Friday, 7 June 2013

Tropical Storm Tales

My first experience of a tropical storm in SRQ was T.S. Debby back in June 2012. 

At that time I wrote words to this effect “if a tropical storm can be this dangerous I will be fearful should we be hit by a hurricane”.

Tropical storm Andrea arrived, stayed, and left SRQ yesterday. She was not as tough as was Debby.

So far as I know the heavy rains started in SRQ at about 3:00 a.m.  – for that was the time I was awakened.

By 7:00 a.m. there was a brief respite from the heavy rain – enough to take my dog Penne for a successful “poop walk”. 

 The lull in the storm lasted through 7:30 a.m. enabling me to get gas/petrol at the local “Dodge” store, and to stock up on some supplies at SRQ’s “Trader Joes” store.

I wanted to get some bottled water at Trader Joes  - “just in case”.   But I was shocked to note that T.J’s bottled water is imported from Fiji and from New Zealand.  

That involves a very horrendous “carbon footprint”.  I chatted about this with the checkout clerk, then she very politely pointed out to me that the package of cooked baby beets (beetroot in U.K. English) in my cart were also imported  - from France.

Of course I understand that many fine wines or cheeses are imported, and that our obsession with fresh fruit and vegetables in or out of season leads to massive imports from central or south America. 

I know too that many “fresh cut” flowers are grown in Africa and flown here. It seems sad that water hungry countries in Africa are using their important natural resource to grow flowers for the western world.

Bottled water from New Zealand and Fiji seems over the top.  

Sarasota’s tap water is just fine. The only time I need bottled H2O  is just in case of a cut in supply during a major storm. 

Eschewing New Zealand water  yesterday, I went to another store  and  purchased bottles of spring water from Zephyr Hills, some forty or so miles from here.  

If I were truly smart I would save some empty 1 gallon water jugs, and fill them from my tap just before a storm.  But I am not always smart.

Late yesterday afternoon the rain stopped so I took Penne for a walk around a local pond.  The sky had deceived me - there was sunshine  to the west.  

Halfway around the pond a deluge began. I had not noticed the dark clouds to the east.  

Penne and I took shelter in a public Gazebo, but we were already soaked.

T.S. Andrea spawned a couple of local small tornadoes.  Fortunately they caused just a wee bit of property damage, though sadly enough a horse had to be euthanised out in Myakka City (17 miles east of SRQ)  after the barn in which it lived was felled by a mini-tornado.

There was also some local flooding.  The following photo's from the internet edition of our local newspaper show some of the flooding - in this case right outside the home of our friends Ron and Charlotte down at Gulf Gate SRQ.




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