Six on Saturday – Ian Aftermath

I have heard from a lot of people this week inquiring about our status after Hurricane Ian blasted through Florida. Here is what happened.

On Monday this week I posted the latest spaghetti models for the path of the hurricane. Meteorologists use these models to show possible storm paths. I have turned into a bit of a hurricane nerd and follow the weather modeling when storms are active. I marked this map up to show how the forecasting moved during the week.

I am located east of the big hole in Florida, Lake Okeechobee. The LW labels are where Ian was forecast to hit last week. Last week the hurricane was hitting South Florida or the Panhandle. The line in black was the Monday forecast. Tuesday it moved south with a prediction of a direct hit on Tampa Bay. Wednesday morning Category 4 Hurricane Ian spinning 155 mph winds made landfall at Cayo Costa, Florida, a barrier island off the west coast near Ft. Myers. It is over 100 miles between Tampa and Ft. Myers. The hurricane never really looked like it was going to hit us. Ironically, when the first rain bands hit my house the hurricane warning area was upgraded to 30 miles north of my house.

Ians’s path through Florida:

The storm passed about 110 miles west of us overnight on Wednesday. There was a constant 30 mph wind that escalated to 50 or 60 mph gusts off and on. We had very little rain.

The dreadful images of storm damage seen all over the internet and news stories are mostly from the two counties near the landfall, Lee and Collier. There is wind damage and ongoing flooding elsewhere in the path. Hurricane Ian reformed after leaving Florida as a tropical storm and hit South Carolina on Friday.

Our nephew lives in Ft. Myers and stayed in his house. After 5 hours of 100 mph winds, he had a hole in his roof and trees down. He was very lucky. The storm surge stopped 1/2 mile away. Another friend, with land development experience, recently sold his golf course view home in Naples after worrying for years about the 6-8 foot topographical difference between his house and the Gulf of Mexico. I imagine his neighborhood was inundated by the storm surge.

Here is what happened in my garden:

Winds blew this pot counterclockwise. I am glad it did not blow off the wall.

Piles of palm fronds to pick up. I hate hurricane cut palms. It is bad for the health of the tree to cut all the yellow and brown fronds and seed heads off as they provide homes and food for birds and bats – but, you don’t have to pick them up after high winds.

The hurricane cut palm is on the right. They are left with 3 to 5 green fronds many times.

The Strangler Fig was mostly covered in new leaves before the winds blew through. The new leaves and many others are now covering the ground.

That is it from my garden. Just piles of debris to pick up. Some of the plants are pointed in a decidedly more southern direction as that is where the strongest winds came from.

To see more Six on Saturday posts, visit Jon at http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

Happy Gardening, I will be adding to my compost heap!