Can’t sleep tonight. Irma is coming for Florida and while I hope I’ll be pleasantly surprised she still hasn’t shown signs of turning back East. We will continue to monitor the storm using NOAA maps that update every three hours. I’m no meteorologist but I’m obsessively watching Irma anyway, so I may as well write about it for anyone wanting a quick snapshot of the info I get from NOAA, Fox13, CNN and ABC. When I refer to, “us,” I’m referring to Zone B South Tampa.
5 am update – wind speed predictions didn’t change because they don’t update those as often. Still between 70-80 for our area. Yesterday 11% chance of over 74 mph winds. Today I believe the meteorologist said almost 60%. Irma stayed West and is now going to be most likely a question of where it will make landfall not if. Mandatory evacuations for Pinellas county Zone A. Earthquake occurred off the coast of Mexico but shouldn’t affect our sea levels. Irma is a 4 right now and will likely be a Cat 2-3 when it reaches the middle of the state.
New tips I’ve gotten: video your interior and exterior for insurance purposes and take pictures, turn your fridge/freezer to as cold as they’ll go so your non-perishables will last longer.
8 am update – We may get Hurricane force wind gusts Sunday. No drastic change in the NOAA updated map. Delays on 275 N and 75 N. Pinellas county Zone A mandatory evacuation. TIA has canceled at least a dozen flights.
11 am update – It shifted slightly West again. We will be leaving tomorrow morning or afternoon to get out of our flood zone but staying local. Will keep an eye on it as it gets closer. No new updates for evacuations or flights. We can still get gas in our neighborhood.
2 pm update – Still leaning West and looking like its going to go more up the middle of the state. We started rolling up carpets and moving some of our food and water to our evacuation location in Zone D where we’ll be at a loss less risk.
5 pm update – Moved slightly West…again. All spaghetti models show it going up the middle of the state with the exception of two lines that show it going West in the Gulf. Preparing Zone A to evacuate in Tampa. Halfway through my sweep of the house. We will be going to Zone D tomorrow after noon. A LOT of plywood going up in our neighborhood on windows. We are now in a Hurricane Watch zone. Finishing up two more loads of laundry now. Took important frames off of the walls and put stuff on our beds. It’s supposed to get cooler tonight.
8 pm update – Moved more West. We don’t know much more than that. Opening wine and finishing Ozarks.
8 am update – Finally slept through the night! 8 am update put us at a Cat 3 hitting Tampa. Its a gorgeous normal morning in Tampa minus waking up to fire trucks already. Some of our extended family has already decided to evacuate. We’ve gotten tons of offers to do so. We’ll be heading to our local evacuation point this morning then making a decision from there. My guess is we’ll stay put. Our group is in the safest house. We will likely stay in Tampa. Our Zone B is now and the Hurricane Watch has turned to Hurricane Warning. No mandatory evacuation for us just yet. Airports are closing tonight at 8 pm.
5 pm update – We are safe. Storm looks to be weakening as it gets closer to us which is great news but we are not our of the woods yet.
Stay safe Tampa!