August 31, 2005

Random Thoughts from a S. Floridian

What’s been running through my head today?

It could have been me and my family. We live in Hurricane Country. Just as easily… it could have been here.

It could have been my folks.

How far can the water come up the East coast of Florida?

How far am I actually from the coast? I think I’m 10-15 miles. I need to drive it and make sure.

If a Cat 5 hits adjacent to Lake O and the dikes break… and in addition there’s a surge from the Atlantic, would there be anything left of Palm Beach County?

How many people really live in Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Martin, Okeechobee, St. Lucie and all other counties that run along I-95 and the turnpike? I think if the population in 2003 was over 17 million and half of them live south… that’s still about 9 million people. I’m betting the answer to my question is much more than 9 million.

How many of the dead in Biloxi and Gulfport weren’t in evacuation zones? I’m not in one.

If a big Cat 4 or 5 comes my way, I need to rethink our plans. We’re not evac people. But… maybe we should be. There will be mass hysteria next time. I can feel it… I’m a calm person, but I can tell… I may not be so much if a big one is laying sights on me and my family.

We can’t all evac out of S. Fl. Too many people. Only two roads go north. Not enough gas. It’s grim.

Is Palm Beach County going to re-evaluate their evacuation zones based on the vast devastation of the Gulf Coast? How do you really tell people not to evacuate during a Cat 5... how do you really tell people to sit in their homes with their families and tell them they're safer there than evac'ing... especially after they've watched all the footage from Biloxi and Gulfport?

The worst place to live in a hurricane is on an Island.

Tied with that is to live in a bowl… like New Orleans.

Also tied with them is living on the beach.

Therefore, the 2nd worst place to live is on the end of a peninsula with over 9 million other people… who all don’t want to be here if a big one hits.

Posted by Boudicca at August 31, 2005 10:27 PM | TrackBack

So when are you moving to the mountains of Georgia like you've been wanting???

Posted by: Sissy at August 31, 2005 10:33 PM

I think you are right about worrying about evacuating.....why stay......and live through what those people are having to live through...?

Posted by: ArmyWifeToddlerMom at August 31, 2005 10:39 PM

I don't think I can get off the Peninsula in time. There are too many people in evac zones. I'm talking literally millions of people and only two roads running north. Plus during Jeanne and Frances, people got stranded as it was such stop and go traffic they ran out of gas. The entire south end of the state had no gas.

My Mom said it took people in New Orleans 11 hours to get to Pensacola. It's a 3 hour drive.

In three hours... from my home... I will get to Orlando. That's still only mid state. If that were to take 11... it is unthinkable the mess.

Posted by: Bou at August 31, 2005 10:44 PM

Sissy- I would have moved 5 years ago if my husband would hear of it. We're stuck here. Come hell or high water... or both.

Posted by: Bou at August 31, 2005 10:45 PM

I'm really glad I'm headed to the Northeast! So, if the big one ever sets it's sites on you, hop a plane with the boys and come for a visit. We can do Boston - stick Fiona in a little carrier under the seat. *grin*

Posted by: Teresa at September 1, 2005 12:21 AM

Bou, we can caravan out together. I'm stuck here too. I tried to get him to move to the Carolinas, Colorado, North Florida... nope. Didn't work.

Posted by: vw bug at September 1, 2005 06:19 AM

Now might be the time to get some really really good maps and map out an evac plan that doesn't involve highways.

Then laminate it and keep it with your hurricane stash.

Posted by: Machelle at September 1, 2005 10:31 AM

Hi Bou:
You ask some good questions. I'm gonna ask them when I get to work and suggest a story or two. They did some more exact surveys a few years ago on how far flood waters would spread from the canals and Intracoastal Waterway, not sure if that included a dike break scenario. We need to re-visit them. As I recall, some folks were surprised they were in flood zones from canals, not the ocean.

Friends who left during last years storms took two or three times longer than normal just to get to Orlando and as you said gas was scarce. Only route North I can think of other than the turnpike or I-95 is maybe U.S. 27 in central Florida. I assume it would be packed too. So if you're thinking of evacuating, you'd need to get on the road before they even post storm warnings. Might also be a good idea to get a few spare gas cans and keep them full. And don't let your car get low on gas during storm season.

I plan to stay, both because I think my house is safe, and because of my job at the newspaper. I have spare gas in cans that I normally use for my boat, so I won't be buying any gas for at least a week or 10 days. Hopefully by then, the panic, if not the prices, will have eased a bit.

Posted by: George at September 1, 2005 12:13 PM