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Old 09-27-2017, 05:43 PM
301 posts, read 261,531 times
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I've lived in South Florida since 1987 in different areas and after going through six hurricanes that have hit South Florida during that time, I've come to realize that living in the Fort Lauderdale area is no safer than any of the other areas I've lived in South Florida and I've come to the realization that living here is like playing a form of Russian Roulette considering the years I have lived here that hurricanes formed and hit Florida. Who doesn't wonder when a hurricane is heading this way if this one is going to hit Fort Lauderdale straight on or if we'll be spared again from a direct hit from the bullet?

Being from the Mid-West which has seen it's share of tornadoes that form during summer months, although they don't devastate such wide paths of areas that hurricanes often do, I can honestly say that I used to look forward to summer months as a time for relaxation and outdoor enjoyment there that I don't do here. My summers living here are now filled with anxiety and worry that a major hurricane will make a direct hit here and how am I going to manage the consequences.

It's interesting to hear people here say after a hurricane that they are glad they don't live in California where they have earthquakes, which historically have not regularly done the damage to California that hurricanes have done to Florida. One has to wonder if people who live here or plan on moving here realize that Florida is number one in the U.S. for insurance claims for property damage due to natural disasters, which in Florida are primarily due to hurricanes?

Since Hurricane Irma was the strongest recorded hurricane to form in the Atlantic and the devastation it brought to the Caribbean and South Florida is on the news media for anyone to clearly see, although we didn't see it's full fury in the Fort Lauderdale area, I wonder what thoughts others are having about living in the path of potential future hurricanes.
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Old 09-27-2017, 07:29 PM
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Every area has its natural disasters. California has fires, drought, earthquakes, mud slides and is the home of fruits and nuts. Michigan has killer winters. Texas has killer tornadoes.

I have lived here almost 60 years, 50 years east of the intracoastal, and have never been through a cat 4 or 5 storm. Cat 1,2 or 3 can be bad hurricanes but they are not killers. They are mostly tree and boat damaging storms that are incredibly miserable and inconvenient but there is little chance of being killed directly by the storm.

Yes it is Russian Roulette, but the odds are much better than one in six.
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Old 09-28-2017, 02:41 AM
Location: Florida & Cebu, Philippines
2,808 posts, read 2,227,240 times
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H&H, from reading your posts for a while now, may I nicely say that you worry too much about everything and overthink everything. At least we get a warning ahead of time that a hurricane might be coming our way, not so with earthquakes and not much warning with twisters, if any. My opinion, stop worrying so much and just try to be happy and enjoy the good weather days, there are many more of those here than bad days.

The wife and I were not at all worried about Irma hitting us directly and if it did, that would have been the time for me to be concerned somewhat and even then, we were prepared with food, water and ammo, if the worst had come to pass, had it hit us directly and lasted for a prolonged time. I have road out quite a few hurricanes over the years, the news sensationalizes them way too much, as so far in my almost 40 years of living here, we have yet to have a direct hit wherever I had lived here.

There are people in life who worry enough for all of us, I think you H&H worry enough for all of us, so that we do not have to.
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Old 09-28-2017, 07:27 AM
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1987-2017- 30 years/6 hurricanes = one every 5 years!

I'd say after Irma you are in the clear for 5 more years!
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Old 09-29-2017, 10:29 AM
Location: Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood/Miami
368 posts, read 314,172 times
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Cat 5 hurricanes making a direct hit on Florida or anywehere in the US for that matter, are quite rare. In fact there have been only three in the last 80 years if I recall correctly, the last one being Andrew which was right here. With that said, Naples just took a direct hit from Irma as a Cat 4 and it fared reasonably well.

The reason is the building codes and infrastructure are built to withstand these kinds of storms. Miami & Ft. Lauderdale also aren't prone to the catastrophic flooding we saw in Houston and New Orleans (during Katrina) because the water recedes fast and is drained back into the ocean. The danger is really after the storms, with looters, downed cable lines, etc. but this happens with any storm.

The worst that can really happen around here in one of these storms is some property damage, maybe lose a roof and lose some windows. But the hurricane itself won't kill you unless you're riding out the storm outside. Just like some of the above people mentioned, there are natural disasters and dangers everywhere, just have to learn to cope with them.
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Old 09-29-2017, 01:21 PM
Location: North Carolina - Ex-NYer
975 posts, read 483,855 times
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You could always live in the northern part of the country during the summer months if it gives you that bad anxiety. Or you could live in the northeast where you'll have to dig your car out of the snow a few times each winter. And deal with lots of cloudy days.
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Old 10-10-2017, 07:39 PM
301 posts, read 261,531 times
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Thanks to everyone who replied to this post. I do have to say that having lived in the Midwest, it's a very, very rare thing to have a tornado touch down in a major city and I was surprised to see during the weather reports on Irma that tornado warnings were also added to the hurricane warning as tornadoes were sited throughout the Fort Lauderdale area.

It's therefore really hard to know if all the damage we saw to the landscapes in this area was due to the high winds of Hurricane Irma, or if tornado winds did some of the damage since very few people are outside to report a tornado touching down and I don't know if it's even possible to calculate which winds are coming from a hurricane and which winds are coming from a tornado when hurricane winds are hitting an area after tornadoes have been sited.

