Like a lot of others I am sat tonight glued to CNN and the Weather Channel like it’s a drug. One of the reasons is work related. I live and breathe risk during the week, natural, human or otherwise, so what is happening in Florida and happened to those poor Caribbean islands and Texas last week has massive ramifications for us at work.
For reason’s I haven’t fathomed I seem to be rather attracted to hurricanes. I wouldn’t mind but I can’t even fly a kite. Yet in the last couple of weeks I have been in St Barts, Saint Martin, Sarasota, Tampa and Miami and I live on an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean that has annoyingly been a recent magnet to big storms, around 7 or 8 hurricanes in the past 5 years, once we even had two different hurricanes over consecutive weekends!
And whilst I am secretly happy that for once Bermuda has been spared, for this time at least, we bought a house in Sarasota last year, part holiday home, part retirement plan, and now I’m watching the box and bloody Irma is bearing down on that lovely town with my house in the middle of it’s path. How’s my luck..
Fortunately the house is undergoing major renovations, and whilst that alone has been arduous and aggravating, I am happy that inside it is pretty much a shell with little or nothing of any value but we are about 800 metres from the water of Little Sarasota Bay with the land strip of Casey Key separating that from the angry Gulf of Mexico. I’m worried about flooding and the windows, but with the area evacuated it is going to be a while before we find out how it fared.
However I think Tampa Bay with beautiful Clearwater and St Petersburg are more in harms way. There is 700 miles of coastline there and Tampa has not had a direct hit from a major storm since 1921.
Irma is a big arse storm affecting the whole of the state of Florida. Whilst the storm track followed the west coast after Cuba spun it a bit last night, the east coast from Miami up has had a ton of rain all day, with it showing no sign of abating and Orlando is still very much in range for a lot rainfall. Irma is the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic basin outside the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico and has already caused catastrophic damage and loss of life in Barbuda, Saint Barts, Saint Martin, Anguilla and the Virgin Islands.