETA:  If your mom is in Sarasota, she needs to remember that all the people south of there will be competing for space on the roads. If mandatory evacuations are ordered, both major interstates will be jammed.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2017, 02:06:33 PM by Another Reader »

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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2017, 02:39:28 PM »
She doesn't have any reasons, at least not that she's telling me.  She just prefers to "wait and see" which way it goes before deciding what to do.  When I suggested they fly up and stay with me, she said "You are such a doll.  I promise to be safe."  As if that's a promise she can make while planning to stay in FL.  As of now they are still planning to remain in her house unless the eye turns to go up the west coast, in which case they will go to Ocala.  She does not accept that by the time that is known for sure, it will be in the middle of the evacuation and too late to get out.  She believes that a full tank of gas and a spare gas can will be enough to make sure they are fine.

I spoke to my sister, and she's also been urging them to leave, to no effect.  At this point, sis doesn't think there's any chance of getting them out of FL, best we can hope is to convince them to leave for Ocala earlier than later.  And even that, she doesn't think we can persuade them to move before Friday, when it starts to feel more urgent.  I'm not sure what I can say to convince them - Mom claims to understand how big this storm is, but it isn't influencing her behavior at all.
Sigh... this is why we have to have mandatory evacuations; people can convince themselves that they have the power to 'stay safe' and underestimate how powerful these storms can be.
You could try the approach of asking your parents to leave for your own sanity (e.g. "Mom, do this for me"). Whether that will work depends on the individual.

Even if the eye passes away from them there will still be hazardous, life threatening conditions 185 miles in all directions (the 'tropical storm force' circle).  large-scale flooding *will* happen.  Widespread and extended power outages *will* be the norm throughout all of southern Florida.

Quote
"I would evacuate by Friday morning..."
yes, I agree the time to prepare to evacuate is now.  I should have said "absolutely no later than" friday morning.  Current models predict it will make landfall Sunday morning with the advance weather hitting on Saturday.  Friday will be the last chance to leave before the rains and wind start, and yes, waiting that long means you might spend hours in traffic jams you could otherwise avoid by leaving tomorrow.


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DarkandStormy

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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2017, 02:45:33 PM »
This is one of the largest, strongest Atlantic storms on record.

It is likely to be a Cat 4 when it makes contact with Florida - 145 mph sustained winds.  It's still uncertain if it will be a direct hit, but tropical storm force winds cover a 300 mile wide area - twice the width of Florida.  Those winds cover an area of 65K square miles, which is roughly the entire area of Florida.

As of now, the 185 mph winds are stronger than Andrew.  Those are likely to decrease as some of the Caribbean islands and cooler waters bring down the strength to Cat. 4 levels.

The time to evacuate, if people haven't done so already, will be in the overnight hours tonight/early tomorrow morning.  That's the only realistic way to beat the traffic snarl that is ensuing - in part because there's only two highways out of Florida.

Near Fort Meyers, the "best case" scenario is 100 mph winds, worst case the eye swings to the west side and delivers 140+ mph wind impact on the Gulf side.
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Khaetra

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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2017, 04:55:13 AM »
Leave.  I am waiting until Friday to decide (have a room booked for Saturday and can cancel with no penalty) whether to head inland or not.  I figure by Friday we'll have a much better handle on where this thing is going, but as far as the west coast I would leave now.  Sadly they are not ready to handle a storm like this over there and the sheer size of it will engulf the entire state of Florida, so everyone will get some Irma.

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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2017, 05:58:29 AM »
I feel your frustration and I'm very sorry you have to go through this with stubborn parents.
I hope you can change her mind, but it doesn't sound likely.
Your mother is simply wrong that they are predicting only tropical storm winds (and that such a storm "isn't too bad").  People don't understand models nor probabilities very well.  Currently several models have the Irma tracking along the west cost of Florida and over Ft Meyers (notably the UK and NAVGEN models).  Others show it turning much earlier and just grazing the eastern side of the peninsula (the Canadian and GFS models). The European models (often considered the best) have it turning north and walking right over the peninsula.

All that gets mashed together to give a single line that's somewhere in the middle.  Only that doesnt' mean Ft Meyers is "safe". It might turn out this way, or it could very well get hurricane winds.
Under the "hope springs eternal" many (like your mom) will cling to the models that show the least damage to their area, ignoring the fact that some models that have a crapload of data going into them say otherwise

By late Friday we'll have a very good idea of when Irma will make her turn, and where it will impact Florida.  Unfortunately, but then it will be almost too late to evacuate, as storm force winds will be arriving on Saturday morning.

