Things are going very well at this point. Pensacola Beach has been moved out of the "cone of uncertainty," which means our area is no longer considered to be in the targeted path of the storm.
That's not to say that we won't feel the impact, however. Tropical force winds will stretch out 200 miles from the center of the hurricane and they have forecast over 12 inches of rain for our area. Our ground is already saturated from T.S. Debby and another front which came through two weeks earlier, plus constant downpours throughout the remainder of the summer. Flooding will be an issue, for sure.
Some of our worst damage can come in the form of a storm surge, but at this point they are only predicting a 3 to 6 ft surge and it should come ashore near low tide. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that a few of our remaining turtle nests along the higher dune lines will survive, but it's hard for me to see us lose any.
I was very happy to see that the gondolas were removed from the 200 ft. tall Observation Wheel overnight. The last thing you want to see flying your way during tropical force winds, is a big shiny gondola. Now let's just hope the rest of the structure is sturdy. It doesn't appear to provide a lot of wind resistance.
Time to finish storm preparations here at home. We are staying on the island now that we've been moved out of the "cone" and are getting ready to hunker down for a few days. Hopefully we won't lose electricity. Tuesday and Wednesday we will feel the brunt, but Thursday we will hopefully see blue skies and assess the effect of the storm.
Time to dig out my handheld anemometer so I can measure wind speeds as long as possible. It will be interesting to see which will win the battle for my hair on those brief forays: will the wind blow it straight or will the humidity bring out my wild Irish 'fro!