Well, here comes Fay...

Posted by: benjammin

Well, here comes Fay... - 08/18/08 01:53 PM

Made a deal with the landlord to board up windows if they'd pay for the supplies. In the process I tweaked out my lower back pretty good (you know, that little tweak right where the spine meets the pelvis, oh the pain), so now I am hobbled while this mess passes.

Looks like I may get to set in the EOC for the duration, I sure hope this storm moves faster once it makes landfall. Looks like it will take the same path Charley did, and come right up the middle of the state.

I was contemplating running to Atlanta for a couple days and letting it blow through without us, but I guess if no one else here is that anxious, maybe I don't need to pop smoke just yet. With the house boarded up and a fortress for me to go hide in, the only thing I am worried about is getting kicked outta the EOC in the middle of it all.

The local old timers say this track is especially bad for Central Florida, as it spawns a lot more tornadoes. It would be better if it passed on the east side of Orlando than the west. What's funny is no one here seems that concerned, which sometimes gets my neckhairs up a bit.

When hurrican Wilma caught everyone by surprise, they all were planning for hurricane parties and only tropical strom force winds, then that storm kicked up to 100+ mph winds and everyone had to make a mad scramble.

The only big worry I have now is those damned skylights in the roof. Not much you can do about that but hope the seal holds.

Otherwise I feel we are in good shape. Will fill a bunch of water containers tonight, and if it all goes smooth will have a good laugh and a cigar and a glass of bourbon when it is done. If not so smooth, will hopefully still get that cigar and bourbon. That reminds me, I better fill the flask tonight too.
Posted by: Blast

Re: Well, here comes Fay... - 08/18/08 02:07 PM

Thanks for blocking another hurricane, we here is Texas really appreciate that. grin

Good luck, and hope the back heals fast.

Posted by: Nicodemus

Re: Well, here comes Fay... - 08/18/08 02:10 PM

Stay Safe, and keep us informed.
Posted by: Angel

Re: Well, here comes Fay... - 08/18/08 02:12 PM

I saw on the news yesterday that only about 50% of the residence in Fla. were prepared. Hope that's not true. I lived in south Fla for a while when I was growing up and only went through one hurricane while I was there. Everyone in our neighborhood seemed to have a handle on things and there wasn't any panic buying that I noticed, just alot of last minute boarding up. Maybe the people they interviewed didn't look at it as being prepared but just something that you do automatically. You might consider loading the freezer with as many bottles of water as you can find, not only will you have some extra water but if your power is off the extra ice will keep things cold. Stay safe and keep us posted.
Posted by: Ron

Re: Well, here comes Fay... - 08/18/08 02:25 PM

I have been watching the forecasts on Fay all weekend and the projected track has been changing every few hours. This is a hard one to out guess.

If she tracks a little to the west and get out into the Gulf, she could get real nasty real fast (like Wilma did). Or, she could break up some and just bring some good summer rain to the southeast.

If I were in South Florida, I would take it seriously and hope I was wrong. At the least, it would be a good practice drill.

One bit of advice that you probably have already covered, make sure your car's gas tank is full. If you need to leave, you don't have to stop and if you stay put, you won't be one of the ones sitting in line at the only station that is still open after the storm.

Posted by: JohnE

Re: Well, here comes Fay... - 08/18/08 03:00 PM

Benjammin and others who live in any sort of hurricane zone,

Do yourself a favor and start reading the "listening to Katrina" website.

I don't agree with everything the author writes but he offers a very good perspective about living and dealing with hurricanes.

John E
Posted by: benjammin

Re: Well, here comes Fay... - 08/18/08 07:32 PM

Yep, seems like it could go either way. Now that it is moving over Key West, it will be heading for 90 degree soup water where every wave in the pinwheel will load up quick. It also looks like it is slowing down. The dwell time will feed this thing quickly. Our reckoning says there's a 50 mile window where if it makes landfall at the beginning of that window it will stay relatively low intensity and just bring us lots of rain, but as it moves across that 50 mile stretch it goes right up to a Cat 2 at landfall. That wouldn't be so good.

In any case, I have all the windows boarded up now, and will load up about 300 gallons of water tonight, get all my laundry done, finish up my bug out gear, and see where I want to spend Tuesday night if I don't want to be at the house.

