The Hurricane Cometh

I’ve been in Florida during hurricane season before, so this isn’t quite my “First Rodeo”; however…

This is my first hurricane as a Florida Homeowner. Until now it’s just been “One car and a suitcase” and were it necessary, I’d just pack my bag, hop in the car, and bug out. Now it is different.

I’ve got a house to worry about, several cars here (2 not in the garage) and a 20 foot truck load of “my stuff” in the house now, that I can’t move out of harms way.

The track yesterday had a projected Cat-3 hurricane aimed right at me. (Day before was Cat-2). Today it is back down to Cat-2 and most of the Spaghetti Graph lines go a bit north of Tampa. I’m hoping the trend to further north continues for a couple of more days… But the winds graph shows high wind over most of Florida, so even a near miss is a mess.

In the mean time, I’m doing my first ever Hurricane Preparation. So far my list includes:


3 Flats of bottled water, one already in the car.

Car (all wheel drive wagon) full of gas.

Packing 2 “bug out bags” today for spouse and myself. Ready to leave on Monday if needed.

Food for a few months (mostly canned or plastic pouches – water proof).

Emergency Generator (a bit small at 1 kW) inside cement block garage.

Gasoline for the Generator with it ( about 4 days of modest usage ).

Watching the projected paths / timing at least 2 x a day.

To be Done:

Walk the yard and put anything not tied down into the shed, that is.

Put anything we really care about (that would not do well with 6 inches of water on the floor), into a big plastic tub and tape it shut, and / or up high in a closet or on a table / counter.

Figure out how to cover the windows and get supplies. Prep the install materials and do the install on Monday or so if needed.

Find critical documents (like house deed, insurance papers, birth certificates…) and put them in a waterproof pouch in the Go Bags.

Plan the escape route (dependent on hurricane path, so likely need 2 or 3 contingent plans).

Plan a “hunker down” shelter in place strategy if Bug Out doesn’t look good (one interior bathroom has a tub and is 2 walls in each direction from the outside, so the most likely “safe room”)

Put some food supplies and emergency cooking kit (water boiling too) in both the car and the safe room.

Get some kind of first aid kit put together.

Find our foul weather gear (hoping it is here and not in California…)

Make sure the cell phones are charged, and the car chargers are in the car.

Then just keep a vigil on the projected path and act accordingly.

Any ideas on what I may have missed appreciated.

This discussion started here:
with some information from Ossqss about window covers and such along with my first cut of a prep list.

I’m getting my updated track, strength and timing information from here:

NOAA has an overview of the whole ocean here:

Other graphs for Ian here:

Any more useful links also appreciated.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in AGW and Weather News Events, Emergency Preparation and Risks, News Related. Bookmark the permalink.

140 Responses to The Hurricane Cometh

  1. tregonsee says:

    Good luck. Sounds like you have it all covered. My introduction to Florida living (1960!) was Hurricane Donna, considered to be a CAT 4. The eye passed directly over the house in Lakeland. Negligible damage, except power being out for a week, even with underground utilities. There were still ice houses in those days to keep food.

  2. Ossqss says:

    This site, started by Dr. Levi Cowan several years ago, is one of the best for complete content. He also does very good video evaluations like no others out there. The site also includes graphic representations of every model out there. His Friday video provides details on the complex interactions involved with this system.

    The current evolution of the track for this storm has waffled a lot back and forth based on interpolated interaction with a trough that is just starting to approach the US. The Westward track movement trend is based upon the interaction, or less interaction, with that trough.

    It appears Ian is now stacking and will start intensifying fast. The term RI (Rapid Intensification) is being put forth a lot for this storm. You never want to hear that. Once it does fully vertically stack over the LLC, we will know better the ultimate path.

    The ensemble models usually complete their runs in the late afternoon. Keep an eye on those as they (GFS and ECMWF) are used to create the NHC cones.

    None of the forecasts are ever 100%, so never let your guard down if you are close to a path. I am boarding up here.

    Supplemental twitter and data sites from some knowledgeable folks with insight.

    Stay safe.

  3. If we’re talking about pretty much the same area of Florida, I like this one:

  4. Ossqss says:

    Sorry, I didn’t know twitter would populate like that on the page.

    Here is the floater sat on the system. You can see the outflow starting to symmetrically grow. Like streaming feathers at the top of the storm.

  5. John Hultquist says:

    Look for massive traffic snarls. In your location, you might think of how to stay in place. A Houston friend said she would never try to go again. She had animals in a van.,_gas_shortages_plug_evacuation_routes_near_Houston

    Can you get your autos up? Car ramps and cement blocks are a thought – depends on your specific ground relative to the surroundings.

    You are better prepared than 99 +44/100ths percent of the rest.
    Good luck.

  6. E.M.Smith says:


    Don’t worry about the twitter expansion. I can fix it if I want ;-)

    @Per Slope:

    I’d checked around the house and it is downhill toward all neighbors. The Street slopes downhill to a large “retention pond” like area, but one end is open to a lake with a ditch / canal in the bottom named “Lake Drain”… That low area (and lake surface) are about 30 feet lower than my yard, and about 4 houses away.

    The neighbor “uphill” from me does not have his leach field near mine, so mine raises my lawn about a foot above his. My back yard also slopes downhill toward the back fence from the house… so it looks to me like the interaction of graded slope and where they put the leach field has me “higher all around” than the neighbors.

    This ought to put a small river in the road out front, with my yard draining in all directions and then their yards & road taking it all away.

    @Per Prep:

    Got 2 more flats of water plus 2 gallon jugs. That brings the total to about 156 pint bottles plus 2 gallons. If we each use 5 bottles / day, that’s 15+ days of drinking water with 2 gallons for whatever else. Plus I’ll be filling the tub just before anything goes over tropical storm, giving us some “flushing water”.

    Got 2 more gallons of gas into gas cans. I think I’ve got about 4 to 8 days of “8 hours a day” electricity. I’m also canning up any fresh foods from the fridge, so we’ll be just using up the frozen stuff as it defrosts. 6 water bottles freezing in it right now, to move some to the ice chest when needed.

    Oh, and the TV reminded me about sand bags. Going to get enough (as soon as they open at the govt free station) to put some in front of each door to keep wind blown stuff to a minimum under the doors.

    It was “fun” to visit Walmart & get to see what other people were buying / was sold out: Thinking “I’ve already got food, stoves, fuel, water, …” Even the stuff I don’t have, there’s some “Plan B” stuff. The Mercedes come with a first aid kit. I have some old towels & a sewing machine so can make a sand bag and shovel some of the lawn sand into them if desired / needed. Etc.

    @Per Bug Out or Castle Deffense:

    We’re leaning strongly toward Castle Defense. Only if the spouse gets a barometric headache reaction prior to tropical storm winds would we leave. Not planning on a “Freeway with everyone else” but rather State Highways with much less use… I’ve driven several of them already ;-) But preference is to just Hunker Down.

    Do note that I’m on the very edge of a modest sized town, not a monster like Houston or Orlando. A minor State Highway is about 5 miles away and it is flanked by cow pastures… But the biggest issue is just “Where would we go?” The cone still covers the whole State and some paths run through Atlanta… So maybe Kansas City? 8-)

    Still need to get the windows done, but have settled on the interior safe room and what to put in it.

    If it was just wood sills, I’d just screw plywood to it. Masonry is not my strong suit… plus I’ve got to measure everything and buy the tools. We’ll see if that’s still possible tomorrow…

  7. cdquarles says:

    Given the current expectations, if you bug out, take I 10 west at least to Pensacola and then maybe north into AL at least as far inland as Tuscaloosa (US 43).

    Otherwise, you are decently prepared, though I wonder about plyboard or metal shutters for your windows. In a big one, significant damage may occur 200 or more miles inland (yeah, been through that with Ivan 18 years ago and with another about 3 years ago now, though that one wasn’t as big as Ivan. It just happened to come close enough and we were on the right side of its path).

  8. cdquarles says:

    One thing to note about AL, at least, is that when the big storms threaten our Gulf coast, all routes become outbound away from the coast and even “back roads” get busy.

  9. E.M.Smith says:

    Just checked the Home Depot web site. Plylox clips are not available at any store inside 100 miles of here.. So the easiest method looks sold out.

    Guess I’m moving on to masonry screws and brackets…

  10. Ossqss says:

    Home Depot an Lowes both carry the permanent screws with threads at the top and wing nuts to hold the cover down. They are a one time install and never removed. It would be the same as just putting screws in but you leave them there reuse. You will need a hammer drill if you put this stuff in concrete.

    Did you look to see if your windows are impact rated. Miami Dade designation in the corner.

  11. E.M.Smith says:

    Looked at the windows. Nothing but clear glass.

    Good news is Amazon had the Plylox clips and next day delivery, so they are ordered and on the way (supposedly tomorrow, I’m expecting Monday…)

    Found the skilsaw. Now all I need is to buy 5 sheets of plywood and do some cutting…

    Probably can’t get exterior grade or marine. I’m pretty sure strand board won’t cut it when wet. I’ve got a LOT of paint ;-) So I suppose I can paint it if needed and give it 24 hours to dry…

    Ordered clips for both 3/4 and 1/2 inch plywood. (About $1 each so cheap). I can now use whatever I can find / transport for sale.

    Now on to tie down rope for the roof rack on the car and The Great Plywood Hunt!

    Only potential fly in the ointment is that 3 of my windows are 49 inches tall x longer than that wide. They have you cut the plywood 1/8 inch smaller … so 1/4 over all. Not sure how I’m going to cover that little detail… I figure worst case is I spice on an inch or two strip on one edge… So cut a full sheet to the proper length, but only 4 feet “tall” (natural edge of sheet), fit in place with clips on each side, and then screw on a strip on the bottom or top to fill the gap.

    I think that ought to work.

    All the other windows seem easy enough to fit.

    Oh, and the Florida Room windows can’t take these as they are simple wood frame. I plan to just wood screw plywood to them (and fix the paint later…).

    I’m still hoping the path just drifts off into the Gulf somewhere and I’m left with a box of clips and some sheets of plywood ;-)

  12. E.M.Smith says:

    Latest cone of probability has Ian moved north of Tampa and missing me (with the eye at least).

