Hurricane Irma: a Category 5 storm
September 5, 2017 4:15 PM   Subscribe

 
It doesn't look like there will be flooding like Harvey, but more the traditional damage from storm surge driven floods and high speed winds.
posted by ZeusHumms at 4:18 PM on September 5 [2 favorites]


The forecasts for CONUS landfall are still varying a lot, so it's really hard to say much of anything about what the impact in the US will be, at this stage.
posted by Coventry at 4:23 PM on September 5


As a former hurricane aid worker in Florida, storm surge is what to watch out for. Scary shit.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 4:27 PM on September 5 [9 favorites]


Half of my husband's family is still in PR and it's more than a little terrifying. They're mostly on the south half of the island, which is . . . better. . . but one of his aunts is getting dialysis daily at home and can't easily move. And it's not like Puerto Rico has any money for disaster relief.
posted by dinty_moore at 4:28 PM on September 5 [9 favorites]


Between this from Puerto Ricans and Cubans and DACA repeal from Mexicans, it has been an especially terrifying day on Spanish language social media.
posted by dinty_moore at 4:32 PM on September 5 [38 favorites]


The Miami Herald article also says that Puerto Rico could be out of power for up to 6 months. How is that even possible? Is that major power plants getting damaged?
posted by KGMoney at 4:32 PM on September 5 [6 favorites]


Hurricane Allen completely filled the Gulf of Mexico, this nasty storm is very compact by comparison. Let's hope the category 5 doesn't last for long.
posted by Bee'sWing at 4:33 PM on September 5


First landfall is the eye going directly over Codrington, Barbuda sometime tonight.
The Barbudans are are a tough independent people but this is going to hit them really hard.
Stay safe Francis family.
posted by adamvasco at 4:36 PM on September 5 [6 favorites]




Because they must, the Navy advised Key West today that we could expect a storm surge from 8 to fifteen feet deep with this storm. Wilma only managed 4 to 8 feet and inundated many areas of the island for hours.

Key West is a big rock. Water comes up one side and flows off the other in a storm surge.

Coastal mainland Florida must watch it go in as far as the surge will push it, grabbing trees, cars, boats and houses, and then using them as giant swarms of battering rams to knock over everything on the way out. Fire hydrants and electric poles are popular targets.

We're battening down now and watching Puerto Rico and Cuba for signs of a turn to the North and open ocean. It's not showing any signs of that.

I've ridden out 19 storms in 21 years and tend to prepare responsibly, then hide and watch. After we prep this time, I may take a trip to Kansas. 150 mph winds make me nervous.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 4:39 PM on September 5 [30 favorites]


Irma gherd, indeed.
posted by clawsoon at 4:41 PM on September 5 [16 favorites]


Oh, here's a much better page. Shows the latest GFS and Euro ensembles side by side.
posted by Coventry at 4:42 PM on September 5 [7 favorites]


You know you're in trouble when you can't even see Florida underneath all the spaghetti plots.
posted by Justinian at 4:44 PM on September 5 [22 favorites]


Puerto Rico could be out of power for up to 6 months. How is that even possible?
Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) is predicting four-to-six-month blackouts in parts of the US territory. Ramos told local radio station Notiuno 630 AM on Sept. 5 that power would likely be restored to parts of the island within a week of the extreme weather.

PREPA has been officially in crisis since 2014 when it would have declared bankruptcy for $9 billion in debt but was unable to do so under the US Code’s Chapter 9 bankruptcy provisions. The local legislature’s attempt to work around this was struck down by the US Supreme Court in 2016.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 4:47 PM on September 5 [30 favorites]


I typed a comment and deleted it. I think the folks on the mainland (The Keys and such exempted) are jumping the gun with the freakout / clearing of shelves since we don't really know where it's going yet. I say this as someone in the mean/median of the projected paths (if still 3 or 4 days out from when it passes the keys).

That aside, and I know I'm being contrary here, I rode out Hurricane Ivan in Alabama so I know to respect these damn letter 'I' hurricanes. We'll see.
posted by RolandOfEld at 4:47 PM on September 5 [6 favorites]


I mean, my mom is saying stores/shelves in Alabama are feeling the heat. So.. don't get me wrong, I'm not begrudging anyone their right to go out and by a case of water bottles but sheesh...
posted by RolandOfEld at 4:49 PM on September 5 [1 favorite]


I am very concerned about everyone in Puerto Rico, Cuba, the other islands, and Florida. These times are extremely difficult what the natural disasters happening all over, as well as geopolitical difficulties that are intractable.

I am thinking of all you in these areas and hoping for your safety. I hope you have enough time to prepare. I will be fighting for y'all to have enough resources to cope with damage afterwards, especially in places like Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, where folks lack real representation in the Congress.

<333
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 4:50 PM on September 5 [17 favorites]


Is that major power plants getting damaged?

More likely transmission lines, which are very vulnerable to stupidly high winds.
posted by Bringer Tom at 4:50 PM on September 5 [1 favorite]


Not good news for Key West, but better news for Miami? The storm surge will surely be less for Miami if the storm hits the bottom of Florida first.
My neighborhood in Houston had no power for 6 weeks after Ike. Wasn't home for a few weeks of it, fortunately.
posted by Bee'sWing at 4:50 PM on September 5


You know you're in trouble when you can't even see Florida underneath all the spaghetti plots.

Those plots don't represent the full uncertainty. The density varies a lot from run to run. Still, it's looking like about 80-90% probability that it will hit one of the southern states.
posted by Coventry at 4:51 PM on September 5 [1 favorite]


That might reflect more on the water-buyer's confidence in the government's ability to help them afterward.
posted by schadenfrau at 4:51 PM on September 5 [3 favorites]


I worry about the small islands that are going to get hit first. They don't have the resources to prepare that a big country would, and they are very vulnerable to a storm of this strength.
posted by Dip Flash at 4:52 PM on September 5 [22 favorites]


Grocery stores are already running out of water, bread, etc as well as local gas stations running out of gas here in the Tampa Bay. People seem to be taking Irma seriously which is good. Stay safe fellow Floridian MeFites.
posted by photoslob at 4:52 PM on September 5 [1 favorite]


The problem with Florida is that for the population density of the peninsula, there really aren't a lot of roads out of the peninsula, and there's only one direction to go. When New Orleans evacuated for Katrina we had two directions to go on I-10 plus both I-55 and I-59 going somewhat different directions north. And a couple of hours west on I-10 you have I-49 going another direction north, and a couple of hours east you have I-65. If you're in Miami, you basically got north. If it's not certain which side of the state it's going to hit, you've got EVERYBODY going north. And for a considerable distance before any fanning out is possible. This is a nightmare situation, and does Florida even have a contraflow evacuation plan?
posted by Bringer Tom at 4:55 PM on September 5 [5 favorites]


I've ridden out 19 storms in 21 years and tend to prepare responsibly, then hide and watch. After we prep this time, I may take a trip to Kansas. 150 mph winds make me nervous.

There's a popular movie about 150mph winds in Kansas.
posted by kaibutsu at 4:55 PM on September 5 [22 favorites]


Electric utilities are very good at cooperating to fix storm damage. You can drive your trucks down from Kansas or Arkansas easily. Getting to Puerto Rico is going to be harder though.
posted by Bee'sWing at 4:56 PM on September 5 [2 favorites]


It's never too early to buy water and canned goods, if nothing else some people buying now gives a couple extra days for stores to be restocked before the megacrush of people later this week. Hell I grabbed a thing of water yesterday and we're all the way in DC. We lost power for 5 days just from the 2012 derecho and moved to within a flood plain since then. You never know.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:57 PM on September 5 [6 favorites]


I lived in the USVI for several years and have many friends still down there. These folks have been through hurricanes before, but a large category 5 storm like this is terrifying. My Facebook feed today has been full of photos of people boarding up homes and businesses. Everyone is level headed and doing what they can to prepare and stay safe, but I'm very worried for all the residents of the area.

One of the local meteorologists posted this morning than when the last major hurricane came through St. Thomas 22 years ago (Marilyn), the wind speeds were 115 @ sea level, but on the higher elevations they reached 170 mph before their anemometer broke.
posted by OntologicalPuppy at 5:01 PM on September 5 [8 favorites]


Desperately needs a Twirly Thing tag.
posted by yoga at 5:04 PM on September 5 [2 favorites]


Most tracks show it sidling up to Puerto Rico, the DR, and Haiti, which is still suffering the effects of last year's hurricane Matthew. Ouch. No idea how strong it might be when it gets near or to Florida, but there's a couple days for people to make plans and evacuate early. I presume Florida would be gridlocked by most evacuations. Does it work to go to the Gulf side? I'm all for people stocking up on supplies. Officials will be terrified of screwing up the evac decisions and anybody who can get to safer ground early leaves room for the people who couldn't get out of work or had other barriers to evacuation.
posted by theora55 at 5:08 PM on September 5


🌀 There is a hurricane emoji.
posted by Bee'sWing at 5:10 PM on September 5 [6 favorites]


To answer my own question, Florida won't contraflow, but plans to make the shoulders into lanes. In fairness it took Louisiana three or four tries to make contraflow not be a clusterfuck, and Katrina was the first time it really worked.
posted by Bringer Tom at 5:12 PM on September 5 [2 favorites]


Miami Herald: Everything you need to survive a storm.

Collection of checklists, list of emergency references, key websites and apps.
posted by ZeusHumms at 5:12 PM on September 5 [4 favorites]


Publix was out of water and Shell was out of gas this afternoon in our neck of the woods here in Jacksonville. I was kinda surprised people were hitting the supplies so soon, but maybe Matthew spooked them last year. Stay safe, fellow Florida Mefites.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 5:13 PM on September 5 [1 favorite]


Incorrect. 🌀 is the Dreamcast emoji.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 5:13 PM on September 5 [12 favorites]


Damn. Sending love & strength from North Cackalacky out to everybody (esp. the islanders) in this hurricane's uncertain path...
posted by Bob Regular at 5:20 PM on September 5 [1 favorite]


It is not going to be devastating for Puerto Rico. San Juan is looking at a Category 2. Much of the island will be in a tropical storm. In Puerto Rico that means electricity and water outages for x days. I'll try to report if we don't lose internet.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 5:22 PM on September 5 [12 favorites]


Sooooo...Costco in Wilmington is out of water. The lines at the pump were long. I bought fuel for my generator.

Right now, the island is waiting to make some decisions. Our work schedule is up in the air; smaller cane, we stay put. Larger cane, we evacuate the island and move our local EOC and staging across the ICWW to the mainland. When the winds pick up, the apparatus don't move anyway. Big-ass cane, they cut us loose and we either batten down the hatches or get the hell out of dodge. If they cut us loose, I'll probably head for Charlotte. I had to replace my roof after Matthew last year; I think USAA is tired of me calling them. We stayed in the station for Matthew (we all signed a hurricane flag we flew and it's hanging in the kitchen); they evacuated for Fran, which was a good thing seeing as most of the island flooded and there was quite a bit of damage.

Winston the Boston and I, along with everyone else, are apprehensive. Don't worry; Winston stayed with us at the station for Matthew, and he'll be by my side again if Irma decides she's going to head this way.
posted by sara is disenchanted at 5:23 PM on September 5 [17 favorites]


If the eye passes you to the east, it is amazing how little you might be affected.

Also, the Dreamcast logo is a better design.
posted by Bee'sWing at 5:24 PM on September 5 [1 favorite]




Damn Coventry, the eye is bigger than most of the islands.
posted by Bringer Tom at 5:27 PM on September 5


When I say "just a Category 2" I don't mean to say that's nothing. I'm saying it's like missing meals for a day versus a famine when compared to what's going to happen to Barbuda and other islands.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 5:39 PM on September 5 [2 favorites]




GOES16 infrared, focused on Irma.

Apparently recent (7PM CT) dropsondes have a range of pressures from 914 to 917mb along with 160kt (185mph) sustained winds. (Wind figure is not verified by other drops yet.) Someone recorded 220+mph winds at flight level.
posted by suckerpunch at 5:43 PM on September 5


Desperately needs a Twirly Thing tag.


I initially read this as "Twirly Ting" tag and thought, "Oh Jesus- what ridiculous dance have the Trinis come up with now?"


But seriously, everyone stay safe out there.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:45 PM on September 5


I have a couple of good friends in Florida, one in Miami and one in St. Petersburg. The one in Miami is planning to tough it out, I hope that's not the biggest mistake of his life...
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:47 PM on September 5


My neighbor Frank is an NWS meteorologist. I used to get excited to see forecast notes where he signed his name but...too much Bad News about the weather in too short a time, and I don't want to see Frank's name again for a while.

(Sorry, Frank. You can keep posting pictures of your family, those always make me happy.)
posted by wenestvedt at 5:51 PM on September 5 [2 favorites]


I feel truly terrible about myself for thinking this, yet I can't stop hoping for a direct hit on Mar-a-Lago.
posted by twsf at 5:54 PM on September 5 [40 favorites]


I think the best thing you can hope for is that it touches as little land as possible. If you wish harm on Mar-a-Lago, there are more precise munitions.
posted by Coventry at 6:01 PM on September 5 [10 favorites]


My read on the ground in Miami is that everyone is being incredibly cautious after watching Harvey. Water was disappearing off the shelves on Sunday and has been at a "as soon as it is in its gone" situation since. Today that seems to be the case with bread and other staples. Gas stations have considerable lines right now. And while I didn't go to a hardware store, I'm sure that was a zoo.

In my experience, the panic starts closer to the event itself. But between the old timers reminiscing about Andrew and everyone watching Harvey... it seems to be a situation that everyone is taking seriously.
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 6:03 PM on September 5 [3 favorites]


I feel truly terrible about myself for thinking this, yet I can't stop hoping for a direct hit on Mar-a-Lago.

If it makes you feel any better, I'm actively planning for my apartment to be underwater and I've also had this thought.
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 6:08 PM on September 5 [35 favorites]


Primed some vegan jerky and soy curls and ramen to my mom's. Will be headed up to her place in north ish Florida tomorrow to help close up the family bookstore and ride out the storm with her. I have the complete Hitchhiker's Guide and all the core D&D books and one of my hometown friends has roughly a zillion board games, so we should be set for power outages. Hoping this goes smoothly in Cat 5 hurricane terms and all it amounts to is a good excuse to hole up and play some D&D for days to weeks!
posted by Gymnopedist at 6:10 PM on September 5 [8 favorites]


Latest dropsonde : 158kt winds sustained in northeast eyewall, 914mb pressure. Earlier readings are pretty much verified.
posted by suckerpunch at 6:14 PM on September 5 [2 favorites]


Anyone who has been in the path of a scary storm knows that it is a bad bad jinx to wish it on someone else. You wish that it stays at sea (and you feel bad for sailors) or that it hits the most empty places. I did feel tempted for that Republican convention in Tampa for a little while though.
posted by Bee'sWing at 6:21 PM on September 5 [4 favorites]


Stay safe, MeFites in scary places. I read the checklist of what to do via the link posted by ZeusHumms and I can never, ever, ever live in a place that has the kind of natural events that requires so much work to survive. (I live in California and plan to just die in the big earthquake because that requires no planning or effort.)
posted by Bella Donna at 6:28 PM on September 5 [6 favorites]


Hate to favorite that, JustKeepSwimming, but if it's any consolation, my 90 year old in-laws are in Delray Beach and I'm quite worried about them. Luckily, one of their kids lives nearby and can at least be on the scene and do what needs to get to done. Stay safe, everyone.
posted by mollweide at 6:28 PM on September 5 [1 favorite]


Last bit of Irma info for tonight : Levi Cowan's latest video explanation is up. This is great viewing for the vast majority of people.

(Please stay off of his website, as it's being occasionally DDOSed by the volume of requests. You should really only be looking there if you have enough sophistication and/or obsession to read skew-t graphs. His videos are consistently clear, lacking condescendence, and most importantly, are hosted on Youtube so he won't have to pay for the bandwidth.)
posted by suckerpunch at 6:38 PM on September 5 [7 favorites]


If it makes you feel any better, I'm actively planning for my apartment to be underwater and I've also had this thought.
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 6:08 PM on September 5


Eponyworrisome
posted by dephlogisticated at 6:40 PM on September 5 [51 favorites]


Seconding Cowan's videos. He mentions in this one that mandatory evacuations for parts of Southern Florida will be coming Wednesday morning. His assessment is that it's still possible for Irma to turn out to sea, but a CONUS landfall (maybe even specifically in Florida, I wasn't sure) is much more likely than not, and even if Irma is disrupted by landfall in Hispaniola and Cuba, it is likely to come through as a category 2 or 3 hurricane.
posted by Coventry at 6:50 PM on September 5


Gods, those poor islanders. I've been on many of those tiny bits of rock in the sea, and there's just no where to run. This is terrifying.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 7:05 PM on September 5 [3 favorites]




I was in Naples for a new play festival, and the theatre company is flying us out. Even at this stage getting a flight is nearly impossible. We have to drive up to Tallahasse to find an airport that isn't booked up.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 7:15 PM on September 5


This seems like it could be bad. An article on the Turkey Point nuclear reactor outside of Miami from 2011...

Five reasons Turkey Point could be the next nuclear disaster.
3. Just like in Japan, Turkey Point is susceptible to a meltdown caused by a natural disaster. A hurricane-spurred tidal surge from Turkey Point's neighboring Biscayne Bay could create catastrophic conditions identical to those in Japan. With power down, the plant would be forced to rely on emergency diesel generators to pump water to cool the reactors. Saporito believes those generators would "certainly" become inundated with water from the tidal surge, causing them to drown and fail.

4. The plant's spent fuel pools are brimming with danger. Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station's spent fuel pools are threatening to boil away and introduce radiation into the air. Last June, FPL was fined $70,000 for violations regarding Turkey Point's spent fuel pools. The negligence "could have resulted in a severe nuclear accident," Saporito says. "That could be a horrific disaster all by itself."

5. If Turkey Point melts down, Miami is doomed. Saporito says there will be no time to evacuate the city to protect ourselves from radiation. If there's a meltdown, "people are going to die," he says, "and the entire city of Miami could become a ghost town that nobody can go back to for 50,000 years."
So.. There's that.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 7:21 PM on September 5 [24 favorites]


We have to drive up to Tallahasse to find an airport that isn't booked up.

May I recommend Ming Tree Chinese for baller family style Chinese food and Lofty Pursuits soda fountain/candy store for, well, sodas and candy made on site in traditional fashion? Hope that makes your trip to Tally a bit better.
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:21 PM on September 5 [6 favorites]


At least the original ten plagues had some variety. I hope Pharaoh relents before we get eight more of these.
posted by Slinga at 7:21 PM on September 5 [17 favorites]


We had Darkness just a couple of weeks ago!
posted by theodolite at 7:26 PM on September 5 [38 favorites]


Because I know y'all make miracles happen: Friend of a friend's mom needs a ride north from Delray, FL since all flights were booked, not sure of details beyond that but he has promised gas money and is the type to make good on that promise if anyone wants to rideshare via the internet. He made the facebook request public so I don't feel too bad linking it here.
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:30 PM on September 5 [7 favorites]


I hope Pharaoh relents before we get eight more of these.

I don't know about ten in a row, but in fifteen or twenty years, Irma is probably going to seem run-of-the-mill.
posted by Coventry at 7:31 PM on September 5 [4 favorites]


The Onion is already all over that. Category 6 hurricane hitting Denver, per their long-range forecasting [satirical, but ??]
posted by witchen at 7:41 PM on September 5 [5 favorites]


As for the ten plagues, I was reading about a superbug bacterial pneumonia resistant to everything in China. That might qualify as the locusts.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:01 PM on September 5


I'm beginning to wonder if we'll get our own GRS. :/
posted by sexyrobot at 8:03 PM on September 5 [1 favorite]


Wind picking up here in St. Martin. Hopefully this won't be my last comment, but it might be the last for a while.
posted by snofoam at 8:17 PM on September 5 [26 favorites]


Miami Herald: Miami-Dade [county] planning first major evacuation in 12 years ahead of Hurricane Irma. They're taking no chances with this one.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:36 PM on September 5 [2 favorites]


Yeah, south florida is going to get hit. I'm in New England and a category 5 storm scares me, even if it is hitting florida. A hurricane that big is one of the most destructive things that can happen. And it is so big that getting away from it means a lot of people going..where? all at the same time.

I'll start praying to my pagan gods it turns north, then east.

be safe snofoam!
posted by vrakatar at 8:52 PM on September 5 [3 favorites]


Initial run of GFS has another Carolinas landfall, but the last had most of the perturbations nailing the FL peninsula.
posted by Coventry at 9:17 PM on September 5


From the Western US (where everything is on fire), we send you our best and please stay safe and as dry as you can.
posted by rtha at 9:24 PM on September 5 [19 favorites]


Like photoslob, I'm over on the Gulf coast. Both Mrs. Blank and I will be working through the storm, her in a county shelter and me at an emergency management post. My house is less than a mile from the water, so I'm really not looking forward to what I'll find when I finally get back home. If the track shifts east, we'll fare better, but I wouldn't wish this thing on anyone.
posted by martin q blank at 9:30 PM on September 5 [4 favorites]


Miami New Times has an article about highly likely potential of Miami Beach flooding, specifically referencing (with video) the flooding we had a month ago.
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 9:36 PM on September 5


Harvey was only two weeks ago. Two weeks.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:36 PM on September 5 [8 favorites]


Right now, in the central Atlantic, Tropical Storm Jose is warming up. There's a tropical depression building up somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico too.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:03 PM on September 5


St. Pete local here. I’ve lived all over Florida for the past 20 years and I don’t fuck around about these storms. On the other hand, I’m not new to them either.

I am throwing-up-terrified right now. My husband and I have the resources to leave but I worry we’ve waited too long already. We can stay with friends in Atlanta but I’m afraid to head that way because of reports many (most?) of the gas stations are already empty. I don’t want to get stuck on the road.

Our other option is to head to our friends’s house in Hudson. Though the area is known to flood a bit, their house is a good bit inland and outside of all the evacuation zones. On the other hand, a storm like this going right overhead brings other issues that can be just as...serious.

There is absolutely no doubt we are heading at least to Hudson by tomorrow night. My question to people familiar with this area is: do you think that’s far enough?

I have never been this scared in my life and I really can’t tell if my fear is making me overreact to the point that I’m literally about to go to the airport with my credit card and get the cheapest flight I can find to fucking anywhere.
posted by _Mona_ at 10:28 PM on September 5 [8 favorites]


I think it's too early to tell, _Mona_. The latest GFS ensemble is very uncertain about the hurricane track. I would say it gives less than 50% probability of landfall in FL at all, and maybe 10% probability of landfall on the FL West coast.
posted by Coventry at 11:02 PM on September 5 [2 favorites]


Turkey Point is not going to melt down. Andrew's landfall was very close by, yet it survived. Even if it is struck again, surge won't be a huge issue for it given the likely approach direction of the storm. But even if it does get a high surge, it will be just fine. There's enough legitimate worry with this thing already, so adding bullshit to the fire is actively unhelpful.
posted by wierdo at 11:05 PM on September 5 [3 favorites]


The high-pressure system to the East is receding. I bet the Euro run shows more paths to the East shortly, too.
posted by Coventry at 11:07 PM on September 5 [1 favorite]


There definitely are a lot more tracks now passing off northeast of Florida than there were even a few hours ago.
posted by Justinian at 11:08 PM on September 5 [1 favorite]




Almost all of the 0Z operational models are now keeping Irma just east of Miami to some degree or another and skirting up the coast ala Matthew. The other likely scenario is that Irma gets a bit farther west and comes ashore at the southern tip of the peninsula and exits somewhere around KSC, then heads back up toward the Carolinas.

This is the third run that the guidance mean has drifted east, so I suspect the NHC will comment on it in their next advisory.
posted by wierdo at 12:35 AM on September 6


Billy Bragg has an excellent new song out called King Tide and the Sunny Day Flood. It was released on August 4, but it's impossible to hear it now without thinking of last week's flooding in Texas and South Asia.
posted by Paul Slade at 12:45 AM on September 6 [2 favorites]


Oh man, good luck Floridians. Stay safe.
posted by Happy Dave at 12:53 AM on September 6 [1 favorite]


Any Florida mefites that need to head north but don't have a place to stay are welcome to contact me via MeFiMail. I'm about 25 miles across the state line in south alabama (about 80 miles inland from the coast as the gull flies, pretty much due north from Panama City). My place is small, but I have floor space, and 3/4 acre of back yard that anyone with a van or tent is welcome to camp out in.
posted by TwoToneRow at 1:59 AM on September 6 [24 favorites]


The Rush thing is insane! I actually think it's completely cynical shit-stirring; no one can really be that dumb. I've spent a week after a hurricane, without having enriched Big Water first; I do not recommend it.
posted by thelonius at 2:24 AM on September 6 [2 favorites]


We had Darkness just a couple of weeks ago!

Seriously. I've had wildfire ashfall today. And the skies were somehow oddly pink and grey at the same time, like some kind of hyperpink. Let's not beat around the burning bush, here, the skies all over the PNW look like frickin' Mars right now and it's somehow creepier than wildfire skies in the southwest or LA where it just kind of blends in with the smog.

Oh, and there's a couple of croaking frogs outside my door because it's been so dry out they're apparently gravitating towards the slightly dripping hose tap out in the yard. They're supposed to be like 1500 feet away in the little pond and swamp down the road.

