Tropical Storm Hermine Became a Hurricane
Yesterday, nothing happened. Our depression number 9 had been upgraded to named Tropical Storm Hermine, but the day, though cloudy, seemed no different than others. TS Hermine seemed to be a bust- no wind, no rain, so the chickens ran free again and the kids returned to school, but then early this afternoon, Hermine (which I keep pronouncing as that Harry Potter sidekick name, but the weather forecasters are saying something that rhymes with ‘divine’), our coastal storm gathered her skirts and grew fiercer. Now with winds of 75 miles per hour, Hermine graduated to a Category 1 hurricane status.
All day, I kept one eye on the Weather Channel app on my phone, watching as the clouds on the screen map grew nearer, and growing nervous. Hermine appeared massive and hungry on the radar map, as if she was swallowing the entire state of Florida. Where was she going to strike land? Heck, where wouldn’t she strike? I think our governor shared my concerns, as Rick Scott ordered mandatory evacuations around the west coastal low lying areas and panhandle.
We went under a local tornado watch just before the first outer rain bands of Hermine struck: torrential torrents, hefty gusts of wind with accompanying lightening strikes. The kids were still in school. I frantically texted them to find out if they were on lock down. They do that here- lock down the school in extreme weather and don’t release the kids. But they weren’t. Instead I discovered that they were releasing them early to head off the next storm band, with a notice that school was cancelled for tomorrow. Up north they get Snow Days. Here we have Hurricane Days.
Our own country roads, usually dusty ruts between the tall grass, were twin rivers racing each other, the grass, now a swampy mess. Ironically, we are not in a flood zone, but the roads around us couldn’t cope with the heavy downpour. The more they are used, the worse they get. We have our kayaks on stand-by, just in case. They passed out the sandbags yesterday to the local flood-prone areas, our smart town officials were on the ball, so now prepped and prepared, we can only sit and wait.
If this storm is headed your way too you can keep tabs on it through the National Hurricane Center website. Avoid downed power lines- they are still live- and report them as soon as you can. Stay safe!