    Probability of hurricane winds down to 5-10%:

    Even the risk of 50 knt wind is down to 20% or so:

    So as long as this trend doesn’t reverse…

  13. Clay Marley says:

    When I lived in Houston, I could board up all my windows in about 15 minutes, after the one-time set-up. I installed wall plugs (Rawl plugs?) and screws into the brick either side of the window, then cut plywood to fit, drilled holes for the wall screws. Then slap on the plywood, and screw down using fender washers and wing nuts. Don’t forget to label each piece of plywood.

    Weird thing was, once the house is boarded up, it feels like being in a cave, and you can’t see out; you can only hear the ruckus outside. So for some of the window covers I used a 2 and 1/8 doorknob hole saw to create a few peep holes.

    Stay safe!

  14. beththeserf says:

    Yes, stay safe E.M and Mrs EM.
    Lot’s of people wishing you well.
    We know how well you prepare for emergencies.

  15. another ian says:

    Fiona is also giving Canada a touch up

    And next thread

  16. Ossqss says:

    Clay is right on the dungeon feeling with covered windows. I moved to Lexan XL10 on several key windows years ago due to such.

    EM, IIRC you’re in Polk County. You are probably not in a wind zone there.

  17. John Hultquist says:

    Is this thing shifting to the west? Maybe enough that if you want to go, head SE to Vero Beach or Port St. Lucie.

  18. E.M.Smith says:


    Yup. Polk. Presently only a 0 to 5% chance of hurricane force winds. 40% chance of Tropical Storm force. At this point I’m putting off even buying the plywood for a day more.

    As of 5 AM, the center track has it headed for about Tallahassee on the panhandle. Far different from “right at me” of a few days ago. I’m still under the bulb at the end of the “cone” of probabilities (meaning that out between Wed and Fri they don’t know which way it will go so it becomes a circle of probabilities, not a cone…). So there’s still a risk it will hit the Gulf just off shore Florida, and then decide to head back down south again. Unlikely but remotely possible. (Wasn’t it Charley or a similar one back about 2014 that did loops over Florida?)

    The Bad Bit is that just about Wed to Thurs it is shown sitting just off shore Tampa and ramping up to a 4 or so… so the width of the wind projection starts spreading out toward me…

    Today I’m going to work on “how do I move plywood without a truck”. i.e. look for where my roof rack tie down rope has gone. Then visit Home Depot to check on inventory and if my suspicions are right that the locals are not stocking up on plywood today having seen the new path. When my clips arrive (today or tomorrow) I’m going to take one with me and go back to H.D. and see how they fit the plywood. I’ll likely then buy at least 2 sheets just to start the trial cuts and working out the process.

    So not exactly blowing off the need, more like turning it into a “normal project” to get the panels cut and clips on. Just the same urgency as any other Round Tuit task who’s number came up.

    Probably get the Master Suite & 1 of the offices done (maybe 2) with that kit. Then figure out if I need to finish the rest right now or not…

    @John Hultquist:

    That was sort of always the plan for anything that was not bothering the keys / Miami much. Head toward the boat with a load of food and water. As of now, with this predicted heading north, no way I’m going to give up Castle Defense for “run into the path of the hurricane and have it chase you to Saint Louis!”

    But this:

    and this:

    Sure make it look like “sit tight” will be fine, and any Run Away!!! ought to be toward the boat that is zero probability of 50 knt winds. (Port St. Lucie)

  19. Richard Brimage says:

    EMS. Take a look at Weathermanplus on YouTube. He goes through all the models giving you a good idea of the un certainty in the forecast. The Euro model this morning doesn’t look good for Tampa.

  20. Ossqss says:

    @EM, be aware those clips will dig into whatever material they touch and can be tough to remove if seated properly. Mine were used in brick environments, so it did not really matter if they scratched anything.

    FWIW, if I were starting this process fresh with no threat, I would do the permanent anchors.

  21. cdquarles says:

    Hmm, forecast track change more west? Yeah, avoid I 10 then. I now need to see if it will have a greater impact on me. I have had remnants of tropical systems pass almost overhead. Sure, as far inland as I am (500+ feet amsl), main impacts were wind knocking down trees and flash flooding off the ridges nearby; yet those are still potentially deadly.

  22. E.M.Smith says:


    My major goal up until today had been “get it done fast and good enough”, so clips in one day or two, tools already in hand, and “just cut the boards” was about ideal (in that context).

    My exterior is stucco in some parts, faux brick facade in front, and what looks like real bricks, but who knows, around the windows. I don’t care if the paint over the stucco, or the “brick” gets scratched (given the alternative).

    As of this morning with the Weather Nation spaghetti graphs showing no model runs going over my head (at 5 AM the Euro model was … but that was a different source… so I need to check it again…) my goals have changed.

    1) Get some of the clips / boards sized and trialed on a couple of windows as a proof of concept. Showing that “if things change” I’m good to go on a rapid finish.

    2) Get at least 1/2 the plywood (sheets can lean on the garage wall for “a while”. Maybe all of it. That would at least complete the materials in hand part.

    3) Measure all windows (exterior) with better precision. Document. Plan both for “inside surround” mount and “outside surround” (surface mount) options (basically figure max and min cut board sizes / shapes. Note that 2 & 3 proceed in parallel….

    4) Cut boards if it looks like I’m going to cover up, then install. Or just wait if it looks like everything just blows by.

    5) Once I’m sure I’m “good to go” or “not at risk anyway”, explore the permanent anchors solution. Why leave this for last?

    It is another learning load at a time when I’m trying to be reasonably fast. It requires more tools so I need to do an “investigation” part to figure out what tools, what brand, which anchors, etc. and are they available. Then, finally, I don’t really know what all the materials are around all my windows; so “some discovery required”. Sun Room has flush wood framing around aluminum windows. Door? Back of house has 3 small windows (one a bathroom) that looks like Stucco and the same shape as the “brick” ones (recessed aluminum window inside masonry surround that protrudes 1 brick length). But stucco over what? What anchor works best in that material? Sides & Front have 3 medium and 3 larger windows with “brick surround”; but is it real brick? (The fascia / wall around it is faux brick over stucco base) What anchors work best in that? Basically a lot more investigation and think time than just “if the clips dig in I have some stucco and paint to touch up”…

    Long term (like before next storm year) we were planning on installing an electric shutter system of some kind. Yes, an extravagance, but the spouse can’t put covers up on her own and it would comfort her to just have a “storm switch” that rolled down some steel shutters (or whatever). It would also let me go places during hurricane season… Was basically planning to replace windows with hurricane rated ones too (some of the present windows are worn…) So I’d rather throw money at that than building the perfect system for the next decade just now… just to throw it away next year.

    End game is to have a “hit one switch” house lock down with standby whole house generator. i.e. don’t need to do anything but hit the button and keep on watching TV. But even if we are on the road looking at the country, the windows would likely be enough in most storms anyway. We’ll see if I get there… (Or if an $80,000 price tag scares me off 8=}

    Yes, this is “decision making in information deficit” so not ideal, just good enough I hope…

    @Richard Brimage:

    I’ll do that!

    Saw “some guy” going in depth on tracks and such (last night) but didn’t get to catch the channel name… was wondering how I’d search for him today ;-)

  23. E.M.Smith says:

    Oh, and talked to the neighbors…

    General consensus was that the road out front becomes a minor river draining into the low basin / lake drain; but never gets up to the houses. (What I’d predicted from looking at the lay of the land). Plus at least since the ’80s no killer winds. Not seen anyone doing anything with window covers / shutters; several saying “just ride it out” and nobody bugging out.

    Perhaps part of that “lulled into risky complacency” due to 100 years of no direct hit on Tampa (and we’re inland from Tampa about 50-60 miles); or maybe valuable local insight from a special place… (Don’t I feel just so special?)

    But nice to know flooding isn’t an issue even in torrential rains.

  24. Ossqss says:

    @EM, make sure your stucco/window accents do not have a foam backing behind them. Just a heads up on some Florida construction methods.

  25. Pinroot says:

    I grew up near the southeast coast of NC, so I remember having to prep from time to time. We had a well, so if the power went out, we had no water. We put water in whatever containers we had (this was before two liter soda bottles), mom usually filled the bathtub with water for general purpose stuff. My great uncle two doors down had a hand pump if we got desperate (we never did). Then food, batteries for the radio (no cell phones back then), first aid stuff and that was about it. We were far enough inland (about 20 miles) that we didn’t really get much flooding, and in most cases the power was back on in a day or two, so it was more like camping for us kids. I’m sure the adults didn’t feel that way though.

    It sounds like you’ve got everything you could need, and you’re in a pretty good spot, so all you can do now is wait. Latest spaghetti graphs I saw made it look like you’ll ride this one out nicely.

  26. Ossqss says:

    Another Eastward shift tonight. Not gonna be pretty for the Tampa area. Apathy for storm surge is 100 years old there from the last storm in 1921.

    BTW, the twitter links I plopped above update every time I load the page.

    Here is another high content site on tropical and other weather.

  27. Sera says:

    I used to live in Miami, so here is my two cents…

    1. Purchase the biggest ginormous blue tarp that you can find.

    2. At least six packages of clothes line.

    3. Minimum four cases of beer.

    If you do get a hole in your roof, you’re (actually) covered. If not, you can help out a neighbor. If you need something and one of your neighbors has it, those cases of beer will come in handy. If the neighborhood survives unscathed, you will still need the beer for the ‘cleanup block party’.

    I would not worry about the little things- creature comforts aside, after a big storm most people just need tarps, chainsaws and ice. If you can figure out how to make ice, they will bow down before you.

    That’s my personal experience.

  28. E.M.Smith says:


    That’s stuff I didn’t think about… OK, what have I already got?

    2 modest tarps sized for camping about 10 x 12.
    Some camping rope so not nearly enough to cover the roof to a tie down
    No nails or screws to use instead of a tie down…..
    About 10 beers & 1 bottle of vodka
    The Fridge has an ice maker and I’ve frozen 4 or 5 bottles of water already. It will make more ice as long as the water supply works and the generator gas holds out.

    I’ve also got a large canner, gasoline camp stove, 4 gallons of gas + what’s in the cars, and about 36 jars and lids ( 24 quarts, 12 pints) so can can some of folks meats from their fridge if the power outage gets long enough. (Though I may need about 1/3 of those for the stuff in my fridge / freezer if it goes over a couple of days…)

  29. John Hultquist says:

    My well water, while safe, is not the best for drinking. I have a 4-filter system and use 28 oz. PowerAde or similar bottles. These are 28 oz. and freeze faster and being chunky, fit better in the freezer. Space not taken by food I slip in a bottle or 2 or 3. Thus, the freezer is full and “holds the cold” better. Bottles can be moved to the fridge, as necessary.
    I also have several gallons of distilled water — they make good doorstops even if you never need the water.
    The storm looks to hit your area in daylight. That’s the only good news.

