Hurricane Florence is bearing down on us and the weather forecast, which first seemed to be improving for Myrtle Beach, now has worsened and it looks like we may be in for a Category 4 hurricane. That, according to Weather.com, means "catastrophic" damages to homes in the hurricane's path.
I have to tell you, we have a nice home. But it was built in three months, so who knows how it will stand up.
We are relative newbies when it comes to dealing with hurricanes, although we've had two hit us since we moved to Myrtle Beach two years ago. But they were only Category 1, and winds generally did not exceed 80 mph.What we're facing with Florence is more like 140 mph and heavy, heavy, heavy rains.
(My grandmother's name was Florence, and she was the nicest, sweetest, mildest person I've ever known. How dare they name a hurricane after her?)
We live just outside the official mandatory evacuation zones in Myrtle Beach, but that doesn't mean the rain and winds will magically stop just before they reach our house. It appears that we are in for a heavy, heavy hit.
Complicating everything, the potential path and magnitude of this storm combine to make it difficult to know where to go, if we were to evacuate.
We've had lots of offers for shelter from as far away as Washington State, Pittsburgh, Florida and elsewhere. Some of our friends are heading to Atlanta, which is well out of the storm's path, but that seems like a long way to go. Plus late models show the storm could turn south and even approach Atlanta.
But, last night, based on a report I heard on TV, the weather guy said anything south of Charleston should be OK. So, I booked a nice B&B in Beaufort, SC, which would take our dog, Sundance, thinking maybe we could turn lemons into lemonade. But after thinking about that and realizing Beaufort is an area prone to flooding and storm surges, I cancelled those reservations. Why go from bad to bad or even bad to worse?
So now we've decided to stay put. We've loaded up on food, batteries, water, wine, beer, snacks. Brought in all the outdoor furniture, grills, and such.
But, best of all, our friends, David and Carmen Higham, are going to hunker down here as well, so we will have a hurricane party. They live only two blocks from the ocean and so their home is really at risk. At least we are far enough away that we will not be affected by ocean storm surge waters.
I told David that he and Carmen can run from window to window and hold the wind and rain back while Jackie and I relax. I'll drink wine and Jackie said she'd just soak in the tub.
UPDATE: David and Carmen are abandoning us and heading north, even though today's reports predict the storm will weaken a bit to Category 2. We considered going with them, but decided to stay put. Tomorrow and Friday will tell us if we made a smart or stupid decision.
So for those of you who follow Not Fake News, this is the story. If we don't lose power and/or internet service, I'll continue to file reports. I started this blog site just a year ago and it's now in my DNA.
Another bright spot: It's like a breath of fresh air to write about something besides Trump. Even if it is a damn hurricane that might blow our house away.