And we haven't had rain in these parts in so long I lost the moss on the back of my neck and some people are turning into lizards.

So, Irma... if you'd like to send just a wee bit of rain up this way, we'll take it. If you spread it out from California to BC over a few days we could probably take, oh, half of it, maybe even all of it.

Yo, dirty South! Why are you bogartin' all the rain? What the hell? Not cool, man!
posted by loquacious at 4:05 AM on September 6 [21 favorites]


TwoToneRow, if I head up there can I buy you dinner at Hunt's? (Sorry, it is a literal obsession for me..love that place, so with me assuming you're in the Dothan/Enterprise area, it just comes out)

And yes, sure enough, NHC is moving their track east. Unfortunately, their reticence to move very far left them in the unenviable position of being left of most guidance, yet still not entirely sure the models won't flip back to the previous solution. Thus, the forecast track has it just west of Miami despite that being one of the least likely tracks pas 72 hours or so. People are going to flip out today, I bet.
posted by wierdo at 4:16 AM on September 6


Sorry, wrong thread:

the Rush Thing was Limbaugh claiming that coverage of Irma is a scam run by big water and liberals
posted by thelonius at 4:33 AM on September 6 [1 favorite]


If you need some additional anger/panic fuel... FEMA is almost out of money.
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 5:00 AM on September 6 [4 favorites]


My folks are in Florida, we still haven't found Jill in Houston, and I just finished rebuilding my house after a 2016 weather event. Enough with weather. Just, enough.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 5:06 AM on September 6 [5 favorites]


What a time ... Never have so many looked to so few and been so unreassured.

Stay safe, everybody.
posted by allthinky at 5:28 AM on September 6 [5 favorites]


Hurricane Irma makes landfall on a destructive path across the Caribbean:
"We know that the four most solid buildings on the island [of Saint Martin] have been destroyed which means that more rustic structures have probably been completely or partially destroyed."
posted by ragtag at 5:54 AM on September 6 [2 favorites]


@MeredithWRDW Eye passed over Barbuda about an hour after losing communication. That means there's been no contact during/after the worst of it.

In a prior tweet she notes that the eye passed over Barbuda about 12:30 am local time.
posted by anastasiav at 6:09 AM on September 6 [3 favorites]


Maybe if we drop Trump into the eye of this thing we can appease the gods
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:22 AM on September 6 [5 favorites]




Guardian post:
The Antigua Met Service reports minimal damage to both Antigua and Barbuda where Irma first made landfall.

But there has been no contact with Barbuda since 12.30am.

Three people sought medical attention at the St John Medical Centre on Antigua, and several roofs were damaged on the island.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:43 AM on September 6


This morning's forecast looks like a direct hit on Culebra, and a near miss of San Juan. I hope most people in Puerto Rico are spared the worst.
posted by mubba at 6:50 AM on September 6 [3 favorites]


I'm not sure if I want to keep on refreshing for more news or hide from it all. Mr. Dinty reporting that his family's town historically is high up enough that the winds are worse, but still low enough that flooding and mudslides are an issue (I'm remembering the time we went to visit and I looked over and half of the road we were driving on had crumbled down the mountain - road was still open, no signage or anything warning about the temporary lack of road). They're under a hurricane warning, though it looks like they should miss the main path.

Everyone affected, stay safe.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:00 AM on September 6 [2 favorites]


My brain cannot even process what this feel like in person; CNN live video from St Marten's
posted by Molesome at 7:40 AM on September 6 [4 favorites]




I'm mildly surprised that the cranes can't be locked down for occasions like this.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:52 AM on September 6


Ctrl-F "Scott" Nope
Ctrl-F "Global" Nope
Ctrl-F "Climate" Nope

Hurricane Irma's Path Not Being Debated Despite Being Based on Science
Governor banned use of the phrase "Climate Change"
How to set up your state to be the Canary in the Coal Mine
Currentish history.


And, aw fuckit - let's just deny grants at the federal level!
posted by Nanukthedog at 7:53 AM on September 6 [19 favorites]


Governor banned use of the phrase "Climate Change" .

They have obviously not yet been successful, but I am preparing for my annual Hurricane Season ritual designed to bring about a direct, Category 5 hit on Rick Scott.
posted by ryanshepard at 7:56 AM on September 6 [5 favorites]


I live in California and plan to just die in the big earthquake because that requires no planning or effort.

You probably should read this before you get too comfortable.
posted by Alter Cocker at 8:11 AM on September 6 [1 favorite]


I'm in the Turks and Caicos-- not looking good, 15-20ft storm surge and the predicted path is edging ever closer, 20 miles to the center as of last prediction.

Fingers crossed, but, yeah-- not looking good.
posted by Static Vagabond at 8:27 AM on September 6 [5 favorites]


loquacious, if we could send you some of this, we definitely would.
posted by Ahniya at 8:34 AM on September 6 [1 favorite]


I have a couple of good friends in Florida, one in Miami and one in St. Petersburg.

I have some friends who just moved to Miami for a few years to enjoy the sunshine and beaches and lack of snow. They drove down last week, signed their lease over the weekend, and are now driving back north a state or two. I can't imagine how ridiculous of a month this will have been for them.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 8:35 AM on September 6


On a lighter note, Rick Scott probably won't be executing any prisoners for at least a few days until the storm passes. Maybe.
posted by strelitzia at 8:36 AM on September 6


My dad's the police chief in Cedar Key; it doesn't look as though Irma might impact that tiny island directly, but you never know. I should probably text him.
posted by Kitteh at 8:39 AM on September 6 [5 favorites]


Ming Tree Chinese

That particular restaurant closed several years ago, but I can attest that Lofty Pursuits is still pretty good.

Anyway, Tallahassee residents are still nervy after last year's barely-a-hurricane, Hermine, knocked out power to the city for about a week. So lines for gas are insane, bottled water was sold out everywhere in about 2 hours yesterday, and generators are gone, too.

State offices are officially closed everywhere on Friday, and evacuations are beginning now. This one is being taken seriously.
posted by PearlRose at 8:48 AM on September 6 [2 favorites]


I write risk modelling software for a reinsurance company (ie we insure insurance companies against big losses) and we're pretty worried about this one. We are on the top end of the market in Florida in terms of how much we're on the hook for. Normally companies can buy emergency "live cat" cover just before an event is about to hit (for a steep price considering they're guaranteed to make a claim) but the live cat market doesn't exist right now - nobody is selling because they don't want to be on the hook any more than they already are.

Lots of money has flooded into the reinsurance market over the last few years - pension and hedge funds realised that it was a pretty profitable business, and this had the effect of not only driving prices down, but driving terms down, so e.g. a deal would be renewed for the same premium but would cover more losses. We're very disciplined about not writing business that our model says is too risky, but there are places where underwriters schmoozing over bottles of expensive wine have a bigger influence on pricing than their risk modelling nerds. They've gotten away with this because no big hurricanes have hit the US in a long time - hurricanes have been boomeranging harmlessly into the north Atlantic (although incidentally sometimes hitting Bermuda where many of these companies are based). This one could be serious enough to catch some companies out.
posted by kersplunk at 8:54 AM on September 6 [33 favorites]


Scenes from St. Martin around 0800 hrs local
posted by adamvasco at 8:58 AM on September 6 [1 favorite]


@PolkCoSheriff: "If you go to a shelter for #Irma and you have a warrant, we'll gladly escort you to the safe and secure shelter called the Polk County Jail" [real]
posted by Buntix at 9:01 AM on September 6 [6 favorites]


Operational run of GFS has Irma landing on SE FL coast in about 100 hours.
posted by Coventry at 9:02 AM on September 6 [1 favorite]


Re wierdo: you betcha!
posted by TwoToneRow at 9:06 AM on September 6


Also there's a big market in retrocessional reinsurance - ie Beanplate Re sells reinsurance to a high street insurance company to cover wind damage to people's houses beyond a certain aggregate amount, but then buy some retro and hand a percentage of that risk on to Catscan Re, who in theory could in turn hand some of it onto PepsiBlue Re, who hand some back to Beanplate Re, who are now back on the hook for some of the risk they thought they'd sold on.

For a really big event this could require representatives from everyone involved to lock themselves in a room and figure out who owes who what, so nobody goes bankrupt by having to pay out before getting their own claims paid.
posted by kersplunk at 9:10 AM on September 6 [4 favorites]


there are places where underwriters schmoozing over bottles of expensive wine have a bigger influence on pricing than their risk modelling nerds

Are there any public accounts of these places? Sounds interesting.
posted by Coventry at 9:15 AM on September 6


Are there any public accounts of these places? Sounds interesting.

The entire industry. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.
posted by mikelieman at 9:27 AM on September 6 [8 favorites]


Would it be advisable for me to cancel a trip to Charleston, SC today? Would be returning Friday but have a feeling this is going to spook a lot of people well in advance of the forecast. Anticipating a logistical nightmare.....those pics from St Marteen are devastating.
posted by repoman at 9:35 AM on September 6


I think the banking industry is a far more wretched hive of scum, taking on way too much risk and expecting public bailouts, sleazy mis-selling practises, insider trading, fraud etc etc.

Maybe this is just the self-delusion that I need to get out of bed in the morning talking, but we do provide a public good, in terms of being the ones that write the cheque that pays for everyone's houses to be rebuilt following a catastrophe. And we do it promptly too - we'll be simulating the losses (using my code!) as Irma is happening, we'll come up with an expected dollar amount, and we'll write some big cheques next week, and settle the difference later.
posted by kersplunk at 9:43 AM on September 6 [11 favorites]


Would it be advisable for me to cancel a trip to Charleston, SC today?

Irma will be just coming up even with Cuba on Friday morning (map) so I wouldn't feel concerned myself.
posted by Bee'sWing at 9:48 AM on September 6


Has there been any actual report from Barbuda yet? I know there was the post about the prime minister going by helicopter when it was safe, but it seems a little.... irresponsible to wait around for a politician instead of sending an actual survey and rescue team over at at first light.
posted by tavella at 9:57 AM on September 6


Here's some wild flight tracking of a Delta plane that landed in San Juan about an hour ago. The return flight is already in the air. I think they were picking up some of their own people to get them to safety, but, man, I can't imagine flying into the outskirts of something like Irma.
posted by Copronymus at 10:02 AM on September 6 [12 favorites]


Ponce, the south side of Puerto Rico. We are supposedly a lock to have a tropical storm, but hurricane force winds are at a probability of 5%. Just hoping that there isn't house flooding.

We have stocked up on water and essentials. Driving out this morning everything was closed except for gas stations. We've had one band of rain so far and now it is rain-free. No winds to speak of.

This end of Puerto Rico is likely to be safe.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:10 AM on September 6 [8 favorites]


That CNN video in St Martin was taken at the airport, which is (famously) right on the beach, and is arguably the least-sheltered part of the island.

The damage looks devastating. If there's one silver-lining, it's that St Martin's inhabitants will have good access to aid (and options for post-storm evacuation) from its two parent countries -- France and the Netherlands. Guadeloupe (another nearby French island) appears to have mostly been spared, which will greatly help the recovery effort.
posted by schmod at 10:15 AM on September 6 [3 favorites]


The eye wall on the SW side of the hurricane is now raking the US Virgin Islands (St. John and St. Thomas). St Croix is well to the south and should have only minor impacts. Recall that St. Croix was largely destroyed in 1989 by Hurricane Hugo.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 10:22 AM on September 6 [1 favorite]


Patricia Mazzei and Lance Dixon/Miami Herald: Miami-Dade holds off on Irma evacuation orders — for now
No evacuation orders will be issued in Miami-Dade County yet, Mayor Carlos Gimenez said Wednesday, warning that people living on barrier islands and low-lying mainland areas may still be asked to leave ahead of Hurricane Irma.

Gimenez had been ready to instruct residents to get out, but he said the 11 a.m. Irma advisory from the National Hurricane Center gave him pause.

“The storm’s slowing down, giving us a little bit more time,” Gimenez said from the county’s emergency operations center in Doral.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:43 AM on September 6




ZeusHumms: "I'm mildly surprised that the cranes can't be locked down for occasions like this."

You want the crane to rotate (like a weather vane) so it can present the least resistance to the wind.

But the tower that the cross boom is mounted on can only support so much side loading (apparently 145 mph) before crumpling. There is some windage for safety there but I doubt a 185 mph sustained wind amount.

Personally I'm a little surprised they don't dismantle the cranes. It can be done in a couple days and they've had warning. I wonder if it is a lack of crews to dismantle all the cranes in the warning window.
posted by Mitheral at 11:14 AM on September 6 [5 favorites]


I am not envious of county Mayor Gimenez. Not even a fan of his policies despite voting for him. (His opponent didn't even bother saying the right things) But today, he's got to make some pretty tough decisions.

I mean, given the expected timing, even 24 hours is enough to evacuate the areas in Miami-Dade County that need to be evacuated, but longer lead times reduce last minute panic and make the overall process a lot easier. That said, if an evac is ordered and it turns as is now thought fairly likely, he'll be excoriated for years. Never mind that a cat 4 or cat 5 20-30 miles off Miami Beach would cause plenty of damage on the islands. Even if it's far enough offshore to keep the worst at bay, a small wobble could easily put major hurricane force winds onshore on the islands.
posted by wierdo at 11:24 AM on September 6 [1 favorite]


But the tower that the cross boom is mounted on can only support so much side loading (apparently 145 mph) before crumpling. There is some windage for safety there but I doubt a 185 mph sustained wind amount.

The problem with wind speed and the forces involved is that it's a cubic formula.
posted by RolandOfEld at 11:28 AM on September 6 [3 favorites]


If the omens haven't been enough so far, the sun released an X9 solar flare this morning, which could damage communication equipment depending on the coronal mass ejection.
posted by rewil at 11:32 AM on September 6 [12 favorites]


if an evac is ordered and it turns as is now thought fairly likely

How is it thought likely to turn out? There still seems to be great uncertainty from the perturbation ensembles.
posted by Coventry at 11:35 AM on September 6


Has there been any actual report from Barbuda yet?

Not according to these two recent reports. In the first one, a Barbudan/Antiguan diplomat said the PM has been unable to fly to the island, for safety reasons.

Apparently the storm surge there was 8 feet over the highest point on the island.
posted by Coventry at 11:47 AM on September 6


Dropsonde at 1:16 PM CT measures 917mb. How many storms have kept their strength for this long?
posted by suckerpunch at 11:50 AM on September 6 [1 favorite]


Apparently the storm surge there was 8 feet over the highest point on the island.

Barbuda's highest point of elevation is 38 meters, not 32 feet.
posted by mightygodking at 11:51 AM on September 6 [9 favorites]


Apparently the storm surge there was 8 feet over the highest point on the island.

That info came from a game of twitter telephone and isn't true in the slightest.
posted by FakeFreyja at 11:52 AM on September 6 [2 favorites]


mightygodking, FakeFreyja: Thanks, that's good to know.
posted by Coventry at 11:54 AM on September 6 [1 favorite]


> The Onion is already all over that. Category 6 hurricane hitting Denver, per their long-range forecasting [satirical, but ??]

But: The case for a Category 6 rating for super-hurricanes like Irma. Scientists warn the worst hurricanes will keep getting stronger as we warm the planet.
posted by homunculus at 12:13 PM on September 6 [5 favorites]


I've heard from friends on Saba, so far things are a mess but all ok. St Maarten is a different story. photos of Saba here.
posted by danapiper at 12:15 PM on September 6 [3 favorites]


However, nearly all the Barbuda population lives in Codrington, which is much lower elevation. But the warnings I saw suggested storm surge more like 20 feet, so they would be okay as long as there was sufficient shelter in the higher parts of town.
posted by tavella at 12:24 PM on September 6


> How many storms have kept their strength for this long?

The difference in pressure is more important than the absolute pressure in the centre, there were surrounding high pressure ridges which was why it had the 185 mph wind speed with a relatively high pressure in the eye.

In terms of sustained wind speed it has now been > 185 mph for more than 24 hours. The previous record (for either Atlantic of Eastern Pacific) was Allen @ 18 hours > 180 mph (6 of which were ~190 mph).
posted by Buntix at 12:44 PM on September 6 [1 favorite]




It may have been linked previously but what are the best/preferred/accurate sites to follow the path of Irma?
posted by robbyrobs at 12:46 PM on September 6


robbyrobs,

I'm really liking the various graphics and no-nonsense information put out by NOAA National Hurricane Center here.
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:54 PM on September 6 [9 favorites]


I'm with RolandOfEld - there's some amusement to be had (and by amusement I mean horror) when looking at all the ensemble models offered up on various sites but when I really want to know what the real situation is I turn to the NHC. Their predictions only go out five days which - if you've watched them for as many storms as I have - doesn't even fall into the category of 'nearly always right'.

All I'm saying is that if the National Hurricane Center can't nail down the path more than a day or two out then there's no sense in saying "oh it looks like it's going to make landfall at X" if that's more than 48 hours out.

having said all that, if I want ensemble models I usually turn to Wunderground since their site is easy to navigate and inoffensive. This link should go straight to Irma-related stuff.
posted by komara at 1:12 PM on September 6 [6 favorites]


PM is headed to Barbuda now.
posted by Coventry at 1:15 PM on September 6


Ensemble from the Euro afternoon run is up. Maybe 50% of paths hit FL, almost all make landfall somewhere in CONUS.
posted by Coventry at 1:18 PM on September 6


It may be unfair, but I have a low opinion of PM Gaston Browne at this point. First there was the announcement that everything is totally cool guys my awesome prep saved everything... when they literally had no info on the Barbuda half of their nation. And then apparently the flight had to wait for him to make a show of being on it; I'm reasonably sure they could have gotten a helicopter survey there faster if they weren't waiting on the PM's schedule.
posted by tavella at 1:22 PM on September 6 [1 favorite]


I'm still not sure what's going on there... There have been some claims on reddit that the Air Force did visit the island earlier. Complete radio silence does suggest incredibly poor preparation, though, even with a storm this strong.
posted by Coventry at 1:28 PM on September 6


Holy balls that Delta flight linked to above is insane.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 1:29 PM on September 6 [5 favorites]


Canadian journalist Lauren Dobson-Hughes: tragic news from Barbuda via the PM.
PM of Antigua and Barbuda is live on national broadcaster. He just arrived in Barbuda by heli. "It is totally destroyed. 90% at least" ... PM just keeps repeating 'totally demolished" over and over. "This is a national disaster". Line is breaking up. So distressing ... Hosts are asking about fatalities. PM sounds like he's saying 'over 1,000'. The entire population of Barbuda is only 1,600 ... Hosts acknowledge the PM's statement previously was totally false. Barbuda has 'been wiped out'. I feel teary. The PM was close to tears ... (Sourcing for the PM's live interview and stats for Barbuda from Antiguan and Barbudan national broadcaster, ABS http://abstvradio.com/radio/ )
posted by maudlin at 1:38 PM on September 6 [15 favorites]


I'm supposed to be flying into Orlando on the 12th. What are the odds it will have passed through by then?
posted by PenDevil at 1:41 PM on September 6


(I'm listening now: Antigua radio hosts are reporting maybe one confirmed death in Barbuda? Death toll not at all confirmed as 1000. Everything is still breaking news and highly uncertain, even from a PM.)
posted by maudlin at 1:41 PM on September 6 [1 favorite]


.
posted by Coventry at 1:42 PM on September 6


The 1,000 is apparently a mishearing from low phone quality, later comments from ABS say only one confirmed fatality. Though obviously there may be more yet unrecovered bodies.
posted by tavella at 1:44 PM on September 6 [6 favorites]


.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:44 PM on September 6


Katia is now officially a hurricane because of course that's what needed to happen
posted by mightygodking at 2:00 PM on September 6 [5 favorites]


next in line Jose
posted by robbyrobs at 2:07 PM on September 6


No, they're all hurricanes now. There are three fucking hurricanes spinning in the Atlantic right now. Two weeks after Harvey, and there are three more, one of them in the Gulf.
posted by schadenfrau at 2:21 PM on September 6 [12 favorites]


Hurricane Jose is not helping on the “beware alliterative storms” front.
posted by mbrubeck at 2:22 PM on September 6 [6 favorites]


Several 12Z and 18Z models are back west a bit, bringing the eye directly over Miami or 20-30 miles offshore. It isn't a good sign when I'm thinking "well, at least I only have to deal with the western eyewall.."

That said, 100ish mile shifts in the model tracks are completely expected this far out even in a well modeled storm. If they stick this far west at 00Z, I expect evacuation orders in Miami-Dade in the morning, if not tonight just in time for the 11 o'clock news. I know I wouldn't bet on a turn happening offshore when the models can't consistently agree it will in fact be offshore.

Remember that the plan is that most evacuees shelter inland, not run off to Orlando, so it doesn't take as long as it would if people had to go farther. (Apparently 26 hours for zones A and B together) I'd rather be in a code compliant building down here than anywhere else that could be near the eye. My windows are good for a 2x4 at 150mph, and my walls are about a foot thick. That's fairly normal for here, so we can take the winds and not die. The aftermath may be trying, but it's survivable. I figure I'll be eating disaster relief MREs for at least a week or two after the storm if these runs verify. At least the folks on the gulf coast won't get too clobbered and it should knock down the intensity some for it's second landfall in the Carolinas.
posted by wierdo at 2:39 PM on September 6 [2 favorites]


I can't remember there ever being 3 active hurricanes spinning up in the Atlantic basin at the same time (not to mention hot on the heels of another major one...) these Chinese hoaxes are becoming very powerful!
posted by supermedusa at 2:41 PM on September 6 [7 favorites]


Found this interesting thing from a /r/ talking about the smoke on the West Coast.

nullschool.net
a visualization of global weather conditions
forecast by supercomputers
updated every three hours

ocean surface current estimates
updated every five days

ocean surface temperatures and
anomaly from daily average (1981-2011)
updated daily

ocean waves
updated every three hours


It is gorgeous but its creepy seeing three animated hurricanes in the Atlantic. It's also superinformative about the movement of Earth's atmosphere in general and how they interact.

You can also choose a bunch of different overlays other than wind by clicking 'earth' on the lower left.
posted by porpoise at 3:06 PM on September 6 [23 favorites]


No, they're all hurricanes now. There are three fucking hurricanes spinning in the Atlantic right now.

is this... is this earth again telling us to go fuck ourselves?
posted by numaner at 3:13 PM on September 6 [3 favorites]


SENC Update:

Was at the station today to workout; drill tonight is to police and clean grounds around the building and get the hurricane shutters ready. Found water at Food Lion; there wasn't too much left, but they said they were expecting at least one more shipment. Packed the Winston bag and got my first aid kit and documentation together. Non-perishables are at the station. Going to bring garage items into the house tomorrow and move stuff from the yard building into the garage. Gas stations have steady business.

County and State EM are starting to deliver messages and get folks ready.

Emailed a friend in SC EM, but haven't heard back from her yet. Texted some fire colleagues in FL; they're already in hurricane mode and rotating in and out of their EOCs.
posted by sara is disenchanted at 3:15 PM on September 6 [5 favorites]


I'm with RolandOfEld - there's some amusement to be had (and by amusement I mean horror) when looking at all the ensemble models offered up on various sites but when I really want to know what the real situation is I turn to the NHC. Their predictions only go out five days which - if you've watched them for as many storms as I have - doesn't even fall into the category of 'nearly always right'.

All I'm saying is that if the National Hurricane Center can't nail down the path more than a day or two out then there's no sense in saying "oh it looks like it's going to make landfall at X" if that's more than 48 hours out.


As mentioned upthread I do risk modelling for a reinsurance company. We have our own in-house weather prediction, and I'm not at liberty to divulge their view on anything. I am at liberty to say that over the last few years the NHC predicted tracks have been very good. Also historically they've been less good at predicting how strong a storm will be at a certain point. But maybe that doesn't matter so much right now because we know this one will be super big.
posted by kersplunk at 3:16 PM on September 6 [6 favorites]


I can't remember there ever being 3 active hurricanes spinning up in the Atlantic basin at the same time

I recall seeing them stacked up three deep before but I can't recall when. Big help I know.
posted by RolandOfEld at 3:21 PM on September 6 [1 favorite]


Helicopter video of Barbuda. (Twitter)

Estimating 60% destruction. (Also Twitter, but also from that PM who has maybe jumped the gun a few times already.)
posted by schadenfrau at 3:26 PM on September 6


I love that site, porpoise, and looking at right now it provides an excellent animation of how worrisome Irma is: the deep, very warm water it's about to move into.

There have been multiple storms at once before: 3 Cat 4s in the Pacific lined up like a train, which is the image I really remember; and 4 simultaneously in the Atlantic (warning: autoplay).
posted by barchan at 3:28 PM on September 6 [5 favorites]


Boilerplate I've been seeing on the Forecast Discussion pages: "Users are reminded that the average NHC track errors at days 4 and 5 are about 175 and 225 miles, respectively."
posted by Huffy Puffy at 3:29 PM on September 6 [1 favorite]


Ya'know how to tell shit is real in a beach town with hurricane pressure looming? I just noted a small, but scary enough to give me pause, common denominator, aside from the tension and less busy streets that is...

All the SUVs, Subaru wagons, and pickup trucks are backed into their driveways instead of pulled in nose first. They're like little, or in some cases not so little, artillery shells poised in their launch tubes for someone to shove powder (or luggage) into the back of them and then they can zoom away unimpeded by a need to R.

