For anyone in the path of this hurricane (potentially anyone in South Florida at the moment), we can only truly hope you have the means to leave the area as soon as possible. After going through Hurricane Wilma in Ft. Lauderdale in 2005 - this being only a category 2 hurricane with gusts up to category 3, we were without power for several days and damage was rampant from sand covering the beach roads, windows out and damage to the interior of beach buildings, destruction of all the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show large white vendor tents (which cost millions of dollars), trees were down, transformers came off power poles, signs and awnings were strewn about the streets, gas station pump roofs were twisted and upside down.... imaging what this storm could do!
Currently, this storm is headed towards the BVIs and northern USVIs today and the eye of the storm is expected to pass near Puerto Rico later on today. Thursday and Friday, the storm is expected to be near the northern coasts of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, the Turks and Caicos islands and the southeast of the Bahamas. The Hurricane Center is saying up to 20 feet of storm surges are possible where some islands in the Bahamas are only 9 feet above sea level.
As for South Florida, officials are expecting the storm to turn north and hit the Eastern coast of Florida on the weekend where Florida has already declared a state of emergency. After a phone call to friends near Ft. Lauderdale yesterday, there is hardly any water left on grocery store shelves, no plywood left for boarding up windows and gas stations are hugely busy as well. At least residents are taking all precautions and many, thankfully, are leaving the state.
For anyone in South Florida or other places in the potential storm path, I'm sure you're stocked up already but don't forget you can fill your bathtub with water (can be boiled or used to help flush toilets when the power is out). Also, get some cash out of the banks while they still have power!
Thinking of all of you in the path of this storm...
Image provided through CNN.