As I wait out a band of rain from Hurricane Matthew before going outside to take more pictures of my house, I recall the last bout my part of Florida had with a major hurricane. Actually, that year it was one major hurricane, one lingering rain maker, and a third that would dump yet more rain on us. The one-two punch of Charley and Frances that year tested us and then Jeanne beat us up some more. A fourth storm, Ivan, threatened and then took a different path.
Having been beaten down by those first two, I scheduled a trip to Baltimore for the Steelers-Ravens game, just to get the hell out of Dodge for a while. Ivan followed me up there, then followed me back to dump more rain on Central Florida. Hurricane paranoia lasted for a long time after that.
Matthew is a very dangerous Category Four storm that is presently 150 miles southwest of Palm Beach, moving northwest at 14 mph. Sustained winds are 140 mph with gusts to godknowshowmuch. I’m about 50 miles from the coast, but we aren’t safe here from a hurricane of this size and intensity.
Two million new residents have settled into the state since that time back in 2004. Many of them can not comprehend the fury of what is about to change their lives. It is not a matter of luck — everyone’s life in Central Florida will be affected. Some will lose all they have. Some will lose their lives.
Insurance companies created Florida subsidiaries after the last set of storms, so they could protect themselves from huge losses if claims piled up. Oy vey.
As I “hunker down” (whatever that means) and hope for the best for me, Artificially Sweetened, my neighbors, and all of Central Florida, I’ll take you back to 2004, when I wrote Hurricane Charley Aftermath and Hurricane Recollections for this blog. I’m glad I captured my feelings twelve years ago. I will hope for a better outcome this time, and I will hope to be able to write about it as a grateful survivor.
Should be a nice weekend for watching football. These storms tend to suck out all the moisture from the air when they leave.