We may bug out tomorrow. The 5pm forecast didn't shed much light, hopefully the 11pm one is better but as it stands now I don't see my kids riding out a cat 3 or 4 (if it skirts the coast it'll stay strong) that is a mere 10 or 20 miles off shore. If it somehow got antsy and hooked in before passing GA... that's just unthinkable.
posted by RolandOfEld at 3:29 PM on September 6 [12 favorites]


and 4 simultaneously in the Atlantic

I THOUGHT one of them was Georges. Thanks for that. That sucker dropped so much rain on south Alabama that houses on 10 foot stilts on the rivers had 1 foot of water in them.
posted by RolandOfEld at 3:31 PM on September 6


there are places where underwriters schmoozing over bottles of expensive wine have a bigger influence on pricing than their risk modelling nerds

Are there any public accounts of these places? Sounds interesting.


If I get a chance I'll ask some of the veterans and see what's out there and fit for public consumption. The US has been reasonably quiet hurricane wise since Katrina. Since then, stuff like Thai floods and NZ earthquakes have tanked companies who didn't know what they were doing.

My place are basically the nerd company who get people out of university, or scientists who don't want to science anymore, and get everyone indoctrinated into a fairly empirical, rigorous way of looking at risk. It's a good place to work for someone that way inclined.
posted by kersplunk at 3:42 PM on September 6 [5 favorites]


As for the ten plagues, I was reading about a superbug bacterial pneumonia resistant to everything in China. That might qualify as the locusts.

As may the (slightly less metaphorical) actual plague of locusts in Trinidad. [youtube]

In addition to the hurricanes there's an atmospheric river gearing up on the U.S. west coast according to @DrJoeHanson (not found verification but only did a casual search - he looks like he knows his onions from his avatar).
posted by Buntix at 3:45 PM on September 6 [1 favorite]


If the omens haven't been enough so far, the sun released an X9 solar flare this morning, which could damage communication equipment depending on the coronal mass ejection.

Yay, more aurora photos! Argh, wait, no, the sky is socked in with smoke! Clear up, sky! Wait, no, I want rain! Wait, strongest flare in 10 years, you say? What do you mean it might block out radio waves like wifi and damage my electronics!? And hurricanes everywhere!? ARRRRRGH DAMN SHIT FUCK! ANGRILY CONFLICTED WORRY NAP!
posted by loquacious at 4:01 PM on September 6 [7 favorites]


is this... is this earth again telling us to go fuck ourselves?

I think we pretty much already have.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:40 PM on September 6 [15 favorites]


I work at a New England-based university with a canpus in Miami and we are shutting down there on Thursday. As a New Englander, I've got some experience with bad storms -- but I am hoping against hope that friends and colleagues down south can dodge all three hurricanes.

The staff there are very matter of fact about bugging out, and none of us are holding it against them. :7) We would do the same -- and did so in 2010 and for Sandy.
posted by wenestvedt at 5:39 PM on September 6 [1 favorite]


I am very concerned about everyone in Puerto Rico, Cuba, the other islands, and Florida.

The good news is that Cuba at least is probably far better prepared than Puerto Rico or the continental US.
While 2016’s Hurricane Matthew killed forty-four people in the United States, it killed no one in Cuba, despite leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. Ditto for Hurricane Katrina, which left as many as 1,800 people dead in the US. In 2008, Hurricanes Gustav and Ike pummeled Cuba at the peak of their intensity, slaying seven. But in the US, thirty people perished, even though the storm had lost much of its strength. Hurricane Isabel killed more Americans in 2003 than six major hurricanes killed Cubans between 1996 and 2002.
posted by indubitable at 5:49 PM on September 6 [12 favorites]


Small note, an anecdote, to be taken with some salt!, about insurance from where we are in western NC:
Earlier today, my husband called our insurance company to make sure we were up to speed on coverage, just, y'know, just wondering! I think it quickly became clear that he was inquiring because of impending Irma, and the agent reassured him that we can still adjust our policy with no problem. WNC isn't on a block list or anything. But policyholders in eastern NC, and on the coast, are blocked from increasing their coverage right now.

Sara is disenchanted, I'm sending good thoughts your way. You sound well prepared and cool-headed.
posted by witchen at 5:52 PM on September 6 [2 favorites]


The Hemingway Home's manager, staff, and polydactyl cats will ride out Irma in place.
posted by bryon at 5:55 PM on September 6 [5 favorites]




I am very concerned about everyone in Puerto Rico, Cuba, the other islands, and Florida.

A lot of the islands have government run shelters made of bomb proof concrete, which is why people do much better than you'd think. Haiti does not, unfortunately and I think Jamaica has not many either. But many people have reinforced concrete homes in Puerto Rico and Jamaica which can stand up to a lot.

Florida..... not so much. Hopefully it misses.
posted by fshgrl at 6:49 PM on September 6


Levi Cowan's latest update. If it misses FL and lands in GA or the Carolinas, there's a good chance it'll be substantially weaker. Also, he elaborates on the risk of making decisions based on over-confident ensemble plots suggesting a highly specific hurricane path.
posted by Coventry at 8:03 PM on September 6 [2 favorites]


is this... is this earth again telling us to go fuck ourselves?

Yes. When disaster hits blue states it's Jesus's fault.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:06 PM on September 6


Have to share this great article and video on this fantastic young journalist, Nisha Dupuis, in Anguilla, broadcasting to her community at the height of the storm. She's 19 (!!!) and what an amazing pro. At the time that video was taken, she had no idea if her mom, a nurse, was still alive.
posted by longdaysjourney at 8:57 PM on September 6 [6 favorites]


loquacious: "Yay, more aurora photos! Argh, wait, no, the sky is socked in with smoke! Clear up, sky! Wait, no, I want rain! "

I'm irrationally pissed about this. I'm working someplace with phenomenally dark skies but it is so smoky I can't even see the sun (during the day) let alone an aurora. The smoke is so heavy it's giving me head aches and sinus pain. It's like a poorly ventilated basement club pre smoking ban.
posted by Mitheral at 9:48 PM on September 6 [6 favorites]


The Guardian provides an island by island account of those that have been in Irma's path so far.
posted by rongorongo at 11:36 PM on September 6 [1 favorite]


Harika Rayala/Miami Herald: After Irma, the silence out of Barbuda is frightening
Communication systems in Barbuda were still down late Wednesday. The only way to get in touch with the island is through one satellite phone that is being used by the government there, according to Elvis Murray-Watkins, director-general of the Antigua and Barbuda Red Cross Society. Even that phone can only receive calls but not send any.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:47 AM on September 7


Holy balls that Delta flight linked to above is insane.

That person put all their tweets about that flight in a Twitter moment. Very nicely done by the airline.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:58 AM on September 7 [14 favorites]


Hello there Irma, from Savannah, GA!

You can go fuck yoursef.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:44 AM on September 7 [2 favorites]


Video of the damage caused by hurricane Irma on Sint Maarten, shot from a Dutch navy helicopter.
posted by Pendragon at 2:51 AM on September 7 [3 favorites]


Residents of Barbuda describe the destruction caused by Hurricane Irma: "Cars flew over our heads" (YT)
posted by Mister Bijou at 4:51 AM on September 7 [4 favorites]


God, I'm just happy to see residents of Barbuda seeming to be ok.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:56 AM on September 7 [5 favorites]


Wow. I never thought a Twitter thread could be a nail biter, or that I could compliment Delta for anything.

But now that I know that they can board and depart on time...
posted by Autumnheart at 5:00 AM on September 7 [10 favorites]


My husband is a pilot and as far as he's concerned that Delta flight was a criminally stupid idea.
posted by lydhre at 6:04 AM on September 7 [7 favorites]


(on the cool graphics, but not explicitly useful front) Not sure if folks know about windy, but it's a pretty cool visualization of global winds
posted by larthegreat at 6:17 AM on September 7 [5 favorites]


Alex Johnson, Daniel Arkin and Jason Cumming / NBC News: Hurricane Irma Skirts Puerto Rico, Leaves 1 Million Without Power
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:20 AM on September 7 [1 favorite]


(on the cool graphics, but not explicitly useful front) Not sure if folks know about windy, but it's a pretty cool visualization of global winds

It shows both current patterns and predicted patterns out to a week.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:23 AM on September 7


true, its a week of prediction, but weather models tend to be pretty unstable out of 48hrs, so I wouldn't rely on it as your only source of weather news. Probably around the US it's fine since it uses NOAA data, but I don't know enough about the accuracy outside the US.
posted by larthegreat at 6:38 AM on September 7 [1 favorite]


Sydney Pereira and Carli Teproff/Miami Herald: Animal caretakers prepping for Irma with lessons learned from Andrew.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:10 AM on September 7 [1 favorite]




Enki Research on Facebook is what I'm following for general updates. The lack of hysterical tone or gimmicks is refreshing.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:28 AM on September 7 [3 favorites]


Here is a list of pet-friendly shelters in FL.

Best Friends has set up a command center in Houston to reunite lost pets and owners, and currently is holding over 500 animals, but they can't send a team over to FL to help. ASPCA and the Humane Society are picking up the slack, but I don't think they'll be as well organized. Stay safe, everyone!
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 7:39 AM on September 7 [1 favorite]


Little happened here on the south side of Puerto Rico (Ponce). I'm guessing an inch of rain and 20 mph winds. The electricity is out at our house and almost all of the city, but I believe that's from a chain reaction on the grid from the north side of the island.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:58 AM on September 7 [22 favorites]


is this... is this earth again telling us to go fuck ourselves?

Yeah, there was a photo making the internet rounds which I can't find at the moment.

People: fuck you, earth! (picture of ugly factory spewing out pollution)
God: well then, fuck you too! (picture of hurricane)
posted by Melismata at 8:31 AM on September 7 [2 favorites]


I saw a similar meme, but with huge pickup trucks rolling coal.
posted by Fleebnork at 8:35 AM on September 7 [1 favorite]


Rarely have I appreciated MeFi's moderation more than today, when I was on Category 6 just as it got a main-page link from the Drudge Report and a link from Breitbart at the same time. I can just barely see any hurricane-related content, what with all the flagging and blocking I'm doing.

(Cat6 does have moderation, as well as a pinned comment begging commenters to stay on-topic and avoid politics, but . . . well, you can guess how well that works.)
posted by Spathe Cadet at 8:47 AM on September 7 [6 favorites]


They're catching up on moderation Spathe Cadet. Finally removing some of the "microwaves from Planet X weather manipulation conspiracy theory posts".
posted by HyperBlue at 9:20 AM on September 7 [1 favorite]




Flamingos In The Men's Room: How Zoos And Aquariums Handle Hurricanes
Zoo Miami's former aviary, Wings of Asia, for example, was decimated by Hurricane Andrew, despite the staff's prior preparation.
"Although the netting for that aviary was tested for 150 mph winds," Magill says, "it was not tested to be able to withstand the impact of a mobile home that was picked up in those winds and launched into the aviary like a torpedo."
posted by rewil at 11:00 AM on September 7 [16 favorites]


Just got an email from Best Friends with the following and figured I'd pass it along:
We need your help transporting pets out of Florida immediately!

As you well know, Hurricane Irma is heading towards the eastern coast of Florida. A direct hit is anticipated on Saturday morning, with mandatory evacuations in coastal areas and voluntary evacuations occurring elsewhere. We have network partner shelters and rescues in desperate need of moving available animals to safety before the storm hits . We need your help transporting multiple animals, mostly to shelters and rescues in other states.

If you have a vehicle large enough to transport multiple pets and can help, please contact us immediately at bfvolcoord@bestfriends.org. Please put “HURRICANE IRMA TRANSPORT” in the subject line of your email and include the following information:

How many dogs or cats you can transport?
How far you are willing to drive outside of Florida?
Minimum age to volunteer for transports is 23 years of age.
posted by melissasaurus at 11:23 AM on September 7 [11 favorites]


Depending on its track the SSTs are high enough to sustain Irma as a cat 5 up to the Florida coast. [Nasa climate dept.]
posted by Buntix at 11:23 AM on September 7


That's a great link, rewil! Thanks for posting it. I was just thinking about those flamingos and the marabou stork in the St Augustine Alligator Farm bathroom from Hurricane Matthew, and wondering what the iconic bird in a zoo bathroom photo will be for this one.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 11:26 AM on September 7 [3 favorites]


Latest Euro model shows Irma neatly bisecting Florida in two.

Remember, models continue to contradict each other and uncertainty remains very high, so don't treat any of this as gospel - if you need to make a decision, pay attention to the NHC's cone projections.
posted by suckerpunch at 11:31 AM on September 7 [2 favorites]


SSTs are high enough to sustain Irma as a cat 5 up to the Florida coast

I've been wondering whether the warmer seas and lower wind shear, which have been major factors in the strengths of Harvey and Irma, are adventitious and transitory... Is it just a bad season, or have we reached some kind of critical point in global warming where extremely powerful storms will be the new normal?
posted by Coventry at 11:34 AM on September 7 [4 favorites]


Coventry, from what I've read in reliable sources (think there was something in the National Geographic), it's both.
posted by Melismata at 11:35 AM on September 7 [2 favorites]


More energy in the atmosphere = bigger storms.
posted by Fleebnork at 11:36 AM on September 7 [1 favorite]


if you need to make a decision, pay attention to the NHC's cone projections.

If I lived in FL, GA or the Carolinas and my circumstances allowed it, I would be taking a vacation now.
posted by Coventry at 11:36 AM on September 7


NWSMiami: "Locations may be uninhabitable for weeks or months."
posted by Chrysostom at 11:37 AM on September 7 [1 favorite]


Latest Euro model shows Irma neatly bisecting Florida in two.

Where are you seeing this besides imgur?
posted by photoslob at 11:37 AM on September 7


photoslob, you can drive the animation here using the swiper at the top of the page.
posted by Coventry at 11:38 AM on September 7


However, it's a point estimate. You should wait to see the perturbations of the path here, which generally show up a few hours later. That gives a measure of the model's uncertainty in the prediction, though not the total uncertainty you should have.
posted by Coventry at 11:40 AM on September 7


NWSMiami: "Locations may be uninhabitable for weeks or months."

Shades of the apocalyptic Katrina bulletin.
posted by theodolite at 11:42 AM on September 7 [3 favorites]


Is it just a bad season, or have we reached some kind of critical point in global warming where extremely powerful storms will be the new normal?

With the usual caveat that it's going to difficult to attribute aspects of any one storm, or even season directly to climate change, there do seem to be some things that can partially be, such as higher precipitation levels.

I'd also wonder if the depth of warm water (rather than just the surface temp) may be a factor in how long Irma maintained the 185 mph winds. Normally (as I understand it) hurricanes churn up cooler subsurface water as they move along, which would seem to act as some form of limiting factor. If there's more energy stored in the oceans then that cooler water isn't going to be so cool. [NB: not an actual scientist]
posted by Buntix at 11:43 AM on September 7 [1 favorite]


you can drive the animation here

Also, the nightly video updates on the front page of Tropical Tidbits are probably the most educational source of current Irma analysis I've found.
posted by Coventry at 11:44 AM on September 7


photoslob, the image was built by a forumgoer at Reddit's /r/tropicalweather subreddit. Here's the thread, but it's got a pretty bad signal-to-noise ratio right now. The Reddit Live link has still images and is much better to watch.
posted by suckerpunch at 11:45 AM on September 7 [1 favorite]


I'm unable to find a straight answer anywhere, but is it not a safe bet that the hurricane would no longer be Cat 2-3-4-5 once it's done with Florida?
posted by witchen at 11:48 AM on September 7


Normally hurricanes weaken as they go over land, especially mountainous land. Florida has a lot of water and is flat so I'd bet the effect would not be as strong (compared to Cuba or Hispaniola), but it should still slow it up.
posted by Bee'sWing at 11:56 AM on September 7 [1 favorite]


The latest NHC cone predicts it'll still be a cat 3+ major hurricane by the time it leaves Florida on Monday morning.
posted by theodolite at 11:59 AM on September 7 [3 favorites]


witchen, I don't think that's a safe bet, though I am far from an expert. For instance, the latest operational run of the Euro model has Irma going straight up the middle of FL, which should maximally degrade its intensity. Yet the model has it entering GA in five days with a pressure of 977 mb, corresponding to a wind speed of about 93 mph, which is just below the threshold for a category 2. And I personally think it's not all that likely to go straight up FL, simply because the swath of plausible paths is still so wide. If that turns out to be the case, it will spend longer at sea and have the opportunity to maintain / increase its strength there, though Cowan did say in his analysis last night that a pressure system to the NW of the FL/GA border would weaken it to category 2 or 3, if it stays to the East of the peninsula.

Basically, there's still a lot of uncertainty about what's going to happen.
posted by Coventry at 12:07 PM on September 7 [1 favorite]


Talked to my dad (well, texted) and he's lived on the Gulf coast for my entire life. They're staying, but keeping an eye on the situation. Even if Irma makes landfall in Miami and then heads up straight up the state, I guess they're gonna stay put. He admits in all the years of dealing with hurricanes (if a hurricane makes landfall anywhere near Cedar Key, you always see him on the Weather Channel as part of the rescue and community efforts) he has never seen a storm like this. He was a little stunned.
posted by Kitteh at 12:07 PM on September 7 [2 favorites]


Miami has now expanded their evacuation from parts of zone B into to cover all of Zone B and into parts of zone C.
posted by barchan at 12:16 PM on September 7


So it should weaken the most if it literally goes up the peninsula, but since it's going up the east side with the eye out to sea, it will weaken more slowly?
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:31 PM on September 7 [1 favorite]


‘Bring pencils’ and 49 other things hurricane pros* know: Martin Merzer spent 29 years at the Miami Herald. He held a variety of roles there, including senior writer in charge of hurricane coverage. Over the years, he sent this note out to the staff in advance of hurricanes, including the devastating barrage of storms that wracked Florida in 2004 and 2005. (*pros refers to reporters covering the storm)
posted by gladly at 12:36 PM on September 7 [7 favorites]


Predicted gust wind speeds through FL/GA, given the Euro prediction.
posted by Coventry at 12:37 PM on September 7 [1 favorite]


Sadly, it's still too far out to know exactly where landfall will be. Florida will almost certainly be impacted with at least minimal hurricane winds, most likely nearer the east coast than the west, but everyone on the peninsula should be prepared for a few days without power/water.

People in the Carolinas should also prepare. There is a good chance It will weaken somewhat before making it's more northerly landfall, but even a category 2-3 storm can cause devastating impacts. Remember that Katrina weakened significantly prior to landfall, but that didn't make the piled up water go away.

Exactly who is going to get raked by the comma of doom will be up in the air until the day or so immediately prior to landfall, so plan based on the general trends above, not the exact track one model (or even the NHC!) is showing.
posted by wierdo at 12:40 PM on September 7 [2 favorites]


If the eye stays out to sea then I'm guessing any weakening will have more to do with water temperatures. Hurricanes that get close to the flat Yucatan Peninsula usually slow down for at least a while. The more of the storm's circulation that's over land, the better.
posted by Bee'sWing at 12:44 PM on September 7


The sea surface temps would support a cat 4 or 5 up to around the outer banks. Shear tends to be higher in those latitudes, though, so on average a storm is likely to weaken as it moves North even with gulf stream SSTs. That's not to say it is impossible to have low shear north of Florida, of course, just that it is less frequent than further South.
posted by wierdo at 12:51 PM on September 7 [2 favorites]


Right, it was shear which Cowan was suggesting could weaken Irma if it goes East of FL.
posted by Coventry at 12:53 PM on September 7


The predictions at 10 days out are complete garbage, but it's probably worth noting that the Euro at that point has Jose nosing up to CONUS.
posted by Coventry at 12:55 PM on September 7 [1 favorite]


People in the Carolinas should also prepare. There is a good chance It will weaken somewhat before making it's more northerly landfall, but even a category 2-3 storm can cause devastating impacts.

In 1996, Hurricane Fran was that strength when it plowed up through the Triangle - I think the eye passed a little east of Raleigh - and it caused lots of damage, a few deaths, and interruption of normal life (no power, no drinkable water) for about 10 days. I was totally unprepared; I didn't even think a hurricane could come that far inland.
posted by thelonius at 1:15 PM on September 7 [6 favorites]


Messages from the meteorologists moderating r/tropicalweather:
My official advice is that you listen to your emergency officials and their evacuation orders. My unofficial advice has been, for the last several days, that I'd personally leave anywhere Orlando and South for Georgia and weather it there. No need to stay. At best, it's going to be a massive inconvenience with major power outages, and at worst, well...Just look at the cams in the islands.
____________________________________________________

My message to SW Florida and points South of Kissimmee Florida is prepare NOW to evacuate.

The Euro, which has been verifying HIGHER than the NHC official track, is at the moment the most reliable model thus far for Irma. The GFS, which has shifted west towards the Euro, has been handily NE every run- has had a terrible verification score, currently 4th behind CMC, UKMet, and Euro, in that order.

These are data points that you do NOT want to take lightly. This means that one by one today, spaghetti plots to every model available to the public will begin to "cave" West, (12z GFS did slightly already) a disturbing trend that can mean FAR reaching implications for those in Irma's path.

Miami verbatim will see 155+MPH sustained winds, 138mph near Tampa. Hurricane winds are likely to be felt as far inland as Northern Orlando (this scale is in KTS, not MPH). Rains of 10"-20" from SW FL through the heart of the state are anticipated, with rates that can overwhelm streams, lakes, swamps and any other tributaries.

We here at /r/TropicalWeather do our absolute best to give you the best information available, and this post is solely designed for that purpose. We want you and loved ones, to make it AHEAD of the panic that will likely ensue once the media begins reporting, and public officials begin making decisions on said data.
posted by Coventry at 1:17 PM on September 7 [11 favorites]


This Harvey and Irma seem ok. Right now they're staying inside to avoid smoke because they're in Washington.
posted by rewil at 1:23 PM on September 7 [9 favorites]


This gif comparing the size of Andrew to Irma is fucking terrifying.
posted by barchan at 1:42 PM on September 7 [14 favorites]


Linda Trischitta/Sun Sentinel: During Hurricane Irma, use 911 for emergencies, not Twitter, experts say

Government officials are trying to direct people to specific types of media based on what they need to say. They say that 911 ends up being clearer for figuring out where help is needed, and that on Twitter and other social media, it's not as clear because of message duplication.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:46 PM on September 7 [2 favorites]


The ensemble from the last Euro run is giving maybe a 20% probability of Irma missing FL.
posted by Coventry at 2:08 PM on September 7


More like 10%, actually. It's sort of hard to see the coastline under the tracks.
posted by Coventry at 2:10 PM on September 7


I love it when I'm trying to finish work so I can evacuate and many family member call to let me know I should leave early. I would so cut these people off I didn't potentially need a roof over my head for the next week :)
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:59 PM on September 7


Latest GFS run shows Miami hit, so it's finally agreeing with the Euro. Of course, this could change in 12 hours. (This isn't great, but it's just one more data point, and while model consensus corresponds with reliability, it certainly doesn't guarantee it.)
posted by suckerpunch at 3:01 PM on September 7


I just wanted to say I think you all are very brave, whether you're evacuating of hunkering down. I'm from earthquake country, and while a big one like Northquake are really fucking scary, it takes no bravery to pack a go bag and then go about your life, and maybe one day there will be more than just some startling shaking. I lived in Houston during Andrew, and even though it moved east, just the days of tracking the thing was scary all by itself.
posted by Room 641-A at 3:14 PM on September 7 [2 favorites]


More like 10%, actually.

It's a cat5 that's 400 miles across. Even if the eye misses, it's still going to suck. It might suck more, since it won't diminish as quickly.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 3:28 PM on September 7 [4 favorites]


It's occurring to me that I prefer living in Tornado Alley to hurricane country. Tornadoes are nasty, of course, but they appear, hit, and are gone within minutes. I suppose earthquakes are the same. There's none of this watching the disaster creep toward you for three, four, or seven days. I would think the psychological toll of the waiting would be on par with facing the actual storm and its damage. But then, we all have to make our peace with the various threats of wherever we live.
posted by bryon at 4:22 PM on September 7 [3 favorites]


Yay, more aurora photos! Argh, wait, no, the sky is socked in with smoke! Clear up, sky! Wait, no, I want rain! Wait, strongest flare in 10 years, you say?

Judging by the sudden barrage of emails from http://aurorawatch.lancs.ac.uk/ I'm guessing it's arriving.

Local visability likelihoods

Kinda wishing there was some way I could find out both whether it was visible and what the real cloud cover here is.

Oh, wait... *goes outside*
posted by Buntix at 4:59 PM on September 7 [5 favorites]




I would think the psychological toll of the waiting would be on par with facing the actual storm and its damage.

I'm finding this fairly distressing, and I'm not even at risk.
posted by Coventry at 5:16 PM on September 7 [4 favorites]


I actually find the lead time kind of comforting, and I sometimes wonder how folks deal with living in places where a disaster like a tornado or earthquake can just up and happen without a solid week of heads up (though I guess here in Florida we have sinkholes to kind of fill that niche). Everyone has a different disposition, though–someone on one of the Florida/Hurricane related subreddits I've been following described it as a really slow version of Jaws.
posted by Gymnopedist at 5:55 PM on September 7 [9 favorites]


The storm and the aftermath are much worse than the approach period. It was profoundly terrifying. Then days of hardship and a struggle for subsistence. Very hot, no power for A/C or even fans. I had always wanted to see what a hurricane was like, and I don't want to see again.
posted by thelonius at 6:02 PM on September 7 [7 favorites]


I just looked at some NOAA satellite stuff and it thought I saw a slight wobble west towards Cuba. Projections seem bad for Miami. Florida generally could get clobbered. I had a regular at my bar today, he owns 2 houses here on MV and houses on both coasts of Florida. He's rich as fuck. I hope his houses don't get crushed but a lot of people do not have 4 houses, or 3, or 2. Most have one. One home. Owned or rented, people down there are gong to get flooded out of their homes.

really slow version of Jaws.