  30. Ossqss says:

    Here is another learned tip. If you lose power, you may soon lose water, so fill up your bathtub and seal the drain with one of those flat rubber things. Get a big pitcher so you can flush your toilets if needed.

    There is still some uncertainty on where this goes for landfall. If it slows in the wrong spots, it could put down much more rain that currently anticipated, let alone multi day push of water towards the coast for storm surge through multiple high tides.

  31. cdquarles says:

    Yeah, a mid-latitude system passed through my area recently. These systems move around areas of high pressure and toward areas of low pressure. A cold front front is, in a way, an elongated area of low pressure. That will affect the path of this system, possibly moving it to track more south and east; depending on how far south it goes before it stalls out. A big continental high with dry air will also affect it, by injecting cooler and drier air.

  32. E.M.Smith says:

    @John Hultquist:

    Oddly enough, this morning I picked up 48 more 16 oz bottles of water at Publix. Then started adding them to the 4 oe 5 already in the freezer. I’m at about 24 now, and running out of space ;-) The ice maker is now about 3/4 empty due to usage today (cold drinks and cooling a big batch of boiled eggs). Tomorrow, I’ll check how full it’s got, and then put water bottles in any left over space to freeze up before the “arrival”. That will give me a freezer about 1/3 frozen food and 2/3 frozen water. I figure that will keep for a couple of days especially if we don’t open it.

    I made a batch of about 20 hard boiled eggs, now in the fridge. They keep for days at room temp and make a nice breakfast, snack, lunch stuffer or “beer eggs” ;-) Take no water or fuel to “prepare” (once made into hard boiled eggs…).

    When the power goes out, we’ve got plenty of emergency lighting, then the kW generator for communications gear and such. IFF we’re without power into the following day, I figure we’ll sit in one of the cars with the AC on during the day. (Not in the garage with the door closed…) I figure “one car a day” for 2 days, then we need to conserve the gas in the other 2 if things are looking grim…

    I’ve managed to get 3 x tarps of different sizes (one much bigger than I wanted but it was what was left… something like 20 x 30 feet… Found I had more rope in the Subaru Emergency Gear than I’d thought. Bought a variety of fasteners (nails, screws, deck screws, some big washers). Then 5 sheets of plywood. So IMHO I’m down to “some assembly required”. Measurements are done, so I need to just make one of the small ones, test it, adapt, repeat 14 times in different sizes… One an hour and I think I’m good ( it ought to take me more like 1 per 30 minutes or less. One or two cuts depending on window, add clilps, shove into space and pull on it to test.)

    I think I’m doing OK. We’ll see when the winds come…

    Oh, and Sera: I also got a case of beer. Don’t really have space to cool off 3 cases and don’t like hot beer, and some folks will go for the wine or the vodka selections ;-)

  33. Ossqss says:

    Dr. Cowan does another excellent job evaluating this system.

  34. The True Nolan says:

    @EM “I made a batch of about 20 hard boiled eggs, now in the fridge. ”

    Now is probably not the best time for you to be experimenting, but I have been making pickled eggs again recently. I have tried a lot of exotic recipes but find myself going back to simple basics. Boil ’em. Shell ’em. Pack them in a jar. Fill the jar with cheap white vinegar. Pour the vinegar back out of the jar into a pyrex bowl. Add a little sugar to taste. Add salt to taste. Heat and dissolve. Pour hot vinegar brine back into jar of eggs. (The vinegar should just fill the jar without extra water.) Let it sit a few days or weeks.

    I tried apple cider vinegar. I tried various spices, peppers, and flavors. I keep going back to simple.

    @Ossqss “fill up your bathtub and seal the drain with one of those flat rubber things. Get a big pitcher so you can flush your toilets if needed.”

    Or save the tub water (relatively clean and easy to make potable with just a touch of heat or bleach) for emergency use or for animals. Use rain/flood water for flushing.

  35. E.M.Smith says:

    The lake drain is about 1/4 mile or less from my house. (My whole road is only about 12 houses long. 6 above me, 4 between me and the drain basin). We can easily walk the whole thing. I figure worst case I walk down to the lake drain and use a bucket to fetch some water for flushing (while being prepared to “collect” any gator that might be lurking in the water…)

    Note that is ONLY in the case where all else has failed and I just must get more water. I’m pretty sure that well before that I can just set the 4 to 5 gallon canners / pastic pail under the roof runoff… at least until we’re out of rain.


    Pickled Eggs are something I’d like to try first to see if I like them. Some pickled stuff, I love, others not so much. Doesn’t predict well either. Pickled onions? I’d rather starve… Sweet Pickles? Butter Pickles? Pickled beets? YUM! Maybe after this event is over… FWIW we could go a couple of months without problem just on the simple stores I’ve put away since we moved in. Things like Bush’s Baked Beans & SPAM, Kraft Mac ‘N Cheese, canned milk and cold cereal / oatmeal. But I had an urge for eggs ;-)

  36. E.M.Smith says:

    First window cover board cut, clips attached, and installed.

    This looks like it will work, very fast, for all the windows but the Florida Room (that needs plywood just screwed to the flush window frames). The bigger front windows will need some added bracing / bridge pieces for the “larger than one sheet” boards. I’m hoping to make it from plywood scraps from the cutting of other windows, otherwise it is another run to the hardware store tomorrow.

    There’s also a small issue of “do I have enough plywood in total”?

    I thought I had enough, but there are some odd dementions that may end up with excess “waste” from each sheet. I’m going to spend a bit more time tonight working out that “bin packing” problem of best fit of cuts per sheet and we’ll see.

    H.D. had 3 fresh pallets of plywood on the floor when I picked up my 5 sheets late today, so I think they will have a couple left tomorrow if needed ;-)

  37. Ossqss says:

    Never turn you back on a hurricane. And this is the Euro. UKMet and Icon are now on the same page. Crazy. This looks just like what Charley did in 2004. I would anticipate a change from the NHC at 11 tonight.

  38. E.M.Smith says:

    As they say “Oh Dear!”… Makes me glad I’m 60 miles or so inland… Hopefully the change of track will result in more rapid loss of power.

  39. Ossqss says:

    That change in track will totally mess up all the support staged to help Tampa. Nothing is set in stone, and it could change back, but we should know with higher confidence after it crosses Cuba.

    JB sees it also.

  40. Sera says:

    You are WAY over prepared. If you do lose power, it will only be for a few days at most. I know that GA Power trucks are stationed and ready to go, AL too. You’ll be fine. If you think it might be bad, go to the store and buy bags of ice- fill the coolers!

  41. H.R. says:

    I can’t find a version of the spaghetti forecasts that show where the storm, if it does hook right, will make landfall.

    The map is so cluttered with the runs that I can’t tell where the path of the model run’s average crosses the coast.

    Could anyone make that out? North or south of Tampa or a direct hit?

    NHC has it moving to the east but headed north mostly, and not making that hard turn to the east.

  42. Graeme No.3 says:

    Good Luck but I think you will be OK.
    The media in Australia are predicting Tampa will be hit but those 60 miles inland (and uphill location) should be enough.

  43. H.R. says:

    Ah. This morning its on the news and our site is in for a direct hit. Bummer.

  44. E M Smith

    I think your house is fairly old so surprised to hear of your preparations as if previous owners had taken no precautions. Would there not be existing screw holes on window frames or brackets on the outside walls where ties could be fastened?

  45. Ossqss says:

    We have another NHC shift to the right following the Euro lead. Perhaps some wobbling and perhaps more movement. The further South it hits, the stronger the storm will be.

  46. The True Nolan says:

    Looks like current track is going to pass over Jacksonville as well. Not an unknown thing, but slightly unusual. Historically speaking, it is in a small area of few such hits. Most hurricanes go either east (out to sea) or west of Jax.

  47. H.R. says:

    There’s a bit of good news for me.

    My sister just called and offered me a place to stay in Lakeland. Ya never know, but I think our trailer is toast. I did not know where I would be able to stay when I go down after the storm has passed. She has an empty rental property in Lakeland that survived the hurricane that came right up the middle of Florida a few years back.

    It might have some damage, so I’ll fix that for her if needed. Then I can work from there on whatever needs done about our trailer.

    Where we are is where the hotels, motels, and condos are. There likely won’t me any places to stay because those properties will be undfer repair, or people will be staying in the undamaged places as they work on their own properties.

    I was figuring on sleeping in the truck IF they would permit it. The resort management is pretty cool and good to work with, but they are also scrupulous about following state and local rules and their hands may be tied regarding allowing people to camp out there.

    I’m going to go, prepared to camp out on site, but I have to go check on and maybe work on my sis’s place in Lakeland anyhow.

    So, one way or another, I will have a place to stay while sorting things out.

    Oh… I wonder how the Sunshine Skyway bridge would make out if it suffered a direct hit? That, and the Gandy bridge. We shall see.

    If unusable, that would REALLU mess up traffic. More people using fewer roads to get around the bay area. Yikes!

  48. Ossqss says:

    @HR, the latest model runs on the Euro and now the GFS bring the system in South of Sarasota and then inland. If this verifies, you should not have major issues in St. Pete. The trend may continue at the 5 pm update from the NHC as the GFS was confounding their tracks and it is now onboard with a more Southerly track.

  49. John Hultquist says:

    Do I note a bit of a shift that puts the Fort Myers-Sarasota coast in the most serious quadrant (1 – top right) with Tampa Bay in a left side quadrant?
    Regardless, a #3 or higher is going to be dangerous in all parts.
    You can see the beach at Clearwater here (click on Live Web Cam):
    I don’t see a date and time stamp, but it claims it is live.

  50. Ossqss says:

    Current ensemble model runs in process are continuing the trend South. That will hopefully show up on the 5pm update as a lot of people may get caught off guard.

  51. H.R. says:

    @Ossqss – I’ve been watching. And thanks for the heads up on Ian.

    I was watching the two hurricanes in the Atlantic when you posted about Ian. Say WHAT?!?

    It was projected to move fast and hit north of Tampa, and it was too late to get down and move the trailer, at least from first reports. I would have been driving into an evacuation and then sitting in the middle of it going back.

    Then it sat below Cuba for much longer than forecast and dangit! I would have had time to get there and at least get to Georgia.

