We’re in Boynton Beach, getting ready to board up our house in Lake Worth. Posting will be sparse because my only computer is my phone and Patricia’s iPod.
Here’s the sitrep. We’re staying on the third floor of a new apartment building a block from the Intracoastal (not on the island). It’s solid concrete, built to current Palm Beach County codes, with the only glass patio doors rated to 150 mph. We’re boarding up a house a few miles inland that probably couldn’t take a direct hit of a 4 or 5, but that seems unlikely. We came down here to prep it to sell, and Patricia’s son is living in it. We could bug out in theory (American is offering no-fee flight changes), but we don’t want to leave him in the lurch. Worst case for us is if it does come right up the middle of the peninsula, which would put us on the dirty side of the storm (our apartment windows are south facing), but I think we’ll be OK even in that event. We are well above any potential surge, as is our car (in fact, it’s a floor above us). Our current concern is finding gas before it hits. A lot of lines, and we’re a little below half. We’d really like to top off.
I went out and spent 45 minutes in line getting gas this morning. We’re storing water in bottles, and making ice and putting it in gallon zip locks in the freezer. We’ll move into fridge as necessary if we lose power. Fortunately, unlike most here, we only need hold out until we can get flights out next week when airports reopen after the storm.
Bad news for Cuba and southwest Florida, good news for us. The storm has taken a turn to the south and west, scrubbing the upper west coast of the island, and heading for landfall perhaps near Naples, perhaps with reduced strength from the Cuba encounter. But it won’t have reduced it enough to spare Naples and Fort Myers a huge storm surge.
What it means for us is that, while we’ll still probably see hurricane-force winds, they will be much lower than previously anticipated, and nothing we can’t handle. The only bad news is that the northeast side of the storm, where we’ll now be, will have a lot of tornadic activity. No problem for us in the apartment building, but it puts the house at risk.
Almost 5 PM EDT, and the winds are continuing to increase. We just lost power, most likely for the duration, until crew can start repairing after the storm. We’ll start to move accumulated ice from the freezer to the fridge.