I like to go to the beach and just wade around calling out "Pippet! Pippet!"
posted by vrakatar at 6:11 PM on September 7 [1 favorite]


I've never lived in hurricane territory. I've personally survived a tornado and currently live in a place which gets them regularly. Maybe it's the grass-is-greener thing, but I sometimes thought the lead-up time for hurricanes was better than tornadoes. With hurricanes, there's usually plenty of time to plan and get out. With tornadoes, there's usually only enough warning to get into your shelter, plus there's a night of dread while the supercell passes overhead. Doom? Or no doom?

Best place, in terms of worry, was when I lived in earthquake territory. When the big one hits, it'll ruin everything. But until then, you never think about it beyond having a supplies bag stuffed in an obscure closet.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 6:14 PM on September 7 [5 favorites]


Maybe it's the grass-is-greener thing, but I sometimes thought the lead-up time for hurricanes was better than tornadoes.

I've never lived in tornado country and I'll take the hurricane lead up time for sure. Tornado is instant death, hurricane creeping death. Plus here in New England most hurricanes are weak enough to be mostly no big deal. I don't think I could be convinced to move to tornado country. That shit is way to sudden.

Then again I lived in nyc for 9/11, hurricane sandy, and the blizzard that ate New York, so maybe I could handle a tornado.
posted by vrakatar at 6:28 PM on September 7 [4 favorites]


Can anyone help with a ELI5 definition of storm surge, applied to a particular situation? Extended family members own a condo on the Jupiter barrier island. It's on the second floor, less than a mile from the Jupiter Inlet, and about 150 feet from the ocean, if Google Maps measurement and my ruler can be trusted. The car, if it hasn't been moved, is on the ground floor. No one actually lives there, it's a vacation place, and I think there's someone who checks on it. How screwed are they?

I know there are people in far worse straits. It's just that it will make people in my family very sad if it gets destroyed, for sentimental reasons as much as anything else.
posted by booksherpa at 6:47 PM on September 7 [3 favorites]


I had 20 minutes of terror during Katrina inland about 130 miles of the Gulf Coast after a week of watching and waiting, and 10 minutes of terror during a massive tornado that came within a city block of me after watching it coming on Facebook several years later. I do not recommend any of it.
posted by thebrokedown at 6:47 PM on September 7 [4 favorites]


In some ways, I guess, it isn't completely sudden. In Tornado-Land, those of us that worry (me!) compulsively load the NWS Storm Prediction Center's Convective Outlook during tornado season. If where you live has any color shading other than green, then you know worry is coming.

And sometimes it makes me into this hair-splitting theologian about the weather. Where I'll turn on the county boundries on the outlook map, and then be thrilled that my corner of the county is merely orange (possible doom) and not in the projected red zone of death (guaranteed doom).
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 6:47 PM on September 7 [5 favorites]


Andrew deGrandpre and Lindsey Bever / WaPo: The tiny islands ravaged by Irma are in trouble as Hurricane Jose looms
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:50 PM on September 7 [1 favorite]


There were HOURS of worry and fear in Katrina, with intermittent bangings and splooshings, but only about 20 minutes I thought it was possible I might actually die. Then 11 days without power--and this an hour and a half drive from the Coast. Cannot imagine being ON the Coast.
posted by thebrokedown at 6:52 PM on September 7 [4 favorites]


I'm a bit confused about Hurricane Jose. As I think someone mentioned upthread, hurricanes typically churn up a lot of colder water, which makes their paths less conducive to future storm development in that area. This doesn't seem to bother Jose, however. I guess maybe it would be a stronger, larger storm if Irma hadn't existed, but it's still a storm to be reckoned with. This seems pretty ominous as far as future hurricane seasons are concerned.
posted by mollweide at 6:56 PM on September 7


Booksherpa, I can't speak to surge mechanics (like how high it's likely to reach etc) but it's not the only foooding hazard. My family had a second floor condo on Kauai near where Iniki came ashore. It wasn't flooded from the bottom by surge but the storm still ripped part of the roof off and rained into the unit. And it was not a storm like this one.

Best of luck to your family (and everyone's).
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:03 PM on September 7 [1 favorite]


Hey all, have heard from Mr. Dinty's family - they're fine, the roads are passable (which is very very good news for his aunt on dialysis), they have power. They don't have water, but water being shut off during especially inclement weather is a thing that happens to them - they've got plenty of spare and know how to boil and/or carbon filter more. Jose is freaking them out.

Also, having lived in tornado country myself, I'm a hell of a lot more freaked out by hurricanes, simply because tornadoes only destroy, like, a block and not an entire freakin' island. Though I also lived in the part of tornado country where everyone has access to a basement. The correct answer is neither of those things.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:18 PM on September 7 [7 favorites]


I've lived in tornado country most of my life, and I would far rather have tornadoes than hurricanes. Yes, you get days of lead time to evacuate a hurricane, but you also have a vastly larger area of destruction, and different kinds of destruction from flooding, debris, and wind damage. With tornadoes, the chances of a direct hit are vanishingly small, and the vast majority of tornadoes are weak enough not to cause catastrophic damage. They also don't last very long--minutes at best. Ten minutes of lead time doesn't sound like much, but honestly, in that space of time, you could hypothetically hop in the car and drive 10 minutes away and be totally out of danger. Then come back when the storm passes and see what happened (which is almost certainly nothing).

The area that a tornado affects is also comparatively tiny. Even the Joplin tornado, as huge and destructive as it was, had a path that was a couple miles wide and about 10 miles long. Most of Joplin was untouched. You don't have to evacuate hundreds of thousands of people for a tornado, and you don't see stores stripped of gas, food and water for hundreds of miles either, or widespread power outages, or any real large-scale problems. Damage is limited to the size of a neighborhood, not a huge metropolis or a whole state. You might see a flash flood or hail damage from the storm, but not a storm surge or extended flooding.

Professor Google tells me that in the US, tornadoes cause about 80 deaths per year (largely from flying or falling debris) compared to 17 per year for hurricanes. So, not to pooh-pooh 80 people being killed, but in the overall scheme of things, tornadoes are not very deadly, if you consider that, for example, 1.5 million people are killed each year in car accidents.

Plus, hurricanes also have tornadoes in them, don't they, so if you're gonna get tornadoes no matter what, I'd rather have only tornadoes, not hurricanes with a side of tornadoes.
posted by Autumnheart at 7:18 PM on September 7 [11 favorites]


I'm a bit confused about Hurricane Jose

There's a discussion of this in Levi Cowan's latest update. The streak of colder water in the wake of Irma is not that wide, and it's not expected to impede Jose by much because their paths are diverging significantly.
posted by Coventry at 7:19 PM on September 7 [1 favorite]


because their paths are diverging significantly.

Which is double plus extra good because it means Jose will probably recurve out into the Atlantic without hitting the US. It will suck if it double sucker-punches some of the islands Irma hit, but there is just a lot more damage waiting to be done on the mainland.
posted by Bringer Tom at 7:27 PM on September 7 [1 favorite]


Which is double plus extra good because it means Jose will probably recurve out into the Atlantic without hitting the US.

Latest GFS operational run has Jose hitting Boston in a bit over 300 hours. Not that a prediction that far off means anything, but it's not clear it's going to go out to sea.
posted by Coventry at 7:35 PM on September 7 [1 favorite]


Look, I can only worry about friends and family in so many regions at once. I've barely had time to worry about my Florida family members. Boston is supposed to be okay right now. It's just going to have to put itself in the environmental worry queue and I'll get to it in November or so.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:55 PM on September 7 [10 favorites]


I'm not saying to worry about Boston -- that prediction is garbage. Just that it's plausible for Jose to hit CONUS.
posted by Coventry at 7:57 PM on September 7


Setting aside the potential for vast human suffering, let's take a moment to think about the pastimes of the 1%. Rescue mission underway for rare wine collections menaced by Irma
posted by sebastienbailard at 8:05 PM on September 7 [2 favorites]


Rescue mission underway for rare wine collections menaced by Irma

Amateurs, Richard Branson hunkered down in his wine cellar as Hurricane Irma blasted his private island.
posted by peeedro at 8:20 PM on September 7 [3 favorites]


Well, the 11:00 advisory is out and it looks like Irma's just going to run straight up the Florida peninsula, laying waste to almost the entire state. I hope Dad and Grandma and my brother's family get out in time.
posted by indubitable at 8:37 PM on September 7 [2 favorites]


My parents have a condo in FL that they picked up for dirt cheap in the '90s. It's pretty easy to find a condo under $200k even these days. FL real estate in general really shit the bed during the mortgage crisis, and AFAIK prices still haven't fully recovered, so you really don't have to be wealthy to get a deal down there. S'why Trump is there, after all. It's not because he just likes the weather.
posted by Autumnheart at 8:41 PM on September 7


(And I imagine that it'll get even cheaper after being socked with a few hurricanes and some rising sea levels.)
posted by Autumnheart at 8:43 PM on September 7


No worries, Coventry. No harm, no foul. :) That's definitely an area with an extraordinary amount of wealth. I suspect that in the wake of Irma, once enough time has passed, there will be some stories about the gap in recovery between the ultra rich areas and the much poorer areas, not just in terms of housing, but also infrastructure and business.

I grew up at the Jersey Shore and still live in New Jersey. I went back down for a brief visit recently and saw some of the new construction on the barrier islands in Ocean County. There were ridiculously huge mansions, built less than 100 yards from the ocean, some with ridiculous looking lush green lawns. Often there would be an empty lot or abandoned damaged house or foundation just a few doors down. That's the dichotomy post-Sandy - some families who had houses for generations lost them and couldn't rebuild, and some families had the wealth to buy those lots and build on them, or rebuild what they had. It's reflective of the larger class difference in society, and worth keeping an eye on, especially after natural disasters.
posted by booksherpa at 8:43 PM on September 7 [6 favorites]


My aunt-in-law is sitting out for it, no option to evacuate even if she wanted to and anywhere she'd evacuate to still in its path. Fingers crossed for her and everybody else under this monster.
posted by Artw at 8:44 PM on September 7 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I've lived in tornado and hurricane country both and give me tornadoes for sure. The days of nail-biting approach does not suit me as a human being, and since the WHOLE FREAKING STATE is trying to evacuate/prepare, there's not a whole lot you can do. (Fortunately no evacuations happened while I was there but I heard stories from the one just before I moved there and uggggggh.) The sense of doom watching and waiting while hurricanes steered slowly towards you ... literally the worst.

With a tornado you prepare in a general sense (have a basement or a shelter, have a weather radio, know where the cat carriers are). These days the average warning time before a tornado touches down is around 20 minutes, which is a whole lot! I mean you end up sitting in your basement and having nothing happen a lot of the time, but that's okay! Most of the time even in pretty populated areas tornadoes hit just a few buildings -- maybe a dozen -- and the damage is very localized. It might destroy a city block but an hour after it goes through everyone whose house was destroyed is already in local hotels for the night eating hot meals. Several of my friends lost their homes in one of the biggest tornadoes to hit a populated area in the last five years, and that was only ("only") around 700 homes destroyed. Only 1 person was killed. All 5,000 displaced people were accommodated within 25 miles of their homes and it took less than a week for insurance adjusters to canvas the whole area. I mean losing your house isn't good but tornadoes are just so much smaller and more localized -- there's no "disaster after the disaster" like there is with hurricanes where due to the size and scope it takes weeks to get started and months for recovery. You're not living in a shelter eating shelf-stable rations. With a tornado, once it's gone, it's over, there's no statewide flooding, there's no underwater interstates, there's no unusable airports, they can truck in the power linemen and the emergency trucks and ambulances, barring moving a few fallen trees out of the road, and if you get 5 miles away from where it hit, everything's probably fine.

(Blizzards and ice storms are by far the more annoying and deadly disaster in my part of tornado country, largely because they ARE widespread and DO disrupt transportation networks and knock out power to much wider areas and the linemen can't get there to turn it back on and ambulances can't get through and airports can end up shut down and so on. I mean people are dying of hypothermia and heart attacks, not "being hit by flying shards of their former house," but still.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:22 PM on September 7 [13 favorites]


My husband's a Florida native and we both went to school in the southeast, so lots of friends and family down there, and it's so frustrating to know all we can do is keep checking facebook to see who's evacuating and who's staying put. (I mean of course they're welcome here but so far nobody seems interested in evacuating QUITE this far.) I've been snapping at my husband to stop telling me Florida hurricane stories because I'm plenty worried enough.

(I did really appreciate Facebook's "check-in" feature after Harvey, I have a lot of family in Houston and FB telling me who had checked in as safe already was a relief. This was the first disaster where FB was able to tell me people were safe before I already knew they were, official thumbs up to this feature.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:32 PM on September 7 [3 favorites]


It must be incredibly stressful to know it's coming. But early warning and evacuation will almost certainly save a lot of lives.
posted by theora55 at 10:08 PM on September 7 [2 favorites]


Alan Sealls is going viral, and he deserves it. What he has to say is clear and comprehensive to everyone who hears it.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:10 PM on September 7


My disposition is definitely on the tornado side. It's over quickly and you can walk out of the disaster area within an hour or so at most. Far better than this hurricane shit. Especially ones this large. I was totally fine with the idea of getting socked by Matthew, but this is another thing entirely.

I'd be fleeing with the rich people on private planes if it weren't for the pets and family in the area. The chance of dying from it isn't too high, but it is way more hassle than I really want to deal with. Oh well, you make your choices and you take your chances.
posted by wierdo at 10:28 PM on September 7


I have family in Boyton/Lake Worth and I just spent way too long watching youtube videos on making ( burning man style ) solar powered swamp (evaporation) coolers.
posted by mikelieman at 10:31 PM on September 7


That might work during the day when the humidity is slightly lower...
posted by wierdo at 10:55 PM on September 7


That might work during the day when the humidity is slightly lower...

I live in Albany NY, I'm totally aware that I'm flailing around in impotent rage at not being able to help.

On the PLUS side, my sister and her husband and extended family are pretty good at "Be Prepared" ( More Boy Scout than Prepper ) and my sister is a Nurse, so I'm sure my Mom ( whose 83rd B'day is today 9/8 ) and everyone will be fine, but man, I do wish I could HELP... And I can't.

THANK YOU FOR LISTENING!
posted by mikelieman at 11:12 PM on September 7 [7 favorites]


Why is no one talking about the USVI? I mean, it's awful enough that we have heard little about the other devastated Caribbean islands, but these are US territories! You'd think the media would take a little notice.

Good friends have family in St. John and while they appear to be alive they've said the island is flattened and the devastation is widespread.
posted by lydhre at 4:34 AM on September 8 [9 favorites]


Predicted track from NOAA has moved a lot to the west since I last looked, as in that European model.
posted by thelonius at 4:41 AM on September 8


Around 90% of the spaghetti track models have a direct hit on South Florida now. The remaining few pass close by, so they'd still get hurricane force winds.
posted by Justinian at 4:54 AM on September 8


Yeah, it's looking pretty bad at this point. If this track verifies, it's far enough west (and the 0Z Euro and 6Z GFS are both a bit farther west even) that Naples and Fort Myers will see some damage, though far less than what will likely happen to the western suburbs of Miami in this scenario, who along with western parts of Homestead will be pounded by the northeastern eyewall where the highest winds almost always are.

It's been eerily quiet since last night. I live on a fairly busy road relatively close to downtown Miami, so there's usually a lot of commuters plus fairly frequent, if light, traffic even overnight. It was very quiet last night and traffic now is less than a usual Sunday, somewhat surprisingly. The other surprising thing is that I hear only one person boarding their windows.

Also, the corner store hasn't opened yet, which is quite unusual. They kept normal hours through the entirety of Matthew, so I figured they'd stick it out until closing time tonight at least. I wouldn't be surprised to see them open tomorrow morning, even, though I might not be here to see it. There is some question of whether to relocate to Georgia's parents' place further north.
posted by wierdo at 5:37 AM on September 8 [4 favorites]


My elderly parents, in Atlanta, are now worried that maybe they should evacuate. I don't think that's warranted, and I think it is probably going to be worse for them than staying put. It's going to be a tropical storm by then. What do you all think?
posted by thelonius at 5:49 AM on September 8


“At this point, preliminary totals 3 to 6 inches of rainfall. That means locations with poor drainage areas, we could be dealing with minor flooding,” Walls said.

Walls said the metro[Atlanta] could see sustained winds of 40-50 mph, with 70 mph gusts not out of the question.

posted by thelonius at 5:52 AM on September 8


My elderly parents, in Atlanta, are now worried that maybe they should evacuate.

Parts of Atlanta are pretty flood prone, so If the storm moves right over Atlanta as a tropical storm there is bound to be some flooding. If the area they live in has flooded before I would begin to take precautions to protect valuables and then maybe see about finding out if there's somewhere less flood prone where they can wait out the storm. The wind will down some trees and power lines and cause other damage but isn't going to tear their roof off. I would not evacuate, personally, were I still in Decatur. I'd just go hangout in my friends basement until the storm passes.
posted by dis_integration at 6:21 AM on September 8 [1 favorite]


My elderly parents, in Atlanta, are now worried that maybe they should evacuate. I don't think that's warranted, and I think it is probably going to be worse for them than staying put.

If they drive, I'd recommend filling up the gas tank in case they need to go, but otherwise stay put.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:25 AM on September 8 [3 favorites]


I would not evacuate, personally, were I still in Decatur.

That's more or less where they are - in a neighborhood near Emory. Probably trees are the biggest hazard.
posted by thelonius at 6:40 AM on September 8


I've been in property management in ATL for years even though I don't live there: worry about trees and flooding. We'd put in permits with the city (hahaha, maybe by thanksgiving thanks city of atlanta) to take down two huge trees the arborist deemed sketchy just two weeks ago so now we get to just cross our fingers and hope for the best.

Have a full tank of gas just in case, get some non-perishable food, batteries and TARPS, ALL THE TARPS just in case the roof gets damaged. It'll be a problem finding contractors to fix anything next week.
posted by lydhre at 6:59 AM on September 8 [7 favorites]


Eric Berger/Ars Technica: For parts of Florida, Hurricane Irma offers a worst-case scenario
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:29 AM on September 8


Guardian Post: Irma now affecting Northern Cuba, Bahamas
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:30 AM on September 8


Anyone have a sense of how long transportation (airports/trains/highways) might get back online after a Cat4/5?
posted by gwint at 9:00 AM on September 8


Nicholas Nehamas, Monique O. Madan and David Smiley/Miami Herald: Irma could wreck their flimsy homes. But some Miami trailer park residents will stay.
In a high-rent, low-wage community like South Florida, trailer parks expose the economic disparities that can hinder evacuation efforts. With so much news coming over smartphones, those without internet access are a step behind. Storms bring the everyday problems of poverty into sharper focus.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:07 AM on September 8 [6 favorites]


Right now they're showing Miami beach. It's official closed, although they have some life guards. The beach is basically deserted, but report of a few people swimming. Just... How selfish do you have to be to go swimming? The lifeguards have more important things to worry about than people who deliberately put themselves at risk. Selfish and shameful.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:10 AM on September 8 [2 favorites]


Irma could wreck their flimsy homes. But some Miami trailer park residents will stay.

Not could, definitely will destroy their homes. I saw first hand what happens to mobile homes during hurricane Charlie hit Punta Gorda. Every mobile home was destroyed. It was like a middle strike. Everyone I encountered was shell shocked.
posted by photoslob at 9:30 AM on September 8 [4 favorites]


middle = missile
posted by photoslob at 9:50 AM on September 8 [1 favorite]


This is what will happen to anything that isn't reinforced steel. That's from Hurricane Ike in 2008 when it hit an area just north of Galvestoon Ike was a "fun" one. We live about 50 miles inland and I thought the townhome we were renting at the time was going to blow apart with us in it (especially after the heavy bathroom skylight flew away never to be seen again*). Unlike a tornado that is over in seconds, you get hours of relentless battering. Now I want to live in a decommissioned missile silo.

*where we frantically had to fasten a tarp with duct tape and screws to divert rain and flying crud into the bathtub while it was pouring in.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:52 AM on September 8 [7 favorites]


Gwint, I would not expect any mass transportation from areas within fifty miles of landfall to be viable for the general public for a week or so after the storm. I can't speak authoritatively, but I have lived in Florida for forty years.

The safety of roads and rail lines afterwards is highly dependant on how high their beds are relative to surrounding terrain, how far they are from water, and how closely surrounded they are by trees. Bridges will need to be checked for structural integrity - Google i-10 bridge hurricane Ivan for an instructive look at what storm surge can do. Roads built on sand or limestone can easily crumble. And of course, trees will be down everywhere.

In general, interstates and airports built farther inland should be fine once authorities have a chance to clear wind borne debris, ditto rail lines away from water.

Of course, here in Florida, one is never too far from water of some kind. Tl:Dr, expect restricted transportation for at least a week.
posted by Vigilant at 10:02 AM on September 8 [2 favorites]


If anyone is interested in supporting rescue effort is St. John (USVI), St. John Rescue is a charity that is running this gofundme: https://www.gofundme.com/gyp4sw-hurricane-irma-relief-fund . Some folks in the US are also organizing supplies and skilled volunteers to fly in when possible (msg me for link.)
posted by thefool at 11:44 AM on September 8 [2 favorites]


Other acredited support operations are on StormCarib page
Two that might not have made it their yet
Barbuda Relief fund - Blue Halo - Part of Waitt Institute.
and
Yacht Aid Global which has done great work in the recent past in Vanuatu after the typhoon and Cabo São Lucas after the last Pacific hurricane.
posted by adamvasco at 11:57 AM on September 8


Thanks adamvasco, tons of links and names of organizations at your StormCarib link.
posted by thefool at 12:28 PM on September 8


Euro spaghetti plot ahoy! (Pulled from Reddit Live thread.)
posted by suckerpunch at 12:46 PM on September 8


About the climate change deniers
posted by growabrain at 1:09 PM on September 8 [7 favorites]




In a high-rent, low-wage community like South Florida, trailer parks expose the economic disparities that can hinder evacuation efforts. With so much news coming over smartphones, those without internet access are a step behind. Storms bring the everyday problems of poverty into sharper focus.

That is a fucking disgrace. What the hell is wrong with those towns and counties that they ignore elders like that? A 96 year old woman left to die in a storm in the US in 2017 is an abomination. I'd go get her myself if I were closer.
posted by fshgrl at 1:33 PM on September 8 [11 favorites]




NHC expects Irma to reintensify to category 5 prior to FL landfall.

At this point I'm wondering how much of Florida is going to be left.
posted by mightygodking at 2:34 PM on September 8


Just think about this one a bit - A military cargo plane from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has just landed at the VC BIRD INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT with supplies for the Barbudan victims of Hurricane Irma.
Not usa which has a listening post on Antigua. Not the ex colonial masters UK. But the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela which itself is crumbling into chaos.
posted by adamvasco at 2:35 PM on September 8 [23 favorites]


Spires removed from Cinderella's castle just in case. Phew! - poss fake though.
posted by rongorongo at 2:48 PM on September 8


NHC expects Irma to reintensify to category 5 prior to FL landfall.

At this point I'm wondering how much of Florida is going to be left.


File Photo
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 3:05 PM on September 8 [3 favorites]


Turns out the corner store just down the block is going to be open tomorrow. Hurricane cancelled, at least for Miami. (Not really, it's just kinda funny, and the forecasts for this half of the state have been trending favorably as the models shift slightly west)

Sorry, Naples. At least you'll be on the west side, so the maximum winds aren't quite so bad. Plus, the tornado risk is lower, so that's at least some consolation.
posted by wierdo at 3:25 PM on September 8 [1 favorite]


The Venezuelan thing kinda makes sense as Antigua and Barbuda are members of ALBA which I'd never heard of but looks to be a sort of Latin American and Caribbean alliance of ideologies, and of which Venezuela is one of the largest and closest members that was least affected by Irma. The islands have been independent since the 1980s from the UK so they really have no obligation to help. (Not saying they or the U.S. shouldn't step up tho)

I was impressed with the Dutch Navy's quick response to their islands, seemed i was seeinh reports of them landing in Saba only hours after the storm had passed with supplies and people power. I hope they did the same for Sint Maarten.
posted by danapiper at 3:26 PM on September 8


Florida will not be destroyed. Some coastal areas will be devastated and mobile homes, seasonal cabins, boats, fish shacks and the like will be lost. But most well built structures outside the storm surge zone will be fine and that's a significant percentage of buildings. And the storm will weaken over land as they do.

The Keys are fucked and Miami has potentially a major flooding issue problem. But Florida, as a state, won't be totally wiped off the map.