    Now it looks like our trailer just maybe might survive, but the forecast is now for Ian to cut in and up towards Lakeland and Orlando. So I might be staying at our trailer and doing salvage work at my sister’s place in Lakeland. That also puts E.M. more in Ian’s path.

    As the projections have it moving south, my thoughts today have been for you. You have a stout house, but depending on the hit, you’ll have some clean up and the minimum. Who can say?

    What about storm surge? The Bradenton river is just down the road. Will your place get flooded? You won’t get washed away, but I was wondering about a couple of feet of water.

  52. cdquarles says:

    Between the high that moved into the area and Ian south southeast of me, the wind has picked up and the dew points have dropped into the 30s. That storm will be pulling dry air into it at some point. It didn’t crack 80 here today.

  53. H.R. says:

    I visited the grandparents in Texas after hurricane Carla came through in the ’60s. They lived 11 miles inland from the gulf, but the elevation was just a few feet above sea level, and it was flat as a pancake from the gulf to their town.

    The town got about 30″ of water. Their house was built on posts and was about 4′ off the ground. It was built around 1910-1920 or so. I guess the builders had sense enough to know there was nothing to stop a storm surge for miles inland.

    BTW, I was disappointed that there were no rattlesnakes. I was looking forward to shooting some for the rattles. Didn’t see a single one all summer. The cottonmouth water moccasins fared just fine.

    Walking through the Florida underbrush will probably be a lot safer for the next year or two. Rattlesnakes aren’t good climbers or swimmers.

  54. H.R. says:

    @Ossqss – Are you under an evacuation order?

    Have you already hit the road and I won’t get an answer, maybe for a good while?

  55. E.M.Smith says:


    Nope, nothing. Built in the ’80s, it likely hasn’t had to deal with a Real Hurricane ™ and the folks I bought it from were British so not really hurricane savvy (per the neighbors).

    The windows look to be simple aluminum frame single pane plate glass. To Be Replaced when I get a chance…

    My Status:

    Well, having worked fairly diligently, I have all but one window covered with plywood with either those teethed clips or just a load of deck screws into the flat surround (sun room…). I have one window not yet covered (material in hand but waiting for the moment…) a small one that lets light into the family room via the sunroom. Plus two 20 inch strips at the top of the main Sunroom windows (majority covered with deck screw fastened plywood). Tomorrow I’m putting their top strip in place. Plastic for letting in a bit of light… All to be screwed together with deck screws ( 1.25 inch or 3/4 inch depending on backing thickness).

    I’m a bit bushed… with some fair amount of sore muscles. 12 windows and a door.

    Along the way, discovered that the old Honda Generator does not want to start. Sputters a lot then dies. Rich Mix doesn’t start, but when leaned (choke off) it starts and runs a bit then dies. Fiddling with the choke almost gets it to start… I suspect some passage in the carburetor is clogged. I guess that will give me a project while the power is out ;-)

    Visited 4 stores after discovering this. All had the same story. “Emergency shipment of generators arrived this morning (variously 40 to 200) and sold out in (variously an hour to two).

    Not too worried about it. The 1 kW generator likely would not drive this fridge anyway. Have lots of flashlights, candles, etc. for lights. Lots of cooking options. And the AC is about 10 kW so not going to drive it at all ;-)

    We’ve got 2 x 125 W car plug in inverters, so will also have enough power to charge devices and run some LED lights. Also can run some other minor stuff if needed. If we get desperate for cool & dry, we can sit in one of the cars with the AC on as the battery gets recharged and our gadgets get charged too ;-)

    So as of now it looks like we’re committed with what we’ve got. Don’t be surprised if I go off line late Wednesday / Thursday and you don’t hear from me for a couple of days. I think we’ll be fine. Cinderblock construction, plenty of drainage, winds likely not hurricane force but about 50 knts.


    If you want to meet up in Lakeland when this is past, send a text to my phone with a destination / date. I have a lot of excess food if you and yours don’t have enough what with the trailer situation and all. I also have a 1/3 of an acre and a guest room should you need a bed… (water & power TBD…) Plenty of parking in back (if the trees don’t come down ;-) even room enough for a trailer I think.


    I’m just waiting for this thing to decide where it wants to go. Then I’ll know what to do next. Until then, I’m putting about 34 beers in the fridge tonight to cool, and roasting a Leg O Lamb for sandwiches along with the “beer eggs”. Lots of frozen water bottles for keeping things cold for a few days…

    Several folks are showing it hitting land and dropping to a 1 / TS almost immediately as the cold dry air quashes it. I hope that’s what happens.

  56. another ian says:

    An observation around this hurricane

  57. H.R. says:

    @E.M. – Thank you very much for the offer of help. I still have your “Florida Phone” number. I’ll call if I need help.

    With my sister moved out, it’s kind of funny that my support network in Florida consists of an ex-Californian and a Floridian that I know only because of your blog. I have good solid people to rely on at the RV park, but they, like us, aren’t in Florida yet.

    As of this moment, ~8;20 pm EDST, it’s looking hopeful for our trailer. It will take 85mph winds frontal and maybe 60mph winds from the side. It’s still too early to tell what we will actually get. At the moment, they are talking 60-80 mph for our area. That’s right on the edge trouble for us.

    My sis and her hubby are at their new place in Mississippi. They just sold and moved and a friend in Lakeland will report on their rental property. Then my sis will let me know what’s up.

    Depending on the damage, I am not expecting to be allowed to get to our site until mid to late next week. They say it could be 5 to 10 days for clearing things out and getting power back on.

    My next-door neighbor at the RV park, who lives there year ’round, said he’d call with a damage report when he returns, and he’ll call a day or so before they open the place up to us non-residents. That will give me a head start to arrive when it’s permitted to go in with what’s necessary for repairs.

    I’ll need something between a broom and dustpan to sweep up bits of trailer or it may just need a bit of repair. Hard to say at this point. I do not expect zero damage. The only question is how much.

  58. beththeserf says:

    My best wishes H.R. Keep safe.

  59. Ossqss says:

    @EM, pull the bowl off and take out the main jet. You have varnish. Clean with carb spray and it should be good to go. Be careful with gaskets. 20 min fix.

    Still moving South. Many will be caught off guard with this continued late term track changes by the NHC. They should have known. What is it? 100 miles or more now?

    Hope it has peaked or this will get much worse at landfall. Farther South, the stonger.

    Thoughts and prayers to those in the path, regardless of the religion…

  60. H.R. says:

    Thanks, Beth. All in our family are well out of the way of any danger.

    We will only lose ‘things’ and the only question is how big of a financial hit we’ll take.

    What I am hoping for is that there has been enough warning and preparation that no one is lost to the storm. That is more important than anything I could own. I’d gladly take a total loss if I knew no one would be lost.

    Yeah, it’s devastating to lose your home or business. That will happen to a lot of people in Florida. But surviving and living to build again isn’t the worst thing in the world.

  61. another ian says:


    You’ll likely need a screwdriver without shoulders on the blade to take out the main jet of a Honda or you’re likely to mangle the slot.

    And (for later) they don’t seem to mind the jet being “cleaned” with an oxy welder tip cleaner that “just won’t slide into the hole and needs a bit of a push”

  62. another ian says:

    “Biden – a vital part of preparing for hurricanes is to get vaccinated.”

    “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you” in action

  63. E.M.Smith says:


    What? A 30+ year old engine that’s had the oil changed at least twice and was only stored about 9 years with gas in it before the last time I got it started might have “varnish”? Who knew…

    BTW, it was about 2 years ago I got it running last, and then ran it dry before storage. It has always been a bit temperamental on starting. Usually wanted a lot of choke, then rapidly wanted no choke… Last decade or 2 it wanted a little bit of choke to run even after warmed up (so I figured the main jet was likely a bit reduced in area…) but that worked OK.

    After the last “clean up and run” I figured it ought to work fine (stored dry after all), but noooo…

    It won’t start on full choke, but then when you back off to nearly no (or no…) choke, it sort of runs after the 2nd pull… until it burns off the gas from the choke. My guess is that it is fuel starved anywhere near the ‘no choke’ end, but anything over “nearly no choke” has it running too rich for the temps / humidity here. That does argue for main jet clogged to some extent.

    The Problem with fixing it during the power outage to come is that I don’t have a lot of stuff like carb cleaner, solvents, a couple of my tool boxes (though maybe enough tools) gasket sealer, shop rags, orange hand remover ;-) etc. etc. AND stores will not be open until after the need for the generator is over too… (Ditto things like “welding tip cleaners”).

    But I’ll likely take a crack at it anyway. I’ve got alcohol and gasoline as “solvents”, and I think there’s a can of acetone that made it…

    @Another Ian:

    What are “shoulders” on screwdriver blades?

    I have regular automotive screwdrivers.
    I have a set of jeweler’s screwdrivers.
    Somewhere I have a set of gunsmith screwdrivers that are not tapered.

    FWIW, I’m pretty sure we’ll be fine with just the 125 W inverters (plural). Only thing that they won’t drive ( I think) that the 1 kW will, is the TV. While this generator would run our old simple fridge, the one in the house has fancy do-dads like icemaker and dispensers in the door and stuff. And it’s bigger. So I’d not planned on powering it anyway.

  64. Sera says:

    If you don’t have carb cleaner, ask your wife for some fingernail polish remover.

    Coolers, ice, and snacks.

    Last time I went through this, the first thing we ran out of was ice. Then snacks. We had plenty of food, drink and charcoal but I remember fighting over the last handful of Cap’n Crunch.

  65. another ian says:


    Re shoulders on screwdrivers – an attempt at verbal artistics!

    The jet is somewhat recessed in the tube into which it screws.

    If you view the screwdriver blade wide side on it usually tapers up some from the blade end so gets to be wider than that.

    The main jet doesn’t have a lot of brass for the screw slot ends because of the hole in it.

    So with a regular screwdriver with shoulders that go down the tube gets to bite on less than the total area of the screw slot in the jet and can mangle things if it is tight.

    Whereas a screwdriver with the shoulders ground back to the width of a blade that just goes down the hole in the jet holding tube allows use of the full slot in the jet.

    And hopefully gets it out in reasonable shape.

    Clear as mud?

    A certain TLA wouldn’t approve of the oxy cleaner technique but the engine probably will if done once. YMMV though.

  66. another ian says:

    I missed this on first read – the non-tapered gunsmith ones will probably be just the shot – so long as they’re not in the gear to come.

