Saturday, August 25, 2012

Running From Isaac

Vero Beach, Florida

We left Quail Run right before Sherry and David.  We saw them driving around the loop, preparing to put the Honda on the tow dolly, as we were pulling out.  Neither of us got a very early start (as usual).

Initially, we were thinking maybe we would head north up I-75.   We noticed that the  “spaghetti models”  were trending the storm away from the west coast of Florida.  That was good news.  It was looking like the south east part of Florida might be a good place to be, so we headed towards Vero Beach.

The hurricane center sends reconnaissance planes out frequently and we get frequent updates.  While we were traveling they had revised the “cone of uncertainty” more towards the east and Vero Beach wasn’t looking so good anymore.  By this time, we were almost there, so we decided to spend one night there and then we would be close enough to the interstate to head north on I-95, or stay if things changed.

The Spaghetti Models are projected paths of many different computer models.   There are two computer models that are the best.  The Euro and the GFS, and they had two completely different views on where Isaac would go.  That was making it very difficult for the National Hurricane Center to forecast, so they just widened their “cone.”

ISAAC Spaghetti Models   Cyclocane

Most models are now coming together, predicting an initial landfall in the Keys. Yesterday, it was Miami (not good news)   It will then move into the warm Gulf of Mexico waters, strengthen, then make another landfall somewhere on the Florida Panhandle or even further west towards Mobile Bay or even New Orleans.

The problem with this storm is, that even though Vero Beach is probably not going to be in the direct path of the storm, it’s such a huge storm that we could still get tropical storm winds., which are winds between 39-73 mph.   On top of the high winds, we would be on the bad (right) side of the storm and  hurricanes frequently spawn tornado’s.  

Another thing we have to consider is that these models are only guides.  The can,  and frequently do change directions at the last minute.  A few years ago Hurricane Charley was expected to make a direct hit on Tampa.  At the last minute (thank goodness for us) it made a right turn and struck Port Charlotte.  It did a LOT of damage and a lot of Snowbird and 55+ mobile home parks were destroyed.   Many senior citizens were suddenly homeless. It was very sad.

So…..we still have a dilemma.  This is where we are at right now.  Isaac is supposed to come from Cuba, over the Keys and then northwest towards somewhere between Mobile Bay, Alabama and Tallahassee, Florida  (or in that general direction)


Map picture

We’re concerned if we stay here our options would be limited, should it decide to take a sharp right and head east, or even veer further east.  Where we are currently at we have no good escape route.

We used to think that once a hurricane went over land, they quickly lost strength.  The two hurricane seasons from hell (2004 and 2005) proved otherwise.  They can easily enter on one coast, move up diagonally and exit on the other coast and  do a ton of damage all along the way.

The bad thing about Florida is that  you can only flee one direction. The other three directions will land you in either the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico.  The only way to get away from water is head north.

The problem with heading north, is that it’s predicted to make a sharp right once it makes landfall.  That will put it going into Georgia, North and South Carolina. We won’t want to be on the right side of the storm when it moves through Georgia.

This is a huge storm and due to the size, it will take a while to wind down.

Of course it’s still actually considered a tropical storm, but as soon as it gets over open water, they are thinking it will become a category 2  (cat2) which is 96-110 mph winds.   They are much better at predicting direction of a storm than intensity, so it could easily become stronger.  

So, we’re sitting here watching the latest weather forecasts and maps.  I think we’re going to get on the interstate and head north.  We may very well end up where David and Sherry spent last night. 

At least if we get way up ahead of the storm it will give us some options.  The storm isn’t moving that fast, but it still travels at night.  We don’t!  

We’re open to suggestions, if anyone has any!   We had been wanting to go to the Savannah, Charleston area, and also to Ashville, North Carolina.  It looks like we may get there after all.

Right now, we’re just playing it by ear.

and we’re off…….


  1. Why don't you go to Pennsylvania? I think you have time. By the time Issac got that far north, it would only be a rain storm.


  2. I guess where you want to be really does depend on what the storm does. Savannah and Cumberland Island are both really worth seeing but if the storm is coming through Georgia then Ashville would be best. Good luck with your plans. Sorry we missed you here.

    1. Once we get out of Florida we'll have more options.

  3. Look at Outdoor Resorts in the Blue Ridge Mountains...southwest of Asheville...good place to land...beautiful facilities and great area to visit.

  4. Where to go? It all depends on how far you want to travel. Alaska is probably looking good for you right now. ;c)

    Good luck, whatever you decide, it is good to know that you have enough advance warning to choose wisely.

    Wish those computer models were more in agreement, seems all they do is confuse the situation.

  5. Eldy says head to North Carolina where there are some nice Thousand Trails parks. That's what we vote for!

  6. We are NW of Tallahassee now but heading towards friends of ours that live due north of Gainesville. Stay safe!

  7. Where ever you go I hope you will be safe. I have often wondered about this aspect of RVs in Florida, or Tornado Alley in the mid-west for that matter.

  8. This is scary. I think I'd take turns driving and just keep going until we were in a safe place with options in case of any changes. Drive safe and stay in front of the storm. :)

    I hope all the other RVers in the storm area and people in mobile home parks will be safe, too.

  9. Ike was a cat2, my house was severly damaged. I'd be heading west of the storm if at all possible. It's too hard to tell what kind of turns it's going to take right now. Louisiana looks good right now...I know you & Al will do what you can to stay safe though!

  10. Wherever you decide to go, I hope you are safe. Good luck.

  11. Ashville is gorgeous! We stayed there almost a week. There is so much to see and so many great hiking trails.
    Please be safe!

  12. Surely Asheville will be out of the path of anything big. We actually camped at a WalMart there, right on the river, with our own little grassy patio outside the MoHo door. A beautiful town, with a gorgeous and fun downtown. We loved it. But it isn't cheap.

  13. Just keep us posted so that we know you are safe wherever you end up.

  14. We live just south of Arcadia.. can anyone say "Charlie".. When Charlie turned in and followed Peace River from Punta Gorda through Nocatee, and further inland to Wauchula and even sebring took a hit, which is quite a distance. Difference with this storm is Charlie was little, low to the ground for the disturbance and moving fast. Isaac is Big, High atmospheric and moving slow. The low atmosphere of charlie allowed the warm inviting water of the peace river to pull it in, which the don't "believe" (and I say that lightly) that will happen with this one.

    Charlie was.... awful.. if you have not been through a storm, then you really can't understand. Our house was badly damaged, but the problem is the weeks and months of recovery and rebuilding afterwords. We had 3 weeks with out power - Charlie hit 8/13/04 and it was brutally hot. I work at a hospital (Network Admin - Computers), my hubby works in utilities - it was a very painful recovery - when we bought a 5th wheel and lived in after the storm. Today we were discussing what to do with the motorhome to maintain it's safety... And our NEW house (we custom built after the Charlie episode) let me just say, if you need a shelter... we got it covered...

    For the record - during the storm their were only 3 people in Arcadia killed - and all 3 did something stupid - like going out on the porch to smoke a cigarette during the storm.. really. There were some injuries most happened during cleanup afterwords and their were a number of people with heart attacks and stress issues - Punta Gorda was the same way - Charlie was small and cut a very fine but deadly path. RV's and trailers are no place to be in a strong storm - this storm is not predicted to be as strong... but then again neither was Charlie. In a decent built house as long as you stay away from windows and use some common since it should be fine. The hard part is after the storm.

    Now our plans in 3 years we will be full timing in a RV- selling our wonderful house and with that said if it were us... Oregon sounds like the place to be if a hurricane is coming - just saying..

  15. If you go to PA, you can enjoy some good Amish food and there are a number of great campgrounds in that area:)

  16. Hope you are safe where ever you go.


  17. It is looking like where Sherry and David were is a pretty clear spot. I think it is going to jog west and hit N.O.


Please feel free to leave comments. We love to read them! To contact me directly you can send e-mail to