Source: I have a lot of friends in Florida some of whom are on tap as first responders so they're staying put.
posted by fshgrl at 3:28 PM on September 8 [7 favorites]


fshgrl : personally, I never realized that a relatively large amount of homes in southern Florida are built with concrete block, specifically for durability in extremely high winds. Now, I'm not sure if I'd want a home like that during 100 degree heat / 99 percent humidity days, but I guess they don't have to be comfortable, they have to last.
posted by suckerpunch at 3:41 PM on September 8 [1 favorite]


Concrete is great in hot weather. It's harder to heat than to cool.
posted by fshgrl at 3:48 PM on September 8 [3 favorites]


Here are some talking points for your legislators, if you're not in FL/PR/USVI and want to advocate for aid being sent to the affected communities:
[Congresscritter So-and-So,]

I am a constituent [or supporter] in [your location]. I am deeply concerned about people in the path of Hurricane Irma, and I believe that the federal government must act. [Insert personal stories of how you or your peeps will be affected]. I expect you to support legislation that:
  • Provides funding to help care for people affected by the hurricane.
  • Aids, not just the people of Florida, Georgia, and other states, but also the people in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, especially since their Members of Congress do not have binding votes.
  • Does not cut other federal spending.
Someday we may need aid here because of [common local natural disaster], and I want to be able to count on MsoC across the nation to come to our aid. It is the right thing to do.

[For MoC who do/have done the right thing: Thank you for your commitment to helping Americans in all parts of our country.]

[For MoC who has a history of fuckery around disaster relief funding: Your history of voting to deny disaster relief funds to communities in need, e.g. [the Northeast after Sandy, TX and LA after Harvey, or whatever else] disturbs me greatly. If you fail again to vote to approve funding for disaster relief, I will donate to your opponents who will, campaign against you, and make sure to associate your name and face with the horrifying images and stories that inevitably come out of such terrible events. We owe it to our fellow Americans to help.]

Sincerely,
[Your name]
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 3:52 PM on September 8 [7 favorites]


A comparison of hurricanes in terms of energy contained in the storm (WaPo)
  • Katrina (2005) - 116 terajoules
  • Irma - 112 terajoules
  • Harvey - 28 terajoules
  • Andrew (1992) - 15 terajoules
posted by Hairy Lobster at 3:52 PM on September 8 [5 favorites]




I was impressed with the Dutch Navy's quick response to their islands, seemed i was seeinh reports of them landing in Saba only hours after the storm had passed with supplies and people power. I hope they did the same for Sint Maarten.

I got the impression that them and the French had already staged just outside the danger zone so they'd be ready to go. UK government seemingly missed the "worst hurricane ever heading for British Overseas Territories" memo, or thought the Europeans were exaggerating the seriousness.
posted by MattWPBS at 4:26 PM on September 8


Spires removed from Cinderella's castle just in case. Phew! - poss fake though

Yeah, no. That is the crane they use to put the Frozen holiday lights on the castle for the Christmas event that begins in early November.

You are now subscribed to Disney World Facts
posted by Fleebnork at 4:32 PM on September 8 [15 favorites]


NPR Poor In Miami: Hoping To Ride Out Irma On Bread And Cans Of Tuna
While local news broadcasts have been dominated by images of people flocking to stores all week to stock up on water, nonperishable food and supplies to ride out Hurricane Irma, many families can't afford to do that. In Miami-Dade, about 530,000 of the estimated 3 million residents live below the poverty line.

Johnson, 65, lives in an affordable housing complex in Miami and, like many of his neighbors who are also on fixed or limited income, he doesn't own a car.

"I have to depend on other people to bring me water so I have a friend who said they gonna bring me some water," he said.

He says shopping for hurricane supplies is difficult on a fixed income and with no car.
Brings a lump to my throat. Local community activists are frustrated that there just isn't time to purchase and get supplies to those who need it. I feel like this is the sort of work local churches do well if they have the information and the desire. But it needs to be done in a few days and part of the problem is finding those with the greatest needs.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:33 PM on September 8 [11 favorites]


I mean the reason an island like Barbuda can be reduced to rubble and only have a single fatality is because they have municipal shelters. And people go to them. Too hard for the wealthiest country in the world to figure that out I guess.
posted by fshgrl at 4:39 PM on September 8 [9 favorites]


Folks, joking about Florida being destroyed isn't funny. Some of us actually live here. Even if it's grudgingly.
posted by photoslob at 4:40 PM on September 8 [13 favorites]


Just in case you didn't have enough to worry about,

NYT Conservationists See a Hurricane Risk: Florida’s Exotic Pets Could Escape
When Hurricane Andrew battered South Florida in 1992, conservationists say, a slithering, voracious species escaped a breeding facility and made its way toward Everglades National Park. There, the Burmese python, originally from Southeast Asia, would feast on raccoons, eggs and deer, multiplying into the tens of thousands, until it had ravaged the ecosystem.

Now, with Hurricane Irma fast approaching Florida, wildlife organizations are concerned that other nonnative species could be unleashed in the state. There are more than 1,200 species of reptiles and amphibians kept in captivity in Florida, according to the United States Association of Reptile Keepers. Many of them, like the veiled chameleon, Mexican spinytail iguana and Javan file snake, are nonnative.

“You’ve got a lot of exotic pet breeders down in South Florida,” said Bruce Stein, associate vice president for conservation science at the National Wildlife Federation. “The question is: What’s next?”
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:50 PM on September 8 [4 favorites]


NPR Poor In Miami: Hoping To Ride Out Irma On Bread And Cans Of Tuna

I think this may be one of the most infuriating things about how we handle natural disasters in the US. Everybody is left to fend for themselves and is responsible for buying their own private supply cache, is subject to the whims of the market in the form of price gouging and shortages, and has to make their own determination of what they will need to survive given little or no information. Risk is entirely offloaded to the individual. Of course poor people get royally fucked in this system. Does anybody on any level of government make any fucking plans at all for this?
posted by indubitable at 4:57 PM on September 8 [21 favorites]


My sister-in-law's dad is in St. Pete. Now that the track's shifting west it seems like a bigger deal to get him to leave, but he's stubborn. Anyone from that area have a vibe on how hard we should lean on him?
posted by freecellwizard at 5:01 PM on September 8


Not really. The official response is 1) warnings to evacuate and 2) cleanup and triage after the fact. We don't really do public preemptive preparation, because rugged individualism and government spending is a Bad Thing (TM). Especially in a state like Florida.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:03 PM on September 8 [5 favorites]


Local reporting in Miami Herald: Cruise passengers dropped off in Miami ahead of Irma are scrambling to get out and Local 10 News Cruise ship passengers, other travelers left stranded at airport by Irma

National reporting mentions ships moving out of the region USA Today, and the effect on the industry Irma is the cruise line industry's worst nightmare and how Royal Caribbean using its own cruise ship to evacuate employees but I've only see the L.A. Times report on the passengers

Norwegian looks like they did better
Two of the company’s ships, the Norwegian Escape and the Norwegian Sky, were brought back to port in Miami before the scheduled end of the cruise before Irma’s expected landfall in Florida. The choice was made to allow passengers from Florida time to return to their homes to prepare for the storm and to give others onboard the chance to return home if they wanted to avoid the storm, a company spokeswoman told MarketWatch.
[...]
Roughly 4,000 remaining passengers who could not return home were brought aboard the larger of the two ships, the 4,266-passenger Escape, which was taken back out to sea to leave the region for the duration of the storm.
Good on them to keep people rather than adding to the travel & hotel overburden.

My local (San José, California) news sent a crew without their own food & water, so they stopped at a store on the way to the hotel to find empty shelves. quelle surprise
posted by ASCII Costanza head at 5:10 PM on September 8 [9 favorites]


It might get back to Cat 5 and hit sunday morning before sunrise. Total nightmare, get out of there, get your people out of there. Recovery will take months and the fewer people to rescue in the aftermath the better.
posted by vrakatar at 5:19 PM on September 8 [1 favorite]


From Jeb Lund at Esquire: "Waiting for Irma: What do you do with all this dread? A dispatch from Florida."
Things are already quieter than normal. You can hear all the people who aren't here. Costco was hushed. Nobody freaked out; nobody swore; nobody was rude. Several people looked antsy, like maybe they knew they were trapped, but most people feel that way now, to some degree.[...]

By the end of Saturday, it will be time to begin lying heavily to my son, who is almost three. To be fair, I've been lying to him since he was an infant because it's funny, but he watches the Weather Channel and says, "It's gonna rain," in his toddler voice, and I tell him, "That's ok, because mama and I are going to be here to keep you safe," which isn't true.

What I can't tell him is that his parents can prepare to the very best of their ability—that they have good shutters and a new house built to high safety standards outside of the floodplain—but that if a hurricane decides to kill him, however low the odds, it will. Even a lowly Category 1 storm capriciously spins off little tornadoes that can descend on a random house and tear a family to bits.
posted by lalex at 5:23 PM on September 8 [7 favorites]


I'm in St Pete and we're staying. It's going to be a mess here Monday afternoon and the power is likely to be out for days but if he's not in an evac zone and doesn't have any health conditions he should be ok. With that said, we have a generator, a AC window unit and plenty of supplies so we're as prepared as we can be. If he needs to be checked up on send me a Memail.
posted by photoslob at 5:26 PM on September 8 [4 favorites]


My local (San José, California) news sent a crew without their own food & water, so they stopped at a store on the way to the hotel to find empty shelves. quelle surprise

Perhaps distant local news stations should not be taking up resources and putting their people in harm's way when there must be 80 bajillion different news sources they can pull from.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:31 PM on September 8 [17 favorites]


Looks like Irma is going to skirt the northern coast of Cuba and potentially lose some strength. Hopefully it won't recharge in the FL straights. Fingers crossed.
posted by photoslob at 5:49 PM on September 8 [4 favorites]


Gov. Rick Scott calling for volunteer nurses.
posted by Coventry at 5:51 PM on September 8


From Jeb Lund at Esquire: "Waiting for Irma: What do you do with all this dread? A dispatch from Florida."
when Gov. Rick Scott speaks of the terrible cost that faces Florida and the rest of the United States, ask him how many zeroes he put on it by running an administration that forbids state employees from even using the words "climate change," "global warming" or "sea-level rise."

And when the bodies are counted—including the hundreds more in the Caribbean nations whose citizens we keep off TV and accept as collateral damage for cheap gas and a wide open road—ask him how many more his ideology cast adrift in the floodwaters.
posted by Coventry at 5:58 PM on September 8 [30 favorites]


So much blood on so many hands.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:04 PM on September 8 [2 favorites]


Florida governor has ignored climate change risks, critics say
But for all of Scott’s vigor in readying Florida for Irma’s wrath, his administration has done little over the years to prepare for what scientists say are the inevitable effects of climate change that will wreak havoc in the years to come. With its far-reaching coastline and low elevation, Florida is one of the states at greatest risk from rising sea levels, extreme weather events — including more-powerful hurricanes — and other consequences of a warming planet.

Local officials, academics and even some political allies say Scott has scarcely acknowledged the problem and, along with the Republican-led legislature, has shown little interest in funding projects to help the state adapt and become more resilient in the face of storms such as Irma.

“The science has been brought on a silver platter to Governor Scott, and he’s chosen not to do anything,” said Kathy Baughman McLeod, a conservation expert who served on the Florida Energy and Climate Commission, which was effectively dismantled after Scott took office in 2011. “If there is climate action, it’s all coming from local and regional collaboration. There is no state leadership on climate change in Florida, period.”
posted by homunculus at 6:04 PM on September 8 [9 favorites]


Gov. Rick Scott calling for volunteer nurses.

former healthcare CEO and current state governor Rick Scott: hey 1,000 nurses, work for free
posted by indubitable at 6:11 PM on September 8 [30 favorites]


when Gov. Rick Scott speaks of the terrible cost that faces Florida and the rest of the United States, ask him...

Ask him anything, really. It's not like you'll get an honest response, or get him to feel any sort of guilt or empathy for anyone who isn't a corporate backer.
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:17 PM on September 8 [3 favorites]


Pretty much everyone I know down here, even longtime Gulf Coast Floridians, figured this one wouldn't be a huge deal for us on the west side. I'm usually that way, too - I just figure things will work out somehow. But after seeing the track starting to shift toward us, though, I figured I'd set aside today today (a day off, college closed) to start prepping for the worst, just in case.

So I got up early and filled sandbags for us and a friend, came home and started putting up plywood. While I was doing that, the NHC dropped two more westward shifts on us. Never trust a damn hurricane. They love to veer off in some improbable way and humble the meteorologists. Twice we've been the beneficiary of those late swings; looks like this time the luck is not in our favor.

Sorry to ramble; I'm just dehydrated and loopy and sore.... The house is about as battened down as I can make it. We'll do some last-minute stuff tomorrow and head for a Cat-4 rated shelter. This one just has a bad feel to it. See y'all soon.
posted by martin q blank at 6:57 PM on September 8 [24 favorites]


Unsurprisingly, but still ironically, the breezy weather is making the hot, humid evening much more bearable.
posted by wierdo at 7:11 PM on September 8


The weather just before and just after a hurricane is some of the most pleasant anywhere. It's too bad about the part where it knocks down all the power lines and maybe the city you live in in between.
posted by Bringer Tom at 7:20 PM on September 8 [7 favorites]


I'm from the southwest coast of Florida originally, now settled in Tallahassee. Seeing the panic from friends back home as it shifts farther west is absolutely heartbreaking.

My brother's riding this out in the hospital where he's been admitted since Sunday, and my parents are on an affected cruise ship. It's been an odd week here.
posted by PearlRose at 7:44 PM on September 8 [3 favorites]


We have friends on a cruise ship too, they were scheduled to dock back in Miami on Sunday and that obviously wont happen. Thankfully MSC diverted them first to Mexico and now riding out an extra 3 days at sea, they're supposed to try and land now on Wednesday morning assuming the Port of Miami can reopen by then.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:50 PM on September 8


Let's hope Irma is more affected by its brush with Cuba than expected so that the real thrashing can be over.
posted by wierdo at 8:15 PM on September 8 [1 favorite]


Good luck Floridian MeFites.
posted by MattWPBS at 8:16 PM on September 8 [3 favorites]


There's still an alarming number of people on the Duval Street webcam in Key West. Watching for 5mins or so and I've seen 3 people on bikes and 1 scooter ride by.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:26 PM on September 8 [1 favorite]


Watching for 5mins or so and I've seen 3 people on bikes and 1 scooter ride by.

A dude just went by on foot, talking on his cell phone
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:38 PM on September 8


Michael Grunwald at Politico: A Requiem for Florida, the Paradise That Should Never Have Been
posted by lalex at 8:43 PM on September 8 [6 favorites]


Latest GFS run forecasts reintensification before FL, with sub-900mb landfall.
posted by Coventry at 8:55 PM on September 8


Meanwhile, Savannah has shifted out of the cone and it looks almost reasonable to stay. What a weird storm.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:12 PM on September 8 [2 favorites]


I flipped over to the HSN shopping channel because I know they're in Florida and I was curious about what TV channels were going to Do. They just mentioned they're getting ready to switch to a studio in Tennessee. I guess all the local stations will evacuate?
posted by Room 641-A at 9:15 PM on September 8


Evacuation is logistically hard, structurally inequitable, and also sometimes delightful in the details.
Roosters evacuating Key West in paper burritos so they don't fight each other. (twitter with photo)
posted by spamandkimchi at 9:19 PM on September 8 [11 favorites]


Those roosters are getting a better deal than the prisoners of Orleans Parish Prison did in Katrina.
posted by Coventry at 9:22 PM on September 8 [3 favorites]


Hopefully a lot of the folks still on key west have fast boats.
posted by fshgrl at 9:36 PM on September 8


I keep thinking about the Hemingway house lady and all those damn cats. Google tells me the family is begging her to go but she refuses to leave. People are inexplicable.
posted by anastasiav at 9:46 PM on September 8 [3 favorites]


Our corporate office is in Cape Coral. They closed up on Wednesday and strongly urged all employees to get the hell out, and no one is losing pay. Some of the people there (not for lack of money or resources) are planning to ride the storm out. There's a pretty decent chance that the storm could make landfall there. Possible 8-12 foot storm surge and Cat 4 winds. I'm hoping that the worst we have is an insurance claim to fix things up, but people counting on their houses being strong enough to hold up to this is not a warm fuzzy thought.
posted by azpenguin at 9:54 PM on September 8


I mean, it would be pretty cool to see. If you had a real sturdy place on a hill. One of my good friends is from PR and his family have a concrete place up on a hill like most and they don't worry about hurricanes much at all. The estimates for their power to come back right now range from "some day" to " never" but that's the only issue they or anyone else nearby has.
posted by fshgrl at 10:22 PM on September 8 [2 favorites]


BULLETIN
Hurricane Jose Advisory Number 15
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL122017
1100 PM AST Fri Sep 08 2017

...AIR FORCE HURRICANE HUNTERS FIND JOSE EVEN STRONGER...
...ALMOST A CATEGORY 5 HURRICANE...

DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
------------------------------
At 1100 PM AST (0300 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Jose was located
near latitude 16.9 North, longitude 59.3 West. Jose is moving toward
the west-northwest near 14 mph (22 km/h). A west-northwest to
northwest motion is expected during the next couple of days. On the
forecast track, the core of Jose will pass close to or just east of
the northern Leeward Islands.

Maximum sustained winds are near 155 mph (250 km/h) with higher
gusts. Jose is a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson
Hurricane Wind Scale. Some fluctuation in intensity, up or down,
could occur overnight and on Saturday. Gradual weakening is
expected after that.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (55 km) from the
center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles
(220 km).

The estimated minimum central pressure based on observations from
the Air Force Hurricane Hunters is 938 mb (27.70 inches).
posted by rtha at 10:26 PM on September 8 [3 favorites]


Growing up in south Mississippi, they scared the tar out of us every school year playing this video about Hurricane Camille. The thing I remember most is a survivor's account of a hurricane party her apartment complex held, and how she spent hours clinging to the upper branches of a tree while most of the rest of the party-goers died. Every year we watched this thing, with its before-and-after shots of the Coast and all the harrowing tales. It gave me nightmares, but I think it impressed upon me the folly of staying if it were possible you could leave, and it definitely made me respect the storm and to prepare as best you could if you couldn't leave. But some people always figure it won't happen to them for some reason, and I'm sure there are parties going on at this very moment when people could be doing things that improve their chances of survival.
posted by thebrokedown at 11:16 PM on September 8 [6 favorites]


Lost a fair bit of juice from Cuba as of 2AM and seems like it will be hanging close for another 12-18 hours. There's an outside possibility the core of the storm is disrupted enough that it weakens some and is never able to fully regain its strength. If that does come to pass, it should make a fairly significant difference in the surge the west coast sees, though the Keys will still get the full Category 5 surge unless it almost completely dissipates.
posted by wierdo at 11:31 PM on September 8 [2 favorites]


If it does stay intact, the waters between Cuba and the FL west coast are really toasty right now, so there's that. Good chance it'll regain a lot of strength.
posted by azpenguin at 12:14 AM on September 9


Oh, for sure. A lack of warm water isn't any kind of issue for this storm. Sometimes, though, close interaction with land can disrupt systems more than forecast. Even if forecast, NHC tends to be conservative about possible weakening for obvious reasons. Sometimes it doesn't happen, especially if the storm's core is particularly robust to begin with, like this one is. If it gets too messed up, all the warm water in the world (well, maybe eventually) won't make it intensify.

BTW, the 0Z Euro depicts an incredibly dangerous situation for the Tampa area, with the eye centered directly over downtown Tampa. Clearwater/St.Pete could have devastating surge over washing the peninsula if this run verifies. Sadly, the Euro has thus far been by far the most accurate in forecasting Irma's track. Hopefully, this run is just an outlier. Good for me, but more worse for them than what we on the east coast gain. It isn't at all a fair trade.
posted by wierdo at 12:51 AM on September 9 [2 favorites]


Reading up on what storm surges are. (Newsweek, NOAA, NOAA Graphic, Wunderground)

From Wunderground:
A storm surge is water that is pushed onto shore by a hurricane. It is rarely a "wall of water" as often claimed, but rather a rise of water that can be as rapid as several feet in just a few minutes. The storm surge moves with the forward speed of the hurricane — typically 10-15 mph. This wind-driven water has tremendous power. One cubic yard of sea water weighs 1,728 pounds — almost a ton.

This means a one-foot deep storm surge can sweep your car off the road, and even a 6-inch surge is difficult to stand in. Compounding the destructive power of the rushing water is the large amount of floating debris that typically accompanies the surge. Trees, pieces of buildings and other debris float on top of the storm surge and act as battering rams that can cave in any buildings unfortunate enough to stand in the way.
This is on top of normal tides.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:44 AM on September 9 [5 favorites]


BTW, apparently most of the Key West holdouts finally left. With the west shift in the track and the first vaguely threatening band moving through a GTFO meme broke out around midnight. One of the local stations is interviewing people live at a gas station. Speaking of which, all the Miami stations have live streams on their websites.

Also, there are apparently some shelters open in the keys now. They just left some doors unlocked at the high schools there, no staff. You go there, you're on your own, just find a corner to cower in. Nuts.
posted by wierdo at 2:40 AM on September 9 [5 favorites]


Fuuuuck
posted by Burhanistan at 4:24 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


Latest track shows land fall in Naples. Tampa Bay Area may see cat 3 winds if it doesn't weaken more on landfall.

This is going to suck.
posted by photoslob at 4:29 AM on September 9


Metafilter (post Trump): You go there, you're on your own, just find a corner to cower in. Nuts.
posted by RolandOfEld at 4:59 AM on September 9 [9 favorites]


Duval live cam is down. Would love to know where Joy Williams is right now. I read her book about the Keys aloud to my husband pretty much twice. I'm obsessed with the Keys because of her.
posted by armacy at 5:22 AM on September 9 [4 favorites]


Google maps shows no traffic on the highways south of macron, ga, so hopefully everyone got where they needed to go, and others are leaving early today.
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 6:03 AM on September 9


Darlene Cunha has an op-ed in the Washington Post about evacuation and frustrations with the perceptions around it versus the reality.

"Meaningful evacuation would have meant public transport, safe shelters along the way, medical help and facilities throughout, and safe shelter, food, water and sanitary supplies on the other side of it all. For free. Because evacuating is expensive: You need gas and a reliable vehicle. You need good health to make a slow-moving, anxiety-inducing journey with thousands of other people surrounding you at every turn. You need money to buy supplies and emergency equipment, and to miss work. You simply need things we don’t normally have. Being prepared is a luxury, and it’s not always possible."
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 6:17 AM on September 9 [55 favorites]


The Duval cam is up this morning and I just saw a couple guys in a massive pickup truck drive by. Here's a roundup of other webcams around Florida and the Keys
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:33 AM on September 9 [5 favorites]


Stayin' put in Savannah for now, see how it goes.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:34 AM on September 9 [4 favorites]


Google maps shows no traffic on the highways south of [Macon, GA], so hopefully everyone got where they needed to go, and others are leaving early today.

My dad drove out overnight. He said the interstate was clear but the rest stops were zoos.
posted by indubitable at 7:10 AM on September 9




Two days ago I was feeling optimistic but today it looks like 5-10 feet of storm surge and cat3 winds for Tampa. My family will live but my mothers house that my grandfather built is a stones throw from the bay and is probably going to be completely inundated. This is looking like the storm that we always worried about coming every season but that Tampa always escaped. Now it's here. I wonder if Clearwater beach will still be there on Monday.
posted by dis_integration at 7:43 AM on September 9 [3 favorites]


More on the situation in the US VI and nearby:

Associated Press
Hurricane Irma slams Turks and Caicos on path to Florida
The U.S. Consulate General in Curacao said it believes about 6,000 Americans are stranded on St. Martin. It said it was working with the U.S. and other governments to try to figure out how to get the Americans off the island either by air or boat. Frantic Americans were calling home to relatives to try to get them off the island ahead of Hurricane Jose.

At least four people were killed in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and officials said they expected to find more bodies. Authorities described the damage as catastrophic and said crews were struggling to reopen roads and restore power.

Three more deaths were reported on the British island of Anguilla, as well as Barbuda and the Dutch side of St. Martin.

The hospital on St. Thomas was destroyed and dozens of patients were being evacuated to St. Croix and Puerto Rico by the U.S. Coast Guard. Local official said a U.S. Navy hospital ship was arriving as early as Friday to care for unknown numbers of injured and two Air Force C-130s transport planes were bringing in food and water.

Power lines and towers were toppled, leaves were stripped off plants and trees, a water and sewage treatment plants was heavily damaged and the harbor was in ruins, along with hundreds of homes and dozens of businesses. Gov. Kenneth Mapp imposed a 6 p.m. curfew.

The primary focus for now is "making sure people have meals, water and shelter," Mapp said. "An event of this magnitude is very chilling."



V.I. Consortium:
IRMA WREAKS HAVOC IN ST. THOMAS; SCHNEIDER HOSPITAL SUFFERS ‘CATASTROPHIC FAILURE’;

ST. JOHN SUFFERED ‘MUCH MORE DAMAGE’ THAN ST. THOMAS, GOVERNOR SAYS;

TIM DUNCAN DONATES $250,000 TO USVI IN WAKE OF IRMA, WILL MATCH UP TO $1 MILLION
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:48 AM on September 9 [12 favorites]


Dave Gershgorn/Quartz: Hurricane Irma: Many Floridians are now in danger because they didn’t know how to read a hurricane map

To be fair, most hurricane maps are confusing, partly because they're answering several questions simultaneously. The article addresses the 'cone' at some length.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:52 AM on September 9 [3 favorites]


Before reading, my guess is that people take the cone to represent the width of the storm.