    For now a neighbour with a grinder?

  67. E M Smith

    Thanks for your response. Keep safe.

    I was interested in your comment on the 1KW generator. I think those endorsing renewable energy have no idea of how feeble it is.

    It would be useful to suggest green proponents use a 2kw petrol generator to boil up a kettle ful of water using it, then ask them to take as many 240w solar panels from the pile as is needed to achieve the same result. Then ask them to do it again in winter and at night. I think they might get a surprise.

  68. David A says:

    Ian looks to be quiet the hurricane.
    It will be interesting to see if the expectations of wind speed, ( land readings) category, scaled ground damage and storm surge match the predictions
    expectation of just below cat 5 landfall. 8’ to 12’ storm surge ( seams low for that intensity, yet fetch and topography come into play)
    Of late observable storm damage, ground winds speeds, and storm surge have all been well below predictions.

    Bets of prepared good fortune to all in the path.

  69. H.R. says:

    What the #$@&!! is going on?!?

    1:40 pm EDST and I’m looking at a live web cam at Ft. Meyers beach. The palm trees are still standing and don’t seem to have lost a single frond.

    The live webcam at Clearwater beach shows what I’ve experienced as a yucky Winter day. When a cold front drops to the Tampa area in January or February, the current live web cam looks about the same.

    In about 10 or so minutes, NHC will be posting the 2:00 pm update. Maybe that will explain what I’m seeing.

  70. Pinroot says:

    Meanwhile, in Ft. Myers:

  71. E.M.Smith says:

    @Another Ian:

    OK, so a straight blade without taper side to side. I think my Jewler’s screwdrives are that way and likely the right size for a very small jet. If not, I have a file ;-)

    @Sera: I sometimes call those “adjuncts”. Got about a dozen? each of nuts, fruits, gorp. I think about 1/2 dozen of jerkey. Similarly about 1/2 dozen boxes of breakfast cereals like raisin bran, Kellog Red Berry, Honey Os Cherios, etc. About 5 pounds of raisins. Usually I get a 36 sized box of little chips bags, but didn’t do that this time due to space issues… Oh, and a couple of those 1/2 gallon sized plastic tubs of things ike Praline Pecans ;-)

    @Climate Reason:

    Yeah. Our fridge prior to here used 700 W intermittently. NO special things in it at all. A very ordinary size and VERY efficient. We replaced the one that was in the house when we moved in as it was a giant GE? thing that was sucking down about 1.8 kW all by itself pretty much all the time. It was about 3/4 of my power bill then! (Pre-efficiency push / requirements but very durable…)

    The Honda inverter generator would run the newer fridge, the TV Set & comms gear (about another 200 W) and a few lightbulbs (preferably efficient ones like “curly bulb’ CFLs or LEDS). That was IT. No AC, washer, dryer, dish washer, heater, stove, oven, etc. Nothing with a modest sized motor in it or a big heating element. Oh, and no toaster. A regular wall socket of 15 Amps at 120 V is 1800 W so most plug in small appliances are rated to about 1500 W max. Or about 1.5 x my generator.

    Note that most 2 kW Generators are really 2 kW surge, 1800 W continuous. Essentially a 2 kW generator is ONE standard wall socket.

    A 240 V 30 A socket such as in the garage for the electric clothes dryer is 7200 Watts. You need an 8 kw generator to run that at full draw.

    @David A. & H.R.:

    Not checked lately (just woke up from a nap ;-) but last time I looked, Ian was still just a bit off shore, so not yet full Cat 4 winds on land. (I’ll go check again in a bit). It is slated to be a Cat 1 when it gets to me (Yay!) and passing a ways south / east of me (another yay!) instead of a direct hit. So I’m feeling a lot better about things.

    The house now has all windows covered and the 15 inch high band of “plastic window” over the big Sun Room Windows is a very welcome touch. I can still see if it is raining, very windy, etc. and that light makes it into 3 rooms so the dungeon feeling is only in the bedroom wing, and front room area.

    So far all I’m seeing outside is a “bad winter day”. OTOH, supposedly the worst is yet to come by about 7 to 10 hours. “We’ll see”.

    Well, time to wake up, smell the afternoon coffee, and check on the weather reports while I have the electrons to do it ;-)


    Yeah, reports of 5-8 foot of storm surge at a place where I’d just gone to look at a Lincoln Navigator a couple of weeks ago. Fort Meyers Beach. An offshore island that is about two rows of buildings wide… I think he was just about 100 yards from the beach, so likely about 4 foot of water in his living room…

    Note To Self: Avoid beach front property…

  72. Pinroot says:

    Well, glad to hear that the worst of it will hopefully miss you. We’ll get some wind and rain Saturday, but nothing like Florida. I haven’t had to ride out a major storm since I was a kid, and I can say I don’t miss it at all.

  73. Jim_R says:

    “I’ve got alcohol and gasoline as “solvents”, and I think there’s a can of acetone that made it…”

    I have had pretty good results removing varnish by soaking the carb parts in denatured alcohol. Acetone might have worked better, but would have probably dissolved the plastic jar I was using at the time… I have put the jar in water in a small ultrasonic cleaner from Harbor Freight. That helps with the cleaning action.

    I was going to suggest a bristle from a wire brush, but the jets in a 1kW generator are going to be small. I’ve never tried this, but I wonder if a piece of fishing line could be roughed up and used to floss the jets.

  74. E.M.Smith says:

    Lights have been flickering. We’ve had a single one minute or so outage. Peak wind comes in about 3 hours, so it’s only going to get worse for a few hours.. I expect power out for a day or three starting any time at all. Given that, I’m going to sign off for the evening.

    I expect to be back in a day or two, but don’t be surprised if you don’t hear anything more from me before October 1 or 2.

    So far all my prep work is holding up nicely. Then again, I’ve got about another 50 MPH or so to go above present wind speeds (of about 60-ish gusts). I think it’s going to hold,

  75. H.R. says:

    I’ve been checking local weather for the RV park where we stay. Winds have been 40 to 40 mph. That’s no problem for our trailer from the from the front or side.

    I have also been checking live web cams in the area and I’ve not seen any trees down and all the palm trees still have their fronds. Some limbs will break. They always do when there’s a Winter storm when we are down there. Branches that were fine one year are weakened and lost the next, but no trees down that I could see.

    There have been gusts up to 75 mph, but the wind direction is coming mostly straight on or at about 2 o’clock to the nose of the trailer. It is streamlined and braced to take that kind of wind as you can be towing at 70 mph into a lovely 20 mph breeze and nothing will break or fly apart.

    So far, it looks as if we may be in for a bit of luck. My next-door neighbor at the RV park will call me with a damage report sooner than expected, I believe. I think residents will be allowed into the park Friday or Saturday. Nothing I can do about it but wait. The wind data is hopeful.

    So, I’m keeping busy here and looking at the areas where people will have not been as fortunate. Maybe I can help someone out a little this Winter. I have some handyman skills and it could make a few people’s lives easier if they had help knocking out a repair project that’s a bit tough for one person to do. I’ll probably pack a few tools that I would normally not take that would be useful for home repairs; nail gun, sawzall, circular saw, & whatnot.

  76. jim2 says:

    Looks like EMS’s area is about 30% blacked out now, if I have it identified correctly.

  77. jim2 says:

    Speaking on a livestream from FPL’s Palm Beach County emergency command center, President and CEO Eric Silagy said the company expects it will have to completely rebuild sections of its electrical system given Ian’s massive size and powerful winds, as well as the extensive rainfall and flooding it’s forecast to generate. Silagy said that damage will not be limited to the coastal area taking a direct hit from Ian’s eyewall on Wednesday afternoon, but will be seen along its full path as the storm thrashes its way across the state to the Atlantic Ocean, where it’s expected to emerge Thursday. “There are sections of our territory we will not be able to repair, we will have to rebuild,” Silagy said. “I can’t stress the difference that makes. Rebuilding can take many days or weeks.”

  78. Jon K says:

    I love you Florida folk :)

  79. H.R. says:

    @jim2 – Thanks! That power outage link is a good one.

    The county where we stay is showing 30% outage. When they projected the hit to be directly on Tampa, I was expecting essentially 100% outage and trees down everywhere. It sure could have been a lot worse than 30%

    I’ve yet to see a tree down on any web cam I checked out in our area. [Ah,💡] But then, why put a web cam where it will be obstructed by trees? I suppose I’ll have to wait for local newscasts of the damage. They will show trees and poles down and anything that flipped over.

    There should be local TV station videos starting tomorrow that will show the damage.

  80. The True Nolan says:

    Just a brief word on repairing small engines like generators (or in my case, a riding mower). A few days ago, my mower engine just stopped, mid-mow. No sputtering, no rough idle, just STOPPED. Tried to restart and no joy, not even an “almost started”. Long story short, I found out that my carburetor had a bad fuel solenoid. Apparently newer engines sometimes have an electric solenoid hanging below the carburetor bowl. Its purpose is to plug the intake to the main jet. Turn the ignition off, and the fuel is immediately stopped from being sucked into the air stream. No last bits of fuel sucked in, so less chance of backfires when the engine is restarted. During normal operation, if put your fingers on the solenoid and you turn your ignition on and off, you should be able to feel a slight vibration each time the solenoid clicks. If you don’t feel the click then either you are not getting 12V to the solenoid, or your solenoid is bad. In my case, the solenoid was bad. I removed it, used a grinder to grind off about 1/4 inch from the solenoid tip and reinstalled it. Now, even with a bad solenoid, the main jet got fuel. Success! I have a new solenoid (Amazon knock off, $10) and will replace it when I feel like it.

    Moral: If you have a doo-dad about the size of a wine bottle cork hanging screwed into the bottom of your carburetor bowl, and a wire or two going to it, you probably have a fuel cutoff solenoid.

  81. jim2 says:

    The forecast path turns north towards Orlando, but Ian hasn’t deviated from a straight line path across the peninsula. It might exit the Atlantic coast tonight sometime at this rate. EMS will be well north of the path if that happens, but pretty soaked I imagine.

  82. H.R. says:

    I don’t think E.M. is going to have much trouble from Ian itself. There have been tornados formed on the out rim of the hurricane, and I think E.M. may be at more risk from a tornado than anything directly from the hurricane.

    Oh wait… I think most of the tornados formed straight ahead of, and to the East/South-east of the storm center. Since Ian will pass by E.M. on to the South, I don’t think they will form up in his area. Let’s hope not.

