weather

Hurricane with a side of fries

I just got home from a VERY crowded McDonald’s (I was trying to find coffee and possibly a late lunch). It was the only place on I-Drive that was open, so of course it was PACKED – even at 2pm! I guess that’s what happens when all the responsible restaurants on I-Drive are closed.
I was coming out of the store just in time to miss the last trolley back to the apt as trolley service was suspended at 3pm without notice – which wouldn’t have been a problem if I had gotten my food in less than 20 minutes.
I was forced to take Lyft back, and just as we approached the complex a southbound trolley pulled up on the opposite side of the light. The good news is I made it back before the storm hit…

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More silly Dorian memes

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Afternoon updates

Normally, I “live blog” my way through these storms, but I haven’t decided if I am or not this time around. Yes, it keeps me focused on things outside my crudely furnished apartment. I know it hasn’t even made non-landfall yet, but I’m already sick of hearing about it. #burnout

I hate to “break tradition,” but they are as much fun to read as they are to write. Maybe, I’ll change my mind tomorrow… after the scheduled meme post drops.

 

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A little bit of rain…

A few light feeder bands have passed by here this morning. The real deal is tomorrow through Wednesday

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Hurricane Dorian approaches

The National Hurricane Center’s 5pm update shows the storm veering slightly further east than earlier reports indicated, but still shows Orlando within the “Cone of Uncertainty.” Thankfully, the chances of Dorian making landfall in Florida are getting smaller with each update.

However, a “Hurricane Watch” has been issued for Northern and Southern Brevard as well as Volusia Counties while a “Tropical Storm Watch” is in effect for Inland Volusia, Northern Lake, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Southern Lake Counties. Mandatory evacuations orders are in place in Northern/Southern Brevard starting at 8am tomorrow.

Flights in/out of MCO have not been cancelled for tonight into Monday after all, but all Amtrak service south of Jacksonville remains closed until Tuesday (yes, I’m “still mad” about that – do you know how much cab fare is from Orlando to Jacksonville?). However, Disney World, Universal and SeaWorld will remain open as scheduled.

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Preparing for Hurricane Dorian

I wasn’t expecting to have to create a post like this this far out from landfall, but here we are:

Wednesday – Gov. DeSantis declares State of Emergency for all 67 counties in Florida. As of 8pm, NHC shows the storm making a direct path across the state, the eye crossing Kissimmee on Tuesday night as a Cat 1 storm.

Thursday – FSU’s home opener moved from Jacksonville to their home stadium in Tallahasse. Various weekend concerts are cancelled across Central/South Florida. Meanwhile, TWC’s Jim Cantore is seen having dinner in Vero Beach.

Friday – The NHC’s 8am update shows the storm making a “J” shape across Central Florida with the eye crossing directly over Orlando on Wednesday evening.

Many grocery stores run out of water/other food supplies, while many gas stations along the Space Coast report shortages. Schools across Florida are pre-emptively closed on Tuesday (as many will be used as emergency shelters).

Also, while most of Disney World is currently expected to remain open (except the water parks, Copper Creek Cabins at Wilderness Lodge, the cabins at Fort Wilderness, the overwater bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Village, the Treehouse Villas at Saratoga Springs, and any events at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports), all flights in/out of MCO have been cancelled until further notice, ditto all Amtrak trains south of Jacksonville (I was thinking they would run MORE trains to ensure the maximum number of people can evacuate – especially since landfall isn’t expected until TUESDAY).

Which effectively means I’m stuck here until the storm passes whether I want to be or not (spoiler alert: I don’t. I was planning on taking Amtrak up north on Saturday) as all residential amenities (pool, gym, leasing office, etc.) here at Sea Isle Resort Apartments will close as of 5pm Saturday with mandatory “balcony safety inspections” on Sunday.

Thankfully, as of their 5pm update, the NHC shows the storm hugging the coast all the way from Vero Beach up to Savanna. Orlando is safe… or is it?

 

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Silly hurricane memes

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Photo: Grey weekend ahead?

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Live blog: Michael in Central Florida (3)

9:32am – Woken up by an automated call from my doctor’s office. At least, it isn’t “Rachel from Cardholder Services.”

10am – Tropical Storm/Surge Watches are now in effect for Coastal North Carolina… but have been lifted for the Alabama/Mississippi border region.

11:20am – A still graphic from TWC shows Tampa Bay is out of immediate danger, though strong outlying bands are still expected throughout the day into Thursday.

11:57am – However, NWC office in Tampa says that while most of Central Florida will be “uneffected” by Michael, Tampa Bay can still get “high storm surge, extensive coastal flooding and severe damage to docks, marinas and coastal dunes.”

12:04pm – Eyewall of Michael coming ashore along the coast of the Florida Panhandle…life threatening storm surge and catastrophic winds moving onshore.

12:37pm – Thank you to people calling/texting me, but as I said above, “Central Florida is under no immediate threat due to this storm” (I’m just bored, lol)

1pm – Hurricane Michael intensifies (cat 4) as it makes landfall near Mexico Beach Florida (nowhere near me) with life-threatening storm surge, hurricane force winds and heavy rainfall occurring over the Florida panhandle…

1:09pm – Duke Energy is predicting that at least 100k customers will lose power due to the storm.

1:13pm – Gov. Rick Scott activated the Florida Disaster Fund to help with the aftermath of the storm

1:37pm – Unfortunately, all the news stories I’m seeing now are “live coverage” (which do me exactly zero good, lol) so, I may have to end today’s live blog a bit early…

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Live blog: Michael in Central Florida (2)

10am: While Central Florida is not expected to see a direct hit (aside from periphery rain/wind), the governor warned that the Panhandle, Big Bend and Gulf Coast cities as far south as Tampa could see dangerous storm surges of 8-12’ as the storm approaches.

Noon: Yahoo News is reporting that Michael is now a category 2 storm.

1:04pmThe Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that Georgia has declared a “State of Emergency

1:45pm – Governor Rick Scott orders mandatory evacuations for 11 Floridian counties.

1:50pmThe Orlando Sentinel is reporting that, with winds of 110mph, Michael is “nearing a category 3 storm” with winds tomorrow topping 125mph.

2:14pm – United Airlines has canceled flights scheduled for Tuesday evening through Wednesday afternoon to three airports in Florida — Pensacola, Panama City and Destin.

2:21pm – Radar on TWC shows small bands of moderate rain are moving through southern Orlando. The sky over SeaWorld is dark, but the steady winds seem relatively calm… for now anyway.

2:39pmOrlando Weekly is reporting that Florida Democrats are suing to extend the voter registration deadlines due to the hurricane.

3:12pm – The Washington Examiner is reporting that Hurricane Michael could cause “13 billion in property damages

4pm – Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for Eastern/Southern Georgia with Tropical Storm Watches in effect for both North and South Carolina (neither of which need this after the pounding they took from Florence).

4:08pmUSA Today is saying Michael could be one of the worst storms on record to hit the Florida Panhandle.

4:28pm – A larger swath of heavy rain has just descended upon Orange County, but Central Florida is still slated to get less than 3” of rain out of this storm (a change from their previous estimate of 1-2”)

5:19pm – The rain band from the previous line appears to have moved offshore as sunlight barely pokes its way through the clouds. Yet, landfall in Northern Florida is still a day away…

Categories: florida, hurricanes, news, North Florida, Orlando, Tampa, weather | Leave a comment

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