Probability is something many people don't understand well. A lot of people think, for example, that a 25% chance of rain in the forecast means that it will definitely rain on 25% of the forecast area.
posted by thelonius at 8:17 AM on September 9 [3 favorites]


Part of the problem is that different tracks produce very different threats. Tampa wouldn't be terribly impacted by a storm decently inland of them beyond the king tide level nuisance flooding, but could still get some wind impact, for example. Whereas, an eyewall near the shore or over the bay means somebody is having a really bad day.

Part of living with the threat of severe weather like this is evaluating risks as best you can with the information available. While nobody on the Florida peninsula should have an excuse for not preparing for a hurricane, it's not unreasonable that people in Tampa were not prepared for extreme storm surge. The tracks of anything up to a day or two ago would have limited it to less than 6 feet or so, IIRC. That's a damn sight different than a significant risk of literally overwashing much of Pinellas County.
posted by wierdo at 8:39 AM on September 9 [3 favorites]


Also, I did get out and about a bit earlier. Definitely less boarding and fewer shutters than I expected. It seems to vary wildly by neighborhood. Some are entirely or nearly so boarded/shuttered. Others have almost no boarded windows. It seems like once a critical mass of people board up, most of the rest of a neighborhood does the same. Part of it may be economic, but I don't think that's the main reason.

The winds were fairly light until about noon when the third or fourth rain band passed through. Since then it's been about equivalent to a normal day in Oklahoma, just a bit gustier. It's just about to the point here where it's all over but the waiting.
posted by wierdo at 8:57 AM on September 9 [5 favorites]


As weird (and, frankly, sick) as it is, the Cuban coastline continues to do a job on Irma. The worst case was that the storm remains unimpeded before landfall in the US - instead, it's weakening (while causing destruction in Cuba).

GFS is still predicting a rapid intensification after it turns north. It's assumed that the GFS is exaggerating - the question is, by how much? The difference in wind threat could amount to a damage swing measured in the billions.
posted by suckerpunch at 9:09 AM on September 9


I meant to point out that apparently many apartment buildings and condo associations not only don't put up shutters or anything, but they also don't allow the occupants to protect their windows either. I guess the expectation is that the residents will just have to GTFO and rely on renter's insurance to pay for the inevitable water damage losses to all their personal property.

Widespread window damage isn't so likely in the SE Florida metro areas if the current forecast of tropical storm force winds with gusts to 100 or so holds. Some will happen, of course, but it won't be the shards of glass flying everywhere situation it would be if the storm were to pass closer, say on the far right side of the current forecast, as was previously expected. Regardless, it seems pretty fucking evil to rent people a place without current code compliant windows and not either protect them in a storm or allow the residents to do so themselves.
posted by wierdo at 9:09 AM on September 9 [6 favorites]


Yeah, fuck the HOA. Board up the windows and let the Architectural Committee send a strongly worded letter when the power's back on.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:25 AM on September 9 [6 favorites]


But some people always figure it won't happen to them for some reason, and I'm sure there are parties going on at this very moment when people could be doing things that improve their chances of survival.

In fairness, people evacuated Miami and now it looks like it'll only get tropical storm winds which is nbd. Quite a lot of them evacuated to Tampa from what I've heard. It's easy to criticize peoples decisions from afar but everyone I know in Tampa was planning to stay till last night, not out of bravado bit because of the forecast.
posted by fshgrl at 9:42 AM on September 9 [6 favorites]


Probability is something many people don't understand well. A lot of people think, for example, that a 25% chance of rain in the forecast means that it will definitely rain on 25% of the forecast area.

Not understanding what "25% chance of rain" means isn't a failure to understand probability, rather "25% chance of rain" doesn't actually contain enough information to interpret the statement. I grant you "definitely will rain on 25% of the forecast area" is a weird interpretation (but also not one I think is common), but, for example, "rain will occur somewhere in the forecast area with a probability of 0.25" is not what "25% chance of rain" means in a weather forecast and a fairly reasonable interpretation of the phrase.
posted by hoyland at 9:45 AM on September 9 [4 favorites]




I meant to point out that apparently many apartment buildings and condo associations not only don't put up shutters or anything, but they also don't allow the occupants to protect their windows either.

Renters told they are not allowed to board up windows

in this case, they are prohibited from putting up already existing shutters that the apartment complex stores on-site and has previously used.

landlords first against the wall
posted by indubitable at 10:09 AM on September 9 [15 favorites]


I've been wondering for a while what "a 25% chance of rain" means, but I've been too lazy to look it up. (Mostly because I'm usually on my bicycle looking up at the clouds when I'm thinking about it.) It could have a number of interpretations: At least one person has a 25% chance of getting rained on. 25% of people will definitely get rained on. Any given person has a 25% chance of getting rained on. There's a 25% chance that everybody will get rained on. All of those mean different things.
posted by clawsoon at 10:16 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


Just wanted to wish everyone in Irma's path good luck. I'm in Mexico so absolutely no danger here but I've been reading this thread obsessively since it was started.

Seems kind of funny to me that Irma was my grandmother's name and she was so prudent, which this hurricane is everything but.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 10:26 AM on September 9


It's "an arbitrary point in the forecast area has a 25% chance of seeing rain", which is... not all that useful, really, depending on the size of the forecast area.
posted by hoyland at 10:30 AM on September 9 [2 favorites]


My folks are in Pinellas county. I wish they had let me buy them tickets out.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 10:32 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


(Personally, I was hoping for "25% chance of rain" to mean that any given location has a 25% chance of seeing some rain, because most of the time that's what I actually care about: whether I, personally, am likely to be rained on here at my home in West Foo. Observation had led me to suspect that it was closer to "there is a 25% chance of at least one point within the forecast area receiving rain, perhaps those yahoos in East Baz," so I'm surprised I was apparently interpreting it as intended.)
posted by Spathe Cadet at 10:35 AM on September 9


It's "an arbitrary point in the forecast area has a 25% chance of seeing rain", which is... not all that useful, really, depending on the size of the forecast area.

The number is actually determined by chance of rain x percent of area in question that will get rained on. So: 100 percent certainty that one quarter of the metropolitan area will get rain = 25%. Or 50% certainty about 50% of the area = 25% chance of rain.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:37 AM on September 9 [9 favorites]


Briefly: PoP (probability of precipitation) = C (confidence) X A (area).
posted by oneirodynia at 10:39 AM on September 9 [2 favorites]


What is the meaning of #sayfie? Some Florida folks are tagging their tweets with that. (Yes, I googled.)
posted by lalex at 10:41 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


People still posing at the Southmost point 30mins ago

According to USA today some of those people plan to ride it out on their boats.

(⊙_⊙)

Even the hurricane holes got smushed in the Caribbean.
posted by fshgrl at 10:46 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


What is the meaning of #sayfie? Some Florida folks are tagging their tweets with that. (Yes, I googled.)

Just checked Twitter, apparently it has something to do with this website?
posted by CrazyLemonade at 10:48 AM on September 9


Lalex, it is from http://www.sayfiereview.com.
posted by Vigilant at 10:49 AM on September 9


oh weird, I assumed it wasn't that. Thanks!
posted by lalex at 10:53 AM on September 9


The number is actually determined by chance of rain x percent of area in question that will get rained on. So: 100 percent certainty that one quarter of the metropolitan area will get rain = 25%. Or 50% certainty about 50% of the area = 25% chance of rain.

Right, but the interpretation of that number is "an arbitrary point in the forecast area has a 25% chance of seeing rain". And, to be clear, "an arbitrary point" means "pick a point you wish to consider", so it could be where you're standing.
posted by hoyland at 11:05 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


Christ there's people taking selfies in front of the Southern most point webcam, still. And there's debris starting to come ashore.
posted by Happy Dave at 11:32 AM on September 9 [5 favorites]


Phew, they seem to have mostly left now. Still, I'm a bit worried that there's anyone still outside in the Keys.
posted by Happy Dave at 11:38 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]



Christ there's people taking selfies in front of the Southern most point webcam, still.


there's A COP taking a phone video with, possibly, a patient dog waiting in his car.

it is totally reasonable to expect the populace to be smarter than the cops but not really fair.

(the livestream comments got into a frenzy hoping he was there to arrest the hurricane. he wasn't.)
posted by queenofbithynia at 11:42 AM on September 9 [3 favorites]


Spoke too soon, a copper just pulled up to take a pic.
posted by Happy Dave at 11:42 AM on September 9


I mean, if you're a cop and you're supposed to be there I guess you might as well take a picture of the incoming hurricane.
posted by lydhre at 11:46 AM on September 9 [4 favorites]


I just watched some idiot in a red jacket taking phone video get pummeled by a wave. Holy fucking shit.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:47 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


And then there's this storm chaser driving into Key West...
posted by lydhre at 11:48 AM on September 9


oh I can't watch this anymore, someone showed up with their fucking dog, off leash, and I don't want to see it drown and be unable to murder that prick. people want to be up close to death I don't care, it does look like fun right up until you're there five seconds too late to get away. but how dare you have an unevacuated dog outside, you horrible horrible man.
posted by queenofbithynia at 11:50 AM on September 9 [10 favorites]


Wow, its gotten way more violent on that cam just in the 10 or so minutes I've been watching it. The dog ran off before the owner got splashed, btw.
posted by lkc at 11:54 AM on September 9 [3 favorites]


I can't tear myself away from that Southern Most cam. There's another 2 people there now. How are they going to get to safety from a surge? What goes through their minds?
posted by roolya_boolya at 11:55 AM on September 9


The number of people driving up to take selfies at that Southern Most cam is nuts. These people are nuts. Yikes.
posted by maggiemaggie at 11:57 AM on September 9


"Florida Man" personified, as the YT comments are pointing out
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:59 AM on September 9 [2 favorites]


If they keep showing up it's only a matter of time until someone gets washed out to sea live for all the internet to see. We live in the future and it fucking sucks.
posted by lydhre at 12:00 PM on September 9 [7 favorites]


Ok, they're nuts and they're drunk.
posted by maggiemaggie at 12:00 PM on September 9


lydhre: Yeah, the youtube comments seem to be 12k people wanting to see just that.
posted by lkc at 12:00 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


This person has read about the surge and has brought a step ladder.
posted by snuffleupagus at 12:01 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


At least the end of the world has live Twitch commentary
posted by theodolite at 12:01 PM on September 9 [8 favorites]


The Weather Channel pulled a DCMA complaint on the dashboard youtube, because what's most important today is making sure no one is streaming the Weather Channel without permission.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:02 PM on September 9 [12 favorites]


ugh I do want to watch some exciting nature but I don't want anybody to die unless they have killed their own pets through hurricane negligence, and then I do, but even then I don't want to see it. can't these people go be dumb in front of a different camera, they are not considering my convenience even at all

oh, a wave just smacked a dude's phone right out of his hand, it is worth the risk of watching after all
posted by queenofbithynia at 12:03 PM on September 9 [9 favorites]


Here's an elevated bay view from Key West. And another angle.
posted by snuffleupagus at 12:15 PM on September 9 [2 favorites]


Ok so just how crazy are all of these people at Southern Most point being? When are the storm surges expected to hit? Any minute or some hours from now?
posted by roolya_boolya at 12:20 PM on September 9




NO COMEUPPANCE
posted by rhizome at 12:26 PM on September 9 [2 favorites]


They're projecting the eyewall landfall in the western tip of Florida late tonight, 1am maybe, which would put it damn close to directly over Key West 3-4 hours earlier, with 12-15ft storm surge if it's a direct hit. The problem isn't that there's going to be a giant wave that wrecks everyone there in the next 10mins, it's that in the next 6 hours it's going to keep getting worse and the waves ever higher until that entire point and most of the island is 8-15ft underwater. There are some 2 and 3 story houses and buildings on Key West, but not many. Maybe those people have a place to go, and they're taking a picture before hunkering down on the second floor. I bet some don't and have no idea what's really going to happen later tonight.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:26 PM on September 9 [3 favorites]


roolya_boolya: "I can't tear myself away from that Southern Most cam. There's another 2 people there now. How are they going to get to safety from a surge? What goes through their minds?"

Almost an hour later and there are still people there. Crazy.
posted by octothorpe at 12:38 PM on September 9


Water starting to collect in the plaza faster than it can drain....
posted by snuffleupagus at 12:45 PM on September 9


"I can't tear myself away from that Southern Most cam. There's another 2 people there now. How are they going to get to safety from a surge? What goes through their minds?"

"Why isn't anybody else showing up to throw Kamehameha waves to help drive back Irma?"
posted by Talez at 12:48 PM on September 9


A little bit of chatter around that Irma is disrupted enough to ditch its current (ragged) eyewall. That implies weakening (or, at least, not strengthening nearly as much as it could) so, good sign.

Doesn't mean that the storm won't be bad - Katrina famously fell to Cat 3 before landfall, and it still did a number on the Mississippi coast.
posted by suckerpunch at 12:52 PM on September 9


A little bit of chatter around that Irma is disrupted enough to ditch its current (ragged) eyewall.

Where are you seeing that?
posted by roolya_boolya at 12:53 PM on September 9


It is about to head over very warm, relatively shallow water though. It may be a cat three now, but I would lay better than even odds that it intensifies again as it moves North.
posted by Vigilant at 12:55 PM on September 9


Nine people I've counted. Taking photos with waves coming over the wall and the little hut to the left occasionally. Two different cars in the last few minutes.
posted by MattWPBS at 12:56 PM on September 9


Here's number ten on a bicycle.
posted by MattWPBS at 12:56 PM on September 9


A number of the recent posts on the live reddit thread seem to be showing it getting stronger
posted by roolya_boolya at 12:57 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


I live a hour and a half drive inland from the MS Gulf Coast and we had to replace our roof and had no power for 11 days. People truly do not get it with these storms.
posted by thebrokedown at 12:59 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


Waves are remarkably bigger now. What are the chances of that hut surviving?
posted by stonepharisee at 1:00 PM on September 9


So many people, so little sense.
posted by maggiemaggie at 1:03 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


From the reddit thread, here's the opposite side of the storm surge.
posted by MattWPBS at 1:04 PM on September 9 [3 favorites]


I live a hour and a half drive inland from the MS Gulf Coast and we had to replace our roof and had no power for 11 days. People truly do not get it with these storms.

All this 'well it might only be a Cat 3' stuff is bothering me. Sandy was a tropical storm, not even a hurricane anymore, when it hit NYC. Highest winds 80 mph. Repairs to our infrastructure are ONGOING five years later.
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:05 PM on September 9 [9 favorites]


It's definitely intensifying -- easier to see on the other cams linked above.
posted by snuffleupagus at 1:06 PM on September 9


Oh fucking hell, there was what looked like a family with a teenager taking a group photo.
posted by MattWPBS at 1:08 PM on September 9


Does anyone have any reports of the impact in Cuba?
posted by roolya_boolya at 1:12 PM on September 9




Southern most point update - I think there must still be some adults around. Everyone cleared off at once, and nobody in the shot now.

Scrub that, black car just drove past. Aaaand someone's taking photos again.
posted by MattWPBS at 1:19 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


I've heard of this happening before but have never seen it illustrated in real time: this video of "missing water" in the Bahamas from Irma, and it's absolutely blowing my mind. I logically understand what's happening (simply put, Irma's "sucking" the water away; it'll come back gradually) but truly comprehending it in scale is a different matter.

(And knowing that water has to go somewhere. . . )
posted by barchan at 1:20 PM on September 9 [23 favorites]


(simply put, Irma's "sucking" the water away; it'll come back gradually)

Gradually, if we're lucky.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:28 PM on September 9 [3 favorites]


I have refrained from commenting due to completing payroll for 1400 people, securing my possesions, and shopping for supplies at the very, very last minute. I would like to address a couple salient items.

The buoy at the Southernmost Point sits on a seawall about 3 feet above the water. The water behind it is about two feet deep. I could almost pull up behind behind the bouy with an outboard motor or jet ski and churn the water up behind it like that. It's very, very shallow. It makes for great tourist shots. There is no surge.

The current wind speed is about 45 knots/50 mph. There is not much danger being outside, especially if you're used to this stuff. This is like a thunderstorm here currently, although with very little rain. North Halsted in February would undoubtedly be much worse, and yet you still go to work.

Starting now, you will see rain and higher windspeeds as we move toward "Keysfall" at 8 pm. The wind should rise into the 80s with sloppy rain, and increase to 100 between 8 and midnight. Where it will stay or increase for 8 hours. Current predicted highest wind speed for Key West is 130 mph. This could change. We hope lower.

Storm surge chances for the Keys have diminished a lot since the eye turned toward Southwest Florida. The storm will now herd the waters of Florida Bay and the Gulf toward Naples and Marco Island and above. We may get a gulfside surge of 1-2 feet, which would basically just be a king tide. It could be higher.

I know 130mph winds are serious and we are very securely locked in 30 feet above the street. Half a block behind the Two Friends Camera feed shown above. You can watch!

Spoiler: the street at Two Friends floods like a beast when it rains for ten minutes at high tide. There will be drunken knuckleheads waterskiing through there behind Jeeps as soon as it gets a foot deep. Do not call 911; 911 will be waiting around the corner for them.

See you on the other side!
posted by halfbuckaroo at 1:41 PM on September 9 [42 favorites]


A guy I used to carpool with, and who used to mow our lawn, lives in Key West and apparently isn't leaving. Because work, it seems? But that work is...for a real estate agent. They've got a camera going on their Facebook page. On the guy's personal page, he's got family and friends begging him to get out. Others are making 4:20 jokes. I don't know what to think.
posted by witchen at 1:42 PM on September 9


I dunno halfbuckaroo, that sounds awfully reasonable. Are you sure you're not going to be eaten by a sharknado? I read on the internet that everyone in Florida is at 100% risk.

One of my good friends is being evacuated for the third time this week. She's basically driven a big circle around Florida at this point. Fun.
posted by fshgrl at 1:50 PM on September 9 [5 favorites]


Yeah fshgrl, that's why we don't evacuate. Anywhere we go the storm follows. Unless you go to Vegas, baby.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 1:55 PM on September 9 [3 favorites]


godspeed halfbuckaroo!
posted by lalex at 1:59 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


Witchen: There will be so much clean up, repair, maintenance and construction work for the next six months that your friend will make bank for the year in a month. You can only do that if you and your chainsaw are here, ready to work.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 2:10 PM on September 9 [2 favorites]


Sorry, had to leave. All of the 'chatter' referenced seems to have come from the following statement by Levi Cowan -
Recon trace is classic of a land-disrupted storm. Tight 15-mile eye reported w/ flat wind profile. Likely to reorganize w/larger eye.
This is sort of good news b/c this process takes some time. Bad news is Irma may have enough time to complete this process and reintensify.
Doesn't seem to be happening (or at least, it's not happening yet). Strengthening is slow but steady. Last measured pressure is 933mb.
posted by suckerpunch at 2:12 PM on September 9


Glad to hear they're not really in too much danger halfbuckaroo. :-)
posted by MattWPBS at 2:20 PM on September 9


⊂༼  ¯͒ ʖ̯ ¯͒ ⊂༽  IRMA, I AM TAKING YOUR ENERGY  ⊂༼  ¯͒ ʖ̯ ¯͒ ⊂༽
posted by suckerpunch at 2:20 PM on September 9 [2 favorites]


Took a nap, woke up to less wind but lots of rain. It was actually bizarrely calm wind-wise when I stepped out.
posted by wierdo at 2:21 PM on September 9


Don't shoot your guns at the hurricane, folks

The most american warning I can imagine.
posted by dis_integration at 3:04 PM on September 9 [14 favorites]


ThinkProgress: Irma takes aim at America’s most vulnerable, unprepared city: Tampa
But Isaac missed Tampa. In fact, one of the reasons the city is unprepared is that it hasn’t taken a direct hit from even a Category 1 storm since 1946. And the last time a major hurricane hit the area was 1921, when hardly anyone lived there. So in the ensuing decades, the city dedicated billions of dollars to building huge waterfront condos. It even built a hospital on an island in the bay.

Another reason the city is so unprepared, the Washington Post notes, is the pervasive climate science denial among state leaders like Gov. Rick Scott (R). Everyone can see that sea levels are rising, and flooding is becoming more and more common. As Mark Hafen, a University of South Florida expert on urban planning, told the Post, “The bay’s getting higher, and the bay needs to go somewhere else. But there’s nowhere for the water to go.”

But it’s hard to get those who deny climate science to pay attention and spend the money needed to study and plan for rising seas and worsening storms. “We’ve had a really hard time getting buy-in on sea-level rise on this side of the bay,” noted Hafen. “Hillsborough County and Tampa are super conservative. They’re burying their heads in the sand.”
"a hospital on an island in the bay"
posted by lalex at 3:05 PM on September 9 [17 favorites]


Five more people at Southernmost. I think it's just after low tide and the waves are topping the wall.
posted by Botanizer at 3:28 PM on September 9


Mm a Tornado warning. And a bunch of lightning. A surprising amount of it to me, actually.
posted by wierdo at 3:39 PM on September 9


These dudes on the southernmost web cam are hammered.

If that dog walks in front of the camera one more time I am reaching through my computer and strangling them.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 3:57 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


(By which I mean obvs. get your dog out of there, you assholes.)
posted by A Terrible Llama at 3:58 PM on September 9 [3 favorites]


?? Southernmost point live webcam went black 15 minutes ago.
posted by MtDewd at 4:03 PM on September 9 [4 favorites]


The Southernmost Point cam seems to be down, so I'll just watch this gif on repeat.
posted by ckape at 4:05 PM on September 9 [4 favorites]


So, following this on Windy.com and it looks like the eye is tearing along the coast of Cuba, but passing Florida. Based on projections, I would have expected the eye to have turned North by now. It looks kind of like the worst part of the storm winds may not hit the mainland of south Fla at all. (Keys still in the path, though.). Is this possible?
posted by darkstar at 4:06 PM on September 9


?? Southernmost point live webcam went black 15 minutes ago.

The youtube stream linked above is down until 8pm (the channel owner posted a message in the chat )

You can still see it at the original site: southernmostpointwebcam.com

I keep thinking about the movie Key Largo, imagining a remake with selfies.
posted by maggiemaggie at 4:07 PM on September 9


Tornado warning up, including a lot of Miami-Dade county.
posted by ZeusHumms at 4:09 PM on September 9


You can still see it at the original site: southernmostpointwebcam.com

That's dead too.

It looks kind of like the worst part of the storm winds may not hit south Fla at all. Is this possible?

All the projections have it turning north sometime tonight. I suppose they could be totally wrong, but that would be a remarkable surprise. But hey, after 2016, who trusts the polls?
posted by dis_integration at 4:11 PM on September 9 [4 favorites]


Yeah, it's still up at the source.

Not sure if I'm fully recommending watching it though because these two idiots are still out there.

Dogs gone though.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 4:12 PM on September 9


http://southernmostpointwebcam.com/

I get "Service Unavailable".
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:21 PM on September 9 [2 favorites]


Can't find a live feed at any of the provided links. Any ideas, Mefites?
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 4:22 PM on September 9


Working link
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:24 PM on September 9 [2 favorites]


Keep trying http://southernmostpointwebcam.com/ - I had to try it a few times before it worked for me. It's probably overloaded. I also had to whitelist it on my adblocking.

On preview - the link provided by TD Strange is better! Thanks TD Strange!
posted by maggiemaggie at 4:25 PM on September 9


The web cam is safe, everyone has gone back indoors to work on the next weekender of Bud Lights.

(One of the guys had been squatting on the sea wall, ostentatiously chill, as one is when a sixteen-foot wave crests and pours over one's shoulders and the sea rolls maliciously around behind you and coils up for another round.)
posted by A Terrible Llama at 4:28 PM on September 9 [3 favorites]


It looks kind of like the worst part of the storm winds may not hit the mainland of south Fla at all. (Keys still in the path, though.). Is this possible?

Jesus Christ, then where is it going?
posted by schadenfrau at 4:32 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


Years from now, if I'm lucky enough to still be around, I'll think back on this as the summer of anxiously watching sheds disintegrate.
posted by MrVisible at 4:39 PM on September 9 [13 favorites]


To me, it looks like the waves are significantly bigger than they were a few hours ago.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 4:41 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


Still people at the southernmost point.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:48 PM on September 9


The current projections put it moving wnw over the keys, then curving north or northeast to move up the West coast after landing somewhere between Naples and Tampa.
posted by Vigilant at 4:52 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


Not to abuse the edit window, keep in mind that the storm is nearly twice as wide as the peninsula, so whereever it makes official landfall, there will be plenty of damage to go around.
posted by Vigilant at 4:56 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


It's too dark for selfies but people are still showing up
posted by ckape at 4:59 PM on September 9


And usually the NE quadrant of the storm has the worst winds and rain.
posted by Bee'sWing at 4:59 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


There's a guy passed out on the Duval Street web cam. People have been walking by him.
posted by MrVisible at 5:08 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


Jesus fucking Christ. I hope someone drags him somewhere else before the storm surge floods the goddamn street and he drowns. What the fuck.
posted by lydhre at 5:11 PM on September 9


Has anyone named the shed Sheddy McShedface yet?
posted by vrakatar at 5:12 PM on September 9 [3 favorites]


Metafilter: Has anyone named the shed Sheddy McShedface yet?
posted by bird internet at 5:15 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


The internet named it Fred
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:17 PM on September 9 [2 favorites]


Apparently I missed the Shed Event. Phooey.
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:20 PM on September 9


Oh, it looks like it's still there. I thought it got knocked down or something. Never mind then.
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:22 PM on September 9


People in the comments have said they've called the police about the passed out guy. The last comment said that the police asked if the caller was talking about the webcam guy so it looks like they know about him.
posted by Jalliah at 5:22 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


if that is true, the police are despicable. livestream comments had some garbled thing about how the police asked him if he wanted to move and he said No, I am a confused and unwell person, I would prefer to collapse, so they said OKAY and left him there. I figured that could not be accurate but you know, it might be.

