For most of the past week, I’ve been living in the cone. What’s that you say? Anyone who has lived in Florida for a while knows that phrase. It’s being in the cone of uncertainty for the path of an oncoming hurricane. For most of the week, here in Jacksonville, we were smack dab in the middle of the cone.
Hurricane Ian was projected to hit Tampa Bay and then traverse the state directly toward Jacksonville. As usual, there was a mad rush to go buy groceries which doesn’t make much sense to me. How you going to cook all that meat when you don’t have power?
On Wednesday at work, we did our usual hurricane preps. Cleaned up the pipe yard and strapped down loose material. That night, the hurricane hit south of Tampa Bay at Fort Myers. Then it continued toward Orlando. At that point, it shifted slightly to the east. This was just enough that when it turned back north, it pretty much missed Jacksonville. The southern part of the county saw heavy rainfall, but the rest of us only saw light rain and mist and windy conditions.
Naturally and it happens every time, the power was knocked out. For this storm, my power was knocked out for about an hour and then would come back on for 1/2 hour, then back off for an hour or so. This continued all day. When the power came on, we would make a mad dash to the kitchen and brew coffee and do some quick cooking.
In case the power remained off for an extended period, we had a propane camping stove. Didn’t have to use it this time.
Every hurricane is a bit different. This one caused massive storm surges and flooded the hell out of Fort Myers. Sharks were swimming in the streets!
In Florida, most of the state is subject to massive damage during a hurricane. Here in Jacksonville, due to geography, it is probably the safest part of Florida for hurricanes. It’s been a long time since Jacksonville was hit directly with a hurricane. I think it was 1954. Are we due for another one? Eh, maybe. Most people here in Jacksonville do our normal preps, but don’t take hurricanes too seriously. Those that are new to the area tend to freak out the first few years.
Thankfully, even though there was massive property damage in Fort Myers and other areas of Florida, the loss of life was minimal. Houses and buildings can be rebuilt.