And I do have to say that even when I lived in suburban and rural areas in Michigan, there were always weather reports of tornado watches during certain weather conditions and of course, tornado warnings were broadcast so people could take cover in a basement, which is a rare thing to have here in South Florida as the water table is too high to build basements here.

Also, the snows in the Midwest and the tornadoes there don't cause billions and billions of dollars in damage like Hurricane Irma just did. There's also not the situation there where large numbers of communities over hundreds of miles not being able to get storm debris cleaned up quickly, some stating it may go into January to get all the felled trees and other landscape debris from Hurricane Irma picked up.

We did have a situation where 7,000 volunteers from the Midwest were mobilizing to to come down and help us clean up the mess left by Irma but Governor Scott told them not to come down as their help wasn't needed. A friend in Key West said that although they are reopen for tourists to come in, there is storm debris piled high all over the place and there is arguing going on between the various government agencies about who is responsible to clean it up. My friend said that although FEMA is down there hiring people to help with the clean-up, there isn't enough housing left in after Irma destroyed so many places in Big Pine to house clean-up workers and since Key West has a very tight rental market, there's not enough housing for workers there either, even though Key West didn't see large numbers of destroyed properties like the lower middle Keys did.

I also have noticed that the billions upon billions of dollars, which may be in the trillions by now, since I moved here in 1987, of hurricane related damage in Florida has not been experienced by citizens of areas of the U.S. that can have an earthquake, during that period of time because earthquakes that cause billions and billions of dollars in damage in the U.S. are a very rare and just aren't happening in the U.S. as often as hurricanes hit the U.S.. Costly hurricanes hitting Florida and other coastal regions of the Eastern U.S. is not a rare situation in relation to the rarity of earthquakes hitting the states where they sometimes can occur.

Contrary to what someone posted, people do die during hurricanes and during there aftermath where the electricity is often knocked out.

One of the people who replied to my post said that we can't be flooded like Houston was because we have good drainage here but looking at photos of hurricanes that have hit this area during the history of Florida, there certainly was flooding in this area and if the tide is high, even if the floodgates are open to the Everglades, the amount of flooding is really more dependent on the amount of rain that hits here. The Fort Lauderdale area was not been hit during Irma by the amount of rain that fell in Houston but if those sort of hurricane generated rains came here in the amount that hit Houston, there will be massive flooding here. Some might deny it but the sea level has risen and continues to rise in this area and with all the waterways surrounding this area, and considering the large number of homes and businesses built in the flood plain of rivers, canals and next to lakes here, the probability of flooding increasing over the coming years looks to be increasing, with or without a hurricane. I really don't know any area east of I-95 in the Fort Lauderdale area that sits high enough to not be considered to be in a flood plain and even if there is a minor category 1 hurricane predicted to hit here, the beach areas are always put under mandatory evacuation.

I think all we have to do is to look at the devastation caused by a category 5 hurricane hitting Puerto Rico, which actually does have better drainage than here because they have hills and mountains that we don't, and also pull up some photos on the Internet of the destruction of homes and businesses by Hurricane Andrew miles inland when it hit south Miami-Dade County and recall the miles and miles of blue tarps on damaged roofs here after Hurricane Wilma when people sometimes had to wait for months to get their roof repaired because the State of Florida wouldn't allow roofers to come in from out of state to help us with repairs, and most people, if they look at the facts of the matter and look at where hurricanes hit Florida in the past during the State's history, would have to admit that Fort Lauderdale is a sitting duck when it comes to a category 5 hurricane potentially hitting here.

There are no "special conditions" that exempt Fort Lauderdale from not being hit by a category 5 hurricane and being subjected to the destruction we saw Irma do in parts of the Florida Keys, which was not at a category 5 level when it hit there. Nor are we exempt from being hit like to Puerto Rico was from Hurricane Irma and from Hurricane Maria, which was a category 5 hurricane. All the evidence is there for those who wish to see the photos on the Internet of what Hurricane Andrew did to south Miami-Dade County, which some reports state was only a category 4 hurricane, and if you look at the original tracking of Hurricane Andrew, one will see that it was originally aimed to hit Fort Lauderdale but it went off it's predicted path and hit south of us instead.
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Old 10-10-2017, 08:44 PM
Location: Weston, FL
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cliffs, please!
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Old 10-14-2017, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by WrongStreet View Post

The reason is the building codes and infrastructure are built to withstand these kinds of storms. Miami & Ft. Lauderdale also aren't prone to the catastrophic flooding we saw in Houston and New Orleans (during Katrina) because the water recedes fast and is drained back into the ocean. The danger is really after the storms, with looters, downed cable lines, etc. but this happens with any storm.
Keep in mind if a storm hit on a high tide/king tide there is a lot of Miami/Ft Laud that would be washed away. Lauderdale is having bad flooding with the tides and rain, nevermind with a named storm. Parts of South Beach have water coming up through the sewers and flooding every street corner twice a day during king tides.
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Old 10-21-2017, 05:51 AM
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Anything is possible but I've lived here for 41 years and the worst that I've experienced was some trees down and once, a roof needed repair.
I agree that you may worry too much; however either way you have the choice to relocate to an area that you feel is less worrisome. None of us have the power to predict the future or control nature so yes, a cat. 5 is possible, so is a meteor hitting earth. I am prone to worrying also but am trying to retrain my thought processes. Life is too short to miss the joy for fear of the unknown.
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