As for shooting guns at the hurricane, further proof that the best way to become 'viral' on Facebook is to come up with the most stupid, irresponsible, self-destructive idea possible.

as long as NOAA maintains a whole page devoted to explaining why we should not "simply use nuclear weapons" to teach hurricanes a lesson, I don't think shooting into the sky right at the very face of god can be called the most stupid idea possible. after all, if Noah had been a Florida man with a gun the Flood might never have happened. or human survival might not have. either way.
posted by queenofbithynia at 5:27 PM on September 9 [6 favorites]



There has been no police showing up on the livestream yet so that is weird.
posted by Jalliah at 5:29 PM on September 9


vrakatar: "Has anyone named the shed Sheddy McShedface yet?"

This is how I know I'm old, as I had thought to call it, "Arthur 'Two Sheds' Jackson".
posted by Chrysostom at 5:37 PM on September 9 [11 favorites]


This morning I was watching this which said that the police were told to evacuate Key West.

I'm not sure what is actually going on here.
posted by maggiemaggie at 5:39 PM on September 9


Okay, I thought I was a grown-up, well beyond such juvenile snickerings, but when I just read CNN's banner headline announcing "Irma Begins Lashing Tip"...
posted by darkstar at 5:41 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


My wife, a mental health professional, saw a story pop in her news feed that said Miami police were being accompanied by psychologists that were Baker acting homeless individuals that said they did not want to go to a shelter.

Dark times but, to my understanding of the intent of the law anyway, it actually makes sense.
posted by RolandOfEld at 5:44 PM on September 9 [5 favorites]


People in the comments have said they've called the police about the passed out guy.

what a fucked up thing to do
posted by indubitable at 5:44 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]



Yay. Passerby got him to get up and go with him.
posted by Jalliah at 5:49 PM on September 9 [7 favorites]


NBC correspondent apparently driving US-1 between Miami and Key Largo. The waves are close to coming over the road.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:49 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


A passerby just convinced him to get up and go with him.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:49 PM on September 9


Someone walking by has convinced the person sleeping in the livestream to get up. They both walked away.
posted by Freen at 5:49 PM on September 9


Dude got awoken by a guy and they both walked off.
posted by johnpowell at 5:50 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


Someone just came and woke up/saved the passed out guy. It might have been this guy, Reed Timmer.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:51 PM on September 9 [4 favorites]


Two other dudes just showed up looking for him.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:52 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]



Oh my gosh. Now there are three more people showing up to try to find him. I love people.
posted by Jalliah at 5:53 PM on September 9 [3 favorites]



Comments think that it is Reed that TD strange posted about.
posted by Jalliah at 5:54 PM on September 9


*cue an hour long stream of dozens of random people from the internet looking for the passed out dude*
posted by loquacious at 5:55 PM on September 9 [8 favorites]



Or they might be drunk dudes that read the internet...
posted by Jalliah at 5:55 PM on September 9


He...he just came back...

Or maybe that was another drunk dude...

I gotta go do something else, this is nuts
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:58 PM on September 9 [3 favorites]



I think that was a different guy. The guy who got the first guy.
posted by Jalliah at 6:00 PM on September 9


[Time to move on from liveblogging the livestream.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:05 PM on September 9 [19 favorites]


I've been watching the Duval Street cam since last night. Last night it was dry but windy and I watched a magazine flap around on the street. Now I'm watching the water on the road get whipped up. The 24 hr difference is shocking and it's not even the real hurricane yet.
posted by nakedmolerats at 6:07 PM on September 9


It's time for sleep here in the UK. Just wanted to say again, good luck Floridian MeFites. Hope you and yours get through this alright.
posted by MattWPBS at 6:16 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


CNN is tweeting about the "lite" version of its website for folks with spotty connections who want to keep following CNN, but I must say it's vastly preferable to their normal site.
posted by lalex at 6:16 PM on September 9 [11 favorites]




Speaking of spotty connections, I've been texting info from the NHC updates to various affected friends and family across the Caribbean when their internet access (in whatever form) has gotten iffy, since Thursday.

I'm about to go in for round 4 for FL (after St Martin, PR, and Cuba), so if anybody wants my services pls MeMail me!
posted by functionequalsform at 7:22 PM on September 9 [2 favorites]


Alabama Meterologist Alan Sealls gives a 7 minute updates forecast on Irma. Stunningly clear and educational.
posted by sebastienbailard at 7:24 PM on September 9 [10 favorites]


Oh, man, National Weather Service, Miami FL isn't screwing around. There's no 5 silly day forecast bar, no dinky thumbnails to the satellite and radar.

It's currently just hurricane warning and a giant loop of the hurricane bands and eyewall approaching. The five day forecast is basically just SEEK SHELTER UNTIL MONDAY.
posted by loquacious at 7:56 PM on September 9 [3 favorites]


Sealls is great. A few years ago he did a retrospective look at hurricane Ivan that did a great job of conveying what a big storm does to coastal areas without overdramatizing or sensationalizing. I think it is available on YouTube.
posted by Vigilant at 7:57 PM on September 9


I grew up in the cult of Nash Roberts, and Sealls gives me the same feels Nash did about the approaching storm.
posted by Bringer Tom at 8:01 PM on September 9




11:00 update from the NHC is out. The "good" news is that it's now predicted to remain a cat3 until landfall... which is marginally better, i guess. The bad news is that it's only moving at 7 miles per hour, so it's just going to be extremely windy for ... the next 24 hours.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 8:37 PM on September 9


This is my first major storm as an adult (if you don't count Matthew, which where I was the power wasn't out long) -- does anyone know if the skies will be significantly darker following the hurricane, with all the power outages? With all the anxiety, I'm kind of at least looking forward to that possibility.
posted by Gymnopedist at 8:44 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


When I came back after Katrina, one of the neighbors who stayed said that in the few days after the storm when there was no power, "you could see every damn star in the sky." So yeah, as with the amazingly pleasant fore and aft weather, the hurricane also clears out the light pollution for awhile.
posted by Bringer Tom at 8:50 PM on September 9 [8 favorites]


Concur. Hurricane Isabel dropped a 70 foot tree on my neighbors house, and another one narrowly missed mine, and I had to crap in a bucket for a couple of days, but the skies were really nice at night.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 8:54 PM on September 9 [6 favorites]


I really wish cities would turn of the lights a few times a year or once a month on a new moon or something.
posted by loquacious at 9:01 PM on September 9 [13 favorites]


Two Friends cam is now offline.
posted by anastasiav at 9:12 PM on September 9


All the Key West cams seems to be down now, except Kevin's Irish Bar
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:18 PM on September 9


Is that Irish Kevin wandering around in there?
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:21 PM on September 9


I get nothing on the link to Kevin's Irish Bar. Was Key West sunk?
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 9:57 PM on September 9


Nope, I have the feed still. Maybe just your internet?
posted by Imperfect at 10:02 PM on September 9


Yep, tried it again, and I got a feed. Thanks.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 10:08 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]



I get nothing on the link to Kevin's Irish Bar. Was Key West sunk?

my mom's a geologist and has visited Key West. She is not even sure if it will still be there when the storm finally clears -- something to do with the inherent instability of limestone.
posted by philip-random at 11:08 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]




Perhaps this might be a time to post Economist article "How do criminals make money from disasters?" and a link to the Snopes FAQ article about Irma. (no: your dishwasher is apparently not a good storage place for valuables).
posted by rongorongo at 11:58 PM on September 9 [3 favorites]


overheard on Facebook (asking for a friend):

>>> While everyone is waiting for the Cat 3/4 to hit Florida much of the Caribbean has been destroyed by a Cat 5 just days ago. Americans are stranded at Sea out there already connected to no mainland or FEMA and they need help. Airports are decimated. And they are running out of water. Canadians, Australians and citizens of the UK are being collected by their governments but Americans can't seem to get any help. We've seen this before in the islands and perhaps it's a socialist thing for a country to spare great expense to save a few. But can someone tell me what the American protocol for saving it's citizens in foreign catastrophic conditions is? Asking for a friend. They can't reach their embassy while watching those with Canadian and British passports board ships and helicopters to safe harbor for neighboring islands. #legit >>>
posted by philip-random at 12:03 AM on September 10 [14 favorites]


Interesting you say that Phillip because domestically in the UK the British government are getting critised for their response. bbc link
posted by 92_elements at 2:03 AM on September 10




A little bit of reportage about the impact in Cuba. - quite a lot of damage but no reported fatalities to date - would would be an impressive achievement if it holds.
posted by rongorongo at 2:37 AM on September 10 [4 favorites]


Chalk that up to some of the positive aspects of old-school communism with the State taking care of people.

I'd rather be a dissident in a western democracy than in Cuba. But, were I a impoverished person of color in a emergency zone, I think I'd be safer in Cuba than in New Orleans or parts of Florida or Texas.

Japan also has the attitude of taking care of people in emergencies.
posted by sebastienbailard at 3:08 AM on September 10 [4 favorites]


It's less communism and more the lack of American "you got bootstraps? Use 'em!" and "let's slash the budget for anything not related to the military".
posted by lydhre at 3:50 AM on September 10 [6 favorites]


Yes, you can be fired for missing work while fleeing Hurricane Irma
I dunno, the hook of that story was about a city worker refusing to stay for emergency duties. From the article that the linked article references:

"Moss said a new hire in the Naples community services department walked off the job Wednesday after learning about emergency responsibilities for Hurricane Irma..."

I kind of think that government workers have a responsibility to the community and the citizens, that being part of their job description and all.

The rest of the article talks about the effects of lost time on the poor, which is a real concern in this country but also finishes up by saying that firings are rare and unusual due to the bad look.
posted by Hal Mumkin at 4:08 AM on September 10 [2 favorites]


Good morning. Not bad for right next to the eye of a hurricane. The Two Friends Camera is up and looks pretty accurate time wise. The Live Duval camera at Sloppys is a loop and not true. Winds are at 112 mph and shifting west, which means we will now go through the bottom half of the storm for eight hours. All is well here. It is mostly not horrible in the bunker. More as we know about it...
posted by halfbuckaroo at 4:43 AM on September 10 [30 favorites]


Stay safe halfbuckaroo and thanks for keeping us updated.
posted by roolya_boolya at 4:51 AM on September 10 [2 favorites]


At this point, with family in the Boyton/Boca region ( and I'm in NY ), I've had to turn off the Univision 23 stream from Miami, and this is all I got left:

ברוך אתה, מקור חיים וטבע, שהוא כוח עצום כוח למלא את העולם שלנו לעורר אותנו להיות חזק מול כל הקשיים של החיים.

Blessed are You, Source of Life and Nature, which in awesome power and strength fill our world and inspire us to be strong in the face of all of life's difficulties.

Amen
posted by mikelieman at 5:08 AM on September 10 [12 favorites]


Guardian Live Updates have been pretty good, including this video of the storm surge in Key West from a few minutes ago.
posted by maggiemaggie at 5:12 AM on September 10


halfbuckaroo, can you link to the Two Friends camera? All I get from searching is the loop from June 12. I watched an hour of it earlier from loquacious' link from last night, puzzled how the lights were still on and how calm it seemed.
posted by wallabear at 5:30 AM on September 10




Sigh. Irma turned west and now my dad's town looks likely to get hit pretty severely. (He's about an hour or so north of Tampa in a small island town in the Gulf.)
posted by Kitteh at 5:50 AM on September 10 [1 favorite]


I can see snapchats from the last hour or so in Key West showing fallen trees and damaged roofs and that the power is out.
posted by roolya_boolya at 6:01 AM on September 10


A small collection of Irma live cams here; it's worrisome that Fort Myers has already gone dark.
posted by vers at 6:30 AM on September 10


The Ft. Meyers cam loaded for me.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:34 AM on September 10


Good morning. Not bad for right next to the eye of a hurricane.

After checking around and seeing the reported wind gusts never got above 100 in key west...am I deluded for hoping this might not be as bad as we thought? I don't think I've trusted optimism since November, but...maybe? Please?

Really, really hoping.
posted by schadenfrau at 7:08 AM on September 10 [1 favorite]


Not sure if already linked.
A tale of two Irmas: rich Miami ready for tumult as poor Miami waits and hopes
A pretty devasting report on apalling inequality and lack of empathy.
posted by adamvasco at 7:20 AM on September 10 [4 favorites]


90+ MPH winds at the airport in Miami, according to Tampa Bay's local ABC news anchors.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:27 AM on September 10


This morning, the winds are pretty high here in inland Broward county, but nothing I haven't seen in thunderstorms over the years. We had power until about 10:30. There's an outside chance it might come back since we're on an underground circuit and it looks like the lines that supply the substation are still up. (I can see them in the distance outside)

Got some decent video when I was out walking the dogs. Luckily it's only light drizzle at the moment and as long as you stay in the Lee of the building you don't even get wet thanks to the 35-40mph sustained with winds with gusts to around 70. No significant damage in the neighborhood so far, which is good news.

And aside from during the most intense rains of the rain bands overnight, flooding has not been an issue. The drainage here was overwhelmed somewhat for a bit, but it looks like all the landscaping worked as designed and kept the water out of people's houses. By daybreak the street was no longer full of water.

I fear that the people in Naples and Fort Myers may be having a much worse time of it.
posted by wierdo at 7:42 AM on September 10 [4 favorites]


Jeff Piotrowski's little tour of Marco Island is interesting. I've never heard of it but it is some fancy real estate. Couldn't be more different from Rockport and Port Aransas. It's interesting how the ocean recedes as the storm approaches. It's really never a good sign when that happens.
posted by Bee'sWing at 7:52 AM on September 10 [1 favorite]


If anyone else got inquisitive about palm trees and marveled at their strength and grace.

FTA the deal is that their root system is a wide, shallow, fibrous network anchoring to them to the soil which is typically unsaturated. The trunk is like a series of wires within a cable. The leaves don't catch wind like a sail but instead let the wind largely pass through. All together you get a tree that's incredibly well-engineered to withstand hurricanes.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 7:53 AM on September 10 [20 favorites]


Via Kionne McGhee tweet, photos from Marathon High School in the Florida Keys. Showing rising water and a flooded parking lot.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:59 AM on September 10


I'm trying to upload some video, but now that the power is out I'm stuck using cell data, which is not going well. It should make its way onto G+ eventually, for those of you in the Mefites circle still.
posted by wierdo at 7:59 AM on September 10 [2 favorites]




G+ is being stupid, but Photos already kindly backed up one video before the power went out, so this works.

I shouldn't complain at all. It's a goddamned miracle I still have a cell signal at all. Or that power stuck around until 50+ knot gusts became frequent. We complain about the unreliability and congestion on mobile networks all the time, but the engineering and construction should be just amazing to us. Plus, I'm feeling pretty thankful for modern lithium ion battery technology, which may have its problems but something about the size of a small portable hard drive gives me enough juice to run my phone for a day or two.
posted by wierdo at 8:12 AM on September 10 [9 favorites]


Tallahassee here. Staying. Made the decision to hunker down, as they say, rather than evacuate 3 adults, 3 cats and a dog in what is likely to be difficult traffic conditions to say the least. We're pretty well-prepared, I guess. Freezer full of ice bags/jugs, etc. Bunch of non-perishable food. Camp-stove with plenty of propane canisters, and a charcoal grill. Stocked up on medications; prescription, OTC and, um, self-prescribed herbals. And wine. And rum.

We have a Very Safe Room and a mostly pretty safe house. (Unless the roof gets sheared off, GULP!)

In my neighborhood the power will go out if somebody says the word "rain" even during non-hurricane weather, so we are running laundry/dishes/etc. We had a houseguest whom we never met before from 4:00am until what, I don't know, he left before 9:00am. There are people fleeing worse places than Tallahassee, and he needed a place to crash and he's the partner of another person I have spoken to three times. That's enough of a connection. We left him out a key. He didn't even wake us up. He left a lovely thank you note.

Hopefully the power will be on this evening long enough for me to cook a nice tilapia dinner with roasted brussels sprouts and mushrooms.

We're going to be out of electricity for about a week, is my guess. This is fine. Mine was off for over three weeks after Hurricane Hugo in Charlotte back in '89. If our house gets fucked up in the storm, we'll be looking for help to unfuck it afterwards. If not, we'll be helping our friends and neighbors unfuck theirs.

Right now it's cool and breezy. We had planned on disc-golf, but it's too windy already and we still have lots of work to do.

If you're fleeing anywhere south of Tallahassee and need to stop here, MeMail me and I'll get you plugged in to our network of people offering couches, etc. Don't get stuck on the interstate for the bad stuff, please. Pet-friendly places go fast, but we'll do what we can.

As always, I am politicizing the fuck out of climate change. Fucking fucking Governor Rick Scott was a trendsetter in climate-change denial, by ordering our Department of Environmental Protection to not use the phrases "global warming" or "climate change." President Fuckhead Donald Trump headed the EPA with a climate denier who is blathering that it's insensitive to Floridians to start talking about climate change.

Peace to all.
posted by Cookiebastard at 8:33 AM on September 10 [58 favorites]


I'm seeing pictures of Irma sucking water out of Tampa Bay. It's gonna come back in at some point.
posted by Happy Dave at 8:33 AM on September 10 [1 favorite]


Yeah, mandatory evacuation line in Pinellas is less than four houses from my folks, who have not evacuated because there's nowhere to go with wheelchair and cats. I'm really frightened for them.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 8:56 AM on September 10 [5 favorites]


Fox may have just interviewed the smartest man alive. (video embedded in Twitter link)
posted by lalex at 8:57 AM on September 10 [11 favorites]


Fox may have just interviewed the smartest man alive.

That was fantastic. That man talks (and looks) like an experienced open ocean sailor. You don't do compass/bearing/meridian math like that in the middle of a conversation without spending a lot of time sitting at the tiller in a cockpit and looking at a lot of charts.
posted by loquacious at 9:09 AM on September 10 [9 favorites]




Side note: Of course, being able to plot headings and charts in your head doesn't make you a genius, and hard core sailors can be a bit nuts and comfortable with high risks.

But if anyone is going to be equipped to survive a hurricane better than most it's an experienced sailor. These kinds of folk keep water survival gear like survival suits, dry suits, life vests, water and non-perishable food on hand as a matter of practice.

And yeah, I'm projecting a lot into the random interview and righteous takedown, but that guy talks like he's ex Navy or Coast Guard officer or large ship captain or something, or he's been living on boats for most of his life and making decisions about it.

His response is pretty much classical OODA - Observe, Orient, Decide, Action. Even the hand gestures he's making are compass bearings and position/heading vectors. I fuckin' love it.
posted by loquacious at 9:45 AM on September 10 [10 favorites]


Hey fellow Twitter addicts! Matt Pearce (LA Times) has created a Hurricane Irma Twitter list of "on-the-ground officials and reporters".
posted by lalex at 9:46 AM on September 10 [2 favorites]


For anyone with disability-related needs in Florida, or loved ones worried about them from afar, Portlight Inclusive Disaster Strategies has set up a hotline: (800) 626-4959
posted by Soliloquy at 9:49 AM on September 10 [3 favorites]


OODA - Observe, Orient, Decide, Action

I learned a new acronym today -- rather the opposite of RFA (Ready-Fire-Aim)
posted by philip-random at 9:50 AM on September 10 [6 favorites]


Hey fellow Twitter addicts! Matt Pearce (LA Times) has created a Hurricane Irma Twitter list of "on-the-ground officials and reporters".
I hope they have boots!

I learned a new acronym today
previously
posted by thelonius at 9:54 AM on September 10 [6 favorites]


Kristen M. Clark/Tampa Bay Times: Rick Scott gets national airtime, shuts out statehouse reporters [from storm updates or briefings]

With Hurricane Irma affecting much of southern Florida by Sunday morning — making travel unsafe — Gov. Rick Scott remains in the state’s capital city
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:23 AM on September 10


Jane Lytvynenko & Cora Lewis/Buzzfeed: Here's A Running List Of Misinformation About Hurricane Irma, including fake videos and forecasts.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:25 AM on September 10 [7 favorites]


Pics from the reddit live thread showing crazy flooding in Miami, and the eye is literally on the other side of florida. Not exactly surprising since it floods in Miami after a tiny bit of rain these days. Tried to convince my family to evac from Clearwater last night but I guess they couldn't get enough gas and are holed up in an "E" zone (safe for up to 15 foot storm surge). God this waiting is horrible. I haven't felt this way since election night. When I come home for Thanksgiving it's going to be a whole new county.
posted by dis_integration at 10:28 AM on September 10 [3 favorites]


Jane Lytvynenko & Cora Lewis/Buzzfeed: Here's A Running List Of Misinformation About Hurricane Irma, including fake videos and forecasts.

and in a rational world, there would be a quiz before you could post anything about Irma anywhere, or even open your mouth.
posted by philip-random at 10:47 AM on September 10 [3 favorites]


That Reddit thread is remarkable. (In a good way.)
posted by Room 641-A at 10:53 AM on September 10 [2 favorites]


halfbuckaroo, stay safe and please check back in when it's safe to do so.

Water is indeed being pushed out of Tampa Bay. I just got back from downtown St Pete and there are stretches of the bottom of the bay exposed. I've never seen anything like it here. Areas where we paddle board that are normally under 2-3 ft of water during low tide and now the sea grass is totally exposed. The storm surge as Irma goes by is likely to be devastating starting about 4 am Monday. The track keeps pushing west which means storm surge up the entire west coast from Charlotte Harbor all the way to Pensacola.
posted by photoslob at 10:56 AM on September 10 [9 favorites]


photoslob, did you see any people walking on the bay?
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:06 AM on September 10




Remember to press 'H' on your keyboard to cut down on the clutter on the screen.
posted by Bee'sWing at 11:19 AM on September 10 [3 favorites]


Video of a yacht sinking in Miami.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:23 AM on September 10 [1 favorite]


[Couple things removed; y'all please stop at the point where you're not sure if something is real/legit and think twice about whether it's a good idea to proceed to commenting about it anyway instead of just waiting for some kind of confirmation.]
posted by cortex at 11:39 AM on September 10 [10 favorites]


No people walking on the St Pete side but I've seen local video from Tampa where people are walking their dogs on the sea floor of a dry Tampa Bay.

I know a few MeFites mentioned having family on the gulf coast. It looks like the hurricane is weakening some and we may not get a direct hit. If we do, it will be a strong Cat 1. The danger is storm surge and it may be 6-8 feet but thankfully it should be daylight by then.

Miami is getting hammered from what I'm hearing from a friend and there's plenty of video of Brickell Ave in downtown under water.
posted by photoslob at 11:47 AM on September 10 [2 favorites]


Is the livestream from SH Jeff oriented wrong for everyone? Also is he on safely high ground (OK he's getting out of the area now...).

@NHC_Atlantic are warning of a 10 to 15 foot storm surge rising "in a matter of minutes" there... (just started rising according to latest tweet, not the warning one linked).
posted by Buntix at 12:13 PM on September 10


He's talked about the storm surge and his elevation all morning so I think he is on high enough ground. The video has done all kinds of crazy stuff today, super compressed, no audio, freezing. Sometimes you just need to close the tab and start over fresh.
posted by Bee'sWing at 12:21 PM on September 10 [1 favorite]


Brickell floods if you look at it funny. There's a Twitter post floating (haha) around allegedly showing unprecedented flooding in downtown Miami, making it look like an ocean. I'm sure there is a lot of water but of the 3 pictures posted, 2 are of the actual fucking Miami river. You can see the channel markers even! The one of the street is sure, a little unnerving but if you've ever walked around South Beach at high tide you've seen similar. My friend is on a boat docked basically on Biscayne Blvd downtown, watching movies onboard out of boredom. Its a bit windy but Miami is doing way better than expected.
posted by danapiper at 12:26 PM on September 10 [6 favorites]


This Facebook Live Map shows various people who are streaming live or who have recently streamed live, by location, in Florida. This is 30 minutes of a sailor riding it out on his (docked) boat in Key West, seven hours ago... These Sanibel traffic cams are all defunct now except for the causeway one at top.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 12:36 PM on September 10 [2 favorites]


Here Raleigh, NC our NPR station is playing nonstop live coverage from a South Florida affiliate and it's pretty mesmerizing (not in a good way). Just a minute ago they were reporting a tornado warning coming into Miami downtown and were giving time-specific warnings for specific neighborhoods.
posted by freecellwizard at 12:39 PM on September 10


Actually, the Facebook Live Map locations are a wee bit inaccurate. You have to listen/read the comments to learn their actual location in Florida.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 12:41 PM on September 10




Jesus- that photo of people walking in the dry seabed! GO INSIDE YOU FUCKING MORONS!
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:25 PM on September 10 [12 favorites]


Marco Island looks like it's bad and getting worse based on this stormchaser's livestream.
posted by Happy Dave at 1:30 PM on September 10


Update from St Pete, people are walking on the sea bed of Tampa Bay on the St Pete side. 5pm curfew is in effect. I just posted an IG story (bob_croslin) if you want to see what it looks like. It's something else.
posted by photoslob at 1:42 PM on September 10 [4 favorites]


Another Facebook link to stormchaser site ABC 33/40 in Naples, off the air at the moment but you can scroll back.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 1:57 PM on September 10


I keep watching storm chasing streams half expecting to see their car hit by a roof or other debris. Doesn't exactly seem like the most sane of hobbies.
posted by MattWPBS at 2:00 PM on September 10


Some dumbass in Riviera Beach was out in the waves in scuba gear and had to be rescued. The fuck, dude.
posted by emjaybee at 2:09 PM on September 10 [9 favorites]


Some dumbass in Riviera Beach was out in the waves in scuba gear and had to be rescued. The fuck, dude.