I'm not too worried about the potential for a hurricane itself, because even if it does get to be one, by the time it gets to us here, it will have lost a lot of it's punch, but these gulf side landfalls tend to spin up tornadoes left and right, and those aren't much fun at night, and the weather service takes too long to disseminate when they touch down.

And I was due to xfer to Denver at the end of the month, dang it!!! Couldn't it have waited another two weeks?
Posted by: Stu

Re: Well, here comes Fay... - 08/18/08 07:50 PM

Good luck and may the family be safe!
Posted by: clarktx

Re: Well, here comes Fay... - 08/18/08 08:00 PM

I lived in florida for 14 years, through a couple really bad hurricanes.

My father still lives there, I guess its been about 30 years for him. He doesn't even board up the windows anymore. Feels the statistical likelihood of anything hitting his windows is nil. Of course, this is partly because of exactly where he lives and exactly how his house is built.

On the other hand, he now has a generator, gas, water, and even a standalone AC unit. He didn't when I was growing up.

I know how you feel about the locals being unconcerned. Some of them know what they are doing, and are right to not be concerned because of their specific situation. Others have their head stuck in their sand, of course.
Posted by: nursemike

Re: Well, here comes Fay... - 08/18/08 08:31 PM

Originally Posted By: benjammin
...In the process I tweaked out my lower back pretty good (you know, that little tweak right where the spine meets the pelvis, oh the pain...

Back pain is the price we pay fpr walking around on our hind legs. It's great for tool handling, but really bad for intervertebral discs. Try drinking the juice of one bottle of bourbon...

How do you store your water? 300 gallons is a very respectable quantity, and must take up a considerable chunk of space.

Regarding local folks not worrying-When I was in Arkansas, I got me a real estate guy and went looking for houses with a storm shelter. He was astounded-said they didn't have them here in the Delta cuz the water table was too high and flooded them out, and, anyway,"tornadoes don't come to this side of town." I didn't even know that they could read, dumb yank that I am....
Posted by: samhain

Re: Well, here comes Fay... - 08/18/08 08:47 PM

Be careful Ben.

I sympathize with the back. Mine's doing the same thing. Don't push it unless you absolutely have to.

Hope y'all stay safe.

Posted by: bojr

Re: Well, here comes Fay... - 08/18/08 10:29 PM

Today (Monday) - the first day back to school here in Volusia County, Fl - a complete disaster and display of incompetence - Just got a call "School closed Tuesday and Wednesday in anticipation of storm" - no rain yet - everyone be safe - I know that everyone here is prepared - by the way Hello - I am a long time voyeur and a new member - BillyO Daytona Beach

Posted by: kevingg

Re: Well, here comes Fay... - 08/18/08 11:41 PM

good luck with the storm and your back.
Posted by: BillLiptak

Re: Well, here comes Fay... - 08/19/08 12:23 AM

Just finished my hurricane prep....brought in all the plants from the porch. Yup that about covers it. Me an the Misses just went shopping sat. nite, so were pretty good there. Should have bought the water storage containers but didn't. Will next week, won't help now but here in Tampa im not too concerned, expect heavy rain and some nice kite flying weather....
Wife is panicy, but then all her family and friends live in Gulfport, Miss and she has hurricane katrina burned in her memory. Can't say I blame her, I went up there for Christmas and the damage was still wide spread and impressive. If it hits with any authority she will finally concede needing a better hurricane kit. If not I'll keep nickle and diming to slowly build one.

-Bill Liptak
Posted by: falcon5000

Re: Well, here comes Fay... - 08/19/08 01:16 AM

I'm in Orlando and were set, I wouldn't worry about the storm, just the twisters on the front right quadrant, that means toward your way Izzy so be carefully. Where waterproof to 300 feet with back ups to backups and a 12.5 KW generator and lots of beer........Bring it on!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by: OldBaldGuy

Re: Well, here comes Fay... - 08/19/08 01:43 AM

Re the back, I feel your pain. And have the scars to prove it. Do not let them cut on you unless you are living flat on your back and not eating...
Posted by: BillLiptak

Re: Well, here comes Fay... - 08/19/08 10:37 AM

Well, if the weather report I heard this morning is to be trusted, tropical storm Fay came ashore @ 4:30 round the everglades. This means Tampa should see a couple inches of rain and some breeze, possibly some wind gusts....
Good luck to those south of here, especially those in the probable tornado spawns...

