Update (11:39 p.m. Florida, 8:39 p.m. LA): The storm is shifting east, according to the Orlando Sentinel and at least one local news channel.
Not like a hard right turn in a classic Hollywood car chase, but yeah, it’s going a little bit further from shore. I’m looking at computer models and only one streak has it touching land in the Sunshine State.
Sanford, mentioned earlier in this post, has allegedly been soaked with 5.87 inches of rain in the last 24 hours. Having worked in Sanford, I’ve driven through areas of blinding rain and the moment I leave the city, dryness. Can’t explain it.
Not that we didn’t appreciate the #PrayForFlorida hashtag, of course. We all need a little more prayer in our lives.
If something changes tonight, I’m sure it will wake me up.
Update (8:42 p.m. Florida, 5;42 p.m. LA): You can’t avoid it — every single local channel, every news network, has an asswipe in a windbreaker standing on a pier. Even the local CBS affiliate won’t give you any relief with tonight’s football game. Come to think of it, do I really want to watch the San Francisco 49ers?
Again, my purpose with this blog is to slow the roll of panic. News outlets are treating Florida as if it’s a small state. Driving Florida is something akin to traveling from San Diego to San Francisco. In California, people hear of “The Big One” earthquake for decades. Nobody really buys it.
So when you read “We’ll need body bags if people don’t evacuate” as a headline on The Weather Channel page for Altamonte Springs, it’s complete bullshit.
There is no evacuation order here.
You must be specific. Which sheriff? Otherwise, instant panic.
And trust me, the messages I get from people out west are panicked. If I didn’t used to be in that industry, I might freak out a little, too.
They’re inciting a panic because their web desk doesn’t know what the hell its doing.
By the way, it’s a firm rain.
Update (6:25 p.m. Florida, 3:25 p.m. LA): Current projections of Matthew’s path have it missing Miami, the butt-kicking part of it, anyway. That not-so-sweet spot might tap landfall in Melbourne or Space Coast, as previously mentioned. Technically, I’ll be in a hurricane if that happens.
Again, it’s the people on the coast who had to flee.
Read an interesting story about Cape Canaveral. NASA only built the facility for a Category 2 hurricane. Matthew? Category 4. Good thing the shuttle program was disbanded.
Update (5:25 p.m. Florida, 2:25 p.m. LA): The Weather Channel website has corrected itself. The rain I photographed in the post below will not stop until after 11 p.m. Friday.
There is a curfew in effect for Seminole County, which is just north of where I live, from 5 a.m. Friday to 7 a.m. Saturday. Seminole County, for those who aren’t from here, includes Sanford — where Trayvon Martin was killed by George Zimmerman.
Update (4:31 p.m. Florida. 1:31 p.m. LA): This is the nonhurricane rain I mentioned earlier.
It’ll stop in an hour.
My mom was nice enough to call a moment ago, and I had to calm the situation. Yes, Orlando International Airport is closing at 8 p.m. tonight. It’s a prudent move. So is buying some extra food. I have enough pizza and Little Debbie’s to last a while.
They tell you to fill up the tub with water to drink. No thanks. But it will help if the toilet tank needs the water to initiate a flush. So there’s that.
Also, to add some needed perspective: Gov. Rick Scott did say the hurricane will kill you. The exact quote is, “Don’t surf. Don’t go to the beach. This will kill you.”
So would flying a plane. For that matter, so would taking a roller coaster and Disney World figured that out.
Update (2:45 p.m. Florida, 11:45 a.m. LA): There is rain expected at 4 p.m., but that is more typical late-afternoon showers I’ve come to expect since I’ve moved here. Currently, the expectation is for the storm to come not at 8 p.m., but 9. The worst is expected to come to central Florida at about 5 a.m. Winds will spike and continue to gain strength into the 80 mph range from then until 8 p.m.
Authorities are asking to clear the roads at 6 p.m.
Original estimates of five inches of rain in the next day have increased to as many as eight inches.
Aside from Matthew, tropical storm Nicole has been upgraded to Hurricane Nicole. This sucks. I’ve never had any luck with girls named Nicole.
Shelters are opening in Florida. I have not heard of any in Seminole or Orange counties.
In the meantime, I’m watching Ireland play Georgia in World Cup qualifying. Not our Georgia, Russia-typey Georgia.
(First post): Good afternoon, I’m James and up front, I promise this is not a troll post. I do have gallows humor, but I realize many are a little freaked out about Hurricane Matthew. Unless of course, you’re with the Clinton campaign and you see the opportunity to turn disaster into votes. But I digress:
This is for residents of Altamonte Springs, surrounding areas and those curious. The current headline from Florida Gov. Rick Scott is that Matthew “is going to kill people.” I want to temper that. Florida is a big-ass state. For the uninitiated, Altamonte Springs is just north or Orlando, maybe 40 miles from the coast. Those people need to run. I needed to get Domino’s.
I remain convinced I am in no danger. Maybe that’s just the reporter in me. I volunteer. I expect to be summoned to help. Should that happen, I expect to be in a little jeopardy then, but I doubt it. The “hurricane” part of this storm extends about 50 miles from the eye. Beyond that radius, it’s a tropical storm, which is still problematic, but so be it.
You’ve probably heard about Melbourne, where Matthew might touch the state. I’m 62 miles from Melbourne. Matthew would have to stay on land for quite a while, making a 45 degree angle north by northwest.
When Matthew reaches Space Coast, which is closer, I’m 50 miles away.
I am on the tail end of the hurricane part, maybe 10-15 miles in the hurricane, unless it makes an unexpected drastic turn. The winds would be like the bad ones whipping through Cajon Pass. They expect a lot of rain, but there’s going to be more than a foot of it out on the coast.
This is what I know as of 1:39 p.m. on the east, 10:39 a.m. back in L.A. (Updates coming):
Publix will close at about 3, at least the ones in Altamonte Springs. This is what the bread aisle looked like yesterday and today:
Maybe I just have a thing for Latina single moms. Who knows?
Target in Casselberry is open and less hectic, as of now. Remember to get more than food. Towels to the bottom of your doors is a good idea. Virtually every store I went into expects to be closed all day Friday. I did read a story about Waffle Houses staying open pretty much no matter what. Take that, vegans.
It is not expected to rain steady here until 8 p.m. (5 p.m. LA) There are no shelters opened or planned to open yet in Seminole County.
I’m watching “Designated Survivor” on DVR, for those who appreciate irony.