UGH!  Reading these responses about people not considering evacuation just makes me angry.
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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2017, 06:15:32 AM »
Have lived in Miami/Fort Lauderhill area here since 2003, here's my take.

People are over reacting and there's no need to panic. There's no need to leave FL, just go to a state-sponsored shelter. Pictures of disasters in the Caribbean just don't compare to the damage here in FL; we're way better prepared than them. Shelters will withstand cat 5 hurricanes without a problem and are away from flood zones. Just as important it's to be ready for after the storm, with enough cash, food, etc (find list online). If her house has hurricane shutters, it's very likely she's fine there too (depending on how old the house is and location). If she does not have hurricane shutters, it would be insane for her to remain there, no matter the location. In that case ask her to go to a shelter.

In summary, there's no need to be so alarmed; we're ready. Go to a shelter and be ready for the upcoming weeks.

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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2017, 07:15:56 AM »
Have lived in Miami/Fort Lauderhill area here since 2003, here's my take.

People are over reacting and there's no need to panic. There's no need to leave FL, just go to a state-sponsored shelter. Pictures of disasters in the Caribbean just don't compare to the damage here in FL; we're way better prepared than them. Shelters will withstand cat 5 hurricanes without a problem and are away from flood zones. Just as important it's to be ready for after the storm, with enough cash, food, etc (find list online). If her house has hurricane shutters, it's very likely she's fine there too (depending on how old the house is and location). If she does not have hurricane shutters, it would be insane for her to remain there, no matter the location. In that case ask her to go to a shelter.

In summary, there's no need to be so alarmed; we're ready. Go to a shelter and be ready for the upcoming weeks.

There were probably similar thoughts during Hurricane Andrew.  How'd that turn out?

Irma is more powerful than Andrew, btw.
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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2017, 07:45:33 AM »
Have lived in Miami/Fort Lauderhill area here since 2003, here's my take.

People are over reacting and there's no need to panic. There's no need to leave FL, just go to a state-sponsored shelter. Pictures of disasters in the Caribbean just don't compare to the damage here in FL; we're way better prepared than them. Shelters will withstand cat 5 hurricanes without a problem and are away from flood zones. Just as important it's to be ready for after the storm, with enough cash, food, etc (find list online). If her house has hurricane shutters, it's very likely she's fine there too (depending on how old the house is and location). If she does not have hurricane shutters, it would be insane for her to remain there, no matter the location. In that case ask her to go to a shelter.

In summary, there's no need to be so alarmed; we're ready. Go to a shelter and be ready for the upcoming weeks.

There were probably similar thoughts during Hurricane Andrew.  How'd that turn out?

Irma is more powerful than Andrew, btw.

When all officials, from Mayors to FEMA to the National Hurricane Service are calling this potentially catastrophic and urging people in S. Florida to "leave if you can" - take heed.
Yes, there's a possibility that it could turn early, give a glancing blow to the atlantic coast and result in some shitty-yet-survivorable conditions.  Or it could do exactly what it is forecasted to do and be even more destructive than Andrew.  That hurricane destroyed 65,000 homes and damaged another 124,000. Given the geography and number of people involved, waiting to know where it will definitely strike is not an option; by the time we know with reasonable certainty (24-36 hours) it's already too late to get out, and weather conditions will have already deteriorated substantially.

Additional food for thought;  Anyone who stays behind is now one additional person who may require emergency services.
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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #17 on: September 07, 2017, 07:57:07 AM »
As a Gulf native who's lived through a dozen or so different hurricane strikes in varying capacities. If they do not leave this morning and are intent on staying. Just do your best to make sure they're in the best situation possible. Tomorrow is not an option for leaving, at all, don't push it. Once it's within about 36 hours of striking distance escape is impossible and they'll just end up stuck with whatever they brought and without all of the resources of home.

What you don't want is them is to be without and in need after the fact if they stay.  It will likely be several weeks before any sense of normalcy returns. Have them check their lists.

Pro-tip, if they're sensitive to heat have them turn the AC way down so they can get an extra day of comfortable living after the loss of power.

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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #18 on: September 07, 2017, 08:08:04 AM »
Have lived in Miami/Fort Lauderhill area here since 2003, here's my take.

