Hurricane Ian recap

It’s been five years since the last big hurricane (Irma) came though the Tampa Bay area and early in the week, as we watched the forecast track, it looked like we were going to get slammed by a category 4 storm, Hurricane Ian.

We got lucky … soooo very lucky. Unfortunately, our neighbors to the south around Fort Meyers were not as lucky.

We don’t live in an evacuation zone in Pinellas county, nor a flood zone (we’re 63ft above sea level), the house is as protected as it can be (impact doors and windows), and our hurricane closet is always re-stocked at the beginning of each season, so our prep work on Monday and Tuesday consisted mainly of draining some water out of the pool, putting away patio/lanai furniture and making sure small/loose objects outside were secured or brought in. Then it was the decision to either ride out the storm at home or evacuate and we decided to stay (of course we had to assure our out-of-town family and friends that we were going to be fine once the national news started reporting on evacuations).

Wednesday was the long waiting day. We watched the local weather news all day and kept our eye on the NHC updates every 3 hours as the track slowly shifted to our south and Ian made landfall around Fort Meyers, similar to the path Hurricane Charley took back in 2004. Since we ended up on the “good” (northeast) side of the storm, it wasn’t nearly as bad as we expected. It was windy and rainy all day, but we never saw heavy rain or thunderstorms or tornados. I only recorded about 1.5″ of rainfall total in the pool and have seen much heavier rain in our regular daily FL afternoon thunderstorms. The wind really picked up Wednesday evening into early Thursday morning and it was still pretty breezy all day Thursday but we never lost power (I was actually looking forward to using the V2L feature in my wife’s EV6 to power some things in the house). We were able to get outside Thursday morning to start cleaning up all the yard debris (16 bags’ worth), putting back all the outdoor furniture and plants, and getting the house back to normal. By mid-afternoon the sun came back out and it turned into a beautiful, cool autumn day, belying the devastation to our south. We really dodged a major bullet.

The one fun thing during the storm was a little owl that decided to take refuge from the storm under one of our eaves in the backyard. We named him Ian (of course!) and he hung out all day Wednesday (during the storm) and Thursday (watching us clean up). No sign of him today (Friday) but it was cool to have him with us as the storm passed through.

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