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Kathi and Michael Rock
(Login kathirock)
Hummingbird Member 2006

Re: Irma

September 9 2017, 2:36 AM 

Rhonda and All,

Michael and I are thinking of you during this terrible storm and hope that it will less intense that they are predicting or will take a different path. I can understand why you went to happy hours---I would need a lot more than that to face a hurricane. Please good care and let us know you are all okay!!

[linked image]
Michael and Kathi Rock
Madison, WI
Zone 5

[linked image]

 
 
Dan
(Login hawkeye_wx)
Hummingbird lover 2009

Re: Irma

September 9 2017, 8:09 AM 

The good news this morning is that Cuba is doing significant damage to Irma and should continue to do so today.
East-central Iowa
Zone 5a

 
 
Tom
(Login tbyrnes)
Hummingbird Member 2006

Re: Irma

September 9 2017, 9:05 AM 

The news isn't so good for Cubans.

Hopefully they were prepared for the storm, but there are so many in Cuba with few resources that I fear there will be many casualties.

I do know what you meant, Dan. The mountains in Cuba may well take some of the power out of Irma, which will help us in Florida.
Click for Forecast for 34711 from weatherUSA

 
 
Dan
(Login hawkeye_wx)
Hummingbird lover 2009

Re: Irma

September 9 2017, 9:29 AM 

Yes, the good news is for Florida. Irma was on the verge of another intensification phase last evening and would likely be extremely intense this morning if it was located only 75 miles north of its current position, over open water.

There's no doubt the northern coast of Cuba took a beating overnight. However, the part of the coast that received Irma's full power is sparsely populated, and Cuba is actually known to be among the best countries at hurricane preparedness. Often, there are few, if any, casualties reported from Cuban hurricane landfalls.
East-central Iowa
Zone 5a


    
This message has been edited by hawkeye_wx on Sep 9, 2017 9:33 AM


 
 
Indy Steve
(Login SteveWnindy)
Hummingbird lover 2007

Re: Irma

September 9 2017, 12:21 PM 

Florida Gov. says the state has never seen a storm like this. Six million people are ordered to evacuate , 25,000 with out power already. Being a Cat 3 but could re-strengthen to a cat 4. My prayers are with those in this storms path.
Steve
Martinsville In.
Zone 6

Find more about Weather in Martinsville, IN
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Joe M.
(Login flhummer)
Hummingbirder 2012

Re: Irma

September 9 2017, 4:02 PM 

I'm somewhat relieved that my daughter in W. Palm Beach may escape the direct impact of the storm! While another relative is sticking the storm out in Naples Fl. (pretty much in the dead center of the forecast track) and another in Ft. Myers also in the middle of the track, as well.
Very difficult to feel relived that it may miss my home by 40 miles or so when others may not be so fortunate.
! have personally experienced about 6-7 of these awesome storms and none of them have been pleasant moments in my life.

Rhonda, you have made a wise choice to using a shelter, Tom in St. Pete hunker down and stay safe.
Best luck to all living on the West Coast of FL. This too shall pass!



Joe M.
Lakeland, FL

 
 
Dan
(Login hawkeye_wx)
Hummingbird lover 2009

Re: Irma

September 9 2017, 4:24 PM 

Florida has had many storms like this, just not with this many people living there. Back in the 1920s-60s, when several major canes passed through south Florida, the population was tiny compared to today.
East-central Iowa
Zone 5a

 
 
Tom B
(Login tbyrnes)
Hummingbird Member 2006

Re: Irma

September 9 2017, 6:43 PM 

The clubhouse shelter is very secure, Rhonda? It looks like you might well be close to the eye come Sunday morning or so.

One good thing is that the neighbors around my house are all talking and giving suggestions on how to weather the storm. I have an old basketball hoop that was standing near my garage. My neighbor asked if it was secure... Of course it wasn't, but I hadn't even thought about it.

I suggested he throw his pool furniture in the pool. He hadn't thought of that.

