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Hurricane IRMA -

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by YachtForums, Sep 5, 2017.

  1. Iknownothing

    Iknownothing Member

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    Lauderdale
    Thanks for the info, wasn't sure what to expect when I get back. Irma didn't exist when I left so my hurricane shutters are sitting in my garage.
  2. StillLearning

    StillLearning New Member

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    May 26, 2017
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    FL/TX
    We are close to making an offer on a boat in FL, then looking at IRMA, decided to wait it out. See how the boat fared in the storm.

    Pascal - enjoy your posts. I used to be a lurker on another site - followed your cam as you moved Charmer (I think that is correct) on the semi annual migration. Thank you for your posts on this thread - informative and insightful.
  3. YachtForums

    YachtForums Publisher/Admin

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    Power went off Saturday the 9th; restored on the 16th. Kudos to FPL for minimum downtime, but a lot of people on the west coast are still dining by candlelight. Short of power, internet (and A/C), I headed to the Carolinas for a few days. I left Monday the 11th and literally owned 1-95 northbound. Very few vehicles going in my direction. In contrast, southbound 95 was a parking lot for 500 miles with evacs returning home. Counted about 1000 power trucks southbound from all over the country, plus a couple of 2 mile long military Humvee brigades pulling generators. Our modern day calvary!

    By the time I got to Jacksonville, I was running on fumes so I had to exit 95. There were no stations open for the past 200 miles. Found a gas station near downtown, but needed a prop and rudder to navigate canals in Jacksonville that were once city streets. Downtown was flooded. Getting back on the interstate, it was hard to comprehend the scope of Irma. Roofs, billboards, trees and branches were down all the way to North Carolina.

    On my return trip, I laid over in Jacksonville and took A1A south from there, passing through Ponte Vedro, St. Augustine, Daytona, etc. Damage along the coastline was not severe, but extensive. Very few properties emerged unscathed. Mostly trees, bushes and branches, but I saw a scattering of roof damage and sections of telephone/light poles that were bent over 45 degrees. Hard to believe wind can bend a power pole. Not a lot of surface area! Keep in mind, Irma was a west coast event. The eyewall was over 100 miles away from any point on the east coast.

    Got back to the Palm Beaches on Friday after a neighbor informed power was back on, but looking around on the return trip... Florida lost a little luster. We've had a good 10 year stretch without being pruned. Still, all of us feel fortunate. Had this storm made landfall on the east coast... ugh!

    ***

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  4. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

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    Dana Point, Ca
    Glad to here all is well, will the Ft. Lauderdale Show get impacted?
  5. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    No impact to it.
  6. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    We've driven to nearly every part of Miami, Broward County and Palm Beach County. There are occasional areas that seem to have been hit by some sort of tornado activity. It may be one yard or one home with the 20 around not having nearly the same. We all realize as do most in these areas how fortunate we are vs. areas on the west coast and vs Key West. We saw the Miami area that was flooded but it wasn't deep enough to impact as many businesses as we were afraid. There was a huge difference in marinas in Fort Lauderdale vs. Miami. Those in Broward County and Palm Beach County generally just were waiting for power. One in the Lake Worth area did have damage from anchored boats. However, in Miami it's very mixed. Some had very little damage, such as those in Miami Beach. However, the further south you moved the more damage. We haven't been out on the water yet to see, but from what we've seen from land, some of the issues in Miami were location but some are docks that just weren't as well built as others. As to land, most locations in these areas have only been waiting for power.

    I've been amazed at the energy and determination I've seen in the people of these three counties. I know people are enthusiastic about getting "back to normal" as quickly as possible. Easy for us to say. But there are areas south of us that will never get back to normal as it's been and have a long, hard path. We saw this in South Texas and it's going to not just take a financial toll but a huge emotional toll on a lot of people. A month from now, three months, six months, sometime it will just hit them so hard a second time emotionally. We had a one week recovery. Their's will take years.

    I have to applaud FPL. They did the job quickly and they communicated well. They are now down to under 12000 outages in the three counties out of 2.8 million customers and will have most of those finished today.

    I don't know how the communication to the west coast has been but the little knowledge I have of it shows St. Pete and Tampa area in pretty good shape but you get down to Naples and it just seems like there's a tremendous number of people still out of power.

