My Parents live in Sarasota 8 miles from the water, My brother and his wife live even closer to the water. My sister and her family live in Tampa very close to the water. I am here in Illinois praying that they will all be safe. This storm looks pretty ugly. I am very worried.
Thanks for the update BJ..... we're not coming to Tampa until NEXT weekend - on the 21st. We're scheduled to stay at the Sailport - but we're of course hoping that all of those hotels, residences don't receive too much damage with the impending surge.
If so, guess we'll be scrambling for a new hotel.
Take care - and stay safe
1st Cruise - Carnival Inspiration - August 2004
2nd Cruise - Carnival Destiny - May 2006
Sailport looks like a lovely place to stay from the exterior, I have never been inside. Sailport is on the water and we are expecting everything on the water to flood. You might want to call before you leave for here.
The latest news announcements were for people near the beach to leave. We are expecting around a 10 foot storm surge.
I live in the evacuation area. No way I'd stay anywhere near the water with a Hurricane coming. When Elaina was 150 miles from Tampa everything was flooded near the beaches. The electricity at the beach has been turned off. I expect bad weather, flooding, down trees and various damage. The sad thing is the weather is so calm now that people who have never lived through a Hurricane sometimes discard the warnings that could save their lives. We are in the calm before the storm.
My Mom went to the port last weekend to wave goodbye to the passengers aboard the Inspiration, she asked me, "where will the Inspiration go since they are suppose to return on Sunday?" I told her, "Carnival will take care of them and not bring them into the bad weather."
Charley is suppose to pass all the way through Florida by tomorrow morning. We probably will not have electricity for a few days.
I am in Orlando and we are expected to have the eye cross right over us in about an hour or so. So far, it hasn't been to bad. We are just hoping for the best. Luckily I have my cruise to think about next month to get me through the scary times.
Thanks for your prayers. They really helped. The eye turned at the last minute away from what all the weathermen expected and reported as far as moving along the gulf coast and my family was spared. Thanks again for the prayers. I pray that the people who were in the path are safe this evening and are counting their blessings as well.
BJ, wishing you and all others in the area, the very best as Charley passes through your area.
I'm, admittedly, paying a bit more attention to Earl (still called #5) as it is the weather that can directly impact my travel into your area. It looks, if it keeps on its current track, to be in the area of Jamaica around the 18th and so around the 21st, as I make my way to the area it could be making travel tricky (to say the least).
The entire time we expected Hurricane Charley to hit the Tampa Bay area, I spent all morning storing water. Just before the storm went inland it turned and went in Captiva Island (a lovely area) and did a great deal of damage. The Hurricane continued towards Lakeland and on to Orlando, the last report I heard the Hurricane was going out at Daytona Beach on the east coast. The Hurricane spared the Tampa area but did a great deal of damage across the state. The sad news is that many people from the Tampa Bay area evacuated to the Lakeland and Orlando area and ended up in the path of the Hurricane. Unfortunately for all of us the Hurricane's can change course at any given time. I am so glad the West Coast (my area) was spared, we had rain and wind, but nothing like the Central Florida.
Now the weather people are reporting two new Tropical Disturbances one headed for the Atlantic and one headed for the Caribbean.
Last Sunday the Inspiration loaded with passengers sailed away. I am expecting them to sail back in tomorrow and unload. Hopefully you will be just as lucky, when the storm get's closer you can call Carnival at 1-800-CARNIVAL and they will tell you what there plans are. Another storm next weekend? At least we will have a few more days to get better prepared. I hope the people who were having Hurricane parties take note and realize this is serious business. The Tampa Bay area was so lucky. We are beginning to see terrible pictures of distruction on the news from Captiva to Orlando. No one expected the Hurricane to turn, everyone expected the Tampa Bay area to take a direct hit. I am glad we didn't get hit, but so sorry for the people who did receive the Hurricane.
That's right, you are suppose to set sail out of Tampa soon. Feel free to email me if you want later in the week and I'll let you know what is happening here. I am hoping that the storm that is brewing doesn't continue to follow the same path, but we won't know where the storm wil actually hit until just before land fall.
It is Saturday morning and the Tampa Bay area is not damaged, I wish I could say the same for the rest of the state. Our people on the west coast were evacuated to Lakeland and east all the way to Orlando, right in the path of the Hurricane. Once the storm changed directions there just wasn't much time for people to evacuate. If you are looking for anyone in Florida you might call the EOC and ask them.
Thanks for your prayers.
I am glad you and your area were spared the brunt of the storm - very sorry to see the havoc in the Lakeland, Orlando and other areas hit hardest. I hope that the early action of your governor helps to get aid to the areas most affected and has people back on their feet soon.
I'm watching #5 (let's just call it Earl, they will soon enough) and have noticed some change in the projected trajectory. It is too early to tell, but Thursday looks like it could be some rougher water and difficulties in some of the areas that the Inspiration will be - hope that all those boarding tomorrow have safe passage and are able to dodge, avoid and generally miss any bad weather while making their ports of call and that she arrives back into Tampa without delay on the 22nd.
I'm not a pessimist - quite a realist really - but I do see some more storm formation off the coast of Africa (lovely how much information we all have access to with satellites). Hopefully it all just blows itself silly in the middle of the Atlantic and doesn't make landfall anywhere in the Caribbean or costal South, Central and North America (and that the churn of it spinning itself out in the middle of the ocean doesn't make the seas and swells too much either, for that matter).
Take care all - hoping each and every one of us have safe and wonderful holidays.
I have lived here all of my life and never seen two Hurricanes hit Florida in just a couple of days. The weather was beautiful here this morning and since then the outter bands of the Hurricane have been hitting us and they were nasty. The Tampa Bay area is fine though.
Here is an EOC number that I located if anyone is looking for a loved one 1-850-413-9900.