-Bill Liptak
Posted by: benjammin

Re: Well, here comes Fay... - 08/19/08 12:24 PM

Yeah, I think this storm is showing mercy on us. It could just as easily have built up to a Cat 2, but now looks to be a weak tropical storm by the time it gets to Orlando. I am real glad the track is moving east of our pos now, as it means the tornado threat is also diminished. Now it is just going to take it's sweet time moving north, so we will get a lot of rain over the next 48, but everyone here's been complaining about not having enough anyways.

The back is doing better. I got the rest of the boards up in the windows yesterday so I wouldn't have to worry about it. I just cut the boards to fit the recessed windows then stuck the boards in using plylox. They come out real easy with finger pressure on the catches, so should be a snap to remove tomorrow. the nice thing is now my landlord has custom fit boards with the clips on them, and no more holes in the stucco. That ought to earn some gratitude. They agreed to reimburse me for the materials, so that's fine, and I got to spend some more quality time with the daughter teaching her some basic carpentry stuff, so that is a big plus.

The back has been a bane for me since my twenties. Every so often it will tweak out right in that same spot, and I have a regimen to follow to recover. Basically it requires a lot of heat and some ibuprofren for about 24 hours, followed by some cardio work. Funny, but if I don't do the cardio or some sort of unloaded exercise that will work those muscles, it won't recover. In any case, I am feeling pretty good today, but still aware of the condition if I try to move funny. It will be like that for another week.

To keep that much water, I have two bathtubs (one of them an oversized jet tub) that I filled, plus 4 big rubbermaid containers that I filled halfway (at least 25 gallons in each of those. The tub water will be used to keep the toilets going and to bath with, the rubbermaid will be for cooking and kitchen duty. I was also prepared to load up two ice chests at work today (we have an industrial sized ice maker), but it doesn't look like that will be needed now.

We finished off our bug out bags last night. One full change of clothing, 6 liters+ of water between the two of us, knives, lighters, matches, 6 flashlights, 4 am/fm/shortwave/wx radios(all hand crank capable), energy bars, zip fizz drink mixes, meds, two MP3 players fully loaded, a pair of two way fmrs radios and spare batteries, my laptop, two multitools, a digital multimeter, electrical tape, gorilla tape, dacron kite/fishing string, whistles, bivy bags, etc...... my two packs weigh a total of 60 lbs, the kid's weighs 25. Then there was all the goodies in the pickup, too many to mention I reckon. Rope, tarps, tools, more food, more water, etc.....

It gets to be a question of inventory control after a bit. Suffice it to say, I reckon we were more than ready this time. A good drill maybe for the next big one. By the time I went to bed last night, I was pretty satisfied at our readiness level. The only thing I didn't have was a big generator in case we lost power. The heat and humidity would've made sleep at home impossible.
Posted by: OldBaldGuy

Re: Well, here comes Fay... - 08/19/08 12:31 PM


I learn something new here every day. Interesting little gizmo.

Glad the back is morebetter...
Posted by: clarktx

Re: Well, here comes Fay... - 08/19/08 12:55 PM

Today at 9am, seminole county decided to NOT open any shelters. Its a non issue now.
Posted by: benjammin

Re: Well, here comes Fay... - 08/19/08 01:04 PM

Pretty much. Good practice, though.
Posted by: JCWohlschlag

Re: Well, here comes Fay... - 08/19/08 03:17 PM

Thank you for presenting your experience, benjammin. I’m now considering putting one of those back support braces in or near my emergency stuff because I could not imagine having to do all sorts of physical labor with a screwed-up back.
Posted by: benjammin

Re: Well, here comes Fay... - 08/19/08 05:09 PM

Agreed, I should quit the macho thing and go get one myself. It is impossible to look macho when you are stooped over and having to shuffle your feet.

Unless we get hit with a rogue tornado, I am not too worried now. Losing power would be a real nuisance, but I've got enough hilton points I could just run down the street and spend the night in air conditioned comfort anyways.
Posted by: Art_in_FL

Re: Well, here comes Fay... - 08/19/08 06:19 PM

Originally Posted By: OldBaldGuy
Re the back, I feel your pain. And have the scars to prove it. Do not let them cut on you unless you are living flat on your back and not eating...

Amen to that!

