Pray for prudence and vigilance

Published on September 27th, 2022

(September 27, 2022) – Hurricane Ian has entered the southeastern Gulf of Mexico as a Category 3 hurricane, prompting new watches and warnings for Florida.

On the forecast track, the center of Ian is expected to move over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico today, pass west of the Florida Keys later tonight, and approach the west coast of Florida within the hurricane warning area tomorrow and tomorrow night.

Winds have gusted from 40 to 50 mph in Key West today, with the latest forecasted track showing Ian making landfall as a major Category 3 hurricane near Tampa between September 28 and 29. Hurricanes of that strength exhibit winds of 96 to 112 knots.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warns that devastating damage will occur: “Well-built framed homes may incur major damage or removal of roof decking and gable ends. Many trees will be snapped or uprooted, blocking numerous roads. Electricity and water will be unavailable for several days to weeks after the storm passes.”

Doran Cushing, who is based in the target zone for Ian, shares this report from the waterfront:

Tampa Bay is in for a devastating event. The winds will not be the problem. It’s the storm surge…massive bodies of water with no place to go…but ashore. My boat is secured in the best possible place – The Harborage Marina in St. Petersburg, FL – with floating docks and a massive breakwater.

I am surrounded by huge cats and power boats. I’ve done my due diligence…dock lines doubled, bimini removed, jib removed, main covered and wrapped tightly. Halyards stored away from rigging and mast. Multiple fenders on dock side. Spring lines providing easy adjustment for ebb and flow. Boom lowered to cabin top and strongly secured by halyards and mainsheet.

Down below all valuable gear removed. All other gear secured. Hatches and ports secured. Bilge cleared. All I can do next is nothing…wait for storm to pass…resume my business…hope my fellow boaters have been prudent and vigilant.

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