People are over reacting and there's no need to panic. There's no need to leave FL, just go to a state-sponsored shelter. Pictures of disasters in the Caribbean just don't compare to the damage here in FL; we're way better prepared than them. Shelters will withstand cat 5 hurricanes without a problem and are away from flood zones. Just as important it's to be ready for after the storm, with enough cash, food, etc (find list online). If her house has hurricane shutters, it's very likely she's fine there too (depending on how old the house is and location). If she does not have hurricane shutters, it would be insane for her to remain there, no matter the location. In that case ask her to go to a shelter.

In summary, there's no need to be so alarmed; we're ready. Go to a shelter and be ready for the upcoming weeks.

There were probably similar thoughts during Hurricane Andrew.  How'd that turn out?

Irma is more powerful than Andrew, btw.
As far as I'm aware, the people who were in state-sponsored shelters and were ready for the weeks after were not in life threatening danger during Andrew. Or am I missing something? I'm not saying they were comfortable and having a good time, but rather that their lives were in not in danger. People who stayed in ill-prepared homes were in complete danger.

I'm not advising to be irresponsible. It's just not necessary that everyone leaves FL. Be prepared and go to a safe location (shelter). But of course, the alarmist view always trumps calmed reasoning.

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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #19 on: September 07, 2017, 08:19:11 AM »
Have lived in Miami/Fort Lauderhill area here since 2003, here's my take.

People are over reacting and there's no need to panic. There's no need to leave FL, just go to a state-sponsored shelter. Pictures of disasters in the Caribbean just don't compare to the damage here in FL; we're way better prepared than them. Shelters will withstand cat 5 hurricanes without a problem and are away from flood zones. Just as important it's to be ready for after the storm, with enough cash, food, etc (find list online). If her house has hurricane shutters, it's very likely she's fine there too (depending on how old the house is and location). If she does not have hurricane shutters, it would be insane for her to remain there, no matter the location. In that case ask her to go to a shelter.

In summary, there's no need to be so alarmed; we're ready. Go to a shelter and be ready for the upcoming weeks.

There were probably similar thoughts during Hurricane Andrew.  How'd that turn out?

Irma is more powerful than Andrew, btw.
As far as I'm aware, the people who were in state-sponsored shelters and were ready for the weeks after were not in life threatening danger during Andrew. Or am I missing something? I'm not saying they were comfortable and having a good time, but rather that their lives were in not in danger. People who stayed in ill-prepared homes were in complete danger.

I'm not advising to be irresponsible. It's just not necessary that everyone leaves FL. Be prepared and go to a safe location (shelter). But of course, the alarmist view always trumps calmed reasoning.

I believe what you are missing is that everyone who stays is someone that now needs to be taken care of in shelters, or accounted for by emergency management teams. If you have the means and ability to leave, and if your area is one where evacuations are recommended, and you fail to do so, you are compounding the problem. To me, staying behind while counting on nearby shelters is an incredibly selfish thing to do.

Shelters are intended for people who do not have the means to leave, not for able-bodied folks who own cars and have ample warning.
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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #20 on: September 07, 2017, 08:22:00 AM »
I have a friend near Tampa, only a few miles from the coast.  She thinks they should leave, but her partner wants to "wait and see" which will really mean they're going to end up staying.  She said yesterday that there was no gas at the pumps, and bottled water, canned food, and plywood was sold out everywhere already.  I think if I was them I'd get the hell out of Dodge.

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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #21 on: September 07, 2017, 08:34:55 AM »
I believe what you are missing is that everyone who stays is someone that now needs to be taken care of in shelters, or accounted for by emergency management teams. If you have the means and ability to leave, and if your area is one where evacuations are recommended, and you fail to do so, you are compounding the problem. To me, staying behind while counting on nearby shelters is an incredibly selfish thing to do.

Shelters are intended for people who do not have the means to leave, not for able-bodied folks who own cars and have ample warning.
That's one way of viewing it, and I'm not recommending people stay in evacuation zones. I don't think staying in FL in a non-evacuation zone with ample supplies for my family and whoever else needs, willing to help others, is an "incredibly selfish thing to do". If everyone in FL tries to leave FL we would all be caught without gas in the middle of the storm.

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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #22 on: September 07, 2017, 09:38:39 AM »
Have lived in Miami/Fort Lauderhill area here since 2003, here's my take.