  83. Sera says:

    Wow, look at all of that Rocket Stove fuel you have in your front yard!

  84. David A says:

    What category would this storm have been called in previous decades? I think Cat 2 at best, and that is no picnic. Yet we will see, as the peak area is usually very small.

  85. rhoda klapp says:

    My in-laws in Naples sat it out. No power, eight adults, three dogs and a cat. They seem to be ok with just a tree down. Which is good because I plan to get out there sometime this year. In time for the Nth annual meetup whenever that will be.

  86. E.M.Smith says:

    Well it’s morning, the world is calm and quiet, and the lights are still working. Time to brew up some coffee.

    We had several more “out for a few seconds” power drops last night. They made watching reruns of The Orville a bit of a bother, but worth it ;-)

    At about midnight? Maybe only 11 PM? the “eye” was breaking up (no clear eye visible on radar and such). It also passed far enough South of me that we “only” got the rain bands near the eye wall area and perhaps a bit of the broken up wall.

    There were some howls and a few “bumps” as minor bits of tree hit the house. Looking out my ersatz window I could see a carpet of minor tree bits. Most oak and about a foot long with lots of leaves and not much wood. One about “me sized” in total width but again mostly “small stuff” in the limb size.

    I’m very pleased with how well my prep worked. ZERO leakage into the house or even past the plywood to the inside of the plywood / window sandwich (at least none that could be seen via flashlight from the inside. With the plywood in the windows, and the rest of the exterior brick or stucco over cinderblock, it made a pretty tough shell. Soon as I’m dressed and caffeinated, and the sun is up a bit more, I’m going to check car windows and roof (from the street… not going up on it…).

    Now I just need to figure out what to do with a freezer full of water bottles and a 20 pack of flashlight batteries ;-)

  87. Sera says:

    Glad to hear that you and the wife are safe. Hope that you don’t have to spend too much time cleaning up.

  88. EM smith

    Relieved you are ok. Looks like the preparation was worthwhile. Have you got somewhere you can store the plywood etc when you take it down as presumably you will want to keep it now you have cut it to size and it all works?

  89. E.M.Smith says:


    Just did the “First Light” walk around. Mostly just rake up the “small stuff” or let the lawn mower guy mulch it. There is one small / modest sized limb came off the oak tree out back and landed just about 3 feet from the Sunroom eves. Roof looks fine and I think it would have punched a hole if it had hit.

    Took photos all around despite nothing damaged that I could see. Now I can clean up without too much worry about “scene contamination”. Probably tomorrow though.

    One neighbor has a big limb down in his front yard. Down the street a couple of houses the street is blocked by what I think is another limb down (or maybe a small tree… I’ll find out later). The other way, out to town, is clear.


    Yup. Very worthwhile. If just for the peace of mind. But also had the hurricane been just a bit more “my way” it could have been a Cat 3 instead of “Cat 1 maybe” and then it would have been essential as larger debris would be flying and taking out glass…

    I have a shed where I can store the panels (once I figure out how to get them out ;-) though I want to give them a day or 2 to dry and then paint them. The native plywood tends to absorb water and swell a little. So I’m going to try taking out a few of the easier and smaller ones tomorrow (working on technique) while the others dry out in place a bit.

    Plywood wedged in place with metal toothed clips; about 3 to 4 inches recessed in a brick surround; seems to do a dandy job!

    The Sunroom had plywood screwed into the window frames. After a few screws figured out that the aluminum window frame was just behind the trim boards. OK, shifted to shorter screws that would seat properly (and more of them). The corrugated plastic (clear) panel that I used to complete the top (so 4 foot of plywood, then about 12 inches of “window” via the plastic) worked great too. I did discover that it was tough enough that screws didn’t start in it. Drilled pilot holes and all was well.

    It was Very Nice to have that band of light and vision. Spilled over from Sunroom into kitchen and living room too (even a bit in the dining area). Being up top and under the eves, not a lot of stuff hit it and it didn’t wiggle at all in the wind. Screws about every 4 – 6 inches around the perimeter.

    Back Door had about 9 little panels of glass in a metal door. Used dark fiberboard about 1/8 inch thick to cover that, then ducktaped the whole thing including a bit of strap over the top of the door to inside, then cross strips on each end of that cover. Looks to have shed water just fine and protected the windows too.

    We’ve got light sprinkles in about 72 F temps right now, so I’m going to wait for dryer conditions before I try my first removal…

  90. H.R. says:

    @rhoda klapp – I forgot about your sister’s(?) condo in Naples. I hope it didn’t suffer much damage. I suppose it might be several more days until you hear anything about the damages.

    Naples properties right on the Gulf and inland a good bit got hammered by that big storm surge, and not so much by the wind that I could see. Let us know how her place fared, eh?

    The Mrs. and I stayed in Naples one year about a mile inland and the neighborhoods and condo properties were up on a hill that I believe would need 30′ or 40′ of surge to affect them.

    We have friends that have a condo in Tarpon Springs that is right on the Gulf. The surge that far north was only 4′ or 5′. They have a second-floor unit, so are OK. I’m thinking their neighbors below probably got at least a foot or two of water.

  91. E.M.Smith says:


    Hmmm… Spouse has an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner… I wonder if she would let me… (piercing scream of spouse on finding greasy bits in her jewelry cleaner imagined…)

    I have regular un-waxed floss, so why not use floss as floss?

    maybe with a bit of ‘dentifrice’ on it?

  92. Simon Derricutt says:

    Jason – as regards fuel solenoids, I had a problem with my mower that the fuel-tank emptied and the engine filled with fuel (that also made the oil-level rise by leaking past the piston), so I replaced the standard carburettor with one with a fuel solenoid. Probably initially a problem because of the alcohol in standard fuel messing up the rubber bits and the needle-valve having a rubber tip. Thus I’d suggest that it could be a good idea to install a manual fuel tap if you don’t fix the solenoid.

    EM – one thought I had was that building-codes in Florida changed as regards how strongly the roof is attached to the walls, and that maybe your house was built before that change. Might be an idea to check on how strongly the roof timbers are attached to the walls and strengthen them if needed. Obviously not needed this time, but might give more peace of mind for next time. Though really I’d expect house-builders to build according to local weather conditions, where houses are built by a big company whose design isn’t local, could be they would miss some things.

  93. David A says:

    Curious if anyone gets some maximum ground wind speed recorded and storm surge.

  94. E.M.Smith says:


    I’d looked into that. Very Old homes were a) Built Sturdy anyway and b) survived…
    Post W.W.II a flood of cheap stuff was built. A bunch of this was destroyed in some hurricane in the early ’70s (I think…). Then they changed codes (not sure exactly when in the ’70s). So the cohort needing a very strong quality check is 40, 50, 60, 70 decades.

    My house was built in the ’80s to the new codes. The Inspection done before Close of Escrow confirmed it. There’s a specific entry on the escrow docs for Roof Attachment Type.

    @David A:

    I was very surprised to see a huge difference in wind speed from “ground” up to about 40 feet. Looking out the back window at about peak wind, bits of tree (1 foot of twig / stem with leaves) would just lay on the ground and occasionally ruffle a bit. Looking out the front door, rain was blowing sideways over the houses across the street and the tops of their trees (about 40′ up) were being strongly blown…

    Back yard does have a fence around most of it. Mid Tree was moving more. Top of tree was being tossed about.

    My conclusion was that “wind speed” is highly local. The closer to the ground and sheltering buildings, the more it approaches zero.

  95. E.M.Smith says:

    Oh, and I’ve taken down the 3 smallest clip panels. Despite some wood swelling making them tighter, the “technique” that worked most easily is a screwdriver used to pry one clip out a bit, then the other (both on one side only) and go back and forth while you work the panel out a bit each time. Eventually the clips clear the enclosing brick edges and then the panel pops out on that side, and the other side follows.

    Pretty easy, really.

    Going to mark these three as to window / location and put them in the shed, then move on to the other ones, smallest to largest. Probably tomorrow after they have dried a bit. “Someday” (some DRY day…) I’ll paint them.

    It will likely take me a week to get around to the 2 biggest on the Sunroom and the big one on the Front Room. All three are “most of a whole panel” (6′ 8″ …) and heavy, while I’m a bit tired and worn from the whole build / install rush. So 4 more “medium” to do (likely tomorrow), then the 3 big ones.

    Oh, and I already uncovered the back door and that little “screw on” window cover for the little window on the Sun Room. So those two included I’ve got a total of 5 covers off… Clearly time for a break ;-)

  96. rhoda klapp says:

    Florida houses have pretty skimpy roofs*, and if you get damage, as the in-laws did after Irma, you can’t get a roofer for months and no out-of-state roofers are allowed in.

    My folks are about eight miles inland so no surge there. It seems downtown Naples, a very upmarket area near the beach, is flooded right now.

    * US roof lives at least in FL and TX seem ridiculously short. In the UK we expect a roof to last for a lifetime and beyond. Of course hurricanes hardly happen..

  97. E.M.Smith says:


    You can get any roof lifetime you want. Just apply money…

    Saw one house builder who makes the whole thing out of reinforced concrete. Even the roof. All one chunk. His ads show a pickup truck sitting on the roof of the house…

    It is just that most folks are cheap and / or just don’t know. I see a LOT of asphalt shingles. Cheap, fast, easy (hey, I’ve done a roof or two with them…) Not alot of things like slate or tile. Then again, do you REALLY want 3000 ceramic tiles flying at your neighbor at 100 MPH?

    Most roof loss (whole roof) is from a garage door buckling. This lets air pressurize the house and literally “lift the roof” off the frame. The big Code Change was to require metal bracing straps to connect roof to frame (instead of just nails in wood…). Now you must lift the whole house off the foundation, so foundation bolts and straps…

    Once you have all that (and preferably window shutters… and a hurricane rated garage door) you can worry about shingle loss in a cat 4 vs “What is the lift off speed of a clay tile?”…

    FWIW, I parked 2 cars on each side of my garage door about 8 inches from it. IF it tried to buckle it would need to start moving a car. Didn’t need it, but a simple bit of help to the door anyway. Were the thing looking worse (had it held at Cat 4) I’d have reduced that distance to about 2 inches… or one. Figured the outside cars would be a bit of a wind break to the door and the inside cars would be a brace.

