A Post-Hurricane Irma Update

To say it’s been a crazy week in Florida is an understatement. We went from not really worrying about Hurricane Irma with it going to the east coast to a quick shift to it coming up the west coast (where I am in Tampa).

Tuesday

On Tuesday things started to look more grim for the west coast of Florida, but Irma was still a ways out. To be honest, I wasn’t too concerned because it still seemed like the storm would die down and we wouldn’t be affected much. These feelings also came from the fact that I’ve lived in Florida nearly my entire life and while hurricanes have always been a real thing for Floridians to deal with, we never really had anything other than some heavier wind and rain where I lived. But really, nothing different from the normal summer thunderstorms (at least from what I remember).

It wasn’t until happy hour Tuesday night with coworkers where we started chatting a little more about the storm and like rapid fire, we all started to worry a little more until by the end we were all like yep, time to prepare. As I drove home I noticed a gas station much more packed than usual, but just figured I’d fill up the next day during lunch and do a Publix (grocery store) run.

Wednesday

During my lunch break I went to pick up some groceries, including some non-perishables like soup, bread, and water, just in case. Only when I got to Publix the shelves were literally wiped clean. One of the store workers even told me she felt like it was a brand new store they were just starting to stock – that’s how crazy it was! While I knew people would be there stocking up, I had no idea it would be that empty.

Post-grocery store I stopped at the Shell station – no gas. Over to Racetrac – no gas. BP? No gas. FINALLY at Wawa I found one pump with ethanol-free gas (which I don’t know much about other than it’s “cleaner”), but it was the only option I had, so I topped my tank off with it. Every single gas pump was empty around town, with yellow bags over the pumps and caution tape around the station to let people driving by know that nothing was left.

Serious apocalypse vibes all around, and the storm wasn’t even coming near us.

Thursday + Friday

More craziness on the news Thursday + Friday all around town with gas nearly impossible to find, especially as the weather channels started projecting a new path targeting central Florida, which put the Tampa area more in Irma’s path, especially since this hurricane was BIGGER THAN THE ENTIRE STATE OF FLORIDA!

My parents were in a mandatory evacuation zone, so Friday afternoon they packed the car up and came up to my house with my sisters and their dog and got ready to “hunker down” (the phrase of the week).

Saturday + Sunday

We were glued to the news all weekend, which should come as no surprise. Saturday morning when things were starting to look really bad for us, we started going back and forth on whether or not we should evacuate. The only problem was the entire state was trying to get out. We were worried about getting stranded on the highway either in gridlock traffic or without gas. And after going back and forth for so long, we finally just decided to stay.

By Sunday morning the winds were picking up and we anxiously watched as Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida. Updates from the National Hurricane Center (where the local meteorologists get their info) only really happened every 6 hours, but at that point any prediction models were pretty much out the window. We’d only know what would happen when it happened.

Our area was expected to be affected the most between 8 p.m. Sunday night and 8 a.m. Monday morning, with the worst happening from 1-3 a.m.

Monday + Tuesday (The Aftermath)

We were SO fortunate in this storm. It could’ve been so much worse. I never lost power and didn’t have any damage to my house. But the overall effects of the hurricane left all of us in Florida in kind of a trance state.

I’m exhausted. I finally got a good night’s sleep last night, but for just about a week, I’ve been tossing and turning and really nervous (for the first time in my life) about a hurricane. It’s been especially weird seeing everyone outside of Florida going about life normal – attending concerts and weddings, and even remembering 9/11. It was hard to remember what day it was here!

Vibes around here have been like the twilight zone, with life in Florida on a weird pause for everyone. All I can say is I’m SO thankful that we didn’t get anything worse than we did, and I’m really looking forward to getting back to my normal life routine!

P.S. Government and weather people, maybe next time let us know like the day before instead of a week. That anxiety was killer and I think I speak on behalf of everyone in Florida when I say, we really don’t want to go through that kind of stress again!

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  • So, SO glad y’all didn’t get hit as bad as it was predicted. I know some placed got it bad though.

    • Thank you, Lily! We really got lucky – these hurricanes are no joke!

  • Jordyn Upchurch

    I am so glad you and your family are all okay! I am from Alabama & I was worried about us here, so I can’t even imagine being directly in the path and not knowing which way it was going to take!

    xoxo, SS

    Southern and Style

    • These storms have a mind of their own! It was crazy how far off base they ended up being with Irma! Hopefully the worst of hurricane season is over for both of us!

