Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Batten down the hatches...


We have a real doozy of a storm headed our way. Hurricane Florence, with the same name as the city in Northeast South Carolina where I live, is headed our way with all the fury of legendary storms of the past. Our governor has already warned that Florence has the potential for "stronger winds than Hugo and more rain than Matthew". Hugo was the catastrophic hurricane of 1989 that people still shiver a little to mention, and Matthew caused historic devastating floods two years ago. People are panicking, and rightly so. The governor closed schools yesterday afternoon until further notice, ordered the mandatory evacuation of all coastal counties, and major highways that run to those coastal counties have been reversed as of noon today---all lines only go one way, out. All coastal counties are also in the process of a mandatory evacuation of all hospitals and nursing homes. It's serious business. I don't usually think much of Governor McMaster, but his response to this situation has been solid. He said in yesterday's press conference that it's better to be inconvenienced than to risk losing lives unnecessarily. I feel pretty good about the emergency preparations taking place in the state right now.

Here's the latest weather update from one of our local weather guys:


Ed Piotrowski WPDE
TUESDAY 10:30AM FLORENCE UPDATE
Hurricane and Storm Surge Watches have been issued for much of the South Carolina coast and all of the North Carolina coast.
Florence is going through an eye replacement cycle and has weakened a bit, but is expected to strengthen when that's done. It's possible it could become a category 5 hurricane over the next day or so. All indications point to Florence being a major hurricane on final approach to the Carolina coast. Conditions will go downhill Thursday with landfall Thursday night or early Friday.
Overall, the track has changed very little over the past 24 hours. The official forecast from the National Hurricane Center still shows Florence coming ashore in southeastern NC. IF that track didn't change, we would be on the weaker side of Florence with less wind and storm surge. Right now the odds of this scenario are 50%. This morning's model runs basically support the current track, but PLEASE do not let your guard down. The average error of the forecast track 2-3 days out is over 100 miles. IF Florence's track were to trend southward by 100 miles, we would bear the brunt of a category 4 hurricane. I still think the odds of that are 40%. There is no reason to take any chances. Prepare for the absolute worst and hope for the best. To sum it up, odds still favor a landfall in southeast NC, but a direct here is still on the table. See the two graphics I posted for what kind of wind would be possible with each scenario.
Lots of people asking about the European model showing a closer track to us. Of course, that is possible, but for what it's worth, so far with this hurricane, it has had one of the worst track records. With that said, the euro thinks the disturbance in the Caribbean sea will help to pump up the ridge off the coast forcing Florence closer to us. That cannot be discounted.
Phase 1 of Florence s the storm surge and wind potential. Phase 2 will be the potential for life-threatening flooding. The steering currents directing Florence are well established for now, but as Florence approaches the coast the steering currents will collapse, That means Florence will meander and drop extremely heavy rain...somewhere. Right now, its impossible to be specific, but eastern NC is most favored with 15-20" of rain possible. Keep in mind that slow-moving systems are often erratic in their movement and very difficult to forecast. IF Florence were to drift west after landfall in southeast NC, it would weaken but introduce the threat of extremely heavy rain in our area. I've talked about this possibility for days so PLEASE no it is possible.
It’s a very complicated forecast so things are going to change. I’ll keep you posted.
I will be LIVE ON FACEBOOK at 7:30pm. Note the change from my normal time of 8pm.

Gregg and I aren't too worried. We have plenty of non perishable food, water, batteries, flashlights, candles, camp stove fuel, and dog food put aside. I've bought extra snacks, ice (which will keep for days in our big chest freezer) and liquor to pass the time if we're stranded without electricity for a few days. Speaking of liquor, this popped up on my Facebook feed a little while ago from a local spirits, wine, and party supply store...

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May not be bread, milk or water...but we have you covered for Hurricane Florence.
-Mickey Finn's

And in the true spirit of South Carolinians facing a hurricane, here are a few funny memes that I've enjoyed this morning.
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42 comments:

  1. Stay safe Jennifer.(Suddenly I want liquor so much, but it is too late to go and buy).

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    1. That's why you need a supply on hand at all times! :)

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  2. OMB, may you get through this storm without a scratch.

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  3. Be safe, be safe, be safe.
    And that is so true about suddenly needing 40 cases of water.

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    1. You can't buy a bottle of water for a 50 mile radius right now!

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  4. Sounds exciting. Hang on and don't let any of those bottles fall off the shelf.

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    1. Oh, it's definitely exciting! I feel guilty saying that there's a certain pleasure in the fear and watchful waiting to see where it makes landfall, but it's true. Life won't be dull for the next week! Although I do hope no one gets hurt, of course. .

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  5. When Hugo hit I remember watching it TV and being baffled that so many people were not prepared even though there is advanced warning. Then I remembered I live on a major fault line and have been told that we could expect the BIG ONE at anytime. Then I remembered that I had done nothing to prepare for an earthquake. I leaned from Hugo. We now have a huge earthquake kit and are considerably more ready than most. Tent. Water. Blankets. Candles. Matches. Extra firewood. Toilet paper. Soap. Wind up radio and flashlight. We always keep a propane tank filled. Earthquakes scare me so much but we are as prepared as we can be.

    As for you, I will be thinking about you and all my blogging friends in Florence’s path. I am so glad to know that you are prepared. Stay warm, dry and safe. xo

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    1. We try to keep a certain amount of emergency supplies on hand year round. You just never know when something might happen and my husband is adamant about always being prepared.

