Here comes Hurricane Charlie…

Friday, August 13, 2004 4:07 PM

If you didn’t know, I live in Jacksonville, FL… specifically I live almost half-way between Jacksonville and St. Augustine. The last two days have been a little hectic. Yesterday I was in Houston and had a flight that was going from Houston to New Orleans to Tampa and then to Jacksonville (the joy’s of SouthWest). Yeah, fun (especially when we all thought it was going to hit Tampa)… the flight from New Orleans to Tampa was very rough… NOT fun. Add on the fact my wife is out of town (in Orlando at a conference), my dogs were in the house alone (we had someone stay the previous night and someone else let them out that afternoon)… and the fact I almost didn’t get home(first the plane broke in Houston and we had to switch… then there was a concern about landing in Tampa because of the winds… then, there was a tornado on the northside of Jacksonville… where the airport is… so we couldn’t land for a while… I was really concerned about not getting home and being diverted.. what would happen to the dogs?).

Well… all day yesterday (still only a category 2 storm) it was expected to make landfall in Tampa and then continue up along the west side of Jacksonville. For those not familiar, the east side of a hurricane is the worst side (the way it rotates, that’s the side that goes with the motion/direction… the west side goes against the motion of the storm thus pulling energy out) and I live on the south east side of Jacksonville so we were expecting the worst.

So today… I left work early today to secure everything or bring stuff inside at my parent’s house and my house (I have two grilles in my guest room right now). Then, fill up pitchers & large bowls with filtered water in case we lose water pressure. Now that’s all done, I fire up my laptop and get back to work at home and leave the news on while working. In a matter of 70 minutes, the storm did a little jog to the right and went from 120mph sustained winds to 145mph sustained with 165mph gusts… that’s a CAT-2 jump to a CAT-4 in just over an hour! Oh, and the direction changed to make a DIRECT hit on Jacksonville. Suddenly the Mayor of Jacksonville declared a state of emergency.

Then, a few hours later, the storm took another jog… now it looks to be moving back out to the Atlantic early tomorrow morning (roughly 5-6a)… but it’s going to hit Orlando likely as a CAT-2 storm)… uh… my wife is in a hotel in Orlando! She said just a few minutes ago it was already getting bad. Fun fun fun! So here I sit… bored but still with power (for now). And where is Charlie supposed to go after it gets to the Atlantic? The Carolina’s! Nevermind my wife’s family has rented a beach house just outside Charleston and we’re all taking a week off next week… supposed to go up there Monday afternoon all next week. Fun to watch

I’ll write a little more later about how it all turns out.

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