I came down to Tampa, Florida, in 2013. I hadn’t lived in this kind of climate before. I mean, yeah, I’ve been in the hot and muggy places before, but they were not swampy like it is here.
During that first autumn we had a tropical storm. It started as a hurricane and then weakened before it hit land. When I told family and friends about it I described it as a two year old throwing a tantrum. It simply wasn’t that big of a deal. Some rain, some wind, eh, whatever.
I don’t recall anything from last year, so that’s a yay moment. But this year has been interesting. This is the year we moved to Orlando. I believe our timing was excellent, all things considered.
We were hit by two tropical depressions with a Hermine follow-up. It was like a 1-2 punch in one week that certain cities are going to take a while to recover from. Tampa, and the other smaller towns around there and a lot of the other coastal cities have flooding and power outages.
As far as I know, all of my friends on that side of the state are okay. Driveways are flooded, but no trees have been knocked into their roofs or anything. Side note: the word roofs looks wrong but auto-correct swears it’s right. Weird.
We stayed up late so we could watch the storm seeing as it was my first and all.
Orlando was on the very edge of it so we weren’t in any real danger. It’s mostly been windy and spitting rain. We watched the clouds haul ass across the sky. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen the puffy things move that fast.
I think I expected to feel it as a pressure on my eardrums, like we do when there are huge storms and tornado watches/warnings in Michigan. We were under a Tornado Warning for a combined 45 minutes last night, until about 9:30 and the watch stayed up until early this morning. Rumor has it one touched down but I’m not sure where.
My Companion was raised in California. He has extensive knowledge of earthquakes and feels comfortable knowing what he would do should one hit here in Florida. Earthquakes scare the crap out of me. It’s like the ground is pissed off or something.
Tornados scare the crap out of him. He’s only been around a couple when he was visiting family in the midwest, and that was enough to turn him off of them completely. I’m not saying I’m a fan and want to see them all the time, but I take them in a much more easygoing fashion than he does.
I also expected more rain and lightning, but again, we were on the outskirts. No chance to have the eye around and that’s one of the parts of hurricanes that I am most interested in. Yes, I’ve been through storms that had an eye, but they weren’t tropical or hurricanes so I’m not 100% sure that counts.
That weird calmness in the midst of a raging storm is terrifying and thrilling.
Today it seems to be settling down. We have a wind advisory with gusts up to 35 mph. The wind is coming from a decent direction as it’s not blowing my balcony furniture around like I expected it to. It is blowing the rain all over the balcony, however, so today I work in the office.
I will admit that I am looking forward to the next one.
Do you have experience with hurricanes? What should we prepare for? How do you spend the evening as it rages around you?
I read a lot of Reddit. I particularly enjoy the r/facepalm and r/funny and r/relationships threads. They’re very entertaining and educational. My Companion played his guitar and acted as DJ. It was quite enjoyable.
I believe next time we’ll invite a friend or two over so we can have one of those hurricane parties I’ve heard so much about. Want to come?