    FWIW, I do like the house that’s basically a bunker with a concrete roof…

  98. E M smith

    I don’t know how it is in the States but here in the UK because of reducing CO2 and harmful elements, our paint is a lot weaker than it was a couple of decades ago. You see it on cars where you can scratch them merely by looking at them. Drive down a narrow Devon lane with Brambles either side and the evidence will be there to see.

    So do you mean paint the plywood or do you mean ‘treat’, as in using some quality wood preservative, varnish, creosote etc.?

  99. E M Smith

    So you like the house that’s basically a bunker with a concrete roof?

    These were widely used as lookout posts in the UK during the last war and because they are so solid, many are still around. Picture number 6 would typically be put along a navigable river in case German paratroopers landed and using folding or captured boats attempted to head for their target by water.

  100. H.R. says:

    @rhoda – I suppose it’s too early for a damage report, and yeah, as I recall, Naples is fairly flat along the coast and then it rises more than any storm surge will ever reach.

    YAY! My Florida neighbor called about 1/2 hour ago. I really wasn’t expecting to hear anything until tomorrow.

    Everything is A-OK. No damage, no water reached the bottom of the trailer. The storage shed each lot has was just fine, too. YAY!

    Oh, he said one of our wheel covers blew off. They are cloth/vinyl and cover the whole tire to protect the tires from UV damage. I was joking and said I’d get it on my next trip to Walmart, about 2 miles away. I said it should be in their parking lot.

    He said that actually, the ties kept it from blowing away and it’s just under the trailer. Can I file an insurance claim? 😉 That was the damage report.

  101. Sorry, make that picture 7 plus some of the following ones.

  102. E.M.Smith says:


    I’d like to have a bit of dirt with one of those bunkers on it…. it would be fun ;-)

    Oh, and I’m most likely to use regular house paint (as there’s about 5 gallons of different colors in the garage already). It is just for the purpose of being a water barrier and this is crappy class C/D plywood. I.E. lots of knots and a few knot holes in some of the veneer layers.

    I could just oil it or use varnish, but it’s pretty ugly plywood. Plus, if I match it to the house paint, it would look a lot nicer ;-)

    These will likely sit in the shed, leaned against a wall, for several years before their next use. I’m not worried about scratches… (more about termites or mold…) so any kind of paint / finish that keeps them dry and non-tasty to termites is fine with me. Whenever next installed, they are likely to get beat up with flying debris anyway, so I expect to need to repaint after any future use.


    So good news all around.

    Unfortunately, I now have a case of Coors in the fridge to dispose of… I figured I’d use cheap bland beer for the “clean up party” but now it looks like there won’t be one…

  103. rhoda klapp says:

    Climatereason, our paint may be worse in the UK but it makes up for it by being more expensive..but I’m pretty sure car paint is not subject to national difference. If it is, one of my cars is from Belgium and the other from South Africa.

  104. Take it down a Devon lane then look at the paintwork! Paint is much thinner and less robust than it used to be, but that might be a (former) EU directorate.

    Paint is fantastically expensive in the Uk isn’t it?

  105. Power Grab says:

    All this talk of roof lift-off makes me think of my ex-FIL’s barn. It was a super-size quonset hut, so to speak. The story was that they figured it could withstand a tornado since there wasn’t really a roof on it.

    In fact, there WAS a tornado near that place during my marriage. When my then-FIL showed me a photo he took of the tornado, it gave me goosebumps. It was that close!

    But his quonset hut “barn” stood it just fine. No damage.

    However, I do remember for months thereafter, while driving tractor for my ex, if we saw a piece of corrugated iron lying in the field, we had to stop and pick it up and put it somewhere in or on the tractor/implement so we could remove it from the field. I figured those pieces came off outbuilding roofs around the area. They weren’t curved.

  106. Power Grab says:

    Re treating plywood – one time I was given the chore of painting the wooden flails(?) on the hay header(?) with mineral oil. It was just left outside the barn, exposed to the weather. I guess it did the trick.

  107. David A says:

    Rhoda says,
    “ months and no out-of-state roofers are allowed in”

    Ha, proving Regan correct “…from the Government and here to help”

  108. Power Grab says:

    @ Simon re “Probably initially a problem because of the alcohol in standard fuel messing up the rubber bits and the needle-valve having a rubber tip.”

    So is that the problem with using gas-with-ethanol in old engines (or small engines like on gardening equipment)?

  109. E.M.Smith says:


    Yes. Regular rubber absorbs alcohols and ketones and more and swells up, becomes very soft, and prone to tearing / disintegration (depending on the amount of stuff and just which kinds. Old equipment was built to a gasoline spec with zero ethanol.

    Newer kit is made with more specialized rubbers that do not swell in alcohol. Neoprene is one I think. This chart says nitrile is better;

    Though Viton is the one I’ve seen used more to “fix” issues with bad seals from ethanol. (But that was in the ’80s when the problem was “new”…)

    FWIW, sulphur compounds can act the same way as alcohols (sulfur substitutes for oxygen in alcohol in the same position making a thiol). This bit folks from the other direction when they went to ‘low sulphur Diesel”. The seals were expecting a certain amount of sulphur compounds in the fuel to make the seal swell up just a tiny bit to the right size. Well, low sulphur had the seals shrink just a little. IF you were marginal on sealing, you got a fuel leak.

    A whole lot of folks got gratuitous Injection Pump full rebuilds when all that was needed was to swap seals. One friend had a VW Rabbit Diesel that got a fuel leak.. We talked. He added 10% Regular Gasoline that was 10% ethanol, so 1% ethanol added to the fuel mix. His leak ended and all was good. Did that for a few years until he got a newer VW Passat Diesel.

    This is an example of why I despise Politicians who make Engineering decisions that whack everybody. They are ignorant fools who have no clue what all it takes to properly engineer a solution and make a “one size fits all” ruling that doesn’t fit most folks while screwing up things.

    Let Engineers do the engineering, please.

    In the longer term, just replacing old seals with Viton seals in old equipment tends to fix that problem for both gasoline and Diesel engines.

  110. Power Grab says:

    Wow! What a great chart!

    So, when I was driving a 1991 Buick Century (from maybe 2007 until I had a close encounter with a deer on the highway, about 2018 or so), I tried real hard to avoid ethanol. We did take a trip to Georgia during that time period, and after I left Oklahoma and hit Arkansas, I couldn’t find ethanol-free gasoline. Except there was this one time when I found a little gas station that had a lone pure-gas pump behind a fence and had to ask for access to it. I think it was the only place yard service crews could get pure gas. Now I know that’s a clue: if the yard service crews cluster at that station, they have pure gasoline.

    I don’t think I damaged the engine of my 1991 Buick, but I did get fewer miles per gallon. So, even though the ethanol gas was cheaper, getting fewer miles per gallon made it a wash. When we got back to Oklahoma, I went back to pure gasoline. You have to be careful, though. But in my home town, many stations have both pure gasoline and ethanol.

    Do you think my 1991 engine would have had its seals damaged if I had used ethanol all the time?

  111. The True Nolan says:

    Most important thing first… Congratulations EM, and HR on having passed through the storm OK! So glad to hear!

    As for the variation in wind speed, yes, near the ground the speed drops dramatically. My old home was in NE Florida and I remember a very similar thing. Walked out in the back yard during a hurricane. Many big trees near my house and the tops were twirling, but down at ground level maybe only 10 mph wind.

    @Simon Derricutt Good point about putting in a fuel shutoff valve at the carburetor. Always nice to have!

    RE wind on a Quonset hut. I have a sort of homemade quonset, Tee posts, bent cattle panels, curved chainlink fence posts, and an all weather tarp. Maybe 13 feet by 30 feet. Last February I had three 60 foot pines blown over, literally a few yards from the quonset. Luckily they fell away from the hut. Despite the wind, the homemade hut was not damaged at all. I think the shape was a big factor.

  112. YMMV says:

    ethanol-poluted gas. What were you saying about politicians?

  113. The True Nolan says:

    One more tidbit. Clearing up branches after the storm? For the last couple of years I have used a cordless DeWalt. Really an excellent saw, very impressed! The stock chain has a very narrow kerf, and is a bit hard to find around here, so I swapped the bar and chain for a standard Oregon 14inch bar and chain. Works fine, cheaper, easier to source.

  114. another ian says:


    Glad to know you fared OK.

    This fits about here IMO – climate models and real life!

    “Bet the world, but not my superannuation on our climate models says modeler Prof Andy Pitman”

  115. H.R. says:

    @Power Grab – Are you that wasn’t linseed oil instead of mineral oil that you rubbed into those flails?

    Just checking, because when I make a walking stick or a tool handle out of tree fall-down wood, I rub in linseed oil.

    Oh, I did that for an axe I restored for my brother. I restored the head and then replaced the handle – same old pattern for that – and rubbed in a LOT of linseed oil. It was a nice, old pattern, axe and head.

    My brother and SIL buy many antique items and they had three old axes with three different axe heads. The difference was for the type of chopping or splitting or squaring off. These three axes had been sitting out for a few years at their place and who knows how long before they bought them. This axe was pretty much unsafe to use for splitting. I grabbed it and took it home.

    After a couple of weeks, I brought back a beautiful, like-new axe, and it cuts like nobody’s business. He liked it very, very much. My SIL though it was great! A beautiful job, but…

    …she was letting those axes weather, along with some other farm hand tools, with plans to make an artistic display with them somewhere near the house on their property. She WANTED them old and decrepit. 😲 🤣🤣🤣

    Oh well. My brother likes that axe.

  116. John Hultquist says:

    David A @ 7:26 and others

    Roy Spencer provided an interesting rational for using the NHC rating:

    ” a stable baseline “

  117. John Hultquist says:

    H.R. says “Oh well. My brother likes that axe.”
    Man at a campfire points to my axe and says “I had one like that. Best damn axe I ever had.” He went on: ” I replaced the handle 3 times and the head twice. Yep, best axe I ever had.”

  118. p.g.sharrow says:

    A suggestion for preserving wood, Boiled Linseed Oil, first coat about half solvent, second coat straight. After that any house paint that suits you.
    Basic rule of paint on wood is oil primer/Latex color coat or Water based primer for Alkid color coat. But I prefer Boiled Linseed Oil to start on any wood.

  119. David A says:

    John H, I followed your link, and I fully support Mike Mcguire’s comments to Dr Spencer’s post. I would add that it is not a stable metric, as even the definition for the required duration of sustained wind has changed, the satellite and tracking instruments have changed, and the ability to catch peak winds at various elevations and at all times, has changed. making historic comparisons very difficult.