People are over reacting and there's no need to panic. There's no need to leave FL, just go to a state-sponsored shelter. Pictures of disasters in the Caribbean just don't compare to the damage here in FL; we're way better prepared than them. Shelters will withstand cat 5 hurricanes without a problem and are away from flood zones. Just as important it's to be ready for after the storm, with enough cash, food, etc (find list online). If her house has hurricane shutters, it's very likely she's fine there too (depending on how old the house is and location). If she does not have hurricane shutters, it would be insane for her to remain there, no matter the location. In that case ask her to go to a shelter.

In summary, there's no need to be so alarmed; we're ready. Go to a shelter and be ready for the upcoming weeks.

There were probably similar thoughts during Hurricane Andrew.  How'd that turn out?

Irma is more powerful than Andrew, btw.
As far as I'm aware, the people who were in state-sponsored shelters and were ready for the weeks after were not in life threatening danger during Andrew. Or am I missing something? I'm not saying they were comfortable and having a good time, but rather that their lives were in not in danger. People who stayed in ill-prepared homes were in complete danger.

I'm not advising to be irresponsible. It's just not necessary that everyone leaves FL. Be prepared and go to a safe location (shelter). But of course, the alarmist view always trumps calmed reasoning.

65 people died and 64,000 homes were destroyed in Andrew.

If your rationale is "hey, everyone just go to the shelters" you're going to have to build a lot more shelters to accommodate everyone.

Broward County (home to Ft. Lauderdale) has more than 1.9 million residents.

The county has the capacity for 43 shelters, which can hold up to 33,000 people.

Quote
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez urged residents to use the shelters as a last resort

Your suggested plan is completely irrational and has no realistic chance to be implemented.  The safest best, if people have the means, is to leave.
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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #23 on: September 07, 2017, 09:50:48 AM »
Guys, not everyone can leave... that's not realistic. There's not enough gas and highway space for that. If you have a modern home with hurricane shutters in a non-evacuation location, I don't think there's much benefit to leaving.

PS note that from the very beginning, I'm not advocating everyone goes to shelters. I said "If her house has hurricane shutters, it's very likely she's fine there too (depending on how old the house is and location)". The OP's mom may very well need to go to a shelter if she does not have shutters nor friends with shutters.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 09:57:30 AM by capoevename »

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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #24 on: September 07, 2017, 10:37:58 AM »
Thank you everyone for your continued comments.  I checked with her and the house does not have hurricane shutters, so I urged her if they do stay to find out where the local shelters are and make sure they can get there.  As I previously mentioned, I had offered to fly them all up here (PA) on Tuesday, so getting out would not have been a logistical problem if they had chosen to do so.  Since they decided to wait, of course, it could rapidly become a logistical problem.

She's currently still determined to stay home, but is allowing that in case the storm turns toward the west coast, they will leave and get to the panhandle or GA.  In that case, planning to leave ~2am Saturday, which I think is too late to drive out, but better than mid-day Saturday.  I don't think I can get her to commit to leave any earlier, since she would rather stay put altogether.  They are not currently in an evacuation zone, but we are keeping an eye on it and if it becomes recommended to evacuate, my sister and I will push again.
Raenia please urge her to not stay in a home without hurricane shutters. This is key. Draw other family members if necessary. Those are the type of homes that later add up to thousands of homes destroyed. Hurricane shutters make all the difference.

The plan to leave at 2AM Saturday is probably even more dangerous than staying at home. Who knows how the traffic will be at that point?

Do they know anyone who has hurricane shutters? They are fairly common in FL. Can you convince her of staying with someone that has shutters?

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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #25 on: September 07, 2017, 12:00:09 PM »
They should have left yesterday. For me, work is sending me to NJ for the week, but I am supposed to fly out on Saturday morning. Getting worried that flights might be cancelled. I am in North Florida so I am somewhat better off than the South Florida folks, but really, anyone not in North Florida should get out today. They are already cancelling flights.

Also, you simply won't get right now.

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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #26 on: September 07, 2017, 12:08:37 PM »
Traffic in Florida right now at 2PM. Yikes.

