Well, Jacksonville hasn’t had a direct hit from a hurricane since 1964. Our luck my have run out with Fay.
This is a particularly cool graphic from the National Weather Service … one of the satellite composite loops with a bunch of other layers you can add and subtract. Here you can see the average track based on the models … which would bring it onshore right about 30 degrees north latitude, pretty much St. Augustine. Hurricane watches are posted up into SE Georgia. But the upshot is that we may finally have our first landfalling hurricane on the First Coast in over 40 years.
Of course, that continues to change. I’ll post and update after the 11:00 pm forecast from the national Hurricane Center goes up.
So, I’ve gotten the shutters down from the attic of the garage. I’m not sure yet if I’m going to put them up, but it won’t take more than an hour should we decide to make that happen. I’m really glad now that we bought these. I don’t have to worry about wrestling big sheets of plywood or razor-sharp metal shutters. These are the flexible Kevlar based panels that will go up over the windows with a bunch of wing nuts. The anchors are already in the window frames, which are Hardy Board. I really don’t think it would take more than about an hour to have the house completely shuttered.
Meanwhile, I skipped the wine tasting at PF Chang’s with JB this evening to come home and start getting the place secured. I’ve gotten all the chairs in onto the back porch, as well as most everything else that can blow around. We’re going to get some wind, no matter what. It may be 74+ miles per hour, it may be no more than 20-25.
That’s the thing about these storms. In the 8 years I’ve lived here, there have been several times that a big storm has been forecast, and all we’ve gotten is an inch or two of rain. But there have also been times that wind gusts have knocked down several of our fence panels. Of course, the last bit thunderstorm we had that knocked down a couple of ship loading cranes over at Blount Island blew down a couple of panels, too. It’s just difficult to say what’s going to happen.
But, I’ve got a couple of flats of water, gas in the car, stuff moved inside, shutter panels ready to go on, canned soup and other non-perishable food, charcoal, a camp stove, candles, batteries, oil lamps … I think we’ll be ok if the power goes out for a while.
Here’s the 11 PM update for Fay. It’s got her making a shaper turn after heading briefly out to sea. The storm was weakening a bit, winds down to 50 miles per hour from a high of 65. Hurricane force is 74, just in case you haven’t been paying attention.
So now, we still have a hurricane, but coming in further south. Probably somewhere around Flagler Beach, which could be a disaster down there. A1A is literally on the dune down there, and portions of it wash out with a good n’oreaster. I expect if there are hurricane force winds down there, it could wash out chunks of the road. Not to mention that it puts some houses very close to falling into the ocean in the strong northeast quadrant of the storm … with a WNW approach like this, the straight line winds will be coming almost directly onshore. That will be bad news for South Ponte Vedra Beach. We’ll see what happens.
It’s good news for us up here in Neptune Beach, however. Still a hurricane watch, for us. We’ll see what the update is when we get up in the morning. For now, it looks like the shutters may not be necessary … but that could always change.