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Not looking good for in the Florida Keys, and elsewhere, this weekend


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The tourists will be ordered out starting Wednesday and the residents shortly thereafter. The hospitals are being evacuated as we speak. I wouldn't wait till Friday. Monroe County is asking for people to leave asap as to reduce traffic nightmares..


I have several friends who are evacuating as well. Most have boats for their businesses so it's a rush to get ready and get out. We all know what the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane did....

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Heading out tomorrow late at night. Took the RT to my place near Titusville over Labor Day. Heading back there tomorrow, if it chases me I'll head for wherever it's not. This afternoon's forecast for 2pm on the 10th was 24.4n, 81.5W. Right on top of my house. The 8pm model runs look a little promising, a degree or two east would spare the house from the wind and maybe flooding. We'll see.

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I'm staying home which is west of Ft Lauderdale since evacuating is a moot point as the roads are clogged all the way to Georgia anyway and gas is a PITA to get. Concrete house plenty of water, storm shutters and most importantly my family and lots of booze....

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John Ranalletta

My Florida family in Naples are moving inland to other family members' homes in Ave Maria. Those homes have poured concrete walls and should withstand the winds, though the roofs are conventional.


My nephew took his boat (30') out of the canal and is storing it in some orange grove inland. A neighbor who doesn't have a boat lift acted late and couldn't get marina storage and storing his boat in my nephew's lift for the duration. The picture below was snapped at 2:50p of the guys securing the boat in the lift. It is the same size as my nephew's boat.


My nephew's house is on an older canal development. He believes the house is worthy but if the higher, storm-driven tides cause water to spill from one canal to another, it could wash the houses into the canal.



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John Ranalletta

Notice the seawall on the far side of the canal. Likely, the picture was taken at high tide. If IRMA brings a 10-15' tidal surge, the houses will be inundated. My nephew's house is elevated as shown; so, a tidal surge would flood his lower level garage and bedroom en suite on ground floor. The house across the canal just sold for ca $800k. Hope new owner bought flood insurance.

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Irma is going to make a real mess in Fl to say the least. Hopeful all you guys remain safe down there...whether you're staying or not!

BTW, I believe the "naming" system for hurricanes should be changed to more threatening names such as:

Grim-reaper 2017

Megadeath I

Armageddon II

Earthmover III

Freddy Kruger

Jeffrey Dahmer

Gingis Kahn



Maybe people would take evacuation warnings more seriously...

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Anyone heard from Jake?


YES! He is weathering the storm. No power, but his beer is still cold. That's planning!


I believe his exact words were "Hurricane Schmuricane".

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John Ranalletta

Our families are all safe with some moderate property damage. Cell towers are out. Fuel's in short supply. Family reports "terrifying" 140 mph gusts.

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Safe in S-Jacksonville, FL. No power or internet, working on a generator for power.

No flooding in my home, but most areas have had flooding. The highest flood level since 1846!!!!! Irma is one of the most powerful storms ever.

PS: my father just lost power in NE-AL due to Irma.

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Power back, yay.

Lots of trees and wires down.

But temps in the 60's, nice.

A few days to sort out debris and get fuel/supplies back

in town.

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Lost the house in the Keys but safe with little damage in Mims. No power, internet, and marginal cell. In the Keys cell totally nonexistent in the keys, no water, no medical, no fuel. USS Abraham Lincoln, USS Iwo Jima plus escorts inroute for support. US1 cut in two places but bridges are being inspected. Nobody who lives below Key Largo may enter the Keys and those only with restrictions. Don't know when we will head backAlready started with FEMA. Not much to do with other insurance until people can reach the keys. Just woke from a margarita induced nap. My generator will run a couple of window AC plus my well and one refer and I can manage other loads with the breaker panel. We are grilling outside so we are very set compared to those who stayed in the keys. Expect to have our power back by Saturday here but the utility company in the lower keys says it could take a month. 300 poles down. Best Wishes, Bill

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Sorry to hear.

Guess property insurance can help rebuild, but definitely

a catastrophe to experience and live through.

Good luck with the process.