      Earthquakes sound horrifying. I would not like living in an earthquake zone! To me, they sound scarier than a hurricane, probably because we're used to hurricanes here. It must give you some peace of mind to be ready, though!

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    2. I think because earthquakes come on sudden and create so much devastation in a short amount of time makes them terrifying.

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  6. We've been reading about this all day. Hoping you avoid the worst!

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    1. Unfortunately the track turned slightly more to the south last night and now it's looking like we're going to get a more direct hit. And worst of all, they think it's going to settle over our heads for a few days and spin. We're getting nervous now, I won't lie.

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  7. I read this an giggled at the memes.
    Hope the storm turns right and goes out to sea.
    If possible can you post an all safe ?
    Have a card for you but will hold on to it for awhile till I know your mail starts again.

    cheers, parsnip and badger

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    1. I should be able to post here from my phone if all else fails and we're without power. I just went and bought a car phone charger yesterday so that we can use our phones for the duration of the storm.

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  8. We're with you in this .... being just a hop skip and a jump west of you.
    Stay safe!

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    1. Are you in Greenville? Or Rock Hill? Either way, you are well to the west, but I think you're still going to get high winds and a ridiculous amount of rain. Flooding is a real possibility all over the state...you stay safe too Bob!! And check in if you can to let us know you're alright!

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    2. We're in Camden,right between Florence and Columbia.

      We're in for some stuff, though hopefully not the bad.
      Stay safe and we'll let you know how we're doing, and you keep us up to what's happening there!

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  9. Nice to see that there are plenty of bottles of "Jim Beam" left in the liquor store. Swallow a couple of bottles of "Jim Beam" and who cares about Hurricane Florence? It's party time!

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    1. "Hurricane Parties" are a very real thing! Everyone stocks up on booze, snacks, candles, and some people play cards or board games by candlelight while the storm rages outside. Getting drunk is about all you CAN do when you're trapped in your house during a hurricane!

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  10. Preparation is key to so much in life, isn't it?
    I hope Florence defies expectations in a good way

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    1. The forecast track is changing a little...and NOT in our favor.

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  11. I have been through some bad hurricanes. They are scary and dangerous, and cause lots of damage. Take no chances, Mother Nature is very powerful.

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    1. My husband was pacing the house this morning, he was so nervous. This is going to be a bad, bad storm, and now it's trending more in our direction. We will be as prepared and careful as possible.

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  12. You are well prepared Jennifer, now you have to sit it out and wait for Florence to make landfall.
    Alphie

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    1. That's the plan! I think we'll be fine. We may have to sedate our dogs during the worst of it, though.

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  13. They are saying this morning that it could be even more violent than first calculated. I presume from the above that you are staying put. My fingers are crossed for you all.

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    1. Yes, this storm is very, very bad. I've never seen this level of fear. Maybe folks were this scared when Hugo came through, but I was a young teenager at the time and I don't remember much about the preparations for it. I DO remember wearing a t-shirt to school the day before it hit that said "Myrtle Beach--The Place to Be!" and thinking that was awfully funny. :)

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  14. Hold tight, hope Ginger, George and Marco don't get too frightened.

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    1. Marco never minds storms. Ginger and George though....we're worried about how they will react. This storm is predicted to stall out while it's sitting on top of us and may go on for days. I'm considering calling the vet this morning for doggie Zanax to see them through....

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  15. Stay safe. Hope it's not as bad as we've been hearing about on our news

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    1. Thanks, Sue. It's not looking good at the moment.

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  16. I think of you every time " Florence" is mentioned on our news! Hope that you will all be safe.

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    1. Thank you Frances! I'm sure there's going to be some dramatic storm footage hitting the news very soon!

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  17. I've been thinking about you in the path of this storm (and, yes, the coincidence of Florence potentially striking Florence). Stay safe!

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    1. You're a Florida boy so you know all about hurricanes! We're well prepared and even if the storm is bad, I think we'll be okay.

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  18. I like your preparations. Nibbles, ice, spirits and a mixer are such important provisions. Good luck and I hope it turns out to be a fizzer.

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    1. Thanks Andrew! It's going to be an adventure if nothing else.

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  19. I was just reading about Florence the hurricane and thought I would have a look at Florence the town.....the little yellow man landed on Gregg Ave! So different to where I live......so much space and all single story houses! If you have any spare time , look on Google street view.....Station Rd. Harpenden, you can see how different it is. Here.....any small space is built on, bungalows are turned into 3/4 story houses, one house knocked down and 2 built in the gap. Wherever I drive locally the roads are filled with builders lorries...(trucks) and the accompanying vehicles involved in house building.
    I was pleased to hear that the hurricane has been downgraded, but still a powerful threat to your area. Be safe.
    I am just off with the dogs ( mini schnauzer and yorkie) for a walk in the sun...though it is much colder today than it has been.( 7c rather than 13/14c )

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    1. That's funny! Gregg Avenue is an area downtown that we're looking to buy a house. There are all these neat little 1920's, 30's, and 40's era bungalows that people are renovating. The downtown area nearby is undergoing "revitalization" and it's a nice, up and coming area. Funny that you landed there!

      I'll have to go check out your street! I just love Google street view.

      The storm has been downgraded a bit, but yes, it's still a major threat. Enjoy your walk with your dogs! I'm planning to try to get one last good walk in with mine before we're stuck in the house for days on end. :)

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