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September 13, 2017

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Hurricane Irma is On the Way So We are Hunkering Down - How Things Look from Our Side of the Sunshine State

Monday, Sept. 11, 2017 Update to article below: Hurricane Irma has now come and gone and we were fortunate to get through the historic storm unharmed and damage free thanks to a late turn in Irma's direction. Sunday morning (Sept. 9) forecasters said it was headed straight at us in Tampa as a Cat 3 hurricane. However a few hours before it was due to arrive the storm shifted to our east and wound up going through Lakeland instead, leaving is with much less severe Cat 1 level rain and wind conditions.  Ironically that was back on the path they were predicting Friday when I wrote the story below. 

We are very thankful to have been among the lucky ones and our thoughts are with those throughout the state and Caribbean who have had a much rougher ride through this historic storm than we have.

Image from Bigstock

After a week of preparing for a severe hurricane I will spend the next couple of days getting things back in order and stored away for the next time (which I'm hopeful will be a long time away)! Then we can get back to a topic I'm much more fond of writing about - domains!

Original article from Friday, May 8, 2017:

As I'm sure you are all well aware, Hurricane Irma, the biggest Atlantic hurricane in recorded history, is bearing down on Florida as I write this, after wreaking havoc throughout the Caribbean. The storm is so large it will affect the entire Florida peninsula, especially if it stays on its current track and goes straight up the middle of the state (Irma is wider than the entire peninsula).

We are located just north of Tampa on Florida's Gulf Coast, so I am going to turn my attention to final hurricane preparations and it will likely be several days before I will have an opportunity to post again. Our county officials just announced they expect to see electric power lost for several days after the storm (which is due in our area Monday morning). 

The latest track show the eye of the storm coming through Polk County which is the next county to our east so we have been told to expect hurricane force winds. On the plus side, since we are halfway up the peninsula, the storm is expected to drop from a category 4 to a category 2 hurricane by the time it reaches us and, if the eye doesn't drift any closer to us, our winds will likely be category 1 - a level that is not expected to damage homes similar to ours. It's a big if as it could still shift and go right through Tampa. No one knows for sure and they won't have the best grasp of the track until the storm makes its turn to the north sometime Saturday night.

We are as well prepared for the hurricane (especially at the reduced power expected by the time it reaches us) as we could possibly be. Plenty of water, food, batteries, a generator and a hurricane reinforced concrete block home far away from any evacuation zones or flood plains (a primary reason we felt comfortable staying as long as the storm wasn't expected to be above a 1 or 2). In our area, rain is not a big concern with this storm. It is expected to move through fast but with those worrisome hurricane force winds that causes the storm surges that flood coastal areas and wind induced destruction within 50 or so miles of the eye inland.

Our bigger concern right now is with our many friends on the southeast coast of Florida in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale/Palm Beach area which has long had one of the world's largest concentrations of domain industry participants. Just about all experts agree that area will be hit with a strong category 4 hurricane. For those not familiar with the kind of destruction caused by the five different categories of hurricanes, this video from the Weather Channel is a great visual representation of what can be expected (when the YouTube banner ad appears over the lower part of the video, just click the X at the top right of the banner to get it out of the way):

So, we will have thoughts and prayers focused on our friends to the south. Irma is expected to reach us about 12 hours after they go through the worst of it. When things return to normal here, I'll be back with you and looking forward to talk about domains again rather than natural disasters. Right now we are wishing the best possible outcome for everyone who is in this historic storm's path.

(Posted Sept. 8, 2017)  

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