    Just as tide gauges, not satelite SL estimates, are the best method for evaluating SL rise, because that is where we live, ground level wind speed, storm surge, and observable damage to construction and nature, is a far better matrix, IMV. As bad as Ian was, an 18′ storm surge would have been far worse. And a strong Cat 4 would produce an 18′ surge in those conditions.

  120. H.R. says:

    @pg – I was never taught about cutting the boiled linseed oil with a solvent for the first pass. I guess that would allow it to penetrate deeper. Thanks for the tip!

    I rub in two coats mostly and sometimes three coats, letting each coat soak in for a day before applying more.

    For those not aware, those old rakes, hoes, shovels, and whatnot with wooden handles that are really gray, and the grain is staring to open, can be made quite serviceable again by rubbing in boiled linseed oil. So long as the wood hasn’t started to rot or the grain crack too wide, the linseed oil will bring dried wood back to life.

    When you see antique tools with original handles that are stout and don’t need to be replaced, you can bet they have been getting rubbed with linseed oil throughout their long life.

  121. Graeme No.3 says:

    When I played hockey (field type not ice) the first thing I did with a new wooden stick was rub the head with linseed oil. After a week another coat.
    Never had a stick break despite others wrecking them quite often. About 3 sticks over 18 years (ad the old ones were handed on).
    This idea came from a cricket batsman who played in the 40’s and 50’s when bats were made of wood.

  122. H.R. says:

    I’m waiting for Ossqss to check in. His place is inland from Sarasota and depending on where the wind bands went through, his place might have taken a good whack.

    The Bradenton River is also nearby, but I can’t recall his neighborhood’s elevation above the river. Ossqss may be dealing with some water.

    The neighborhood where he lives has quite a few fine old oaks. The neighbors have mostly all been there a while and are pretty tight. (Too tight, which is why he drinks Busch Light. 😉) I am sure there is a work party planned to clean up the debris, so I have been expecting him to be tied up with that.

    I don’t know about Coms. Everything south of Tampa Bay ranges from spotty to nonexistent.

    But I sure would like to get an ‘everything is A-OK’ from Ossqss since he was nearest to the eye.

    Do you need me to bring something down, Ossqss? I figure a few recovery items might be in short supply there, but available up here. Let me know.

    Oh. Sis’s place in Lakeland was fine. The damage report from her neighbor was that some branches were in the yard. That was it.

  123. H.R. says:

    Finally! The videos of damage on the Gulf Coast have started coming out.

    Last night, I spent a couple of hours watching videos of the areas hit hardest by Ian. The videos during the storm were from farther away because they weren’t getting the worst of it.

    I had been puzzled by the videos I had been seeing. The damage wasn’t adding up to Cat 3 or Cat 4. The damage was more like Cat 1 or Cat 2. There were storm surge videos, and they were nasty. That’s what I was seeing was causing the major destruction.

    But last night, I finally saw videos of a few areas where the trees were stripped bare, and many trees were blown over. Early on, I was only seeing a tree here and there blown over and it was obvious that the tree was compromised in some way that the other trees in view were not.

    Also in the early videos, all of the palm trees had most or all of their fronds. I saw a few individual palms blown over, and again, you could see that there was very little in the way of roots or you could see that the sand/ground had washed away from only that palm.

    And last night, I finally saw some shots where all of the palm trees were bare or had only a frond or two left. A few palms had the top snapped off and there were palms down in many places, not just one or two here and there.

    There a couple of dramatic videos of roofs being blown off (live!), but they were all those semi-permanent doublewide trailer types. If you looked elsewhere in the video, block houses had their roofs, and most houses I saw even retained their shingled roofs.

    Based on what I’ve seen so far, the winds were upper Cat 3, and in a few areas, they had gusts that were just nuts. What, maybe 175 – 190 mph or better?

    David A makes a good point above about the storm surge. How high was it? The height would support the sustained wind speeds that are being bandied about.

    In my search for videos, I came across images for other older hurricanes, and the wind damage from Ian is nowhere near what some of those older hurricanes did. Granted, lessons were learned, and more buildings hit by Ian were built to better hurricane proofing codes. That may be the difference and is why I wasn’t seeing roofs disappearing all over the place. I dunno.

    So either the building codes have lessened the wind damage from a strong hurricane, or the hurricane category was being exaggerated. Hard to say. But the surge was really the destroyer. That’s for sure.

    What are y’all seeing now that more videos are out?

  124. Chuck J says:

    When Hurricane Michael came through our area the houses with the built with the stricter building codes survived with limited damage. Those older homes had much more damage and destruction. One of my building inspectors told me only two homes built under the new codes did not survive the hurricane because the walls were filled with foam insulation and they floated off their slab foundation in the storm surge. Even after coming off the foundation the buildings were intact. During Hurricane Michael one city on the coast Mexico Beach had 15 -18 ft storm surge in spots. The only homes to survive were those built on pilings under the newer building codes. It has been 4 years since Michael and we are still cleaning and rebuilding from the storm.

  125. Ossqss says:

    I did a Gloria Gaynor on Ian and survived with little impact. Good window protection helped a lot. East of me clocked in a gust at 120 mph per reports. Finally got power back, but cell service is very problematic. Turned on WiFi calling once the service was restored and that helped.

    Lots of trees down and scared people. The folks down South are going to need years to recover. The NHC really blew the forecast even 48 hours out. They use too much GFS influence and cost people their lives. Remember, this was to go North of Tampa maybe 3 days before landfall. That is a big miss.

    Back to clean up mode.

    Side notes on garage doors. I always use a 2×4 or larger between the bumper and door and push the vehicle up gently to the farthest most point in neutral to act as a firm brace. I have a rated door with ribbing to help also. I also place a vehicle directly in front, sometimes perpendicular to the door to aid in protection. This year, we parked 2 in front facing outward as the windshield is more of an angled target and also covered by insurance if it breaks.

    Interesting observation was looking at the water level several inches lower in the toilet due to the low pressure. It finally dawned on me it was a function of the float ball/shut off being less dense and floating easier than normal.

    Also, we had no power, internet, and no cell service for quite a while. The only form of information was an inverter, 3 UPS units from the PCs (battery with built in inverter), deep cycle battery, old tv and rabbit ears, along with a 50-year-old Radio Shak handheld AM/FM radio that still works.

  126. Power Grab says:

    @ HR re: “@Power Grab – Are you that wasn’t linseed oil instead of mineral oil that you rubbed into those flails?”

    You’re probably right! I didn’t get a lesson in oils and woods at the time…although I would have enjoyed it.

    They just handed me the stuff and the applicator. I don’t even remember at this late date what the stuff looked like. I was thinking it was a paintbrush that I used, but I don’t remember having the stuff in a pail or anything like that. I don’t even remember whether it smelled strong or not.

  127. Power Grab says:

    @ TTN re: Quonset hut in a storm

    Wow! I would like to have seen pictures of that scene–trees blown over and quonset hut just sitting there.

  128. H.R. says:

    Yay! Glad to hear you and the family are OK, Ossqss.

    I gather the storm surge didn’t affect you, then. But there were buckets of rain so still water to deal with.

    I suppose next on the list is the neighborhood cleanup party

    YAY! You are A-OK!

    Re the NHC… Yes, their error probably cost lives, as we might find out over the next week.

    At one point, NHC had it coming ashore at Madeira Beach, which is exactly where we are. People in Naples were probably not making any plans to evacuate.

    Grrrrrr…. I’ll cuss them out when I see you later this year.

  129. Ossqss says:

    @HR, there is no storm surge 15 miles inland and above a dam.

    I do have some stories on listening to the powerlines a couple hundred yards behind me sing from the winds along with the house vibrating. Crazy and scary stuff, bro.

  130. H.R. says:

    I thought the Bradenton River ran by about 1/4 mile or so down the street. I didn’t know about the damn dam, though.

    I know you are too far inland for a direct shot from a tidal surge. But I figured a push would ‘plug’ up the flow and the river would rise from all the rain. I’ll have to check out the dam on satellite.

    In Texas, during Hurricane Carla, that’s what happened near my grandparent’s place. Their town go hit by the surge. Nothing but scrub brush and ant hills to stop it. But 5 miles West, the Lavaca River that’s brackish with the tide, got backed up by the surge and with the rain, flooded the town it ran through. The surge reversed the river for a while and pushed salt water several miles farther up than a normal high tide.

    That’s what I thought might be happening at your place. But nope. Just the rain it seems.

  131. another ian says:

    “On Hurricanes And Damage From Them”

  132. H.R. says:

    Some videos of the damage are coming out. I am finally seeing tree damage consistent with Cat 4, but mostly Cat 3 wind damage. The heaviest wind damage was near Sanibel Island and down into Naples.

    Fort Meyers, from the footage I have seen, seems mostly to have been damaged by the surge. There’s footage of the main drag with debris everywhere and many partially destroyed buildings. It appears that they held up to the wind, then the surge came and wiped out some and weakened other structures. Then the winds came back and really tore up the structures. There was less tree damage and more building damage there.

    The storm surge really wiped things out. I have yet to read what the max surge was, but it was plenty bad enough. The roads were hit really hard. Lots of washouts and several of those short bridges that cross all the little creeks were partially collapsed as their supports got washed out.

    At first, I wasn’t seeing much wind damage consistent with more than a Cat 2 with some damage from strong gusts, and I wasn’t seeing much of that. I think that’s because no one was sticking their head out in the worst hit areas, so videos were being made in the Cat 1 and Cat 2 areas.

  133. p.g.sharrow says:

    I heard on the news that in the worst hit areas the storm surge was 18 feet over the tide. Topped the roofs in some of those areas.

  134. another ian says:

    And the hurricane showeth –

    “Electric vehicles are exploding from water damage after Hurricane Ian, top Florida official warns

    “There’s a ton of EVs disabled from Ian. As those batteries corrode, fires start,” Patronis tweeted Thursday. “That’s a new challenge that our firefighters haven’t faced before. At least on this kind of scale.”

    “It takes special training and understanding of EVs to ensure these fires are put out quickly and safely,” he continued in a follow-up tweet. “Thanks to [North Collier Fire Rescue] for their hard work.”

    Via Jo Nova

  135. another ian says:

    The advice is probably the same for hurricanes?

    “@libsoftiktok – In case of a nuclear explosion, FEMA warns to try to keep 6 ft social distance and wear a mask for covid. You can’t make this up…”

    Link at

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