Friday, August 26, 2011

Irene - She is getting more intense...

Wow Irene is really getting stronger and bigger.  Last night before I went to bed she was 290 miles wide and getting stronger. Rain bands were starting to hit North Carolina. She is definitely on her way.

The temperatures here were in the 90's and they are saying the ocean temperatures 30 miles out are around 88 degrees. That is warm.  Hurricanes feed on warm air and warm water. Unfortunately because it is still early in the season and this summer has been a scorcher on the east coast there is a lot of fuel for Irene. I am predicting that she will hit category 3 status, but not be able to sustain it. Definitely a category 2 when she meets North Carolina.

Let's talk about size. No matter what people say - size matters with these storms. If she is 290 miles wide. Then there is going to be a whole lot of trouble inland. From the eye 80 miles is sustainable hurricane force winds. After that it will be tropical force winds. You will have tornadoes spawning off of those winds.

So...let's say when Irene hits land that means 145 to 150 miles inland will be highly impacted. The first 40 to 80 miles inland will feel the total brunt of the hurricane  after that the next 110 miles will get a really bad storm with chances of tornadoes.

I have learned the hard way that just because you are 200 miles inland you will not walk away with out some kind of damage. If you are 120 miles it will be bad.

So please keep an eye on how large Irene is getting, where you are in relation to the eye and you can figure out how bad it is going to get. One of the other things is that Irene is not moving very fast. This could mean she could be around for as long as 15 hours in your area. Also, when they move slow they can stall, grow, and create a lot of damage.

The other thing is that the higher up inside Irene - the winds will be moving faster and there will be greater circular motion. Those skyscrapers in large metropolitan areas are not always prepared for this type of motion. There will be falling glass and possible parts of buildings falling. Please be careful if you are on the street.

Now I want to talk about true stories from other hurricanes that have resulted in injuries or worse. You would think common sense would prevent some of this. I think it is lack of sleep and stress from the storm which causes this total lack of sense.

Do not let your kids or other adults stand in the holes of large uprooted trees. If you cut these trees up many times once the top branches are cut the tree will pop up again. It is very hard to pull someone out of a hole with a large tree on top of them.

Do not stand on ladders and cut tree limbs with a chain saw. The limb may fall and knock over the ladder and the chain saw cut you, or the limb may hit you in the head, body, etc.

Hurricanes because they are so long create a lot of stress. Please be careful cleaning up especially if you have heart problems. It is going to take several days and in some places weeks to clean up. It is going to be hot with no wind and very humid after the storm. Pace yourself.

Wear tennis shoes or boots. This storm has just blown in across an ocean. It will bring with it some crazy things you do not want to step on. Getting to a hospital will not be easy to get that tetanus shot.

Do not drive around and gawk when the storm is first over. There will be downed power lines, glass, nails, trees, assorted debris in the road. You stand the chance of getting a flat tire. [I got three or four from the aftermath of Fran] There also will be limbs in the trees that haven't made it to the ground yet.

Do not drive through water. Turn around. Creeks, streams, rivers, ditches, are all going to be bursting at the seams with water. Water is one of the most powerful forces of nature. It only takes a few inches of water to pick up a car or pick up truck and sweep it away. I can not tell you how many people died in Hurricane Floyd doing this.

Things are things. They can be replaced. Your family, loved ones, and you can not. Be a little kinder to each other. Reassure your children that things will be fine. Have everyone pitch in together to help. They need something to do to make them feel better, to release the tension. It is okay to tell them that you were scared, thank them for their help. Most of all just be thankful.

Speaking of things...Pull out the camera from your box and take pictures of the outside and inside of your house. Try to get in touch with your insurance agent BEFORE you begin the clean up.

Trees touching your house, fence, deck, pool, porch, and vehicle should be left alone. Your insurance will pay to have these removed. Trees that are just down and in your yard are your responsibility. Often you can get a deal on removal if the tree removal company does them all.

Be wary of people who show up and want to replace your roof or cut down trees that you do not know or have not asked to give you a bid. This type of situation brings out a lot of scam artists. It is better to wait than to be conned.

As the governor of North Carolina said "Prepare for the worst and Pray for the best."

Do not walk around barefoot in storm water. You could get hepatitis,blood infections from any open cut or scratch, etc. This is an AP picture of one of the islands after Irene came through. What a mess!


ShabbyChicShaz said...

Oh my goodness that is a lot to take in but you really have know all this stuff to survive. Thinking of you and praying that it isn't as bad as you think. We are so lucky in UK not getting these monsters x

Susan said...

I am thinking about you. I have a daughter in Virginia by Washington DC and I'm worried about her too. Take care!!!! My prayers are with you!


Terri Kahrs said...

EXTREMELY good warnings, Elizabeth. We've just finished battening down the hatches. She's expected to hit the NYC area this afternoon, and we're only about 40 minutes away from the City itself. The trees surrounding my house are my biggest concern. Hope you and yours are safe with minimum damage. Tons of prayeres are with you! ♥ Hugs, Terri xoxo