Still looking around for things outside that might be flying around early Monday morning.
Click for Forecast for 34711 from weatherUSA

 
 
Rhonda
(Login rvird01)
Hummingbird Lover 2014

Irma

September 10 2017, 9:37 AM 

Thanks everyone for the prayers and thoughts! Joe and I have been hunkered down since yesterday afternoon. If you know me, you know that I don't know a stranger. So, I've made lots of friends in the shelter happy.gif Joe, on the other hand, considers himself to be a grouchy ol' crocodile LOL

We've been getting near tropical storm strength winds and rain for a few hours. Current forecast shows the eye coming right over us around 8:30 this evening. I'd be kidding lying if I said I wasn't scared to death. I hope our house holds up.

Please be safe. Prayers going up.

Rhonda
Englewood, Florida 10a

Click for Forecast for 34224 from weatherUSA

 
 

Joe M.
(Login flhummer)
Hummingbirder 2012

Re: Irma

September 10 2017, 4:24 PM 

"Irma" you have proved your point, and I admit you're a real big nasty storm, but enough is enough.
Time for you to fade away!

Nothing left to do except seeking the intercession of the "Storm Gods"!
Joe M.
Lakeland, FL

 
 
Ken
(Login 5strings)
Hummingbirder 2010

Re: Irma

September 11 2017, 12:12 PM 

Thinking of all of you in Florida, hope everyone did okay.

Ken
Central NJ
USDA Zone 6
:c)

 
 
Tom B
(Login tbyrnes)
Hummingbird Member 2006

Re: Irma

September 12 2017, 5:42 PM 

Haven't heard from Rhonda or Tom M. both of whom live near where Irma entered land after the keys. Irma really hit those areas very hard. There have been very few fatalities, so they are probably okay, but also very likely incurred property damage. I assume they are without power at the moment. I just got internet and cable back.

The center of the storm passed right over my house at about 2AM. By that time there was no eye and the winds were probably only 80 to 90 miles per hour.

Fortunately, the house had no significant damage; even the pool and the screen enclosure turned out okay.

The garden, however, was a mess. Lots of bushes had major parts torn off, major limbs came off of trees and there was leaf and limb debris all over. Most of the bushes and the flowers have leaned over hard towards the north, as the highest winds were coming out of the south-south-east.

Monday afternoon the hummingbirds were out in force squabbling over the flowers. The butterflies started coming back also. Today is hot and sunny and the flowers are starting to recover. Lots of hummers and butterflies and birds around. They all seemed to do okay with the wind and rain.

Here's a story from my favorite writer, Scott Maxwell, in the Orlando Sentinel about life in Florida.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/opinion/os-hurricane-irma-jose-florida-disasters-scott-maxwell-20170912-story.html
Click for Forecast for 34711 from weatherUSA

 
 
Tom M
(Login TomnStPete)
Hummingbird Lover 2014

Re: Irma

September 13 2017, 3:02 PM 

Tom, I was very lucky here. Gust only to 75 MPH, no damage and I didn't lose power vs. 80% of my county without power. Been helping neighbors with ice, gas for the generators, old low voltage phones, good manual can openers, coolers...I booked rooms on high ground at a local motel last Monday and got prepared then since I'm in Flood Zone A. Having lived here since 1957 I've experienced a hurricane or two, including Andrew - I was down there then, had a chainsaw, and the experience to help clear the roads so emergency vehicles could get to the hospitals. Point is, I preped on Labor Day and tried to warn everyone I saw then to get their affairs in order, but nobody was listening at that point.

Joe, looks like you were near ground-zero. If you'd like me to go check on your place drop me a line.

Rhonda, you were near ground-zero too. You okay?
St Pete Tom
USDA 10a, Heat 10

 
 
Rhonda
(Login rvird01)
Hummingbird Lover 2014

Irma

September 13 2017, 11:52 PM 

Hi All...sorry it took so long for me to get back. Thanks all for the prayers and well wishes. I'm glad to hear the reports that you're all safe.

Joe and I are fine and our house sustained very little damage...a true miracle. Just a few screens on the lanai were ripped out and some gutters were pulled off. My garden is a mess and several banana plants were pulled out but all that can be fixed over time. The electric went off at the shelter at 8 Sunday night but was back on by 10 Monday morning.

Our community fared well overall. Most of the damage was similar to ours. I spent a good chunk of Monday going around taking pictures of snow bird friends' houses to email them to show them the damage and to alleviate their fears. As I went to each house, I picked up and replaced loose downspouts, scattered trash cans and pots, etc. Yesterday, I helped some of my older neighbors pick up around their houses. Today was my chance to clean up tree debris in our yard and buy groceries at the now open Winn-Dixie.