Exhaust all your options with physical therapy, exercise, rest, Santeria, swinging cats, and applications of aromatic oils by naked virgins singing “The Ode to Joy” before letting them come anywhere near you with a knife.

I know quite a few people who have various back operations and better than half tell me they regret having it done. The success rate of back operations is abysmal if pain-fee functional mobility and ROM is included in the definition. A common theme is that after the chopping is done there is no guarantee it makes anything better and once done you can't have it undone or go back to a less drastic procedure. A couple had really major operations done and only some time later found out that smaller, less invasive and newer techniques were available.

One trick is to never have an CAT scan or MRI of your back done. Newer standards recommend avoiding them simply because most normal, relatively pain fee, backs have faults that show up on an MRI as as something a surgeon might be able to 'correct'. This is the 'foot in the door' for a sweet talking orthopedic surgeon to perfect his technique on you. And get paid for it. Success or failure he makes the same.

Posted by: clarktx

Re: Well, here comes Fay... - 08/19/08 11:41 PM

Originally Posted By: benjammin
Pretty much. Good practice, though.

Yes. And individual people can still have individual emergencies.

I'm watching Brevard county very closely, I have family there. Looks like they won't get "the dirty side".

In my camp, people are surprised that it didn't downgrade to a tropical depression yet. Seems to have more legs than we thought.
Posted by: benjammin

Re: Well, here comes Fay... - 08/20/08 11:15 AM

Yeah, this was kinda weird. It didn't come together until after it made landfall, then it intensified, then it slowed down it's path and dumped all over Brevard County, and tossed 8 tornadoes. Meanwhile, we got a few good gusts and some rain squalls, but nothing to keep me up all night.

At around 6:00 pm last night I stood out on the front lawn and watched the clouds go zipping by. I could actually detect a slight curve in their path going NE to SW more or less at about 25 to 30 mph. Very unusual look for these parts.

Flooding was a problem out on the coast more. We have some big puddles, but nothing more than you'd see after a night of the usual thunderstorms.

I really didn't want to get up this morning. I guess staying up later than normal has it's price.

Izzy better watch out. That storm could track right up on his back porch when it returns off the Atlantic curl.

One tragedy of note, the storm is eroding the beaches pretty heavily, and volunteers are out this morning looking for turtle eggs to re-cover. That might be a concern for the sea turtle population a bit.
Posted by: benjammin

Re: Well, here comes Fay... - 08/21/08 11:35 AM

Man, this rain is getting old. Maybe my last memories from next week in Florida will be of something besides being wet??? Not likely...
Posted by: BillLiptak

Re: Well, here comes Fay... - 08/21/08 12:09 PM

Here in Tampa narry a drop, just some nice breezes to keep the humidity and temps down. Glad to see the other Florida ETS family members are doing alright.

-Bill Liptak
Posted by: benjammin

Re: Well, here comes Fay... - 08/21/08 04:11 PM

I'm planning on taking the kid on her first open water dive for her scuba cert this weekend, up at Alexander Springs. I guess it doesn't matter too much if it's raining out when you are diving, but the drive up might not be so great.

The instructor seems gung-ho about it. I suppose if he can get up for it, I can too.

One thing for sure, Junior's gonna have a mighty long Xmas list this year. Hope she sends it to more than just me this time.
Posted by: falcon5000

Re: Well, here comes Fay... - 08/21/08 08:16 PM

benjammin, I know your time in central fla is coming to a close very soon, If you have time before you leave to go visit ichetucknee springs before you leave. I was born up in cave country where cave diving is what we did for a long time, but they have a river that is crystal clear near where my parents house is that you can float down on a tube for 3 hours or put tubes in a different points depending on how long you want to stay on the river. Gennie Springs which is a couple of miles from the mid point has excellent diving and tent camping in that area. When you head back up I-75 it's not that far off your route if you even stopped to check it out. It definably is a nice place. I know the rain will probably effect a lot of these sites but there are tons of springs in these areas and a lot are free. You can pick up maps of the area at the dive stores as well for free for the spring locations. Being in Orlando where I'm at takes me 2 hours to get home, but it will be on the way as you head back up to the cooler country.




Posted by: benjammin

Re: Well, here comes Fay... - 08/22/08 11:53 AM

Hmm, we'll have to see what can be done. If Alexander is inaccessible, there's always gonna be something else around. Even Blue Springs wouldn't be a bad first dive.