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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #27 on: September 07, 2017, 04:42:41 PM »
The potentially good news is the latest combined model has the storm tracking north along the eastern Florida coast.  So your mom may be ok.  The bad news is she will be less likely to evacuate next time.

https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/hurricane-watch-se-florida-ahead-powerhouse-irma

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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #28 on: September 07, 2017, 10:55:55 PM »
We evacuated from southwest Broward county at 4pm Wednesday. We had topped off our gas tanks Monday night..Drove to Tampa, gas was plentiful there.Left Tampa Thursday morning. Got onto I-75 and it was a parking lot , mostly standstill or idle speed. Took  country roads from Ocala going NW and made it to Tallahassee where gas was plentiful and we found a kennel there to board our dog. Pet friendly accommodations were nonexistent for us. An hour ago we arrived in Fort Walton Beach. We will stay here until Monday. .
I felt guilty about leaving. Our house is shuttered. Most people I know are staying. There is a lot of "we lived through hurricane Andrew".
We each have to make up our own minds. Lived there 40 years, but I am terrified of strong hurricanes .Stuff can be replaced. Irma is coming whether or not my husband and I and our dog stay or evacuate. I wish everybody left like we did. And after Irma is past,we will go home (if we still have one) to see what has happened. Our being there will not make a difference.

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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #29 on: September 08, 2017, 06:36:45 AM »
The potentially good news is the latest combined model has the storm tracking north along the eastern Florida coast.  So your mom may be ok.  The bad news is she will be less likely to evacuate next time.

https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/hurricane-watch-se-florida-ahead-powerhouse-irma

The latest models have moved it back to the west a tick.  It's probably going to directly hit the Keys and move inland from there.  If there's "good news" in all of this, it's that it won't sustain Cat. 3-4 level intensity hanging off the East Coast.  The bad news is that the South Coast is going to be badly damaged.
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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #30 on: September 08, 2017, 06:45:16 AM »
Does anyone have any thoughts about Panama City Beach? My mom is there and not planning to leave but I'm starting to worry.

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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #31 on: September 08, 2017, 06:57:50 AM »
Does anyone have any thoughts about Panama City Beach? My mom is there and not planning to leave but I'm starting to worry.

Based on the current track of the storm, I don't think I'd worry about relatives in Panama City - at least not at this point. If I were in that area, I would keep things packed and ready to make a quick exit in case the storm makes a late shift. We actually have friends on the east coast of Florida who evacuated to Panama City. Not where I would have gone, but it's likely to experience sub-tropical storm force winds.
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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #32 on: September 08, 2017, 07:01:43 AM »
Does anyone have any thoughts about Panama City Beach? My mom is there and not planning to leave but I'm starting to worry.
Bad news: some models still show an impact on the pan-handle, so she's far from "safe" from a direct strike. 
Good news: It will be easier to evacuate from Panama City Beach than it is from the keys or Miami, and it will take a day later to get there.  By late tonight we should know where Irma has made its turn and have a much better sense whether it will track along the Atlantic coast or further west.
Advice: stay tuned and urge your mom to prepare.  Power outages will be likely regardless given Irma's size - even 150 miles away from the eye it will be a  nasty, nasty tropical storm.  If Irma turns late and looks to be going over to the Gulf side she should leave and head inland.
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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #33 on: September 08, 2017, 07:07:05 AM »
Does anyone have any thoughts about Panama City Beach? My mom is there and not planning to leave but I'm starting to worry.
Bad news: some models still show an impact on the pan-handle, so she's far from "safe" from a direct strike. 
Good news: It will be easier to evacuate from Panama City Beach than it is from the keys or Miami, and it will take a day later to get there.  By late tonight we should know where Irma has made its turn and have a much better sense whether it will track along the Atlantic coast or further west.
Advice: stay tuned and urge your mom to prepare.  Power outages will be likely regardless given Irma's size - even 150 miles away from the eye it will be a  nasty, nasty tropical storm.  If Irma turns late and looks to be going over to the Gulf side she should leave and head inland.

Thank you. My brother is at Fort Rucker a few hours north of her. Some models show his area still in the line of fire but by the time it gets there it should be a lot less impactful. I have urged her to go up and visit him for the next few days instead of staying put.

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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #34 on: September 08, 2017, 07:18:56 AM »
Does anyone have any thoughts about Panama City Beach? My mom is there and not planning to leave but I'm starting to worry.
Bad news: some models still show an impact on the pan-handle, so she's far from "safe" from a direct strike. 
Good news: It will be easier to evacuate from Panama City Beach than it is from the keys or Miami, and it will take a day later to get there.  By late tonight we should know where Irma has made its turn and have a much better sense whether it will track along the Atlantic coast or further west.
Advice: stay tuned and urge your mom to prepare.  Power outages will be likely regardless given Irma's size - even 150 miles away from the eye it will be a  nasty, nasty tropical storm.  If Irma turns late and looks to be going over to the Gulf side she should leave and head inland.

