Flashback Friday: Hurricane Michelle

Michelle_2001_track

Hurricane Michelle didn’t come too close to the Cayman Islands, but we got big waves. I was living in an apartment about 100 feet from the sea and the waves started coming up to the porch. I was trying to nail some plywood into the concrete to cover my sliding glass door, when a huge wave came up. It was easily neck or head high to me, standing on the porch.. I was kind of in the corner of the porch, and as the wave wrapped around me, I put my back against the wall and tried to dig my fingernails into the concrete and not get swept out to sea. I was moving towards the two foot dropoff at the edge of the porch when the water started going down. My feet hit the floor again and I looked to my right and saw a waist high river of water coming out of my apartment where the sliding glass door was. I saw a cardboard box flow out the river. I was getting ready to grab it when I see the nose of my kayak start to come out the door. (I had put it inside because of the hurricane) My dog Ditto was standing on the kayak. I let the box go and grabbed the kayak instead.

My apartment and everything in it was smashed. The bed was smashed, the bookshelves were smashed to splinters. All my books and my computer was destroyed, as were a lot of my CDs. My tool box had saltwater in it, and I didn’t know it for a few days and the tools were ruined.

The cardboard box that floated away had, among other things, my dive log in it, and it was there I lost track of my number of dives. That logbook was number 19, of my scuba log books I had filled up diving at that time. Anyone who knows me knows I log all my dives, and I always have.

In the apartment, you could see how the wave¬† came in at an angle, bounced off the wall, hit the kitchen, lifted the refrigerator. (I found my underwater camera UNDER the fridge). Then it went in the bathroom and you could see like a whirlpool pattern in the wreckage. The glass dinner table was in a million pieces and the wave busted the window unit air conditioner out if it’s hole in the concrete wall. All the windows were broken and the window frames were ripped out of the concrete. There was glass everywhere, and if it had happened at night when I was asleep, I probably would not have survived.

It washed the tiles off the floor.

Hurricane Michelle is the hurricane that broke open the Turtle Farm. Before the big wave, all my neighbors and I were picking up turtles and putting them in the bathtubs. It was a nice, sunny day. Huge giant sea turtles were crashing ashore in the waves, breaking their shells. These big ones were so big that only one would fit in the bed of a full sized pick up truck.

I had insurance, but got ripped off bad. For Hurricane Ivan, I had much less damage but I was ready for the insurance sucker punch to the stomach and I didn’t get cheated, like everyone else did. (All the insurance companies blatantly ripped everyone off and then changed their names after Ivan)

I was the only one who stayed in the apartments. But things kept getting worse. The landlord was fixing all the apartments except mine. There was no tile on my floor, just black glue. Ditto was getting sick, and slowly getting covered in glue.

One Saturday, I couldn’t take it any more. I went to my office at work, made a cup of coffee and sat down with the paper in the cool air conditioning. I found one apartment, made one phone call, went and looked, and moved into the apartment. I stayed there six years, and it was the apartment I had before I moved into this house.

And that’s my Flashback Friday. Have a good weekend!!!!

Hurriane Sandy

Now that Sandy is gone, we’re getting more wind than when she was close. She was supposed to die off after crossing Jamaica, and curve right, out to sea, but now she’s staying a hurricane and curving left to hit the US east coast.

Read the article here:

With a rare mix of three big merging weather systems over a densely populated region, experts predict at least $1 billion in damage.

The stage is set as Hurricane Sandy continues to barrel north. A wintry storm is chugging across the country from the west. And frigid air is streaming south from Canada.

And if they meet Tuesday morning around New York or New Jersey, as forecasters predict, they could create a big, wet mess that settles over the nation’s most heavily populated corridor and reaches as far west as Ohio.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecaster Jim Cisco, who coined the nickname Frankenstorm, said: “We don’t have many modern precedents for what the models are suggesting.”

And the storm will take its time leaving. The weather may not start clearing in the mid-Atlantic until the day after Halloween and Nov. 2 in the upper Northeast, Cisco said.

“It’s almost a weeklong, five-day, six-day event,” he said, “It’s going to be a widespread, serious storm.”

It is hitting during a full moon, when tides are near their highest, increasing the risk of coastal flooding. And because many trees still have their leaves, they are more likely to topple in the event of wind and snow, meaning there could be widespread power outages.

I remember the book, “The Perfect Storm” The book was better than the movie, (as usual) but in the movie weather maps, I could understand how the storm was forming up better than just in the book, with no pictures. This reminds me of “The Perfect Storm”

God Bless North East Australia

Captured: Wednesday 2 February 2011 01:30 UTC
As I type this, Queensland, Australia is getting whacked by Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi, a category 4 or maybe 5 typhoon.
This is a very strong storm, the news says it is stronger than anything in the memory or “recent generations” and may destroy even “Cyclone proof” homes with sustained winds of 300 kilometers per hour. That’s about 186 miles per hour. Winds may gust up to 40% higher than the sustained peak. That’s gusts of 420 Kilometers per hour, or about 260 miles per hour.
Plus, being a continent, and not a small island, there are tsunamis probable. With an island, the water can go around the land, on a continent, the water has no where to go but ashore. To me this storm looks like it’s going to be really really bad.

This picture forecasts the storm coming ashore as a category 5.

I hope Australia makes it through with amazingly little damage and minimal deaths. I’ll be thinking about them. I have been through several hurricanes, here in Cayman and in Hawaii. Mainly Ivan and Ewa. There is nothing that can compare to the power of a hurricane.
Click HERE for the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology.