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.”
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)
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…….