Thanks for the links and the map Falcon. We've run out of time to visit many, but will try and get to some.

Of course, if this rain keeps up, her first open water dive may be on the street out front.
Posted by: MrDrysdale

Re: Well, here comes Fay... - 08/22/08 12:23 PM

This storm is pretty nasty! Looked like it was going to be minor and is going to end up costing a bundle! The news this morning said Cocoa Beach has had 24" of rain? Wow!
Posted by: Blast

Re: Well, here comes Fay... - 08/22/08 03:13 PM

Good luck. It sounds like you are getting your own Tropical Storm Allison.

Posted by: red

Re: Well, here comes Fay... - 08/22/08 03:45 PM

Be safe and God keep you safe! That feeling of the world coming down around your ears is a very unsettling one.
Posted by: benjammin

Re: Well, here comes Fay... - 08/22/08 04:03 PM

Yep, at least it's quit raining, for now. Tonight's gonna be interesting.
Posted by: Stu

Re: Well, here comes Fay... - 08/22/08 05:00 PM

Some plastic sheeting will help the "sandbags" be more water tight.

Below are instructions on how to sandbag

Sandbagging II with plastic sheeting
Posted by: falcon5000

Re: Well, here comes Fay... - 08/22/08 05:37 PM

Wow Izzy, you guys got some rain alright, here in Orlando we didn't get any wind and only some rain where we were at, no flooding where we were at. Well it's all down here from here, good luck there, the water should get sucked back in the aquifer pretty fast due to the drought season.
Posted by: falcon5000

Re: Well, here comes Fay... - 08/22/08 05:41 PM

benjammin, the rain will probably turn several of the springs into sinks so be careful when swimming around sinks. When we use to get heavy rains when cave diving and the springs that flowed out started to pull back in gets dangerous due to reverse current. We would never go into a cave if the water was pulling and it only happens when you get the heavy rains usually. Good luck on the diving.
Posted by: Stu

Re: Well, here comes Fay... - 08/22/08 07:10 PM

Originally Posted By: IzzyJG99
They took my pictures down! Darn them moderators.

I still see them.
Posted by: Nicodemus

Re: Well, here comes Fay... - 08/22/08 08:12 PM

I hope your various precautionary measures work.

Posted by: benjammin

Re: Well, here comes Fay... - 08/25/08 12:51 PM

Yep, the St. Johns is flooding out nicely this week. We are expecting T'storms every afternoon (back to the usual grind), so not much chance things are going to dry out a whole lot.

The diving was a bust. All the springs are overflowing and full of debris. The lakes are out (parasite problems), and the ocean is not the place for beginners here I've been told. Will have to wait till next weekend at the soonest before we can attempt another dive. Alexander springs was at least 8 feet above normal level. The lifeguard stand was almost completely submerged. Saw a cool ball of fire ants floating around near shore. The ball was maybe 2" in diameter, nothing but ants. I dared one of the smart alek dive masters that was with us to pick it up. He wisely declined.

Fortunately, my neighborhood is nowhwere near flooding anytime soon. It is still a nuisance, thanks to the contractor doing the main arterial road that we are connected to having lifted the pavement off the week before. There are some holes in that road that would swallow a Kia.

I guess sticking around here to the end of this week was a smart notion. I saw they got some tornadoes in Denver last night, and are expecting more tonight. Between that and the travesty that is the DNC, my wife says she would rather deal with the tornadoes. LOL. She says they've got fighter jets flying CAP and enough helicopters and small fixed wings flying around downtown Denver already to choke King Kong. That's crazy. Nothing's even going on there for a couple days.

Now I see the two tropical lows slowing making their way west into the Caribbean. I surely hope they don't decide to head this way. If we got hit again that soon, it'd be really bad!!!
Posted by: Stu

Re: Well, here comes Fay... - 08/25/08 05:37 PM

Originally Posted By: IzzyJG99
As for those storms on their way. I swear they better not come or else God and I are gonna get into one nasty fight.

Can we take bets on the winner? cool
Posted by: benjammin

Re: Well, here comes Fay... - 08/25/08 06:55 PM

DeLeon was a contender and might've been one of her other qualifying dives, until it too was shut down because of the storm. Now it is just a matter of taking whatever will be open.