The Husband and I live on the water in St Pete, and we often talk about how wonderful it is living here. The weather is generally lovely (especially compared to the blizzards in Buffalo) but when a hurricane is heading your way, it is extremely stressful.
The major difference between preparing for a hurricane and a blizzard is the amount of warning you get with a hurricane. If you pay attention to the weather, you have plenty of advanced notice to stock up, prep your house, and make plans to evacuate if needed. You also have the option, or sometimes a mandate, to evacuate. Deciding whether or not to evacuate is extremely stressful, and a privilege that not everyone has.
Blizzards also generally bring one thing: snow. Maybe some ice, but usually just lots and lots of snow. Hurricanes bring wind, rain, tornadoes, flooding, storm surges, and other crazy and unexpected effects of the hurricane.
We are in a mandatory evacuation zone but The Husband had to work so we missed out chance to fly up to Buffalo. We anxiously awaited the updates and as the path began to shift south, we made the decision to stay home. Our house is hurricane rated and has a whole house generator. We had the essentials: water, food, and booze, so we were prepared to safely ride out the storm.
Thankfully for us, but absolutely devastating for our neighbors in SWFL, the hurricane continued to shift south and we only had the winds and rain, and none of the storm surges we were super worried about. We had some trees down and power out in the neighborhood, but all our house had was some palm fronds and debris.
The craziest part was how the hurricane pulled all the water out of the water around Tampa Bay. The water is usually at least a foot deep in front of the house, but the tide pulled feet away from the house, and the other houses nearby.
All those green areas are usually covered with water.
One of the other wild things about these storms is how lovely it can be the very next day, like Mother Nature is trying to apologize. By the next afternoon, everything looked almost back to normal in our area.
It was an extremely emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausting few days. We felt equal parts relief and guilt when we were spared, and we are just heartbroken for our neighbors in SWFL.
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