    We also made an unplanned drive to Savannah Sunday afternoon. Saw much the same Carl described on the I-95 route. One thing we did see was that as you got further north, the people seemed more stunned by it all and struggling with it. We also saw and talked to and even picked up one person who found the run north and the escape from the hurricane terrifying as it seemed they couldn't get away. Sadly, the girl and her daughter we went to pick up didn't even live in an evacuation zone but listened to a frantic landlord, their apartment building receiving no damage.

    There are also a lot of people who ran out of medications or failed to take them with them. When they realized and tried, they couldn't reach their local pharmacy or their doctor. We brought a girl from South Texas back with us and she can't get her high school transcript as the school is closed. The local schools say they've gotten a lot of students from Key West with the same issue. The point is that it impacts everyone differently and some in very subtle ways we don't realize. Even things like districts that started at different times.

    Our first time here for a hurricane and we realize what felt like a hard hit was very mild compared to what so many experienced in Texas and Florida and even their hits are mild compared to some of the islands south of us. I'm just as comfortable living in Fort Lauderdale as I was, but I now look at docks and homes and construction and elevation in ways I didn't before.
  7. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    The damage we got here at dinner key is not consistent with the wind readings. We have dock boxes that exploded... a directTV dish on a piling 50' from mine got folded up. Mine is intact. Just weird

    Marina reconnected power today but everybody is waiting a bit to reconnect as everything was under water.
  8. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Sounds like the upwinds that a hurricane can generate that are very much like a tornado. Many people reported tornadoes hitting their home or yard or dock.

    Now, terrified for the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
  9. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I know of one sportfish around 60' in Pompano Beach that you just cannot explain what happened there other than a tornado. The sportfish snapped off 8 out of 9 pilings on a dock that was built in 2012, it broke free and damaged another 120' of dock. A hatch on the flybridge that's 2' by 3' ended up in the bushes 100' away. Ironically, the boat itself only needs the hull painted and some this' and that's. Meanwhile I have 2 management yachts 1/4 mile, 1/2 mile North of it that are flawless, and one 1 mile South of it that are flawless......looks like nothing ever happened.
  10. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I was talking about someone in regards to what Irma did down there. He felt it's going to seriously effect this winters yachting season since most of the Carribbean is no longer a destination since there aren't even marina's on a lot of islands there now.
  11. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    And beyond marinas it will take a year for things to get cleaned up and foliage to return.

    From post hurricane experience there in the 80s and 90s the one exception will be st barths where people work much harder to clean up and rebuild. And structures have suffered less damage thanks to higher construction standards. But foliage will still take a year to come back as everythign is burned by salt

    Exumas are going to be packed this winter :(
  12. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    The last two years we've headed to the eastern Caribbean in mid January. If it's possible, we'll still try. Even if things aren't in good condition, if they're just passable, to somehow let it be known that we're not just good time friends. That's like as soon as Key West can accept visitors and benefit at all from them, we'll be on our way.
  13. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    Antigua and St. Lucia missed both direct hits and are functioning as normal. A small wonder in a bad season.
  14. CaptPKilbride

    CaptPKilbride Senior Member

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    Live in Maine, work in the Gulf of Mexico
    This is wonderful.
    Yes, the affected areas will not have the services and infrastructure rebuilt for quite some time. Any visitors to the area will be a help with needed income. The positive side is that for self sufficient cruising yachts, you will be in uncrowded anchorages ... reminiscent of what the area must have been like before being discovered as a cruising and vacationing destination. My father and uncles have told me stories of sailing the Sir Francis Drake Channel back in the 60's and 70's and seeing hardly any other boats around.
  15. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Well, we're land based for a while with hurricane recovery, but then we will start thinking of longer cruises. Going back in subsequent years to see progress then will be most enjoyable. Right now, really feeling for Puerto Rico. I went there often on business early in my career. Loved the island, especially the people. We spent 10 days this January cruising there. Brought back such great memories.
  16. CaptPKilbride

    CaptPKilbride Senior Member

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    Live in Maine, work in the Gulf of Mexico
    There are a lot of tough and resilient people there. There will be progress, for sure!

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