Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Blogging Hurricane Wilma

Marc Schulman of the American Future blog lives in Southwest Florida and is watching Wilma to see if he and his need to bug out. In the meantime, he's posting on Wilma as well as on his more usual topics. Posts already up include Live Blogging Hurricane Wilma and Live Blogging Wilma: 10/19, 9:30 PM EDT.

From the first post:

Now we face the prospect of Hurricane Wilma. Earlier today, it set a record for the lowest barometric pressure for an Atlantic hurricane and, as of 2:00PM, its sustained winds were measured at 165 mph, with gusts to 200 mph. As it enters the Gulf of Mexico, it will almost certainly weaken due to cooler water and wind shear from an approaching cold front (if you live here long enough, you become something of an expert on these matters!).

No one knows how much Wilma will weaken, nor does anyone have a very good idea as to exactly where she will make landfall (expected late Saturday or early Sunday) in Florida. The “cone of uncertainty” is unusally large. For these reasons, I still don’t know whether we will be evacuating.

Until we evacuate (if we have to), I plan to live-blog Wilma’s approach. If we don’t evacuate, I’ll continue to live-blog until our electricity goes out, which it almost certainly will. For the vicarious thrill-seekers among you (I count myself in that category), this should prove to be entertaining. Adrenalin is a wonderful thing.

(All together now, ladies: Men!)

From the second post:

A late season hurricane severely intensifies the evacuation problem. The population of our part of Florida swells after Columbus Day, as the “Snowbirds” migrate south for the winter. There are a lot more cars on the local highways than there were even two weeks ago.

By last evening, all service stations between Ft. Myers and Naples were out of regular gas. Today they are out of gas, period. Sometime before 3 PM today, our local supermarket was completely out of bottled water and bread. As old hands at this stuff, we stocked up ahead of time.

I didn't catch much television news today, but what I did hear was emphasizing that there aren't many tourists this time of year, especially in the middle of the week. I'm not sure what part of Florida the reporter was in, but I'm wondering if they've forgotten about the Snowbirds?

Have your fun, Marc, but be safe, will 'ya?


Marc Schulman said...

Kathryn: Thanks for your concern, but I'll be safe: Last year, when Ivan (another category 5 storm) was supposed to bisect Florida from south to north (it eventually moved 100+ miles out into the Gulf before turning north), we evacuated to Macon, Georgia two days before Ivan was supposed to hit us. I have no intention of having a hurricane party, particularly after Katrina. I'm not sacrificing my family's safety so that I can become a bloghero. But I do think that it may be interesting for those who don't live in a hurricane-prove area to get some idea of what it's like.
People who live where there are occasional major snowstorms (as I did for many years) or earthquake-prone zones might emulate this idea.

Kathryn Judson said...

Marc - You got me there. I sometimes write about forest fires, as it happens. Same difference, I think.