Meteorologist Robert Molleda from the National Weather Service visited Palmetto Bay’s Village Hall in June to talk about the looming hurricane season and how the community should prepare for. He began by showing a slide depicting the paths of all the hurricanes that have hit Florida since 1865. Between 1920-1965, a total of 15 major hurricanes struck South Florida, but since 1966 only four. Since 2005 we’ve been very quiet. But, Molleda added, while we’ve been lucky, this does not mean we should become lax.
This year may be another lucky year because of El Nino. With El Nino, there are high-level winds that tend to sheer off hurricane formation. Because of this and other factors, it is predicted we’ll have a below normal hurricane season. However, preparation is still important because statistics don’t always capture weather reality. Although only eight percent of recent significant weather events were hurricanes, 81 percent of the damage/cost came from hurricanes.
Molleda pointed out that people often forget about flooding, tornado activity and storm surge when thinking about hurricanes. In 1926, an eight-foot storm surge hit Miami Beach and deposited two feet of sand on Collins Avenue.
And, during Andrew, the Deering Estate and the old Burger King headquarters had nearly 17- feet of storm surge, raising a boat over a lock and depositing it.
My observation about preparation is that technology has made it far easier. Unlike when Andrew hit, we now have cell phones, the Internet and a variety of additional personal ways to communicate. Also, most gas stations and grocery stores are required to have generators to avoid the possibilities of those two staples from becoming issues after the storm passes.
However, we still must do our part if a hurricane warning is issued for our area.
These are the major check-boxes to address:
• Know your evacuation zone and plan.
• Install protection for your home.
• Trim trees and remove all debris from yard.
• Backup computer data and send offsite, either via cloud service or physical storage.
• Have food, water and medicine for three to five days. Consider refrigeration needs.
• Make sure you have batteries and charge everything you can.
I’ll add a tip that I came up with. Park high and apart. What I mean by this is if a hurricane is coming and your family has more than one car, try to park one at home and one within walking distance. Also, both should be at the highest elevation possible.
With hurricanes come rains. The higher you are, the less likely your car will flood. You can see what’s going on with the Atlantic region at any time by going to http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ and definitely check out the storm surge simulator http://earl.cis.fiu.edu/gic/.
FOREVER SHORTY’S BAR-B-Q
A nasty rumor made its way to me a few days ago and when I mentioned it to my brother-in-law, he nearly cried. I had heard Shorty’s Bar-B-Q was on the short-timer’s list and was going to close. So, to save taste buds all around South Florida, I went straight to corporate headquarters to investigate. It was there I got the real story.
CEO Mark Vasturo assured me that Shorty’s is not closing. In fact, Shorty’s is doing just fine at its original location (9200 South Dixie Hwy.). The confusion set in when the land Shorty’s owns and sits on was recently re-zoned. As rumors often do, it snowballed from there and morphed into fabrication.
So for those of you who have seen three generations of family eat at this South Florida institution, fear not. You can still get those smoky ribs and the rest of Shorty’s superb barbeque menu items. Just as the 1972 fire and Hurricane Andrew didn’t stop Shorty’s, neither will the re-zoning.
REAL ESTATE UPDATE
The real estate market in South Florida is changing yet again. To learn the new value of your home, go to MiamiHal.com/myValue to register for a free, no-obligation home evaluation. Only a neighborhood real estate expert who’s seen the inside of your home can give you an accurate value. Contact me to get started.