Hurricane Irma survivor check-in from Briggsy

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NorwayLady
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Hurricane Irma survivor check-in from Briggsy

Postby NorwayLady » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:27 am

I have had a couple of wild turkeys asking me if I have heard from Briggsy who lives in the path of a direct hit from hurricane Irma. He sent me a text last night and I am happy to report that he and his family are all ok. He said they are without power or internet, but otherwise ok.

On last year's Florida paddle adventure Briggsy, Norm and I had lunch at an outpost called Goodland between 10 000 Island and Cape Romano. Briggsy said yesterday that Irma hit Goodland hard and that the area is probably all wiped out. That would be sad on so many levels, as Goodland is a unique area and a throwback to how things were back in the day before mass tourism was developed.

Bea
Bea
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Re: Hurricane Irma survivor check-in from Briggsy

Postby NorwayLady » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:51 am

NorwayLady wrote:I have had a couple of wild turkeys asking me if I have heard from Briggsy who lives in the path of a direct hit from hurricane Irma. He sent me a text last night and I am happy to report that he and his family are all ok. He said they are without power or internet, but otherwise ok.

On last year's Florida paddle adventure Briggsy, Norm and I had lunch at an outpost called Goodland between 10 000 Island and Cape Romano. Briggsy said yesterday that Irma hit Goodland hard and that the area is probably all wiped out. That would be sad on so many levels, as Goodland is a unique area and a throwback to how things were back in the day before mass tourism.

Bea
Bea
Proud foster mother of Athena (P&H Cetus LV turquoise-white)

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Re: Hurricane Irma survivor check-in from Briggsy

Postby pat » Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:14 am

I can't help but picture Briggsy out there kayaking at the height of the storm, looking like Slim Pickens riding the bomb at the end of Dr. Strangelove.
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NorwayLady
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Re: Hurricane Irma survivor check-in from Briggsy

Postby NorwayLady » Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:37 pm

Pat, I don't think he is paddling. I think he is busy finishing up all the beer in the fridge while it is still cold....
Bea
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Re: Hurricane Irma survivor check-in from Briggsy

Postby Briggsy » Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:20 pm

Hi all, I just saw this post here, Yes all is well here.
Our first hurricane since moving to sunny Florida, it was pretty exciting for sure. Weirdly I had some sort of premonition a week before and bought 20 sheets of plywood and 30 2x4's in order to make some custom hurricane shutters for our doors and windows. Lucky I did as I had to go back to Home Depot 6 days before the storm to buy some screws and there was no plywood and long lines of people waiting for the 18 wheelers to arrive with more plywood. Even the $50 red oak plywood was all gone.
Anyhow as the week progressed it was obvious Irma was going to be a monster and that all of Florida was going to be impacted in some way, so a plan had to be made. We have plenty of camping gear so I filled the 4 x 5 gallon water jugs and we restocked our 3 x 5 gallon water cooler jugs. We assembled a box with all the batteries I have, flashlights, stoves, fuel, 1st aid kit, basic tools etc and Deb bought a bunch of canned food etc. We got together all our important documents and papers and stashed them in a huge dry bag. A couple of days before the storm, the projected long term track was slowly moving westward from a direct hit in the Fort Lauderdale/Boca Raton area to the landfall being in the Everglades and Miami. We updated the 3 different weather channel pages we were watching every few hours. Finally the day of the storm the track actually showed the eye going right over our house as a Cat 4. I was somewhat concerned (!) as our house was built in the 70's and not constructed to todays high Florida hurricane specifications.
We finished boarding up, loaded up the 20 chickens and 2 geese into cages and put them in the garage. They immediately went to sleep as it was dark and slept through the entire storm. The last thing was to put the desktop computer into another huge drybag ( so many pics and memories stored on it). We kept everything in one area to grab it and get out if we had to including sledgehammer, cordless saw and prybars in case we had to break out of the panels. I left one hurricane proof garage door and another small door at the opposite end of the house without boards on, otherwise we were locked in. 2 of our friends had chosen to ride out the storm with us, so by lunchtime we were ready, watching the approaching chaos on the TV.
At 2pm the power went out, I think it was switched off by the power company to avoid any from shorting cables etc. So we followed the storm on the old am/fm radio I sometimes take camping. early evening we heard it had made landfall in Naples, about a 2 hr drive south of us. We hoped the storm would lose power and not hit us too bad. The track was still over our house though. Every hour we went outside to check on things ( to do what? I don't know !). Luckily our neighborhood is sparsely populated but we all have a lot of native Florida trees, especially the huge Live Oaks. These definitely made a difference, they swayed a lot and you could hear what sounded like a 747 hovering overhead, but amongst the trees it was not so bad. Later I found out we had 80-90 mph winds with gusts up to 110mph. Once on land the storm moved quickly and the eye actually passed 20 miles from us in a town called Arcadia. After that the wind really did do a 180 and started blowing the other way. That's when the slowly warming beer was consumed ! By morning it was all over and the big clean up began. We only just got our power back the other day. Let me say from experience, it takes a week to acclimatize to mid 90's without AC. I was just getting used to it when the power came back on ! You have to wonder how those guys running Everglades fish camps in the 30's did it. Not too much damage, some trees down and branches and debris everywhere. We were really so lucky, the Keys got slammed hard as did Everglades City,and Flamingo in Everglades National Park. Another 50 miles west and we would have been like the Keys.
Interestingly, the morning of the storm there was a huge "reverse" storm surge, the waters of Tampa Bay, Sarasota Bay and the intracoastal waterway nearly emptied out, the pics on TV were amazing, huge mud flats where the protected waterways once where. Right now nearly all Florida State Parks are closed and the Keys State parks are not expected to open until Jan 2018.
Planning a few kayak trips down in the Everglades this winter to see what has changed. Plenty I'm sure.

Anyway, to those folks who asked about us, thanks for your concern. We got off very very lightly. I feel really bad for those in the Keys, Naples and the Caribbean who are getting another hit right now. Quite an active season!


Briggsy

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Re: Hurricane Irma survivor check-in from Briggsy

Postby kayakerjnj » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:28 pm

Happy you and Deb fared so well.

Another testament to your preparedness and survival instincts.

Bea had told us you were okay, but happy to see you back on-line, with AC again, and getting back to some normalcy.

Stay safe!
Paddle with a big smile, its contagious :D


Jordan


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