It has been a very wet a wild week here in Pinellas County Florida. As Hermine approached, we all watched carefully. Following a hurricane in Florida is very different from when one approached up North. The feeling here is more of community and enjoying the downtime after preparations were made. Where as up North, we are more prep and hide out in the house with our supplies type of people. The flighty nature of storms here on the gulf coast amaze me as they come and go many times before passing completely through.
We have experienced flooding, but never a hurricane (until now) since our arrival 2 years ago, here in Pinellas County Florida. This storm broke a decade old record! Hermine was upgraded from a tropical storm to a hurricane then back down again as it left us with its tail and tornado threats.
Schools closed for precautions, many roads flooded, sinkholes opened up all around, and the surge from the sea hit 12 feet in some spots further north. We were fascinated with the undeniable power the water possesses! The usual calm gulf waters raged with angry waves pushing and pulling in unpredictable ways. At one point a wave rolled out parallel to the shore line, something I have never witnessed before.
I tried to stand steady, umbrella wrapped up in one arm protecting mostly my camera from the winds. Sand pelted my exposed legs and surges suddenly flooded up to waist level at times, way back at the entrance of the beach. You could feel the force of the water in these moments as all the sand underneath your feet would fade away so quickly as if it were never there.
We watched others who ventured up and down the beaches lose their umbrellas when they suddenly faced against the wind, so I took heed to stand still facing only West as the winds whipped us from the South.
While we had this amazing experience, many of our neighbors in Pinellas County did not. Homes were flooded, some destroyed by downed trees, and thousands are without power today. 51 of our Florida counties were under a state of emergency as of last night and winds reached up to 80 MPH. Hermine is still going strong up the East Coast and will continue on its path into late next week. If you’re able, please contact your local county to see how you can get out and help with storm cleanup, supplies, and rebuilding.
We hope every one remains free of harm as this storm makes its exit. For videos of Hermine’s Passage please visit us on Instagram at @Wildly_Wild_Red
Thanks for reading,
Mandy- Wild Red