With Hurricane Irma bearing down on us last Saturday am, I had planned to hunker down and stay with the house at all cost. I had spent all day Friday and most of Saturday am getting the house totally secured. Anything and everything that could be considered flying debris was moved into the garage or tied down. I had planned to wear my Kayak life preserver and wear my bike helmet and hunker down in a interior room with my beagle strapped to me as well. So everything shuttered and lock downed. All garage doors secured and tripled secured and than I turned the news on. The eye was headed almost right towards us with the eastern side of the storm facing us and the eye close or in the gulf. The worst case scenario. The heavier wind would hit us and the storm surge would be off the chart. So I decided at the last second to save at least me and the beagle and take my F350 dually and fifth wheel and I headed east than north.
I 95 was a ghost town at 4pm Saturday. As I traveled North bound on I 95 the next challenge began to sink in, FUEL. Once I got to a half way on my tank, the stops at exits began. Continuous stopping hunting for diesel fuel. Each exit I go to no fuel. Everything was shut down or those who were open were out. Luckily I was able to find the fuel I needed. Finally I got the the Ga/SC rest area turned on my in house generator opened my slides and got some much needed rest. Sunday I woke up found a spot that was still open at a KOA campground in Lumberton NC, so still at the rest area I locked it and secured the reservation. (First available place I found after calling multiple other campgrounds and finding out they were booked solid).
I got to the KOA site at 4 pm unhooked but finding fuel once again was a huge burden. Having my wife on the phone ( she was in Orlando) she found some huge truck stops that had diesel and that helped a lot to get the fuel I needed and when and now at the camp site I began to relax.
Monday, at the camp site, I knew headed back was going to be worse. Definitely no Fuel, debris from Irma and a few million Florida residents returning to Florida to there homes. Irma was coming up the state towards Ga and I might have to confront Irma in my return to Florida.
So my number one job on Monday was to fine extra diesel in 5 gallon jugs or a external tank large enough to get me back to Florida.
At tractor supply found a 100 gallon tank that fit perfectly and gave me the total range i needed without having to hunt for fuel.
And sure enough on my way back south from NC, traffic was stand still .... mostly 5 -15 mph no fuel ..... or very little. The last 26 exits of SC had no fuel at all. Almost all of the exits in GA were blocked off and you couldn't get off unless you lived their. Florida was hit and miss.
I used Waze to bypass some of the really jams but it took me an extra 7 hours to get home over and beyond what it should have taken, The good news I had plenty of fuel thanks to finding this tank that was a perfect fit. Glad to be home .... with power and virtual no damage to the house. With the storm changing direction at the last second and headed inland, no storm surge and lower winds than expected ( but on Saturday a different story ). The GT350 was un-molested though I did take both set of keys.
Having gone through Charlie and seeing Irma as a storm three times more menacing leaving was something I wouldn't do but at the last second common sense kicked in and I did evacuate. If the storm had tracked on its previous course things would have been different but because Irma tracked more easterly at the last moment it saved lots of Charlotte County.
Exhausted and tired in Port Charlotte
Edited by smokum, 13 September 2017 - 11:00 AM.