Irma Has Fallen Apart and Florida is Recovering

Irma Has Fallen Apart and Florida is Recovering

Hurricane Irma blew through my part of Florida in the wee hours of Monday morning. The peak winds for us in the Orlando area came around 1:20 AM. Yes, I was up and I couldn’t keep from watching my NE facing window since that was the main direction from which those vicious winds were coming.

No serious damage here, but we did have several smallish trees in large planters blown over and lost a large limb on the big oak in the back yard. (See photo above.) I say “large limb” and I mean about 10-12″ across; that’s a good-sized limb. Big enough that removing it is going to take a rope and a crew of two or three. It was right on the property line and will almost certainly fall into the adjoining neighbor’s back yard when cut free. (Its fall was arrested by other, lower limbs.)

On Thursday morning I’m going to remove another good-sized limb from the neighbor’s yard on the east side. My roomie and I estimate that it will take about two weeks to get all of the yard debris to the curb for collection. It’s not an afternoon or two of work. And this yard is not as big as some. But a lot of growth since the last big storm.

I’m the newest tenant here but because I have a lot of tree experience and love doing this kind of work, I’m in the middle of the clean up effort. The primary tenant has been here for 17 years so she’s definitely the committee chair; the owner is in Naples, which took the full effects of Irma’s wrath, so we’re going to do what’s got to be done without having to get him to redirect his attention from what is almost certainly a huge task as far as getting his own domicile squared away. The structure seems to have weathered all of this in fine form, but trees, shrubs and cacti are going to need considerable attention.

Because I’ve been in Florida since 1961, I have been through many, many hurricanes. Riding out a storm is not too big a deal, but I certainly will admit that I don’t sleep a wink if the damn thing happens to come through my part of the state in the wee hours. No doubt some folks can sleep just fine when storms blow through; I’m not one of them.

Let me point out that always “keeping one eye open” for the approach of danger is an example of an evolutionarily positive trait. Meaning that those who have that trait are more likely to reproduce and therefore pass along that trait. Being a light sleeper in hazardous conditions is a very good thing! Let the record show that Ol’ Bulldog does indeed possess that trait!

Damage to trees and shrubs was the worst for my house mates and me. But many in Florida were not so fortunate. Well over half of our state’s utility customers were left with no power; as of 11:00 PM today, Sept 12th, about a third of all Floridians are still toting flashlights and burning candles. Although cell service and internet connections were disrupted here, we kept our lights on throughout. Good to have fortune smile on us on that score, to be sure!

The death toll in the Sunshine State stands at 12 as I write this and will almost certainly go higher. Irma was no wimpy storm and we’re certainly relieved now that she’s gone up the road a ways and ultimately fallen apart. We know that some of her siblings will be heading this way; some, perhaps, before this year’s hurricane season wraps up.

We’re Floridians; we’ll be ready.

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

 

Irma and Rush Limpbag: The Two BIG Blowhards Plaguing Florida Right Now!

Just when you thought Ben was going to write up another cool camping trip or beach outing…

Sorry folks! Those cool, upbeat postings about trips to our amazing state parks in the Sunshine State are gonna have to wait! Right now as I’m sitting at my desk awaiting the extreme winds and rain we’re about to get from Hurricane Irma, this came to my attention through a friend’s Facebook posting.

The granddaddy of all right-wing nut-jobs,  #RushLimpbag, has said some really outrageous stuff lately. Blogger Joe Kloc distilled a boatload of it into a piece for Harper’s Magazine recently and it’s just breath-taking. And yes, it includes the well-circulated drivel about how Hurricanes aren’t as bad as forecasters and government officials say, blah, blah, blah…

No doubt you’ve heard how that part of the story ends; yeah, Rush evacuated his Palm Beach home yesterday. Guess he didn’t want to get washed into the sea by one of those fake waves!

But there’s so much more than just stuff about hoaxes and hurricanes! Wanna see just how big a nut-job Mr Limpbag truly is? Pass your eyes over this garbage!

To those of you who are also hunkered down in Florida: I hope you and yours ride out this nasty storm in fine fashion. Mother Nature is pissed. And I can’t say as I blame her. We’re just going to have to endure her wrath for the next few days and hope that we’ll see her smile on us again before too long.

Whoa! That last remark was probably not the smartest way to wrap up a blog posting! What with Cat 5 Hurricane Jose waiting in the on-deck circle and all of that…

Growing weary of the rushing winds from Limbaugh’s pie hole, I am,

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2017 Ben Lawrence Basile

Hurricane Harvey Hits Houston and It’s Not Over Yet!

Hurricane Harvey Hits Houston and It’s Not Over Yet!

As all of you know, the metro Houston area and a large chunk of East Texas is in very bad shape after being laid low by Hurricane Harvey. This storm has poured a truly biblical amount of rain on east Texas and — incredibly, now three days down the road — more rain is on the way.

This is the worst damage to a major U.S. city since Katrina walloped New Orleans exactly 12 years ago today. I’m sure I’m not the only American having “Katrina flashbacks” today; it all seems a bit surreal.

The irony in this situation is that many who fled Katrina went to the Houston area. So quite a few folks are really in “full flashback mode” as I write this; I have no idea how many, but Houston did receive a lot of “weather refugees” after Katrina barreled through.

It’s natural to wonder how you might be able to help people who go through disasters like Harvey. If you’d like to be of assistance to the victims of Nature’s fury this time, just follow this link.

I have many family members in the East Texas Region. I’m happy to say that they’re all a bit further inland where it’s merely high water and localized flooding, but not the displacement of thousands like the citizens of Houston have seen. But it’s one reason why I’ve kept an eye on what’s going on out there. And it’s a big deal for the country in general; Houston is the fourth-largest city in the U.S., after all.

Hope you’re high and dry as I write this. Check in with you later.

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2017 Ben Lawrence Basile

Photo of Hurricane Katrina from NOAA now in the Public Domain