Just when I was starting to think September was going to bring cooler weather, and with it more opportunities to get outside and be active, Mother Nature threw me a curve ball. First Hurricane Harvey made a gigantic mess of coastal Texas, now Irma is barreling down the chute seemingly aimed right for Florida. Currently churning up a swath of the Caribbean, chewing up beautiful flyspeck islands best known as tourist attractions – but people live there too – and this is a bad one – 186 MPH sustained winds! That’s enough to scour some of those islands down to nothing! Next on Irma’s hit list appears to be Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo/Haiti and Cuba. Again, these may be bigger islands, but the people are mostly poor, living in conditions that would be considered wretched on a good day, and when Irma hits it is not going to be good.
After that is where the guessing game has yet to get a clear lead. It could veer north, as so many have in the past, brush the coast and continue to oblivion in the cooler waters of the northern Atlantic – best case scenario. It could continue straight ahead and impact close to the Mexican/Texas border and rain down hell on the folks just starting to shake off the shock of Harvey. Not a pretty picture. Or it could split the difference and barrel right into South Florida then follow the coast up the Gulf and whale away on the west coast. Or it could angle up slightly, hit Florida squarely and cross diagonally right into my back yard. Either of these two options could result in my being effectively homeless if it hits full strength. We have had so much rain over the past month that the water table is high and the ground is soft as a sponge. Even assuming there is no flooding in my inland region, the two huge trees in my yard have no solid ground to hold onto, and the wind could easily drop one or both on my trailer or either of two neighbor trailers, depending on wind direction and root structure.
Now, it being Tuesday evening, the best guess is we won’t know until Friday at the earliest what Irma might do, so all I or anyone else in Florida, can do is wait and make plans for the different contingencies. If it turns north, even if we get brushed by the edges I can foresee hunkering down and waiting it out. If it beelines straight across the Gulf it more than likely will have little to no effect on us other than watching in horror as Texas gets chewed up again.
But if it looks to be a direct hit calling for evacuation, I will throw my most important stuff, along with clothes and whatever else I deem necessary, and hightail it to Georgia to stay with my Aunt until it blows over. At that point I will make the long haul back and see if I still have a home. If it is still there and livable, then live in it is what I will do. If it has been destroyed or rendered uninhabitable more than likely I will turn around and head right back to Georgia to figure out what to do next. Hoping for the best, preparing for the worst – what else is there to do?