Time for Y2K Drill - Hurricane Floyd

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Here in Florida, it looks like we may get a good preview of the status of our preps this week.

For the first time, I'm not out running around like a maniac buying batteries, canned food and bottled water. Feels real good! Just have to fill my 55-gallon drums tomorrow and bring in all potential projectiles. Other than that, it's just keeping fingers crossed. Good luck to everyone on the east coast.

-- dakota (none@thistime.com), September 12, 1999


Dakota...where are you? I am 40 miles inland from Daytona Bch. I don't expect to get wiped off the map, but then one never knows. Its already a catagory 4 and has almost 3 days before landfall. Scarey and now there is another one following on same path. Nope, don't need to run to the store. But have to get butt in gear and pick up all the potential projectiles on this farm. The tornados that spin off are even more frightening.


-- Taz (Tassie@aol.com), September 12, 1999.

Taz, I went to school in DeLand once upon a time. I'm moving to Vero. I gotta go look at a weather map...

-- Mara Wayne (MaraWayne@aol.com), September 12, 1999.

I'm keeping an eye on Floyd too, as no doubt Critt is. Fingers crossed--and if it looks as if it's headed at you guys, don't forget to grab a few bags of ice for the coolers. Last I heard the hurricane-force winds extended about a hundred or so miles out of the center; winds were at 145mph, gusting to 175mph, and it's moving West at 14mph. Even if Floyd turns and goes north before it hits the coast, we very well might experience hurricane-force wnds. I can see why The Weather Channel folks seem a lot more worried about this one than they did Dennis. Let's hope the new one, Gert, turns north soon.

-- Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), September 12, 1999.

Florida and east coast dwellers - our prayers are with you.

-- mom (mom@mom.com), September 13, 1999.

Good luck!

-- helen (sstaten@fullnet.net), September 13, 1999.

Amen to that. Us folks here on the left coast will be keeping you all in our prayers.

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.hid), September 13, 1999.

Whew! Just finished boarding up, and filling the last of the water containers. So far, it's been an interesting y2k drill! And for the first time, my better half is not panicking before a hurricane (this is our fourth, two in P'cola), thanks to the confidence of being WELL- prepared. No last minute trips to the store, no frantic scrambles. Just doing lots of extra laundry. We live just east of Orlando, and we're just glad we didn't go for that house on the water.

Our biggest worry here is not the hurricane, but the spin-off tornadoes. Not a whole lot we can do about that, except keep our ears open for that locomotive sound, and be ready to dive into the center hallway. Nobody has basements in Florida. Oh well...

Oops! I forgot the ice :(

What else have I forgotten? Hmmm...

Battening down the hatches,

-- Spindoc' (spindoc_99_2000@yahoo.com), September 13, 1999.

Hi Spindoc' and good luck to y'all and us too! What have you forgotten? Besides the obvious and doing all the laundry, including changing bed/bath linens and washing them too, I vacuum well, start freezing BLOCKS of ice (they last a lot longer than cubes--handy if you have some plastic juice bottles so you can keep the melt away from food, recharge batteries, have a luxurious soak in the tub and wash my hair at the last possible moment, locate and put in one place tarps, nails, duct tape, hammers, buckets and old towels or old blankets (for leaks), etc., and of course put the battery-op stuff, like radios and flashlights, where I can easily find them. Have you got plenty of wet-wipes? Most useful thing you can have if your hot water goes or your water is contaiminated.

Please remember all of you in the line of fire that the evac centers will not accept pets--you will have to leave them outside in your vehicle or at home. Is there someone you know with a safer location for pets, maybe a concrete block house or something? Can someone run them up to a vet or boarding facility away from the storm? If you evacuate to a (strongly-built) hotel or motel, you could probably sneak in some pets if you disguise them as luggage. Make reservations now, before everyone else thinks of it!

I'll be thinking of all of you--come back on line ASAP and let us know how you are.

-- Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), September 13, 1999.

Sorry to post again, but I did some relief work after Hurricane Camille in 1969 and it had a significant effect on me--proba bl rspnsible for a good part of my Y2K preps! Camille was one of only two Category 5 hurricanes to hit the US; the otehr was a Labot Day storm in, I think, 1935. Floyd could well be the third Category 5. Some of you may remember the story of the Richilieu Apartments hurricane party--I certainly do. Here's an account of what happened, but I do urge you to go to the site and click on the before and after photograph links.