Our sister community just a few streets over didn't fare as well. I'd say that at least 1 out of every 3 houses lost big portions of their roofs, carports were destroyed and large trees were down everywhere. Several streets were flooded. It's strange to me that the damage was so much greater than what we incurred.

We were really lucky that Irma, who was supposed to hit us head on as a category 4, lost some oomph and weakened to a cat 2 and veered slightly east. We still had 90-100 mph winds throughout the night Sunday, but if she had remained a cat 4 and hit us directly, I'm sure our house and most of those around us would have been destroyed.

Clermont Tom, I was really worried about you after talking with my brother in Tavarres on Monday. Their neighborhood was hit hard. Roofs ripped off, trees down and a big marina destroyed with boats thrown everywhere. Luckily, they had no damage and the marina where he keeps his boat, while the docks were buried under several feet of water, was spared any wind damage. BTW, I loved the article!!!

St Pete Tom, so glad to hear that you were spared as well. It's great that you spent time helping neighbors. Communities come together in these situations.

We spent Saturday and Sunday in our clubhouse, returning home Monday morning. I couldn't have asked for a better shelter. They had pulled in all the heavy steel framed lounge chairs (around 30) from the pool prior to us arriving. There were also 100 or so chairs if we ran out of loungers. Pets were welcome as long as they were in crates. We could play cards and pool and watch TV and movies until the electric went out which helped calm me down...I was really scared.

I was surprised that so many people showed up with nothing except the clothes on their backs...no bedding, food, water. I, on the other hand, had made enough tuna, chicken and PB&J sandwiches to feed a small army and enough clothes for a weeklong vacation in the Bahamas happy.gif Also had chips, cookies, canned fruit and veggies. Good thing too as I fed several other people there who brought nothing with them. People overall were friendly, but after 2 days there some were starting to get a little cranky. There was a big generator but no one checked to make sure it worked until AFTER the lights went out. Dead battery and no gas. Oh well, I liked the feel of camping. I didn't sleep at all either night since I'm a light sleeper. We are in a 55+ community so all night I would see flashlights lighting a path through the dark for shuffling feet on the way to the restrooms...looked like something out of the "night of the Living Dead" LOL

Clermont Tom, you'll appreciate this: you know that I can and will talk to anyone about pretty much anything. I know no strangers happy.gif Well, Saturday evening I went around introducing myself to each person in the shelter and asking where they were from originally. About half way through I came upon a couple from Ohio. I asked them what city and they said Marion....my hometown!! We talked more and I learned that the husband attended my high school and that the wife attended the same Catholic school that my Dad and his brothers attended. We talked more and I started to recognize many of the names they mentioned from Marion. I asked the wife "what is your maiden name?" Well, I got so excited that I just about peed my pants (remember, I'm getting old too) when she said "Cornely". That's my maiden name! Her father was my Grandpa's brother...we're second cousins! And, we had never met before. I had to come all the way to Florida to finally meet her happy.gif So, if nothing else, Irma introduced me to my newly found family members who live just 5 houses down the street.

Welp, better get to sleep so I can start working on repairing the gardens tomorrow.

Again, I'm so glad we all survived. If anyone is up north and has a house around Sarasota, Venice, Englewood area that needs checked on, just let me know and I can go and take pics to send to you.

Night all,
Rhonda



Englewood, Florida 10a

Click for Forecast for 34224 from weatherUSA


    
This message has been edited by rvird01 on Sep 14, 2017 12:04 AM


 
 
Tom B
(Login tbyrnes)
Hummingbird Member 2006

Re: Irma

September 14 2017, 7:59 AM 

Rhonda, so glad that you and Joe made it out so well. I'm sure that you were a great help to many in your community.

You are like the Energizer Bunny.

What happened here in Central Florida is that there was a line of very heavy wind and rain that for some reason only hit the northern part of our area--like Eustis and Leesburg. They had much more damage than we did. Many of them are still without power, while I never lost power--although it wasn't fun being without internet and cable. Thank goodness for cell phones!

I'm still cleaning up the garden and will be doing so for the next week or so. There are lots of limbs on the ground and small branches and leaves everywhere. I still have to saw my way through several parts of the garden where bushes have moved into areas where I need to walk and mow.

