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Old 10-04-2017, 04:29 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: North Central Florida
Posts: 168
Here we go again - another storm in the Gulf

Having rode out Irma a couple of weeks ago, those of us on the Gulf coast are keeping an eye out for what could be Nate, expected on our doorstep Sunday. Hopefully, it won't get any larger than a cat 1 that is forecasted.

Given Irma's forecast to come zipping up the state (Florida) as a cat 2 or 3, we made the decision to load up the High Country with two dogs, the wife and her 87 year old mother on Friday morn before the storm hit here on Saturday night. Problem with trying to dodge a monster like Irma, when you live on a peninsula, is that you have to drive for 3 hours north just to go west. We dropped anchor about 75 miles west of Tallahassee. A normal 4 hour drive turned into 7. Monitored the weather radio and CB the whole way. Figured since the storm was forecast to stay east of us, we'd be OK. Plotted my course with the knowledge that gas stations and truck stops would be running out of fuel. They did. Ones that had gas had police officers directing mile long lines of 4 wheelers. And, traffic backups on both interstate 10 and back roads were horrible. People pulled off on the sides of the road that had run out of gas. I carry 75 gallons of diesel on board so I elected to camp where I'd have enough fuel to get there and back home without having to refuel.

We got lucky. I have 2 acres and we had some trees down but no damage to the house. As a side note, that's one reason we have the High Country - its our "escape vehicle" plus, had Irma destroyed the house, we'd still have a place to live afterwards.

The campground we stayed at, I had booked reservations earlier in the week so we'd have a site, was filled to capacity with campers getting out of Irma's way. To their credit, they did not turn one single camper down for a spot to dry camp in while they rode out the storm. But, Irma made a shift to the west and we were now in the path - but thankfully not on the "dirty" side of the hurricane.

Now for a brief testimonial. We got hit hard with tropical force winds on Sunday. Constant 40-50 mph winds with numerous gusts above 60-70+ and yes, I carry an wind speed meter (anemometer) with me. The High Country kept us safe and secure. Didn't even get a nudge from the wind. Lost power so I had to use our generator. Could hear trees crashing in the distance, but the campground owner had a tree crew come out Saturday, in anticipation of the storm's shift in direction, to trim and cut anything that could fall on us campers.

Only problem I experienced was that DW had to share the bed with her mother. I got relegated to the fold out couch with the two dogs. Bad part was her mom snored like a drunken sailor. Being ex-Navy, I know the sound. Then, the worst of all the problems - even though I had plenty of diesel, I let my beer stash run out. Bummer! Then, got back home on Tuesday and, yep, no power. Didn't get any till Sunday. Stores were closed. Gas in short supply and, you guessed it, beer was in even shorter supply. Luckily, I keep 25 gals of gas on hand for tractor and such but I went though every drop keeping the generator running and the essential air conditioning - it was 98 every single darn day with high humidity. So long story short - Hurricanes suck. Trying to outrun them sucks. Gas lines reminiscent of the early 70's suck. But, running out of beer at such a critical juncture really, really SUCKS!!! I think with this storm, instead of keeping 25 gallons of gas on hand I'll keep 25 gallons of beer and a couple 6-packs of gasoline.

2017 Ram 3500 Dually
2017 Montana High Country 310RE
B&W Patriot Hitch

Love the smell of fresh coffee & diesel in the morning!
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Old 10-04-2017, 05:26 PM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Dexter Ga
Posts: 48
Hopefully this won't be anything like Irma. We have a weekend trip planned in south Ga but it looks like we will be headed back home before anything starts. Stay safe and watch that beer supply.

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Old 10-04-2017, 05:28 PM   #3
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Location: MD
Posts: 2,670
Thanks for sharing your experiences. Glad you all were ok. It's nice to know your 5er withstood those winds without an issue. Let's hope Nate stays away.

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Old 10-04-2017, 05:56 PM   #4
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Location: Liberty, Texas
Posts: 2,184
Being near the Texas coast, we have run from them and rode them out. I think running is the best if you get a head start.
We ran from Ike to my brothers in Arkansas. Fortunately we drink the same cheap bourbon!
Y'all keep an eye on Nate. We will too.
2016 Ram 3500 Laramie CC SRW LWB 4X4 Cummins Aisin Pearl White
2014 Montana High Country 305RL
2008 Bigfoot 25C9.4 LB Cabover

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Old 10-04-2017, 08:29 PM   #5
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: W. Texas
Posts: 3,497
Thanks for the post. My daughter and her family live in St. Marks which was in the eye of the storm. They have a really nice house are just outside the designated flood plain (normally). With the way the storm was coming etc. all the news was talking like it would be terrible for them....so, we were constant pests. Thankfully, with the storm actually staying over the entire state what happened to them was much less than what was predicted and what we feared. Downed trees, loss of power, living with candles....all was OK. Thankfully things worked out for you and it's good to hear that campgrounds and folks did what they could to take care of folks. For me, I'll go visit the hurricane areas in the winter - we leave for FL Oct. 27 for 4 months and hope we have no surprises.
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Old 10-05-2017, 04:24 PM   #6
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Newnan
Posts: 15
I'm glad you came out okay! My husband's family lives in the Brandon/Sarasota/Osprey/Northport areas, which were hit, too. Thank God they weren't hit as badly as feared, but my poor SIL was without power for at least two weeks, and she lives near downtown and the hospital! It was so frustrating for her. Her daughter, who lives out in the country, was only without power for a couple of days. It made no sense.

The current storm, may swing up through my neck of the woods in Georgia. My son is getting married this Sunday... We're praying it stays on the westerly track it's on right now. I feel bad for New Orleans, though. They sure don't need it either!
Beth and Joe
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Old 10-06-2017, 06:50 AM   #7
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: North Central Florida
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XTeacher: Yeah, Duke Energy really bungled power restoration in this storm. Dismal and mismanaged response. They brought in folks from all over the country. Line crews from Arkansas managed to get us up and running. Duke should have stepped back and let them run with it and we'd all have power back on sooner. Glad your SIL made out ok. Hopefully, Nate will miss you guys in Ga. We're headed up to a blue grass festival in Folkston next Friday - would sure would hate to miss some good pickin' due to another hurricane. Stay safe.

2017 Ram 3500 Dually
2017 Montana High Country 310RE
B&W Patriot Hitch

Love the smell of fresh coffee & diesel in the morning!
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