Well Irma has come and gone and we can all breath a sigh of relief today. As bad as it was, it could have been so much worse. Lucky for us, Irma came ashore a little earlier than expected down near Naples. Not so good for the folks living there but it kept the hurricane for staying over the Gulf waters and strengthening a lot more. Irma was only up to a category 3 when it came ashore after losing some power in Cuba. If it had stayed in the Gulf longer and come ashore further north it would have been a Category 4 and we'd have had it much worse here.
Looking at a lot of downed branches in our neighborhood. Downed trees all over town too. A lot of the county is without power but we never lost it here. It flickered on and off a number of times probably due to transformers blowing but never went completely out. Lucky for us.
The hurricane came ashore around 2 pm and while we got wind and rain from the outer bands, we didn't get the really strong winds until last night. About 9 or so we could hear the wind howling and see the trees blowing back and forth. Winds were probably around 50-60 then. It really got going around 11. Lost a lot of branches on the trees by the house and we really cringed every time we heard one land on the roof. I didn't sleep well last night, woke up a few times due to noises. When I woke up today there were a couple of big branches laying across the front walk but amazingly no trees laying down on the road (or the car or the roof) so that's a victory.
We were fortunate that the hurricane weakened over land and was only about a Cat 2 when it got up here. It also went further inland than predicted in its course up the state. The eye went over western Polk county which is about 40-50 miles inland from here. We only dealt with winds around 90 mph. Easy peasy. Still a lot of friends and relatives are currently without power now. Some have been told it could be a week before they have it back. Florida in the late summer without A/C is no picnic. Of course Houston is even hotter than here so we cannot complain too much.
Anyway, while we planned for the worst, we came out pretty good and I cannot complain about that. Maybe this weekend I can get out to the poker tables or the golf course again and talk about that instead of all this Weather Channel nonsense. By the way I want to thank the local tv stations for showing hurricane coverage 24-7 here. No football for me yesterday. Lovely. Turns out they were showing it on an alternative channel but since they never posted anything about it on the actual channel or on their website, how was I supposed to find it? No, much better to go on and on about Hurricanemageddon. It was like watching the Weather Channel where every major storm is turned into some kind of apocalypse. Then again when you devote 24/7 to one topic, you end up having to manufacture viewer interest somehow. People stop tuning in if you tell them, "well, it's not gonna be that bad. We think it will be windy and rainy but nothing as bad as we feared." Instead it's all day screaming about "Evacuate or die!!! Doom is coming to the Florida Gulf Coast." As a very wise man said, "if your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail." Well enough ranting. Off to bed for hopefully a full night's sleep for a change.