As of today, 8/24/2011, Hurricane Irene is passing over The Bahamas, and it has strengthened. The new projected path has it avoiding the eastern coast of Florida and then moving on up toward North Carolina and South Carolina. If you look at the path of Irene on the map to the left you will note an "M" over its path in some places. M = Major Hurricane. So people in those areas could be in for a tough time. For those of us in the Zephyrhills area it appears that we have again "dodged a bullet". It has been a long time since we have a storm of any consequence do much damage here. Let's hope it continues!
You can click on the map to the left to see a larger view. Again, note on the map that the letter "M" is on the storm's path. From what I read on the Hurricane Center's page, this means "Major Hurricane" with wind speeds over 110 MPH. So while it may be further to the east, perhaps it will be a stronger storm than we had thought. It certainly bears watching! We will know for sure around 8 AM Friday if the current projections come to fruition.
Do keep in mind that it is still faraway and wind directions have been known to change. I have even seen storms do loop-the-loops and come right back over the same area. So the trajectory of this storm could change. It could miss us altogether. You never can tell this far out. But it pays to be alert and take cautious steps to prepare. Just in case!
If you are in the process of closing on a home sale in the next few days, do be aware that once a storm warning is issued for any part of the state of Florida, it is likely that ALL insurance companies will stop writing new policies until the storm's threat has passed. So if you have not already obtained a binder on your insurance coverage, speak with your real estate agent immediately about what is happening. If you used one of the Florida purchase agreements that most agents here use, there is specific language concerning hurricanes and underwriting moratoriums that is there to protect you from having to purchase an uninsured home. And if you are financing the purchase, keep in mind that your bank WILL NOT fund your loan if there is no proof of adequate insurance coverage on the home. See your agent for more information concerning this issue.
So far we have had a pretty quiet hurricane season with no major storms making landfall here. We do seem to be getting more rain than we normally do, but this very much resembles the weather patterns that took place all the time up until the late 1980's when a VERY long dry spell took place. So these nice showers are very welcome and have helped cut down on wildfires. The landscape around Zephyrhills sure is looking nice and green. And many are saving money on irrigation.
Much of my information comes from the National Hurricane Center. They follow tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes from birth to death. It can be a useful site to visit. If you would like to try it out, click on the following link: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov I suggest you "bookmark it" or "make it a Favorite" for future reference if you live in an area that can be affected by tropical storms or hurricanes. You will find it interesting and helpful to track the path of each storm. You can also download a Hurricane Tracking Map by clicking on the following link: TRACKING MAP
I will also try to update my weblog with new posts if it appears that a hurricane or another major storm will make landfall in our area. So come back here to check if you want to.
You can also find out how to prepare for hurricanes and other disasters at the following state site: http://www.floridadisaster.org/ Do not wait until a storm is upon us to prepare your home and family. Hopefully we will make it through 2011 with no major storms paying us a visit, but you never know. Better safe than sorry!
I invite you to visit my webpage at: http://www.jelwell.century21bnr.com/ where you will find links to many interesting sites dealing with real estate. You are always welcome there. JOHN ELWELL - REALTOR at CENTURY 21 Bill Nye Realty, Inc.
I can also be contacted anytime via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at: 813-783-4444
Image from NOAA
John Elwell - REALTOR
Bill Nye Realty, Inc.
Licensed in Florida