The peak of hurricane season is fast approaching and we in Florida have dodged a landfalling hurricane for 11 years.
That’s right. 2005 was the last time a hurricane made landfall in Florida.
So, within those 11 years, Florida’s population has continued to explode. Beachside construction has ramped up, and an influx of new residents have relocated to Central Florida.
What does all of this mean?
That that many more people are not prepared for a tropical system to impact our daily life.
Last week in Louisiana, a coastal low pressure system dumped over 30 inches of rain on Baton Rouge, causing historic flooding, and displacing over 60,000 residents in the state.
That system wasn’t named and it didn’t come with a “tropical storm warning.” It was merely a blob of rain that stalled out over the panhandle of Florida and Louisiana for days.
Flash back to Tropical Storm Allison in Houston. The winds were only 60 mph, but Allison dumped a years worth of rain in Houston in a matter of 2 days, causing catastrophic flooding.
Usually a hurricane’s name is only retired if it makes landfall as a major hurricane and causes a certain dollar amount in damage, but Allison was an exception. The storm caused billions of dollars in damage, and since landfall, Allison has been retired from use of further tropical storms or hurricanes.
Tropical Storm Fay, back in 2009 dumped very heavy rain in Central Florida causing flooding all over Central Florida as the storm stalled out for days.
So why bring this up?
Meteorologists are closely monitoring “Invest 99L” as it approaches the Caribbean islands and forecasts do take some type of storm up into the Bahamas near Florida into this weekend.
Some forecasts develop the system into a tropical storm, others do not, but the consensus is that some type of system will affect us into early next week.
The bottom line, it looks like we’ll be getting a lot of rain from this system regardless as to if it develops or not. It is better to be prepared than to be caught off guard like the poor folks in Louisiana.
So have a plan, and have your emergency supplies ready, just in case.