Irma was born off the coast of Africa. As she grew is size and strength she immigrated illegally into the United States, other countries as well. First coming to the Florida Keys then boldly going northwest into Florida. She became a large and angry. Not very friendly.
My wife and I originally intended to meet Irma, we live south of Tampa. We stocked up on the recommended supplies. Some of the shelves were empty but we were able to get what we needed.
At the last minute and with great pressure from a daughter, we left before Irma came for a visit, not knowing where we were going to go so we headed north. Another daughter provided us with the Waze app which helped us navigate traffic headed north and a son reserved a hotel for us in Fayetteville, NC.
On our trip north we saw dozens of utility truck convoys headed south. Right near our hotel over a dozen trucks were stationed by FEMA to head south when they got the call. When the call came, sometime on Sunday, September 10, they went to Fort Bragg to pick up trailers filled with water, food and other supplies. One of the drivers I talked with was from Chicago. Below is a picture of a truck from CT.
The Florida governor was giving updates every several hours days in advance of the storm. He provided information of what was being done to help the people and what they should do to help themselves. Based on what I heard and have seen, the state and federal governments were well coordinated in advance. For example, during our exodus, every gas station we visited along US 75 and US 95 had all the gas we needed. Some stations had short lines.
Because of rain in Georgia, problems around Savanna, and flooding in Jacksonville, FL, we are going to head back on Tuesday, September 12. Early reports we have from our neighborhood are that there downed trees, one of them from our yard leaning against our neighbor’s house. We were very blessed with the help of family and friends.