Tag Archives: flood

2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season Review

2016-hurricane-tracks

2016 Atlantic storm tracks

Summary:

  • Slightly above average storm activity
  • Flooding impacts on Anna Maria Island (Colin and Hermine)
  • 2 landfalls on Florida Gulf Coast (Colin and Hermine)
  • 11-year record lull of no major hurricane landfalls on Florida
  • 1 major hurricane came within 50 miles of Florida East Coast (Cat 5 Mathew)
Atlantic Hurricane Season  April 2016 forecast  2016 Actual
Named storms (>35mph)  12  15
Hurricanes (>72mph)  5  7
Major hurricanes (>111mph)  1  3
US landfall likelihood  50%  33%
Gulf Coast landfall  30%  13%

The Named Storms:

Alex – Hurricane Cat 1 Jan 13-15 pre-season in Eastern Atlantic

Bonnie – Tropical Storm May 27 – Jun 4 weak South Carolina landfall

Colin – Tropical Storm Jun 5 – 7 High tide flooding on Anna Maria Island

Danielle – Tropical Storm Jun 19 – 21 affecting Yucatan Peninsula and eastern Mexico

Earl – Hurricane Cat 1 Aug 2 – 6 affecting Antilles, Dominican Republic, Belize and Mexico

Fiona – Tropical Storm Aug 17 – 23 no effects on land

Gaston – Hurricane Cat 3 Aug 22 – Sep 3 no effects on land

Hermine – Hurricane Cat 1 Aug 28 – Sep 3 Rain and high tide flooding on Anna Maria Island landfall in Big Bend of Florida

Ian – Tropical Storm Sep 12 – 16 no effects on land

Julia – Tropical Storm Sep 14 – 18 Formed over Florida but main impact was on North Carolina and Virginia

Karl – Tropical Storm Sep 14 – 25 affecting Bermuda

Lisa – Tropical Storm Sep 19 – 24 no effects on land

Mathew – Hurricane Cat 5 Sep 28 – Oct 9 Landfall in Haiti, Cuba, Bahamas. Close to but not making landfall on Florida East Coast

Nicole – Hurricane Cat 4 Oct 4 – 18 Affecting Bermuda, US East Coast and Canada

Otto – Hurricane Cat 2 Nov 21 – 25 late season landfall in Nicaragua re-emerging in Eastern Pacific

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Hurricane Hermine Hits Holmes Beach Hard

Ficus blown over by wind gust. Culverts did not drain.

A Ficus tree blown over by a wind gust. Culverts did not drain.

On August 18th, a weather disturbance in the Atlantic Ocean formed into an area of tropical interest and labelled “Invest 99L” by meteorologists. For ten days it crept across the ocean and meandered in the eastern Caribbean. By Monday August 29th, Tropical Depression 9 hatched, and unconstrained by prior nearby steering winds headed into the Gulf of Mexico to become Tropical Storm Hermine on Wednesday.

Hurricane Hermine path

2016 TD9 in Florida Straights becomes Tropical Storm Hermine, then Hurricane Hermine at landfall.

West Florida went on high alert. Storms this close sometimes run up the coast like Tropical Storm Debby (2012), sometimes change direction suddenly or quickly intensify like Hurricane Charley (2004). In any case Hermine looked like it would be a rain-maker like Tropical Storm Colin earlier this year.

Blocked drain and overwhelmed percolation pits.

Blocked drain and overwhelmed percolation pits.

Anna Maria Island residents experience nature’s best and worst conditions. Summer storms can be brief and invigorating or inconvenient and terrifying. Hermine kept offshore but the effects stayed around for 3 days, tossing 9″ of rain, 45mph wind bursts, frequent lightning and massive thunder booms from waves of storm-bred feeder bands.

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Combined with 2½ feet of surge on top of 2½ foot high tides, torrential and long-lasting rainfall overwhelmed the newly installed “percolation” pit drainage, causing what many people described as the worst flooding they have ever seen on the island. Schools closed Thursday, roads became impassable, and sewers backed up. Power stayed on apart from a short outage when a falling tree brought down some lines.

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Tropical Storm Debby Flooding

Tropical Storm Debby formed off the Gulf Coast June 23 northwest of Tampa with a poorly defined center and no obvious direction of travel. But as the wind field grew wider while it remained almost stationery, the effects of the tropical moisture with persistent rainfall and wind wore away the resistance of beaches and its inhabitants.

By Monday June 25, constant battering by 20 – 40 mph wind and 10″-16″ of rain took its toll on shorelines and low lying property. Combined with high tides, a 2-3 foot storm surge poured over seawalls, rose up through storm drains and flooded streets and yards. Tropical Storm Debby wind field

Saturated ground had nowhere to drain. Streets and yards remained covered with water even as the tide dropped but the surge raised the sea-level. Onshore wind pushed the sea state higher over the shore. Softened soil and gusty winds uprooted some trees and sent limbs and palm fronds flying.

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Advice on Buying Island Property

Many who have stayed for years at island resorts for their annual vacations eventually think about buying property in their favorite place. Anna Maria Island is that favorite place for a wide range of people who have one thing in common: they love the simple, Old Florida beauty here. Although Anna Maria Island lodging offers a wide range of comfortable places to stay, there is something special about having one’s own island home.

Since many people thinking of making the move are from places very different from this tropical island paradise, here is a list of things to watch out for as one selects one’s new island home:

1. Neighborhood flooding can come from high tides, storm surges or just heavy rainfall. Just one or two inches of elevation can make the difference between whether a particular home or yard is often standing in water, or not. Ideally, the potential home buyer should be sure to visit the island during the rainy season, staying at one of the island resorts, in order to drive around after heavy rain and see which properties are standing in water. It’s very hard to predict which properties will be dry and which will be flooded just by looking at them. At the very least, try to talk to others in the neighborhood and ask how often the street is closed due to high rainfall, or whether they have seen standing water at the property in which you are interested.Island flooding

2. Anna Maria Island rentals are often interspersed among second homes that are not rented. Anyone who depends on peace and quiet should take a careful look at whether there are a lot of island rentals signs in the yards on the street where they are considering buying. Usually, there are more island rentals close to the beach, and this is one reason it’s not necessarily ideal to own a home right at the beach, unless, of course, you plan to rent it. If that’s the case, it’s good to keep in mind that rental properties with swimming pools are much easier to rent.

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Old Florida is Disappearing at Anna Maria Island

Old Florida destroyed

What is “Old Florida”?

“Old Florida” is a term people love to use when describing a place that has not been taken over by the development trends of the day. It has been a favorite way to describe Anna Maria Island for many years … both by residents and visitors who truly love the simple charms of the area. It’s also a favorite term of those whose main interest is selling the island to the public. “Old Florida ” is a great marketing slogan.

Unfortunately, even among those who think they love the Old Florida feeling of a place, it is challenging to know how to identify the details that give that feeling. And it’s even more challenging to protect them. Often the details that need to be protected do not sound very glamorous. But getting rid of things that are not glamorous is a sure way to destroy the sense of history and simplicity that are so much a part of Old Florida.

Who wants to argue that an old shack should not be torn down? Especially among those whose main priority is marketing. Who wants to argue against “beautification?” Or replacing an old bridge with a big modern bridge? Or getting rid of invasive, exotic plant species?

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