Sunday, September 5, 2004

Letting Up?

It looks like it might be letting up down here in Miami – but that means it’s only going to get worse up north.

One-third of Broward County (Fort Lauderdale) is without power, and their 9-1-1 system is being overwhelmed by people calling in with non-emergency (as in life-threatening) problems such as downed tree limbs and power outages. The water system in Broward County is being overloaded by the flooding and is in danger of contamination, so the authorities are telling people not to run their water or flush their toilets unless absolutely necessary (When we had a water shortage at camp one summer, the motto was “If it’s yellow, let it mellow; if it’s brown, flush it down.” Words to live by.)

We’ve been really fortunate here in Coral Gables. There is still electricity and the highest wind gust recorded at my WeatherBug site, the Miami Museum of Science, has been 39 mph.

The forecast is that Hurricane Frances will finally make landfall later tonight and chug across the peninsula by Monday night, diminishing to a tropical storm by the time it gets to the Gulf Coast. The future track then takes it across the Gulf – and perhaps gaining strength when it gets over water – and crossing the coast again near Pensacola (brace yourself, Bryan!) and then heading up to central Mississippi by Tuesday.

And now there’s Tropical Storm Ivan:

Meanwhile, far out in the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Ivan is growing stronger and is forecast to assualt the Lesser Antilles, and possibly Puerto Rico as a full-fledged hurricane by the middle of next week.

And on that note, good night.