The Hurricane Party at the Richelieu Apartments during Hurricane Camille, August 1969

from the book "Storm" by A.B.C. Whipple and The Editors of Time-Life Books, page 105

These pictures were also taken from the book "Storm":

The Richelieu Apartments in Pass Christian, Mississippi before Hurricane Camille's landfall

The Richelieu Apartments after the landfall of Hurricane Camille

No one knows exactly where or when the practice originated. Perhaps it began in Bermuda or Florida, where residents had lived through so many hurricanes that the more daredevil among them became contemptuous of the great storms. In any case, by the 1950s, it was fashionable for thrill seekers to hold "hurricane parties." Instead of evacuating, these people elected to stock up with food and drink and invite their friends over to ride out the whirlwind.

So it was in the beach-front Richelieu Apartments in Pass Christian, Mississippi, on August 17, 1969. The weather bureau had issued urgent warnings of the approach of Hurricane Camille. The forecasters had labeled it an extremely dangerous storm, characterized by a tightly packed vortex containing 200 mile per hour winds.

Nevertheless, 12 people gathered on the third floor of the Richelieu to celebrate the coming of Camille. It is likely that they expected only an exhilirating blow and spectacular surf. The weather bureau had predicted that the center of the storm would strike the Florida panhandle, 100 miles to the east.

But Camille veered westward and within the day came roaring ashore at Pass Christian. The Richelieu Apartments were directly in the path of the worst winds and a storm surge that rose 19 feet above the high-tide line.

Aside from the 12 partygoers, another dozen people were in the apartment house that evening. At least two of them, Mary Ann Gerlach and her husband, Fritz, were preparing to join the celebrants. "We had been in hurricanes in Florida," she said later. "You get off work and it's-you know-party time."

The Gerlachs never made it to the party. Waves hammered at the picture window in their second-floor living room. "We heard an awful popping sound as the windows went. We held our shoulders to the bedroom door to try to keep the water from coming in. But in about five minutes the bed was floating halfway to the ceiling. You could feel the building swaying like we were in a boat," said Mrs. Gerlach.

Somehow, Mrs. Gerlach managed to swim out a window. She saw her husband disappear beneath the waves. And then, looking back, she watched in horror as the entire Richelieu building collapsed like a child's sand castle into the maelstrom.

The rest of the night was etched in Mrs. Gerlach's memory. She recalled grabbing some wrekage and being driven along by winds so strong that she could scarcely breathe. At last she was deposited in a treetop almost five miles from the beach, and there she stayed until her rescue the following morning.

Of the 24 people in the apartment house, she was the sole survivor. Everyone else had either drowned or been crushed to death when the building crumbled. Mrs. Gerlach supplied their epitaphs when she said: "Whenever there's a hurricane warning now, I get out with all the rest."

-- Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), September 13, 1999.

Wow! OK, I couldn't resist. I just used the (rather flimsy, I admit) excuse of needing to pick up a bag of ice, to go to our local Publix.

Surprise! You heard it here, folks:

Water? Gone!

Bread? Not even a stale bagel! Only 2 (count 'em, TWO) packs of English Muffins! (sorry Old Git, no slight intended I'm sure).

Tuna? Dinty Moore stew? Chili? Baked beans? NADA! Cleaned out.

Ice? Not a single cube!

Nobody seemed to be especially anxious, they were just calmly scarfing up whatever was left. This is a large chain grocery store, clean & modern. And I swear, it was nearly fully stocked yesterday morning! This huge store was picked clean of staples in *one day*.

Well, the trip wasn't totally wasted. There was still plenty of beer :)

Just for giggles, I drove across the street to the 7-11. They had ice, but no gas! All sold out. Interesting: the clerk had to come outside and unlock the ice bin for me; it seems that people had been stealing ice from it all day! And this is a middle-class area.

I've seen it on TV before, but this was the first time I witnessed it with my own eyes. Just a small taste of things to come, I fear.

I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but for any newbies reading this, take note: please don't wait until December for y2k supplies. They may not be there.

-- Spindoc' (spindoc_99_2000@yahoo.com), September 13, 1999.

Looks like we have our first Category 5 since Camille (1969).

-- Forrest Covington (theforrest@mindspring.com), September 14, 1999.

MIL is outside DeLand/Daytona (Holly Hill I think). they are planning ti evac about 0600 (another 2 hours OY VEY)


Prayers to you ALL and PLEASE check in.


-- Chuck, a night driver (rienzoo@en.com), September 14, 1999.

Prep Forum Check-in thread...


http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id= 001P5f

TBY2K Forum Check-in thread...


http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id= 001P5g

Blessings all!


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), September 14, 1999.

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