With Hurricane Fiona battering Bermuda last week, Hurricane Ian has wrought devastation across south west Florida moving across the state bringing rainfall measured in feet, and is now heading back into Charleston in Georgja for second dibs.
Those of you that read these pages regularly will know that we have a house in Sarasota, Florida, which is between Tampa and Naples on the Gulf Coast. It has been another worrying week.
The only good, although harrowing thing about hurricanes and typhoons is that you can see them coming, nonetheless despite elaborate models and data, pinpointing where they land is like guessing where a feather falls.
Sarasota was in Ian’s cone from the beginning once it barrelled around Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and across the west of Cuba. Ian is a large, powerful and slow moving hurricane and once it flipped due east over the warm waters of the Gulf and gave up on reaching Tampa, the eye intensified and then it was a case of waiting to see where it landed.
Going in Tampa Bay would have been horrendous and as generally storm surge tends to circulate to the south of the back of the wall Sarasota would have seen unprecedented inland flooding. As it was it stayed south and flattened the beautiful islands of Cayo Costa, Sanibel and Marco before lending it’s full force into Cape Coral and Fort Myers.
It was a Cat 4 storm, but just 2 mph short of the most powerful Cat 5, and wind sheer followed by surge packed by 155mph winds has then ravaged Naples as I am sure you have seen from the television.
After a very stressful couple of days and nights we think we’ve been lucky with our house in Sarasota. The area was evacuated, and a lot of people don’t live there year-round. And with no power news was slow, but it appears that we just have a lot of debris and trees down in the garden and surrounding area, and escaped real damage and flooding, although I will be much happier when someone goes inside and our house cameras start working again.
Sarasota generally looks to have got away very lightly in what is one the largest and most powerful hurricanes to ever hit the state of Florida.
Some of the scenes of devastation in Fort Myers and Naples as well as Sanibel and Pine Island are truly awful. The insurance loss alone is estimated upwards of $65 billion, and there is no value you can put on loss of life, which is currently 19.
We feel very fortunate.