I have just been sent this by a friend in Florida, who wished to remain anonymous. A week in the life from a different perspective. I've since heard that they have got off virtually unscathed so far.
"We are having a bit of a fraught week here in anticipation of Irmas arrival -
Up until yesterday afternoon it looked very likely my mothers home would be destroyed. She lives on a tiny island connected to the mainland by a bridge, jutting out into the ocean. Right there ready to suck in the storm surges, up to 40 ft waves on the biscayne bay and water spouts and tornadoes already sited before the storm has hit. In additional, just adjacent to her is a new build with scaffolding and cranes - these are missiles just ready to take off and do serious damage. This is happening on a much larger scale in downtown miami where there are approx 50 new builds all with cranes that no-one has taken down. The arms have serious counter weights and are pretty lethal when flying through the air.
Thankfully there are shutters for my sister’s home but there are NO shutters or wooden boards on her large windowed offices (hurricanes destroy buildings by smashing thru windows and then they lift the roof off leaving everything open to the elements.) But she’s been going to the gym so at least she’ll be fit to pick up all the strewn trees, overturned cars and debris. it is likely there will be no electricity for a week and its extremely hot and humid there at this time of year). So she’s bought extra gas canisters and pulled the BBQ indoors into their living room.
We talk a couple of times a day and yesterday i convinced her to go to the office and put tape across the windows and doors but not sure how much help that will be. So trying to stay calm…
Tampa Bay now looking to take a big assault from the storm. This is on the west side of Florida by the gulf of Mexico and right opposite is a strip of land where Clearwater is located - this is the mecca of scientology, their 'Flag Base'. There is some pleasure to be taken from the fact that the deceased L Ron Hubbard is not, I repeat not, able to help direct the storm away from scientologys pride and joy, its new campus which took twelve years to complete.
And finally no one has mentioned lake Okeechobee with its neighbouring sugar industry. This is a vast 700 mile lake which will service the hurricane with additional water to play with and destroy crops and land. This is also the home of Americas sugar industry. It is the most expensive sugar in the world, (to the consumer) propped up by dirty deals with the US Gov't. It is laboured by refugees and has the largest Haitian refugee population in the US. Beyond dirt poor - who is taking care of them? They don't speak English.
Anyway, the worst of the storm will be over in central Florida soon and then we wait for feedback...