Another day another hurricane advisory and the news is not improving. Twenty four hours ago it looked like this storm might be little more than a damp squib, rain and wind and nothing too excessive. Things have changed.
I woke up this morning with a sinking feeling when I checked the five o'clock update. I expected to see a nice solid path over Cuba's mountains, the Sierra Maestra, and instead the National Hurricane Center is projecting a path off the north coast of Cuba, right up the warm waters of the Old Bahamas Channel, which should help the storm to strengthen nicely.
So I got my storm shutters out and started screwing them in place. I put my potted plants into the best protected spots I could and everything not nailed down I hid in the sheds. Our outside furniture we moved into the living room.
With Cheyenne on her bed to guard it. She's none too happy about all the kerfuffle.
Rain alternated with wind all morning and I soldiered on getting wet and wind blown as I screwed in the shutters. The idea is the aluminum panels will prevent flying debris, like coconuts, from smashing the windows.
I inherited the best possible shutters from the previous owner and they slide into the lip at the top and screw in at the bottom. It takes me about an hour to install all the shutters on my 800 square root house.
Up and down my street homes are now shuttered and many of them are owned by snowbirds who keep contracts with gardeners and handymen who agree to look after homes for absentee owners.
So far the predictions call for a category one hurricane though the problem is that hurricanes can slow their forward motion and increase their circulating strength.
My problem is that as of tonight I'm locked down at work and whatever preparations I make have to be good enough for whatever may happen.
My wife and Cheyenne are staying at home for this storm with the company of a friend. I will try not to worry while I am at work. Local officials haven't issued an evacuation order yet and now it's probably getting too late as storm force winds are expected in the morning. In the past the tourist industry got seriously annoyed with evacuation orders which they said killed the flow of money to the islands. So this year the evacuation orders haven't been coming fast and furious as in years past. Officials are advising those with the means to leave to go home and those that stay to stay indoors. The airlines are adding flights to help get people out of Key West.
It will be interesting to see how this new method of non evacuation works out. Somebody always ends up blaming somebody else after the fact.
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