Still no power or water here in Buckingham, where there is some of the worst flooding. FPL has said they hope to have the power restored by Sept 22. A friend in Lehigh Acres was told it would be a month for their power to be restored.
We are in the Antioch area of Plant City. We got hit pretty good. Lost quite a few trees and many branches. We received so much rain that most of our property was under water. Water out back was almost waist deep the night she hit. Water covered the driveway and was over the road in some spots. We have never seen so much water. We lost electricity Sunday night and it was restored about an hour ago. Thank God for our generator. One thing I can thank Irma for is convincing us to get a large standby generator, coming soon! Goodbye and good riddance Irma!
Power finally came back on around noon here. I can say, it is actually cooler inside tonight than outside for the first time in seven days.
On Saturday morning we woke up to The Hurricane Center aiming Irma right up Gulfport and St. Pete as a Cat 4 or so. Normally I'd be posting on this forum giving my latest blah blah blah, but the fear was a bit overwhelming and we scrambled to do even more preventative measures here.
Irma missed us, but even so our power was knocked out at 7:50 pm on the 10th. A big part of our neighbor's tree fell on our house around midnight. We were lucky that so far it appears the wind softened the fall and there may be no damage. Our yard was full of debris, and we still have a few piles of branches and debris. We lost a "Cassia" tree, a Bougainvillea, and had the dangerous Cherry Oak totally removed off our home and down to the stump.
Here's the rub...
The strongest gust we had in our yard was 38 mph. That was the moment we lost power. Our weather station kept collecting data all week, and even around midnight when the tree fell the gust was 37 mph.
Curious, Hurricane Hermine brought stronger gusts around here. But we never lost power. Hermine with it's 39 mph gusts did bring down a big chunk of the same tree on our roof that fell on our house this time. But all in all, around Pinellas County with hurricane speed winds, Hermine was nothing compared to Irma with tropical storm winds.
OK, as someone who has an electrical education, there is Voltage vs Current. So in the Hermine/Irma situation, it may be like Hermine had a peak voltage that was very high (wind gusts in the hurricane speed range around 80 mph in some places), but Irma had a sustained current (30 to 40 mpg winds that did not let up all around the county up to 65 mph or so) that was way more amperage than Hermine and very much more powerful.
Looking at the weather stations around here, Pinellas County barely had hurricane winds at all (if at all), so our week of no power for 400,000 customers was all from a powerful tropical storm effect from Irma. In order to recharge our cell phones, my wife and I drove around and there are some areas that are not touched and other areas that were slammed. Yet I am still looking for 70+ mph winds and Irma was just a tropical storm here.
Hmmm, BIG slow tropical storm vs. little fast Cat 1 hurricane? Big slow may be worse.
-------------------- Gulfport, Florida USA - Personal Weather Station:
I just got power back on at noon today as well, making it almost six days without power since 5pm Sunday, 9/10.
Pinellas County definitely experienced some hurricane force gusts: 74mph at the St. Pete/Clearwater Airport ASOS and 87mph in Belleair. We will have to wait for the official post storm report from the NWS in Ruskin for the final numbers. There is definitely variation in wind damage. My area received quite a bit, but it doesn't look as bad a couple miles east in the central part of the county.
I used to have a personal weather station in my yard and it always under-reported wind by a large margin, so much so that I elected not to replace it for that reason. In most normal yard situations, it is impossible to place the anemometer at the appropriate height above ground and distance from obstructions to yield accurate readings.
Observed little damage in the Stuart area....while riding in a 15 mile loop did not see a wire down.....3 days latter many out of state utility co. trucks riding or parked in groups but no one working as there was nothing to do....me and a lot of friends in other areas of the state were w/o power for 5 to 7 days..
my question is why did it take so long to restore power when there was so little visible damage to their system......does FP&L have a weak spot ????
Power was out in my entire area of Boca Raton from Sunday about 4PM until either Friday or Saturday night. I traveled from Boca to West Palm and up to Melbourne. I think there is a marked decrease in damage to trees from about Delray north, but there is still considerable damage all the way up the coast to Melbourne. Trees in my area of Boca (east of I-95) took a considerable hit...I would say comparable to Frances in this area and not nearly as bad as Wilma. I think the only reason the tree damage wasn't worse than Frances is that there are fewer Ficus trees now. Where I see the most damage, there are ficus and other non-natives. I saw very little structural damage in this area and no flooding. Very few poles down and FPL generally did a much better job at keeping and restoring power than in 2004-2005.
Is there a radar loop recording of Irma as it moved through Florida that can be viewed?
We ended up not evacuating after Irma's track changed away from the Savannah, GA area, although we did have our evacuation reservations made. Ironically, if we would have evacuated, it would have been straight into Irma's path if we could have even gotten there due to all of the gas shortages.
I'm glad I stayed home even though the conditions at my house were pretty darn scary, to say the least. We had a 5-6 foot storm surge on my small island which is a little southeast of the Richmond Hill, GA city limits. "As the crow flies", I'm about 10 minutes from the Atlantic Ocean, but lots and lots of marsh and a little land act as a buffer before you get to my house on the Ogeechee River. We had 6 inches of rain with tropical force winds that weren't bad at all. We've seen stronger winds here during a bad thunderstorm. But that surge? Wow. I've lived in this house on the Ogeechee River for the last 31 years, and I have never seen a surge like I saw from Irma. And I have never seen the marsh across the river from me 99% covered with water UNTIL Irma either.
Last October when Hurricane Matthew passed by my house, the water from the Ogeechee never even got into my backyard (on the river) except a very small patch on the lower right corner of my property which slants lower, and that was only for a 10x10 foot area. Irma was another animal all together. She took my neighbors dock completely apart with a forceful whoosh, and his dock was gone baby gone and so were some other docks not too far from me. Some neighbors got water in their homes. Fortunately I have a high lot, or the same thing would have happened to me.
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