Well, here we are on Sunday, August 2, 2020; it’s late morning in my little corner of Florida as I start this post – I’m not the world’s best or fastest typist, so it will be past noon when I finally post this – and, as usual for the Sunshine State in summer, it’s already a hot, muggy, if somewhat windy day.
Presently, the temperature outside is 88˚F (31˚C) under partly sunny skies. With winds blowing from the northeast at 12 MPH and humidity levels of 78%, the feels-like temperature is 108˚F (41˚C). With the outer bands of Tropical Storm Isaias passing through the area later as the badly scattered and weakened storm system makes its way north along the Atlantic coast, the forecast for our area calls for light rain this afternoon. (I can tell that we are already getting a few feeder bands out there, my study was brightly lit from sunlight streaming through the venetian blinds a few minutes ago; now the light levels have decreased considerably.)
As of 11 AM, Tropical Storm Isaias is a huge if somewhat depleted system making its way up the east coast of Florida. Once a Category 1 hurricane, it has been hindered by wind shear and the interaction with land. As a result, all hurricane warnings for Florida and points north have been downgraded to tropical storm warnings:
Per the 11 AM advisory issued by the National Hurricane Center:
SUMMARY OF 1100 AM EDT…1500 UTC…INFORMATION
ABOUT 55 MI…90 KM SE OF FORT PIERCE FLORIDA
ABOUT 120 MI…195 KM SSE OF CAPE CANAVERAL FLORIDA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…65 MPH…100 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…NNW OR 340 DEGREES AT 8 MPH…13 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…995 MB…29.39 INCHES
The advisory goes on to add:
DISCUSSION AND OUTLOOK
At 1100 AM EDT (1500 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Isaias was
located by NOAA Doppler weather radars near latitude 26.9 North,
longitude 79.6 West. Isaias is moving toward the north-northwest
near 8 mph (13 km/h) and this general motion is expected to
continue through Monday morning. A turn toward the north and
north-northeast is anticipated on Monday and Tuesday with an
increase in forward speed. On the forecast track, the center of
Isaias will move near the east coast of Florida today through late
tonight. On Monday and Tuesday, the center of Isaias will move from
offshore the coast of Georgia into the mid-Atlantic states.
Doppler radar data indicate that maximum sustained winds are near
65 mph (100 km/h) with higher gusts. Some fluctuations in strength
will be possible during the next 48 hours.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles (185 km)
from the center. During the past couple of hours, the NOAA C-MAN
station at Settlement Point, Grand Bahama Island, measured a wind
gust of 64 mph (103 km/h). A wind gust to 62 mph (100 km/h) was
reported at Freeport, Grand Bahama Island. Along the east coast of
Florida, tropical-storm-force wind gusts have been observed from
Juno Beach northward to Port St. Lucie.
The estimated minimum central pressure is 995 mb (29.39 inches).
Out of Harm’s Way
So far, I have not seen any reports of heavy damage or power outages from my Miami-area friends and family members, so unless I hear anything to the contrary, I’m going to assume that in South Florida, Isaias’ bark was worse than its bite.
As much as I say that I am often homesick and wish that I had been able not only to repair/renovate the townhouse that I owned – legally – for only a few months (due to the probate issue between my older half-sister and me) but still live there, I think I dodged several bullets by not being in Miami at this time. After Mom died, the house was uninsured, and I doubt that I could have gotten a good policy on my own. I am not sure if it could have withstood a more direct hit from a tropical storm in the condition it was in when I lived there on my own; to be honest, I don’t think it would have.
Besides, I hated dealing with the property manager’s office whenever I – either acting as my mother’s chosen representative from 2010 to 2015 or on my own – had to ask for something related to maintenance. I did not have to have roof repairs or anything that complicated during my last six years living in East Wind Lake Village, but we always had issues with the fence and its gate. No matter how many times I asked our manager, Maritza, to have it fixed, the workmanship was shoddy, and when there were clear signs of termites and termite damage, nothing was done.
And I still recall how long it took EWLV to repair our roof after Hurricane Wilma hit the area in late 2005. The storm did quite a number on our townhouse; it tore off a third or more of the roof away, leaving the attic exposed to the elements and carrying away or damaging a goodly portion of my Star Wars collection, which my mother had packed in cardboard boxes and placed up in the attic for storage.
So, yes. I miss living on my own – I never thought that I would be longing for solitude or independence, but I do -but I’m realistic enough to realize that I’m not equipped for it. My mother made quite a few poorly-conceived decisions when I was a minor, such as moving to Colombia in 1966 and making some bad financial investments while we were there, then buying the townhouse in 1977 to placate my maternal grandmother’s whims. Mom later regretted buying the condo; she said that our previous house had issues, such as only having one and a half bathrooms rather than two, but it was perfect for the two of us. Mom hated dealing with the homeowners’ association and eventually lost confidence in the townhouse’s sturdiness in a storm, but by the time she said, “I wish we had stayed in the house on SW 102nd Avenue,” it was too late. We had lived in the EWLV “pad” for over 20 years by then, and Mom was in no shape financially to sell the townhouse, find a new house, and move.
So, yeah, realistically speaking, I didn’t have too many options about where to live or who to live with.
Anyway, I’m glad Isaias is gradually going away. It’ll be affecting us – mainly with light rain and gusty winds – for the rest of the afternoon – but it’s not as worrisome as it looked to be on Thursday.
I don’t know what I’ll be doing for the rest of this Sunday: as I type this, it’s already past one in the afternoon (See, told you I’m not a fast typist!), and I have not yet gotten a grip on my day. I stayed up too late last night and only went to sleep after 3 AM, so I’m a bit tired and unfocused. I might go read for a while, or maybe watch a movie before night falls.
If not, I’ll be back here at my desk, playing a Quick Mission on Cold Waters. Or getting into political arguments on Facebook. It all depends on my state of mind at the time.