The countdown to Isaac began today. Out came the hurricane preparedness file, the plastic bins, the important papers, and the suitcases. We're in the process of moving things up from the garage onto the main level and clearing everything off the patio, decks and balconies. We have people on standby to board up the house with our hurricane shutters on Monday. It's definitely not a do-it-yourself job!
The storm is currently estimated to come ashore Tuesday (evening?) somewhere between Panama City Beach on our east side and Mississippi on our west as a possible Category 2. All we can do is be prepared, stick with the plan, and stay calm. It's SO tempting to have the television turned to The Weather Channel, but it's really best not to give in and get swept up in their presentations which can be dramatic and easily have us wringing our hands and running to and fro' in panic. It's been 7 years, 11 months and 22 days since Hurricane Ivan (I think, but who's counting!) and my blood pressure still rises at the mention of Jim Cantore's name or the possibility he's near.
I can't write this post without mentioning our sea turtles. We have more than half of our nests left to hatch, so I'm very sad at the timing. Currently we've witnessed over 1850 hatchlings into the Gulf of Mexico and, were it not for storms, we could have passed last year's hatchling record of 3400 in the Gulf, hands down. Hopefully I will still be able to do my Sunday patrol and get some photos. Ft. Pickens is always the first of our area to be affected due to its elevation, so it will probably be the first to close.
I'll try to keep folks updated in the days ahead. Keep the Florida Panhandle dear to your heart and hope for a small Cat 1!