Thank you. My brother is at Fort Rucker a few hours north of her. Some models show his area still in the line of fire but by the time it gets there it should be a lot less impactful. I have urged her to go up and visit him for the next few days instead of staying put.

If she has a place to stay I'd urge her to go, and to go sooner rather than later.
If the hurricane misses the panhandle all she's 'lost' is some time spent with family. If it gets closer she will have avoided the traffic jams etc. that will surely come. By Monday she can decide whether to head back home or stay for a couple more days.
Irma has storm-force winds 185 miles from its center.  A track along the gulf side of the peninsula (still very likely) would bring some nasty weather to Panama Beach.  Even when its not life threatening it won't be pleasant.  Why stay?
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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #35 on: September 08, 2017, 07:29:45 AM »
Yeah, my inlaws are in Boca, and I just found out last night they are planning to stay put -- I told them last night to get the hell out of Dodge, and they said traffic was already too bad and gas was limited.  Meanwhile, I looked at 7 AM this AM and I-95 was showing green all the way up the coast.  Basically, I just don't think they want to deal with traveling and likely feel overly "safe" in their gated community.

Unfortunately, they are grown-ass people who can make their own dumb-ass decisions if they want to.  All I can do is cross my fingers.
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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #36 on: September 08, 2017, 07:45:58 AM »
Does anyone have any thoughts about Panama City Beach? My mom is there and not planning to leave but I'm starting to worry.

She should most likely be ok, Panama City is far enough out on the panhandle that it's unlikely to get the severe winds and storm surge of the southern coastal regions.  However, since she has a place not to far away to visit, why take the chance?  Better to go spend some time with family and it have been unnecessary than get stuck in traffic trying to leave at the last minute.

I'm starting to get whiplash, my mom is changing her mind so often.  Yesterday afternoon after seeing the slight westward shift, she decided that they should leave, and started packing up to go last night.  Then in the evening, after realizing they couldn't get a hotel that would accept the dog, she decided she needed more time to board up the house before leaving, so they would leave Fri night and only go to Ocala, not out of state.  Then this morning, she's changed her mind yet again, back to staying at home, but she won't make the final decision until tonight.  At this point, I think staying is the best option, since leaving so late would be just as dangerous as staying.  They've determined which room in the house will be safest and are setting up to stay there Sat-Mon, and spending today boarding up the windows.  I've been put in charge of coordinating information to all the people who keep calling her, and convincing them this is the best option :/

The leaving is more dangerous than staying is the situation I am most concerned about too.  If she gets out now she can avoid the traffic backups. Its very likely she leave and there will be little to no storm impact, but why take the chance? Why be one more person to worry about rescuing. I actually don't really want to her to go visit my brother because I don't want him to be worried about her if he needs to focus on rescue missions. 

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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #37 on: September 08, 2017, 07:50:23 AM »


I'm starting to get whiplash, my mom is changing her mind so often.  Yesterday afternoon after seeing the slight westward shift, she decided that they should leave, and started packing up to go last night. 
She's rapidly losing her evacuation window. By tomorrow afternoon southern Florida will be experiencing storm-force winds, and one should not be on the road under such conditions.  I'd still recommend leaving *right now* and understand that means crawling along in traffic for 10+ hours to get out of Florida.
If she is determined to shelter in place ensure she has supplies stashed in multiple locations. She cannot count on having power or running water for several days.

Ill keep her in my thoughts.
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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #38 on: September 08, 2017, 07:51:41 AM »
Does anyone have any thoughts about Panama City Beach? My mom is there and not planning to leave but I'm starting to worry.

She should most likely be ok, Panama City is far enough out on the panhandle that it's unlikely to get the severe winds and storm surge of the southern coastal regions.  However, since she has a place not to far away to visit, why take the chance?  Better to go spend some time with family and it have been unnecessary than get stuck in traffic trying to leave at the last minute.

Given that she has a place to stay inland, I would probably look to get away from the coast as well. However, I can understand the temptation to stay put - assuming she's not in a flood zone - given that the forecast is calling for the most severe weather to travel well east of Panama City. I rode out a Cat. 1 hurricane that passed directly overhead when I lived in South Mississippi, and I was able to mitigate what could have been major damage to our home when the roof started leaking in two places. (I crawled into the attic and put buckets under the leaks to get keep the sheetrock dry). But the home was on high ground, with no trees nearby that could have penetrated the roof. Many neighbors lost trees from the combination of waterlogged earth and wind gusts approaching 100 mph, and our neighbor 3 doors down had a huge oak come straight through the roof. They had luckily decided to shelter with their parents whose home was less precarious.

