It's completely strange to see a second hurricane headed our way, especially this late in the season. This is our tenth hurricane season. Our first storm was Irma in 2017, which was a massive storm but did its worst over Puerto Rico and Cuba before getting to Florida. Locally, we had some missing roof shingles and such, some flooding, but it was generally not serious in our area.
Then we had Ian this year, six weeks ago. The worst part about waiting for the storm was that no one could really accurately predict what it was going to do. After it crossed Cuba, a change in heading of just ten degrees was the difference between landing at the tip of Florida or the panhandle. Of course we know it landed just north of Fort Myers and did unprecedented damage there and on the islands. My in-laws where pretty close if not in the middle of the storm in Venice, so that was not great. As it came inland, it retained a lot more of its strength than Irma did, and brought a lot more rain, but as we were on the left side of the path, didn't get the worst of it despite the approximate middle coming within the same distance. As expected, our house and neighborhood came out fine, and we're not in a spot that could easily flood. It was, however, a lot scarier because this house has bigger windows than the other one, and the entire storm was louder. I could feel the windows bow when the gusts hit. I was also worried about the solar panels, because they're not insured. I've had a hard time finding someone who would cover them. Florida property insurance is a shit show due in part to weather related risk, but also because the state uses a single rating agency that keeps downgrading insurers.
These storms are not a huge deal for us because we're so far away from the ocean and the gulf, and they should amount to a nervous day or two, and possible power outages. Some areas are also prone to flooding, but we are not. As I tell people, that's why they built the theme parks here and not on the coast. The folks evacuating come here.
This next one, Nicole, is mostly easy to predict in terms of path, because it will broadside the Atlantic coast. What's less certain is the intensity, because every six hours they increase it earlier, though it's still expected to weaken pretty quickly over land. I imagine this will feel more like a very long thunderstorm, but what sucks for us is that we'll be on the crappy side of the storm as it goes by. Typically the tornados and worst weather happen in the front right quadrant of the storm, which is where we'll be. But we're still only looking at sustained winds under 30 mph with gusts in the 40's. As long as we keep power and Internet, no problem.
All things considered, these storms are worth it to live here. I wouldn't be averse to living on the Atlantic coast either, provided I was in newer construction, on higher ground, where the dunes are 15 feet above sea level. I'll take this over winter any day.