And as he climbed up the seawall he pulled out a 9mm and fired it into the storm. (fake but would be peak Florida)
posted by photoslob at 2:21 PM on September 10 [4 favorites]


change dot org slash weather journalists please stop using the phrase "hunker down" every other sentence
posted by Gymnopedist at 3:25 PM on September 10 [5 favorites]


From inside the Florida Keys: "everything is underwater."
posted by Comrade_robot at 4:14 PM on September 10




Damage photos coming in from the Keys, Sugarloaf, Big Pine and Cudjoe Keys seem to have taken the direct hit. Lot of people on twitter wondering about the endangered Key Deer on Sugarloaf. US-1 is probably going to be impassable.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:03 PM on September 10 [1 favorite]


Elon Musk auto-magically extended the battery life of Teslas in Florida to help drivers evacuate

Interesting. So it turns out that Tesla installs a 75 KWh battery in every car but only enables 60 KHh of capacity unless you pay several thousands dollars extra as a premium. So, many Teslas are carrying around over 200 pounds of useless lithium batteries that are disabled by software. Who knew?
posted by JackFlash at 7:31 PM on September 10 [7 favorites]


many Teslas are carrying around over 200 pounds of useless lithium batteries that are disabled by software.

It's far more complex than I'm privy to speak to but battery mechanics do not work the way you think they work. But, on the offhand chance that I'm wrong or on the likely chance that someone else more eloquent and specifically knowledgeable on this topic can speak here, I'll stop right there.
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:33 PM on September 10 [4 favorites]


BoingBoing has a rather different take on the Tesla thing but it really deserves its own FPP. I don't know anything about the topic though so if Roland or someone wants to take that, might be worth doing.
posted by emjaybee at 7:44 PM on September 10 [8 favorites]


It's pretty simple mathematics. You can use 100 batteries at 80% of capacity or 80 batteries at 100% capacity. The difference, by my rough calculation is about 200 pounds.
posted by JackFlash at 7:50 PM on September 10


I braved Twitter looking for up to date Irma info/photos and OMG remind me never to go to twitter again. What a racist, right wing shithole. Anyone have someplace better to look (I have no TV and streaming is challenging to say the least.)
posted by threeturtles at 7:54 PM on September 10 [2 favorites]


The extra "dark storage" stuff is related to the life rating of the battery, not the rated individual range/charge of the battery.

Most pharmaceuticals are allowed to be 120%-90/95 (jurisdiction depending) of the indicated dose (like, in a pill) for the practical reason that it degrades over time and loading a capsule aiming at 115% (with mechanical error unlikely to pass 120%; the exact percentages are one of the top R&D considerations when manufacturing a given pharmaceutical, the ranges are one jurisdiction's regulatory limits) allows them to claim a 12 month "good for"/"expiry" date from the date of sale (which could be months between manufacture and placement on shelves).

Li batteries degrade with use and time. They're rated for 60 kWh since they can continue at a minimum to perform at 60 kWh for the duration that they claim (several years).

Operating these specified batteries at 75 kWh all the time would degrade their actual performance much faster than operating at 60. There are physical/mechanical/chemical/engineering/marketing reasons why the batteries rated for 60 may have a hidden maximum capacity of 75 kWh.

Also, you're familiar with rechargeable batteries, right? The old ones worked only half as long as new ones and that pissed you off. Electric cars run on batteries and poor user experience would kill the market, as precarious as it is (especially early charging infrastructure).

I don't know what to think about this unlocking thing for disasters. As long as the actual conditions of this unlock (no guarantees since the "remaining charge/distance" estimation is much more inaccurate the closer to 0% charge) are communicated to the end user. I can see something thinking they have enough range to get out, only to be out of juice 1/3 of their way there.
posted by porpoise at 7:56 PM on September 10 [6 favorites]


The reddit live thread is remarkably useful. I think there's only a small set of allowed posters and no comments so it's a good aggregator.
posted by that girl at 7:56 PM on September 10 [4 favorites]


The extra "dark storage" stuff is related to the life rating of the battery, not the rated individual range/charge of the battery.

Nope, that's not the case. You can buy a Tesla with a 75 KHh battery or a 60 KWh battery, both having the same warranties and life ratings. Turns out both have identical batteries but the the 60 KHh one is crippled by software. It's purely a marketing decision, not a physical limitation.
posted by JackFlash at 8:02 PM on September 10 [9 favorites]


There's a curated twitter list here, don't just search #irma. Twitter is like most unfiltered places on the internet, there's a lot of utility, but the raw feed is filled with racist garbage.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:22 PM on September 10 [4 favorites]


I have a Tesla. For $9000, they will throw a software switch and give you upgraded capacity.
posted by Windopaene at 8:26 PM on September 10 [2 favorites]


I'll take your word for it.

If I was micromanager or Musk, I probably would have had a research program to scientifically determine how (these newer types of batteries) performs in line with theoretical projections between a 75, a 75 as 60, and actual 60s - all rated at 60, over the expected lifetime+ of this new tech.

Non-disclosed differences to improve randomisation and decrease bias. Clients who upgrade to 75-75's being an interesting control for a few axes (mostly perceptual, and repurchasing) against the 60-60's.

But it's data that won't be worth much until about a decade down the road.
posted by porpoise at 8:28 PM on September 10


We're experiencing 90+ mph gusts here in St Pete and we unfortunately lost our power 30 mins ago. I took a quick drive around and there's transformers exploding everywhere making the sky an eerie blue. Lots of downed trees and debris but nothing terrible. Here's hoping we don't wake up to 6+ ft of storm surge in the morning.
posted by photoslob at 9:39 PM on September 10 [6 favorites]




Not sure if it's been posted, but a bit of inadvertent levity from the BBC World News opening segment on Irma.
posted by MattWPBS at 2:47 AM on September 11 [2 favorites]




Can near enough visualise the storm from the gap in traffic on FlightRadar24.
posted by MattWPBS at 4:47 AM on September 11 [3 favorites]




So I am looking at Tweets in the awesome Twitter list linked to, above (Thanks, T.D.Strange!!), and I still can't tell: is Miami still flooded badly, or can crews (and citizens??) get in now to evaluate the damage?
posted by wenestvedt at 7:05 AM on September 11 [1 favorite]


Just talked to my folks in St. Pete, and they said it looks pretty good, all things considered, at least in their neighborhood. Too much stuff on the ground for Mother to go toodling about in her chair, but she said nobody near them got wet, even in evac area B, which was a mandatory evac. So, yay. It could have been much worse. Now, to rescue the islanders and the folks left in keys.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 7:17 AM on September 11 [8 favorites]


Checking in from St Pete. Lots of debris in the roads and some trees down but everyone seems to have escaped with no real structural damage. We lost power at midnight but otherwise all is well. Best news is that as of now it does not appear that we'll have high storm surge.

Also, local TV stations did a great job of keeping everyone up-to-date minus the hysteria of national outlets. CNN is one gigantic hype machine and IMO covered Irma like some sort of sick disaster adventure. And I swear, if I hear one more person quote that goddamn Post story about the Tampa Bay Area I'm going to punch them. Those of us who live here get it: hurricanes are bad and our governor's an asshole. Many of us Floridians would move to bluer pastures if we could but can't for various reasons so be nice.
posted by photoslob at 8:13 AM on September 11 [14 favorites]


We don't get the weather channel from our provider, we get accuweather instead, which didn't spend much airtime on Irma coverage other than periodic updates. CNN was my default, but I was tired of the disaster porn really quickly. Also, my son remarked that damp Anderson Cooper was what happened if you give a naked mole rat an unlimited sartorial budget. So, at least we got that image going for us.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 8:59 AM on September 11 [3 favorites]


Anderson Cooper's disaster porn dreams didn't come true in Tampa. I bet dollars to donuts that he's on the first flight back to Laguardia this afternoon.
posted by photoslob at 9:11 AM on September 11 [3 favorites]


Checking in from an hour south of St. Pete. It was looking grim at landfall -- straight up the coast would have devastating -- but the storm headed inland and passed about 30 miles inland. We got the weak-side winds.

Came home to see a lot of downed branches, some trees and power poles at crazy angles, but my house was fine. Even the 60-foot Norfolk pine behind us, where the ospreys like to perch, is standing.

The only casualty was the picket fence on my dog run, which was knocked flat. Hated that fence anyway.
posted by martin q blank at 9:20 AM on September 11 [10 favorites]


I got hooked on watching Facebook Live feeds from people in the heart of the storm, standing on their porch or balcony as 135 mph winds whipped around their houses. Didn't see anybody do anything stupidly dangerous, so that was good.
posted by COD at 9:36 AM on September 11


Wow, looking back at my 6:20 comment, I really need to get some sleep.

Because of my wife's job, we sheltered two nights in a location that was primarily for elderly people. Several woke in the middle of the night, deeply disoriented ("I can't find my girl, this is a nightmare"), literally paranoid ("If I close my eyes, I know you are going to kill me!"), simply terrified (just howling in fear).

As a former reporter, I know the Red Cross takes a lot of heat for poor logistics and wasteful spending. I've given some of that heat. But the volunteers in our shelter did a magnificent job of calming these poor people. So, on the off chance that Kayleigh, Charlie and Scott ever see this -- you guys are my heroes. Safe travels to your next emergency.
posted by martin q blank at 10:31 AM on September 11 [28 favorites]


Tallahassee looks like the worst is maybe over. I know a few people with now inconveniently placed trees, and power is out, but this was nowhere near as bad as it could have been. Jacksonville looks to be in awful shape.
posted by Cookiebastard at 10:40 AM on September 11 [1 favorite]


Anderson Cooper's disaster porn dreams didn't come true in Tampa.

I long ago gave up watching disasters unfold on Live TV. In fact, it was pretty much exactly sixteen years ago. There is just always something better one can be doing. But as I'm currently doing some homecare for my aging mom who loves nothing more than to immerse herself in 24-hr-Breaking-News, I've ended up watching a pile of the Irma drama, first with bemusement, but eventually with genuinely morbid fascination ...

The turning point was two-fold. A. when the storm started tracking to the west (away from a direct hit on Miami and perhaps Mar-a-Lago) and B. (a little later) when the storm itself started to downgrade from category 5 to 4 to 3 ... You could feel the disappointment that no reporter or journalist would ever dare put to words, you could sense the scrambling, the trying to find the worst possible safe place to put somebody so the cameras would scream at least the possibility of impending catastrophe. I mean, I was starting to feel it myself, wanting things to be worse than they were ...

The only casualty was the picket fence on my dog run, which was knocked flat. Hated that fence anyway.

And if Cable News was covering the aftermath of the storm using your property as microcosm, trust that there would be a camera drone hovering over that demolished picket fence, ignoring the rest of the mostly undamaged property, because if ain't bleeding, it ain't leading.

In fairness, much of this is less about sloppy journalism than the medium itself, TV being a medium of close-ups, it can't help itself, that's what's most compelling about it, so it keeps angling in on the gaping wounds, by design. This is a thought that first really landed with me in Sept-1989 in the wake of the San Francisco earthquake -- how less than a dozen close-ups of catastrophe (the flattened freeway in Oakland, the fires in North Beach, the collapsed portion of the Bay Bridge etc) got almost ALL of the coverage. Meanwhile the vast majority of the Bay area was more or less functional; the power was out, but everything was still standing, not even leaning. TV was emphatically not delivering that news.
posted by philip-random at 11:02 AM on September 11 [15 favorites]




Yeah Tampa and pinellas were incredibly lucky. This, it turns out, was not the storm that was promised. Gladly. But it also probably means another 5 years of deferred maintenance and continuation of the status quo ante. But I'm so very relieved right now.
posted by dis_integration at 5:07 PM on September 11 [4 favorites]




Kristen Bell is the best.
posted by freecellwizard at 6:40 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


Storm chaser visits Southernmost Point buoy, fails to pan left 3 feet and give people shed closure.
posted by ckape at 6:47 PM on September 11


Update: Shed OK.
posted by ckape at 6:56 PM on September 11 [7 favorites]


And if Cable News was covering the aftermath of the storm using your property as microcosm, trust that there would be a camera drone hovering over that demolished picket fence, ignoring the rest of the mostly undamaged property, because if ain't bleeding, it ain't leading.

In other words, the Parable of the Trash Can in front of the Washington Post Building.
posted by sebastienbailard at 8:26 PM on September 11 [5 favorites]


Jason Samenow/Capitol Weather Gang - Washington Post: Why Hurricane Irma wasn’t far worse, and how close it came to catastrophe
posted by ZeusHumms at 4:10 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


Miami Herald: ‘Devastation’ in the Florida Keys: Here’s what happened when Irma struck
Law enforcement and government agencies in the Keys are having serious problems talking with each other since the storm, according to Miami-Dade Police spokesman Alvaro Zabaleta. That’s making it hard to assess the damage and figure out when to let people back in, he said.

...

While the cleanup continues, those who remain wonder at the damage.

“That boat weighs more than 10,000 pounds,” said Mike Umberg, pointing to a 26-footer sitting on a neighbor’s front porch in Little Torch Key, 30 miles from Key West. “It’s a big boat to be thrown around.”
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:03 AM on September 12


Sigh. The nanny state attitude that has kept the few people who evacuated the Keys who are insistent on returning from doing so at their own risk is going to kill thousands of people down there next time they are hit by a big storm. Evacuation compliance will be far, far lower next time.

Also, that Rick Scott and crew were letting four Navy ships sit around all day yesterday rather than sending them somewhere down there to start helping folks, even if they had to move on to other areas today, is very disheartening. At least FPL is making good progress on power restoration. Not that that will keep people from complaining or that I'll blame them when they do. This heat will make anyone irrational.
posted by wierdo at 7:44 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


Kristen Bell on Kimmel.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:49 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


wierdo: At least FPL is making good progress on power restoration.

We just talked to our counterparts down in North Miami, and the power is coming on, one at a time, to our buildings. "Horrible cell service" with no data, they said, so we are restoring our Internet link in order that the few students who sheltered locally can contact their parents.

But our staff may all be back tomorrow (Wednesday), which feels like a miracle to me, in New England, who has ridden out a few hurricanes now.

Pleased that the damage reports are long the lines of "lighter than expected," and I hope that's true for everyone down there.
posted by wenestvedt at 8:49 AM on September 12 [3 favorites]


I'm surprised people are having cell service issues in Broward and Miami. at&t has worked fine, if a bit slow at times. I have heard reports of issues with TMobile, but they should be resolved by now.
posted by wierdo at 9:36 AM on September 12


They're in a pretty heavy, old building, so that may be some of it.
posted by wenestvedt at 10:35 AM on September 12




Oh man, that Houston Chronicle article is gripping, and well done.
Time dilation is now happening in weather events- Harvey hit less than a month ago! o_o
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 1:29 PM on September 12


Has anyone heard from snofoam? If you're reading this, hope you're doing okay out there.
posted by mosessis at 3:00 PM on September 12 [7 favorites]


Slow UK aid for hurricane-hit islands linked to tax haven ties
Anguilla’s ex-attorney general says UK government may fear exposing its role in Caribbean territories’ tax arrangements.
Foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, who is expected to travel to Anguilla to highlight British aid efforts, had indicated that £28m of the aid had already been spent. “Are we to believe it will only release a further £4m? This would be derisory – it would not even pay to rebuild one school,”
posted by adamvasco at 4:18 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]




Looks like someone is doing post-storm aerial photography over Miami-Dade today.
posted by wierdo at 7:11 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


It's not every day you can use the phrase chainsaw-wielding nun, but... a chainsaw-wielding nun chipped in to help clear a street in her Miami neighborhood.
posted by TwoStride at 7:11 AM on September 13 [13 favorites]


I've now heard from my friends in St. Petersburg and Miami; somehow they both managed to get through okay - a small bright spot for me amidst the general havoc, and a load off my heart. Of course, both are still without power and have downed trees to deal with, so they're not completely unscathed. But an intact and dry house is a big plus.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:17 AM on September 13 [2 favorites]


It's not every day you can use the phrase chainsaw-wielding nun, but... a chainsaw-wielding nun chipped in to help clear a street in her Miami neighborhood.

Sisters are doing it for themselves!
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:43 AM on September 13


Another article about the aftermath of the hurricane in Cuba - from a few days out this time. Taken alongside the other places that got hit by Irma Cuba seems a bit alone and friendless right now.
posted by rongorongo at 10:08 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


If you don't get to say "chainsaw-wielding nun" at least once a week, you are hanging with the wrong sort of Catholics.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:27 AM on September 13 [13 favorites]


but seriously ...
posted by philip-random at 12:17 PM on September 13 [1 favorite]


....an addendum to my comment above about the hurricane tolerance of palm trees, this was published this week and worth reading for plant nerds or anyone interested to delve into 'how do they do it' a little more.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 4:21 PM on September 13


Haven't had a chance to go through all the comments, but I am alive.
posted by snofoam at 8:59 AM on September 14 [23 favorites]


Thank god, snofoam. Some of us were really worried about you.
posted by grouse at 9:13 AM on September 14


I am fine and in an good spot, although our apartment and entire town were destroyed. We have been communicating via our association's Facebook page Facebook.com/ lesfruitsdemer
posted by snofoam at 9:31 AM on September 14 [4 favorites]


So sorry to hear that. That is horrifying.
posted by grouse at 9:41 AM on September 14 [2 favorites]


Fuck. I'm so glad to hear youre safe, and so sorry about your home and town. I can't imagine what that's like.
posted by schadenfrau at 9:41 AM on September 14 [2 favorites]


On a lighter note, there's not a flower for miles, so we have had five hummingbird feeders going nonstop since the storm and they have brought in insane numbers of birds.
posted by snofoam at 9:49 AM on September 14 [25 favorites]


Glad you're here, snofoam. And good on you for putting the feeders out. Just imagine if you had some bright orange hats.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:59 AM on September 14


Deborah Hastings/Inside Edition via Yahoo:

Truck Driver Says Giving Away Plywood in Irma's Path Got Him Fired: 'I Was Just Being an American'
The long-haul driver was ferrying 960 pieces of plywood to a Home Depot in Zephyrhills, Fla., on Friday.

He blew a tire in a southbound lane of Interstate 95, as seemingly everyone in the state was on the northbound side, trying to get out as Irma churned toward Florida.

It took seven hours to get the tire fixed, he said. When he pulled into the Home Depot lot, it was past 9 p.m. and the store was closed and boarded up to ride out the storm. The night manager was just leaving, McCrory said, and told him he would have to come back Tuesday.

So the driver called his company’s dispatcher and delivered the news. He was told to take his load to Atlanta, he said. He decided to catch a few hours’ sleep in his cab.

He was awakened about 2 a.m. Saturday by a police officer banging on his window. McCrory explained the situation, and the cop said taking the rig to Atlanta was not a good idea.

There were also a lot of people in town needing the plywood, the officer said.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:33 AM on September 15 [6 favorites]


There's a link to a GoFundMe for McCrory in the article, over its goal already. Nice to see the guy and his family are going to be OK for the time being.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:26 AM on September 15 [1 favorite]


Naturally, I missed all the good posting parts; our power tanked at 03:30 EDT on Sunday. The Interweb crashed at at 08:38, never to return til now. AT&T had some rocking batteries.
No mistake, that was a Cat 4 windstorm here. We were locked up in a " Cat 5" apartment and it performed exactly to spec. We watched the storm all the way through. No flooding.

Hurricanes are storms: the week after is where you live. It's a sci-fi novel novel for the next week. Martial law from dusk to dawn. Constant National Guard with AR -15s. From Nebraska . They are all incredibly nice.

FEMA 100% Excellent and professional. Whatever you need. I'm 59, they all look twelve.

We'll see tomorrow. I'm pretty happy about the whole thing.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 1:45 PM on September 15 [8 favorites]


On the one hand, I can understand why the trucking company fired him: he gave away stuff that didn't even belong to his employer much less him, and it's not a good look when you have to go to the company using you and explain their stuff is gone. On the other hand, it'd be nice to see them take the human approach and say something along the lines of 'due to the extraordinary circumstances we will recompense Home Depot and count the plywood as a charitable donation'. But as far as I can tell, there really aren't any large trucking companies left that aren't bottom feeders.
posted by tavella at 1:53 PM on September 15 [5 favorites]


This is equal parts hilarious & maddening. Right before Irma hit land Gov. Rick Scott held a press conference with a final warning to evacuate. He had an interpreter for the deaf on stage with him who gave a really weird looking performance. Now we know why - while his brother is deaf, he himself doesn't know much ASL so what he was trying to say came out as mostly gibberish & included warnings about monsters, bears &...pizza. Apparently it was him or nothing so they went with him.
posted by scalefree at 3:53 PM on September 15


There's no story so weird it can't get weirder. Apparently there were two weird deaf interpreter performances in the lead up to Irma. Here's the other, much weirder looking one.
posted by scalefree at 4:28 PM on September 15


Facial expressions are part of ASL and make the difference between "DECREASE IMPROVE WEATHER POINT" and "You might see that things are improving, but the point is, stay home."
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:46 PM on September 15 [1 favorite]


The best ASL interpreters are like this. There are a ton of videos out there of concert interpreters, to the point where major touring acts notice, and rock out with them.

I mean, he flat out lets her rap a few verses on her own before coming in for the duet.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:03 PM on September 15 [5 favorites]


Looks like Gov Scott's office may have played a role in the nursing home deaths.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:16 PM on September 15 [2 favorites]


Right now, Maria is predicted to pass over Puerto Rico as a major hurricane. (Five day forecast image) I am worried about the possibility of rapid intensification.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:48 PM on September 16 [1 favorite]


Two days out and it is supposed to be a Category 4. Puerto Rico has had a Category 3 landfall in 1998 and 1932, the last two major hurricanes. (I have a personal theory that hurricanes tend to steer to the Caribbean or Atlantic before reaching us. Maybe we're just a small target.) I'd have to check when the last Category 4 was.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:09 AM on September 18


The Arecibo Observatory just sent around email announcing that they've torn up the observation schedule - again - and are hunkering down - again - and hoping that Maria gives the island a pass. It must be terrifying for friends and colleagues on the island, and many still don't have power back after Irma.
posted by RedOrGreen at 8:14 AM on September 18 [1 favorite]




Maria is a Cat 4 and conditions are favorable for strengthening. Wind shear is low, ocean heat content is high. Geeze, let's not do 2005 over again. We've had enough.
posted by Bee'sWing at 5:16 PM on September 18


So I've been reading articles that are talking about Puerto Rico recommending evacuation in areas prone to flooding or landslides - has anyone seen anything more specific? Because that description could apply to the entire island. . .
posted by dinty_moore at 5:25 PM on September 18


Bee'sWing: "Maria is a Cat 4 and conditions are favorable for strengthening. Wind shear is low, ocean heat content is high. Geeze, let's not do 2005 over again. We've had enough."

Cat 5 now.
posted by octothorpe at 6:03 PM on September 18 [2 favorites]


Latest warning update on Maria. It seems like in Puerto Rico - as in Dominica which has been battered by the eye - pretty much anywhere which is at risk of flash floods or mudslides is considered potentially dangerous. Latest updates from the Guardian here.
posted by rongorongo at 3:14 AM on September 19


Puerto Rico, home of 3.5 million people, reportedly entirely without power. You might think you've dodged a bullet but 2017 isn't done with you yet.
posted by Bee'sWing at 12:40 PM on September 20




Puerto Rico generally doesn't get major hurricanes. They have to come from the Atlantic rather than the Gulf, and by the time they cross the ocean, they generally weaken to top out at Cat 3. Maria hit as a Cat 4, only because she erased an archipelago at Cat 5 that had never seen a hurricane of this power, ever, except for last week.

1938 was the last time a storm of this power category, but not actual power, hit. Records before then are spotty, but we have a solid understanding of architecture left standing since Ponce de Leon was governor. This is something new and terrible. It may be the new normal.

Climate Change is the polite term for Global Warming. It's happening in either event - the storms are not more numerous, just stronger and more ruinous.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:50 PM on September 20 [1 favorite]


After Irma there was the more dealdly Maria largely ignored outside the area.
Does America even realize or care that Puerto Rico is their responsibility?
Lack of Communication Hinders Efforts Amid Dam Failure Fear in Puerto Rico. Google St Thomas another US responsibility and all you get is football game reports.
Meanwhile the mountainous island of Dominica - the nature island of the Caribbean is totally trashed with 15 dead.
Dominica a land ‘brutalised’.
Caribbean requiring urgent assistance at all levels: - Puerto Rico, USVI, BVI, Anguilla, Barbuda, St Maarten, St. Barths.
Island by Island
posted by adamvasco at 4:19 AM on September 24 [3 favorites]


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