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Hurricane Sally and 2020 can kiss my A**

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tushnurse posted 9/21/2020 07:27 AM

Some of you may already know that I went on vacation in my Camper with my H and dogs to a beautiful place in the Florida Gulf, and shortly after arriving heard that we were going to get a few crappy days of weather d/t a tropical depression, this soon changed to a tropical storm named Sally. But still only rough seas, and lots of rain, some wind. Then this slow moving, drunk wobbly bitch hung out in the warm waters of the gulf strengthened to one MPH short of a Cat 3 storm, and on Wednesday early early morning decided to make a turn to the east, and hit where we were directly.
Yes I survived at Cat 2 (almost 3) hurricane in a 5th wheel camper. My H and I both know how to build and fix things, and he the ever ready boyscout ran to the hardware store on Monday and got some things to build some outrigger style stabilizers for the camper. These things saved us. Our camper sustained no damage.

If you have not experienced a tropical storm or hurricane it is an amazing thing. After the heart of the storm passed there was wind. Not just a breeze, but 50+ MPH winds that went on for at least another 6 hours, not winds that let up, but rather more like there was a giant fan out in the Gulf blowing as hard as it could for 5 hours. No rain, just wind. It finally started dieing down around 3 pm, and by 6 the sun was out, the wind was more like a strong breeze, and by morning, the bay was back to normal levels, and no waves. But by the then the damage was done. With that wind brought waves in the bay that were huge and crushing. It destroyed every home owned pier and dock within eyesight, and we were in one of the rare higher areas in FL that meant destruction of poorly constructed and moderately well contructed seawalls. The only ones I saw survive were the newest tech ones that are built in an undulating fashion that allows the walls to absorb the shock of the water.

So my vacation sucked. No fishing trip. Only 2 days of beach time, one not being allowed more than putting your feet in the water. It was an amazing experience and any of our FL residents, you have my sympathy if you were impacted by this at all.

There has been minimal coverage of it on the news since, but there are BILLIONS of dollars of damage in the Pensacola, Navarre, Gulf Shores, Edges of Destin areas.

Now it's back to work.

Superesse posted 9/21/2020 08:15 AM

Wow, Tushnurse, can you arrange another vacation, any time soon? Or is 2020 too snakebit to risk it? That was one for the memory book, sounds like. We need photos! Those outriggers saved your camper, I am more than impressed, I'm in awe! It really is stunning how much damage that storm caused with little to no media attention.

DragnHeart posted 9/21/2020 08:32 AM

If I may ask, what are outriggers?

tushnurse posted 9/21/2020 08:37 AM

Stabilizers to keep it from flipping.
Campers like ours are very tall and not very wide, so if hit in the side by a strong wind can flip over.
So we took 2x4's and cut them on a 45 degree angle and mounted to a flat one. to make 2 sides of a triangle then we put eye bolt's through the 45 degree angle, put on each side and attached with a ratchet strap to hold in place against the campers frame. We put 3 sets of these on .

Superesse posted 9/21/2020 09:45 AM

Wow, so you either packed a Skillsaw as part of your camping gear, or he had to buy one pronto, this sounds like. And you had a drill, I presume. Boy Scouts are always prepared. As we get our older 5th wheel ready for our first foray into the unknown, I've been wondering how many of his shop tools my Mechanic WH should plan on packing - but a Skillsaw wasn't even on the radar....I see I got more studyin' to do before we launch...

I'm wondering if you anchored the 2 x 4 braces into the ground, or just pushed them into the sand? Maybe they didn't need securing at the bottom. This is a great story, Tush!

It's so amazing to know that your rig didn't even get any dents from all that! Great job, you two!! What a team. Maybe the campground owner will give you a month's free parking if you agree to help rebuild that damaged seawall - I have faith....

tushnurse posted 9/21/2020 09:50 AM

Wow, so you either packed a Skillsaw as part of your camping gear

We did have a drill, an impact driver, several lights, all part of my H's Dewalt power set, we left our skill saw and circular saw at home. Luckily the groundskeeper at the park had a circular saw we borrowed.
We do keep a bag of tools, a pancake compressor, a small generator, and a farm jack (in case we get a flat on the camper). We kinda live our lives with the motto Prepare for the worst and hope for the best, and usually life falls in the middle.
This time it paid off.

DragnHeart posted 9/21/2020 10:00 AM

Thank you for the explanation. Wow you totally rock. Sounds like the prepare for the worst, hope for the best paid off big time. I'm just so happy you didnt get hurt in all of that.

I haven't heard anything on the news up here and was wondering how bad it was.

zebra25 posted 9/21/2020 10:18 AM

What an incredible story. So glad you came through the storm safe and without damage.

I hope you can take another trip soon!