  • Sydney Power

    I’m really thankful that you and your family were okay, I had friends there that survive and we were really thankful.

    • Thank you! It’s been one intense month of hurricane season, that’s for sure! Hopefully this is the end of it – I don’t think everyone would be able to handle another one!

  • I’m so glad you were safe. It was surreal to keep up with it the week before on the news. We had people in TN who had evacuated FL.

    • Thank you! We tuned into CNN for a bit to see what coverage looked like out of state and while it was definitely a huge storm, they made it sound much crazier than our local stations!

  • So happy you are all okay. My friends in the Fort Lauderdale area are still without power and have 2 pups and I’m constantly worrying about them. What a scary and stressful thing to deal with-glad you’re safe!

    • Thanks, Emelia! I hope your friends have gotten their power back. It’s unbelievable how much damage these storms do!

  • Miss ALK

    So thankful to hear your home was okay!! I’m in New England but I was so worried for all my friends in Florida- many prayers sent last week <3

    xoxo A
    http://www.southernbelleintraining.com

    • Thanks, A! It was such a stressful time for all of us! I’m glad it’s over with!

  • I am so glad you and your family are all okay. I can’t even imagine going to a store or to get gas and it all being gone. That does seem like an apocalyptic experience!

    • Thank you! It was very creepy! Definitely not something I want to see/go through again!

  • I am happy to hear that you and your family are okay! This has been scary!

    xo,
    Stephanie
    Diary of a Debutante
    http://www.thediaryofadebutante.com

  • Uhh the anticipation must have been awful girl! I’m glad you and your family were safe and there was no damage done.

    • The worst! We really got lucky though. Definitely not something I want to go through again anytime soon!

  • I’m so happy to hear you and your family made it through and are safe! It sounds like it was crazy in Florida. It was a little anxiety-provoking watching from a distance, so I can only imagine what it was like there!

    • Thanks, E! It was insane here! I’ve never seen it like this, but I think the size of the storm and it being right on the heels of Harvey really freaked everyone out. Hopefully no more hurricanes!

  • Glad you didn’t have any damage! I’m supposed to head down to the keys in early October, I hope we’re still able to :/

    • Thanks, Amanda. Me too! I hope your trip to the Keys will be ok, I know things are finally just starting to get back to normal here in FL!

  • So thankful you guys faired well during the storm!! I wouldn’t have been able to sleep!! We didn’t get hit as hard in the part of GA we’re in but I had some friends and family get hit pretty hard… some people were without power for 5 or 6 days in some parts!

    • Thanks, Chelsea! I didn’t really sleep for days! It was pretty nerve-wracking – especially as a new homeowner! I’m glad to hear you guys were ok and I hope your friends and family are getting back to normal!

  • I followed Irma like a hawk! I am so, so glad to hear that you were able to avoid any damage to your home or self during the storm. Definitely anxiety- and stress-inducing, so I am glad that this is behind you!

    ​xx katie // a touch of teal

    • Thanks, Katie! Ugh, SO much anxiety and stress! I think I watched enough weather coverage for the rest of my life from that one storm, haha.

  • I’m so glad that you and your family made it through. I can only imagine how terrifying it must have been, I know that I would have been an anxious mess.

    • We were! So many people (myself included) had never seen it so bad for a hurricane! Glad it’s behind us now!

  • I’m so glad everyone remained safe and your home didn’t suffer any damage<3!

    • Thanks, Kristin! I’m so glad too! Hopefully no more big hurricanes like that will roll through!

  • Tori Dunlap

    Seriously scary stuff, so good to know you and your family/friends are alright!
    Tori || Victori Media
    https://www.victorimedia.com

  • So glad you are all safe! such a scary time!

    • Thanks, Candice! Definitely freaked us out a bit. I’ve never seen anything like it in FL!

  • I’m so glad you were okay. My family was affected by Harvey so I can understand your anxiety. Same over here for sure!!

    • Thank you! Is your family ok?! This hurricane season has been nuts in the last month!

      • My family in Jacksonville flooded (cousin and uncle), and my family in Houston had to evacuate in the middle of the night with their baby… the damage wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t a good situation. I’m hoping it’s done for the year. I have a friend who still can’t contact her parents in PR and her anxiety has been out of control. I don’t know how to help at all. :(