November 30, 2017 – Sarasota, FL – Hurricane season 2017 finally draws to a close.
It was a wild season here in Sarasota. We had 2 Tropical Depressions setup shop offshore of which one really had an impact. It should have been called the Hurricane SET as not long afterwards we had Hurricane IRMA roll up the state.
Irma was a formidable storm as it approached the Florida Keys. What it essentially had done was laid waste to Barbuda, Dominica and the rest of the islands in the Caribbean chain. Puerto Rico was literally torn apart, down to its roots with all the damage that occurred there. Barbuda flattened, Dominica flattened and Sir Bransons’ island destroyed.
As it approached Florida we were all but certain that she would make landfall but her dynamics kept changing and we could not pin down a track until she got past Cuba and then the bad news. Right up the center of the state which impacted the whole state of Florida, let me tell you, this is a very big state. God was smiling on us as a Category 5 storm hit the Keys, then Cat 4 in Naples and the turn North as a Cat 3 then 2 just past Sarasota and a TS once it made it to Tampa but still a lot of wind and a bunch of trees down.
Electricity in Puerto Rico knocked out for weeks, Florida for around 3 weeks in some areas especially Miami and the Keys, we lost power for 3 days. Yes, we rode it out. Once Irma was in the record books and records she did break and tie along comes Maria. No impact on us in Florida but again the Lower Antilles got hit again before her turn Northward and off to Ireland. Yes, I said Ireland. It has been over 50 years since the Isle was hit with a hurricane.
In Texas we had Harvey which by all accounts was the wettest storm in history. It just stalled over Houston for days dumping over 5 feet of water on the region. Incredible.
But the rains subsided and they are rebuilding and getting on with life.
Now the season is over and everything is pretty much back to normal. There is a lot of cleanup and rebuilding going on in Texas, Puerto Rico, Dominica, Barbuda, St. Croix, Virgin Islands and Florida but we will carry on into next season when we will be more prepared than we were this season. Part of that rebuilding the infrastructure thing.
I want to send kudos out to all the hams that worked the airwaves, Hurricane Net, VOIPWX Net, EchoLink, D-Star, Winlink, and IRLP to assist the ones that needed the assistance the most.
Especially J62DX. These guys are awesome.
73 de Ray, KA1AAA