Chili posted 9/21/2020 10:24 AM

Well shit Tush - I knew how much you were looking forward to this little adventure. I'm so glad though to hear as always - you took good care of yourself in the midst of another of life's...hurricanes.

I will join you in the "2020 can kiss my" cheer if you don't mind another voice in the fray.

So does "back to work" mean like back to work not from home this time?


Do you feel like no matter how strong our constitutions or lucky our life situations, none of us is really in a place to have a "one more thing" thrown our way at the moment?

tushnurse posted 9/21/2020 10:41 AM

So does "back to work" mean like back to work not from home this time?

Nope still working from home for now. Until the regions covid numbers drop and stay down.

sisoon posted 9/21/2020 10:56 AM

Sometimes I think of renting a camper. Now - well, I need to know a LOT more about things that can go wrong before I think of renting again.

I'm glad you got through Sally without injury. Sorry your vacation was ruined.

barcher144 posted 9/21/2020 13:32 PM

I hope that it's not too early for a joke...

No fishing trip.

The real tragedy here.

tushnurse posted 9/21/2020 13:41 PM

Barcher you have no idea how disappointing it was for us to not be able to fish several days of this trip, and that we didn't get the opportunity to get to the best seafood market on the Gulf Coast.

Jeaniegirl posted 9/21/2020 17:11 PM

Go back later and reclaim your fishing rights!!!

Glad you made it through that.

Chrysalis123 posted 9/21/2020 18:01 PM

Holy cow!!! That is an incredible story. I am glad neither of you were hurt and that the RV was not damaged. Way to go.

I am sorry your vacation was ruined. What town were you visiting?

WhatsRight posted 9/21/2020 19:38 PM

Iím so glad you had that pancake thingy!

With all that work, Iím sure you got really hungry!

number4 posted 9/21/2020 23:37 PM

So I'm just curious... when you're out somewhere that's not along the coast, do you ever worry about tornadoes? What would you do if you were away from home and experienced a tornado warning? You wouldn't have time to use those outriggers. I mean, being from St. Louis and all, I'm sure you are familiar with all the damage a tornado can unleash. Now, of course, a tornado doesn't decimate an entire region like a hurricane can, but you don't really have the head's up like you do with a hurricane.

Growing up on the Gulf Coast, I am all too familiar with the destruction hurricanes can inflict. I have relatives all along the Texas coast, from the Rio Grande Valley, to Corpus Christi, to Houston. My grandma lived in Lake Charles, too, until she was about 95 years old. It seemed like every year, right about the time school would start, there'd be some storm brewing in the Gulf. Before the days of the internets, the grocery stores would pack your groceries in brown paper bags that had maps on them with longitude and latitude lines. Then you'd watch the news every day, get the coordinates from the weather man (no women doing weather back then!), and plot them on your grocery bag. You didn't have 24-hour news channels providing you with updates on a storm at any given hour of the day or night, so those morning and evening newscasts were the only time you got updates on coordinates. It left such an impression on my memories of childhood. When I was one in 1961, Hurricane Carla hit the Galveston/Houston area - I have heard stories of how my mom and dad packed us up and we went and stayed with my godparents who lived more inland than we did, and in a house better constructed. But I don't have memories of the storm. It is ranked the most intense tropical storm to have ever hit the U.S.

Thankfully, over the years, construction engineers have learned more about how to build dwellings and buildings that are better able to withstand those kinds of storms.

Sounds like you got a real taste of what living along the coast can be like!

tushnurse posted 9/22/2020 07:27 AM

#4 - No we don't worry about tornadoes, as by the time you realize you are in danger it's time to find a safe place. In the Midwest where we camp most of the time, all of the restroom buildings are made of concrete cinder blocks, so when the weather gets nasty everyone heads to those.
We did camp once in the old days pre camper one time in the back of a Tahoe, and it stormed really bad but we were both exhausted and we decided to just stay put. The next morning it was obvious we should have gone to the shelter, as the entire campground was littered with leaves and branches from the straight line winds (which do just as much damage as tornadoes can) that occurred that night.

Jeanie - I agree... although I know I don't have that much PTO to burn. We did talk of maybe a spring training trip though (fingers crossed).

barcher144 posted 9/22/2020 12:56 PM

Barcher you have no idea how disappointing it was for us to not be able to fish several days of this trip

Yes, I do.

Let me know if you ever want to travel in the opposite direction if you want to fish... I can hook you up really nicely.

number4 posted 9/22/2020 13:16 PM

In the Midwest where we camp most of the time, all of the restroom buildings are made of concrete cinder blocks, so when the weather gets nasty everyone heads to those.

Ah, that makes sense. That would be a safe place to be. I never thought of those structures as doubling as tornado shelters!

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