Does anyone have any thoughts about Panama City Beach? My mom is there and not planning to leave but I'm starting to worry.
I'm starting to get whiplash, my mom is changing her mind so often.  Yesterday afternoon after seeing the slight westward shift, she decided that they should leave, and started packing up to go last night.  Then in the evening, after realizing they couldn't get a hotel that would accept the dog, she decided she needed more time to board up the house before leaving, so they would leave Fri night and only go to Ocala, not out of state.  Then this morning, she's changed her mind yet again, back to staying at home, but she won't make the final decision until tonight.  At this point, I think staying is the best option, since leaving so late would be just as dangerous as staying.  They've determined which room in the house will be safest and are setting up to stay there Sat-Mon, and spending today boarding up the windows.  I've been put in charge of coordinating information to all the people who keep calling her, and convincing them this is the best option :/

I hate that you couldn't convince your mom to leave earlier. The westward shift is what I was worried about (to be fair, the European model was predicting the storm to turn right at the tip of Florida all along, but the US model was predicting a northward turn along the eastern coast. The US model is now right in line with what the European model has been predicting all along). Whatever your mom decides, I'm hoping for her safety. We're currently sheltering 3 families from Jupiter Beach who left on Wed. and Thurs. I'm afraid of what they may have to go back to.
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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #39 on: September 08, 2017, 08:09:23 AM »
My friend near Tampa I mentioned upthread finally decided to get out of there.  She's on her way (with her dog and not with her partner) to stay with her parents in New Jersey.  I think she left in the middle of the night so she was probably fine getting out.

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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #40 on: September 08, 2017, 08:35:00 AM »
Have a friend near Orlando who I do not think her home (but I could be wrong) is within the evacuation zone, but she evacuated anyway 2 days ago. She closed the storm shutters, and left. It is not just being safe during the hurricane, but what happen in the next few days after the fact. Maybe the house survive with little damage, but if no running water and no electricity for days, it is no fun.

Good luck for everyone who stays or has already left. Hoping for the best outcome for you all!

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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #41 on: September 08, 2017, 08:40:46 AM »
Stay safe Florida mustachians!  Keeping that whole state in my thoughts this weekend.

As if this Harvey + Irma 1-2 punch wasn't enough...Jose is building up strength and is set to batter the islands that Irma just went through.  And Mexico just got rocked by an 8.1 earthquake with Katia set to make landfall there as well.

Just a reminder that Mother Nature shows no mercy and we should all help out our neighbors when we can.
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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #42 on: September 08, 2017, 11:47:42 AM »
My mom lives on the Gulf side of FL, between Fort Meyers and Sarasota.  Her plan is to wait until they know for sure if the storm will go up the east or west coast. 

http://www.cnn.com/interactive/storm-tracker/

Models have shifted even more to the west.  Ft. Meyers area will experience 100+ mph winds.  It's too late to get out now and perhaps even too late to get to Ocala.  Possible Ft. Meyers area gets a near-direct hit.
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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #43 on: September 08, 2017, 12:07:19 PM »
Sorry, I can't just keep this in any longer. 
The models have NOT shifted this way or that way.
Models are just models - they estimate what will happen based on a variety of inputs, from readings taken in the upper atmosphere to the surface currents and temperatures.

So what's happening?  When most people (including the talking heads on TV) are focusing on that big thick line that the NHC plots, and ignoring the 'cone' surrounding it.  But that solid track line is plotted after looking at about two dozen outputs (models) from several different forecasting agencies. Each model has its own confidence interval.

It's a mistake to think that a hurricane will (or should) take the average path between these models. All models being accurate (they're not btw) the model predicting the most western course is just as likely as the one predicting the eastern-most course.

Here's how the NHC addresses the models:
Quote
After that time, Irma will reach the southwestern edge of
the subtropical high and begin to turn north-northwestward and
northward. This turn will occur, but the precise moment is still
uncertain, and that is why NHC emphasizes that nobody should focus
on the exact track of the center.
The new NHC forecast was adjusted
just a little bit westward and is on top the latest ECMWF model and
the HFIP corrected consensus. In fact, these two aids are also very
close to each other.