I just saw my first Baltimore Oriole. He was looking for my feeders, which are on the ground. I just made a new batch of sugar water and will put them out in a an hour or so.

Keep us up to date on how things are going, Rhonda. Again, very glad to see that you and Joe are well and had little property damage.
Click for Forecast for 34711 from weatherUSA

 
 
Tom M
(Login TomnStPete)
Hummingbird Lover 2014

Re: Irma

September 14 2017, 2:17 PM 

Tom & Rhonda, I'm sure glad you're okay.

Rhonda, sounds like you've been much busier than me. I have to limit my sun exposure but have been trying to help in the neighborhood as much as I can.

Tom, are your birds using feeders? I'm seeing birds but absolutely no feeder use.
St Pete Tom
USDA 10a, Heat 10

 
 
Tom B
(Login tbyrnes)
Hummingbird Member 2006

Re: Irma

September 14 2017, 4:50 PM 

Hey, Tom, I saw a Baltimore Oriole looking for a feeder this morning, so I hurried up and made some sugar water and hung two feeders.

Just a few minutes ago I saw a male Ruby-throated using one!

Now there seems to be two or so hummers using the feeder. Perhaps the juvies are learning from the male.

I haven't seen a male in maybe two months. I have three or four that have been visiting the last two months or so, but they have not been using the feeder at all. I think they are all juvies, but there could be an adult female or two.

I have this squirrel messing around with my feeder now. The last time he was drinking from it.

I'm contemplating a pellet gun, but really don't want to be shooting them.

I think I will try a baffle instead.
Click for Forecast for 34711 from weatherUSA

 
 
Tom M
(Login TomnStPete)
Hummingbird Lover 2014

Re: Irma

September 15 2017, 2:38 PM 

Now there seems to be two or so hummers using the feeder. Perhaps the juvies are learning from the male.

I thought I saw an adult male but they must all be juvies.

I have this squirrel messing around with my feeder now. The last time he was drinking from it.

I bought some Hummblossom feeders based on a post a while back by Joe. So far the squirrels have not tried to get into them but they would probably not hold enough mixture for your use.
St Pete Tom
USDA 10a, Heat 10

 
 
Tom
(Login tbyrnes)
Hummingbird Member 2006

Re: Irma

September 16 2017, 9:04 AM 

Why does that feeder discourage squirrels?

I have solved the squirrel problem at one feeder by putting up a baffle. For me, baffles have been the only thing that has kept squirrels and rats from my bird feeders.

Here's the title of a story about something that happened after Irma not far from my house. "Hurricane Irma: Rogue python eats cat in Astor while distraught owner watches"

You guys who don't live in Florida are missing a lot:)
Click for Forecast for 34711 from weatherUSA


    
This message has been edited by tbyrnes on Sep 16, 2017 9:09 AM


 
 

Joe M.
(Login flhummer)
Hummingbirder 2012

Aftermath of Irma

September 17 2017, 5:54 PM 

Irma made its mark in my yard, front and back!
Fortunately we were in MA when it hit our home and then we relied on a neighbor to give us the bad news. The eye of the storm, which had weakened to a strong Cat 1, by the time it passed over our area still packed a serious punch. We received a few updates from our neighbor and knew our legacy Live Oak had become a victim of Irma. This was not unexpected, if as it turned out we had a close encounter. Seems that the east side of the eye pretty much past right over. When we purchased the home in '76 the Oak was often a of conversation since the lower 35' was growing out of the ground at a 45 degree angle and then the crown was upright to the sky. The tree made it through the 3 hurricanes in '04 but it did show signs that it might not survive many more. As the upper limbs continued to grow larger and heavier I often wondered if the tree root structure could support the weight? Irma answered the question by dumping plenty of rain, softening the soil and our beloved Oak must have just succumbed to its weight and settled to the ground.
Took all our plantings with it that were established over the years, Pentas, Fire Spike, Salvia and a few others.
We arrived back here in FL late on Sat. the 16th and took these photos earlier today.
Aftermath_Irma_JJM8216_09-17-17_112149
Aftermath_Irma_JJM8217_09-17-17_112219
Aftermath_Irma_JJM8223_09-17-17_112500
Aftermath_Irma_JJM8224_09-17-17_112516
Joe M.
Lakeland, FL

 
 
 
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