Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The little storm that could - UPDATE 2

As I write this, Tropical Storm Fay has been sitting on Central Florida for 18 hours dumping rain and bringing winds in excess of 60 miles per hour. The center of circulation right now is directly over Cocoa Beach as you can see in the radar shot above and forward movement is down to 4 mph, so, we're in for another long, wet and windy day. I did not see any damage on the way in to the office from south Cocoa Beach this morning other than Yen Yen's old rusty sign that appeared to have a new angle of decline. The shot below is from yesterday (Aug. 19) afternoon. The rain and wind have been pretty constant since that shot and conditions are the same now, 9:16 AM Aug. 20.

The forecast track below shows the storm eventually moving out over the Atlantic just north of Cocoa Beach before turning west and bringing excitement to north Florida. In the meantime, school kids in Cocoa Beach got to miss two of the first three days of school and I'm sitting in the office enjoying the sight of empty streets and bending palm trees in the blowing rain out my window daydreaming about tropical weather days in the past.

"Rain showers my spirit and waters my soul."
_____Emily Logan Decens

[Aug. 20 - 5 PM update]

The storm renewed it's assault early in the afternoon and by 2 PM the storm had stalled, the wind had resumed out of the opposite direction at +-50 mph and the storm drains are flowing backwards as the rain continues unabated.

At this point the news channels are claiming upwards of 20 inches of rain so far and another 10 inches possible by tomorrow. The river is up to and over seawalls along all the canal streets and those people with west and south river exposures are experiencing flooding and dock damage. I received a call from a friend on the river in south cocoa Beach with a report of a flooded yard and a loose jet ski banging into the dock. When I got there the waves were crashing over the seawall into the back yard and the jet ski was breaking itself and the dock with each wave. Three of us were able to lasso the thing and winch it over onto the dock without crushing any appendages.

This is the usually dry yard with the jet ski safely tied down, for now.

These are west facing docks on the Banana River in south Cocoa Beach about 4 PM this afternoon, Aug. 20. Ten more inches of rain predicted with diminishing wind. All low areas in the county are now flooded. The bright spot is that we experienced minimal beach erosion and wind damage. At this point it has all been about the historic rainfall amounts.

[UPDATE - Aug. 21]

By dark last night the rising river and persistent southwest winds had some west facing docks in danger and crews were scrambling to shore up seawalls and secure boats.

Noon:Thursday - The rain has stopped and the water is starting to recede although the river may take some time to go down. Kids will likely have to return to school tomorrow after this unplanned three day holiday and I'll return to my normal real estate related postings. As you can imagine, there has not been much activity since Fay first arrived on Monday. Live long and prosper.