Why does this matter?  Because people keep staring at that solid line, and say "gee, now it looks like it's going to pass slightly to the east, I should be alright".  That's a dangerous assumption to make. If you're inside "the cone" at least some models are showing the hurricane going right over you. It's the wrong way to look at these predictions.

Here's the tracks postulated by 20 different models as of noon today.  Notice some still predict a path that stays over the Atlantic, others into the Gulf. 

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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #44 on: September 08, 2017, 12:09:50 PM »
Sorry, I can't just keep this in any longer. 
The models have NOT shifted this way or that way.
Models are just models - they estimate what will happen based on a variety of inputs, from readings taken in the upper atmosphere to the surface currents and temperatures.

So what's happening?  When most people (including the talking heads on TV) are focusing on that big thick line that the NHC plots, and ignoring the 'cone' surrounding it.  But that solid track line is plotted after looking at about two dozen outputs (models) from several different forecasting agencies. Each model has its own confidence interval.

It's a mistake to think that a hurricane will (or should) take the average path between these models. All models being accurate (they're not btw) the model predicting the most western course is just as likely as the one predicting the eastern-most course.

Here's how the NHC addresses the models:
Quote
After that time, Irma will reach the southwestern edge of
the subtropical high and begin to turn north-northwestward and
northward. This turn will occur, but the precise moment is still
uncertain, and that is why NHC emphasizes that nobody should focus
on the exact track of the center.
The new NHC forecast was adjusted
just a little bit westward and is on top the latest ECMWF model and
the HFIP corrected consensus. In fact, these two aids are also very
close to each other.

Why does this matter?  Because people keep staring at that solid line, and say "gee, now it looks like it's going to pass slightly to the east, I should be alright".  That's a dangerous assumption to make. If you're inside "the cone" at least some models are showing the hurricane going right over you. It's the wrong way to look at these predictions.

Here's the tracks postulated by 20 different models as of noon today.  Notice some still predict a path that stays over the Atlantic, others into the Gulf. 


In my case, my mom is in Panama City Beach. In everything I see, she is outside of even the cone area. However, just by a little bit. I'm nervous about the storm moving a bit more west than expected, but she doesn't seem concerned at all.

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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #45 on: September 08, 2017, 12:25:23 PM »
I like the disclaimer: "If anything in this graphic causes confusion, ignore the entire product."

Goes right along with your post.

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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #46 on: September 08, 2017, 01:11:59 PM »
I like the disclaimer: "If anything in this graphic causes confusion, ignore the entire product."

Goes right along with your post.
What about my post could use clarification?
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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #47 on: September 08, 2017, 01:15:08 PM »
I like the disclaimer: "If anything in this graphic causes confusion, ignore the entire product."

Goes right along with your post.
What about my post could use clarification?

Oops, didn't mean it like that. Just that people shouldn't misrepresent the data if they don't understand all of it, just like you were saying in your post.

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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #48 on: September 08, 2017, 02:29:30 PM »
Hi from someone actually in Florida.

Irma is currently slated to go right up the middle of Florida, more towards the west coast.  86-year-old Aunt Mandalay's assisted living facility, located in Melbourne on the east coast of Florida, was evacuated to a local high school if families didn't take residents.  When Matthew hit last year they were evacuated to Orlando.  NO ONE is evacuating to Orlando now.  All the theme parks are closing on Saturday.  That includes Disney.  Governor Scott has cancelled tolls for easier evacuation.  I-75 and I-10 are reportedly parking lots right now.  Orange County is going door to door in mobile home parks getting people out.  When House Mandalay was inspected prior to our moving in, the inspector joked that our house would be the place to be if a hurricane hit.  We're about to find out if that's true.
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Re: Hurricane Irma - How worried should I be?
« Reply #49 on: September 08, 2017, 02:36:08 PM »
The westward shift is what I was worried about (to be fair, the European model was predicting the storm to turn right at the tip of Florida all along, but the US model was predicting a northward turn along the eastern coast. The US model is now right in line with what the European model has been predicting all along). Whatever your mom decides, I'm hoping for her safety. We're currently sheltering 3 families from Jupiter Beach who left on Wed. and Thurs. I'm afraid of what they may have to go back to.

At this point I only watch the European model.  If you google the past few hurricanes, the European model was more accurate than the American model.  It's a shame that so many people rely on the American model.  I know, another issue for another time, but still disheartening to know that this is an area we're lagging behind in.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2017, 02:38:57 PM by callison15 »