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John Ranalletta

Just talked w/ niece who lives in Ave Maria, about 30 east of Naples. Power back on. Ave residents tend to be retireds who just experienced their first hurricane. She reports many neighbors "have had it" with Florida and intend to sell and move to TN and Carolinas. This is reminiscent of mid 2000's when "half-backs" - northerners who moved to Florida, sold out after a couple of hurricanes and did the same.


She has lived in FL most of her life and experienced hurricanes before but pledges to evacuate next time.


Another niece sent pictures of street scenes in Fiddler's Cove (between) Naples & Marco and Marco Island. Devastated landscaping but they haven't had reports on any property damage to condo or house on the bay.

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Good to hear the news about your niece.


Reminds me of a conversation I had at Micky D's in Redmond, OR. Beautiful high desert summer weather. Camping and enjoying the cool nights and warm dry days. Asked if people moved here to retire. Answer: Usually one winter sends them back home.

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Good to hear the news about your niece.


Reminds me of a conversation I had at Micky D's in Redmond, OR. Beautiful high desert summer weather. Camping and enjoying the cool nights and warm dry days. Asked if people moved here to retire. Answer: Usually one winter sends them back home.


...or the fires drive them out the next summer...

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My friends in Tavernier live on the bay side and are fine. Their homes had no damage. Their yards are destroyed but that will grow back. Power, sewer and water are back on but cell service is sporadic. They are helping other peeps as it's a big mess down there.

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Most of the terrible damage was between Sugarloaf Key and Big Pine Key. This 15 mile stretch between MM17 and MM32 was ground zero and sustained heavy wind and flood. I am happy to say that the initial report of the destruction of my house, at MM22, was incorrect. A friend sent me some photos that show it damaged but not broken, 3 to 4 feet of water on the lower level. Yard scoured down to coral , or whatever the island is made from. No big palms left, paint stripped from house, displaying once again what it looked like afterKatrina visited on her was to NOLA. Happier than several days ago.

Edited by bwpsg42
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That's good news! At least there is a home left even though it needs repairs. Many folks down there have nothing left. Tomorrow the authorities are allowing the residents in for the lower Keys.. They need to be self sufficient for a long time as there is nothing in the way of food and water or electricity..

I was able to talk to my friends in Tavernier and they have Internet back as well. Now they are trying to help other people but they need heavy equipment like dozers and backhoe's....

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been MIA for the past 2 weeks after an outlier of Irma spawned what I think was a mini tornado that took out 4 trees in my yard, 2 in my neighbor's yard, and 2 in his neighbor's yard. The damage was very localized, as no other property in our neighborhood suffered any significant damage. Amazingly, the biggest of the 4 trees missed our house by less than 3 feet.




Album: https://imgur.com/a/Htqfd


I expect to be cutting wood for the next few weeks, as well as trying to avoid maiming myself with chainsaws, or breaking any body parts. A chipper-shredder arrived 6 days after the storm, and after chipping ~2000 pounds of oak, I disassembled it to sharpen the blades. Back to chipping in a few minutes.


I just checked a web site for weight of trees, and came up with these rough estimates:


140-foot oak: 30,000 pounds

125-foot oak: 25,000 pounds

80-foot oak: 15,000 pounds

50-foot hardwood: 10,000 pounds

Total: 80,000 pounds = 40 tons


Source: [/url]


The good news is that I'm getting a great daily workout! Bad news, not much seat time. The other bad news is that I "discovered" an invasive species, the oak leaf gall itch mite oak leaf gall itch mite. Not fun. :mad:



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  • 4 weeks later...

Well after a second closer inspection my friends house in Tavernier has water damage as the rainstorms blew water in though the sliding glass doors that were shuttered.He's looking at $100K in damage!

I went down there last weekend and barely recognized the place. I rode down to my old neighborhood on the south-side of Islamorada and I missed the turn-in due to the lack of trees!

It's funny how we drive around down there on landmarks, rather than street signs. I could see my old house from the highway. It was undamaged. My former neighbor across the canal wasn't that lucky as his house is totaled.

It's a big mess and many resorts won't open until the summer of 2018. Tourism is going to take a huge hit and many of my former fishing colleagues may very well be out of business permanently. :cry:


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