• lois-jost-ad-may-2014

Survey for Businesses Only Regarding TS Beryl Damage

Survey for Businesses Only Regarding TS Beryle DamageIf you are a business in Nassau County, Florida and you suffered damage from Tropical Storm Beryl, the Nassau County Emergency Management Department wants to know!

Personally, my home suffered much more damage than I originally wanted to believe, but this survey is not for my residence… this is for businesses only. While SearchAmelia was busy with weather, damage and power outages during the storm, we suffered no tangible losses. BUT – if your business did, please fill take a couple of minutes to complete this important survey sent to us by the Amelia Island – Fernandina Beach – Yulee Chamber of Commerce:

Find the survey HERE.

Your response is greatly appreciated!

Feedburner If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment below or subscribe to the feed to have future articles delivered to your e-mail and get the latest Amelia Island News, business, tourist activities and videos every morning!

SearchAmelia on TwitterYou can also choose to follow SearchAmelia on Twitter to get your daily updates!

Hurricane Hazards: Winds 2012

Hurricane Hazards: Winds 2012Hurricane Preparedness Week bring the discussion of wind and wind speeds. What does a category one or a category 2 really mean? Below you will find the definition of wind speeds and their hazards based on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scalewww.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutsshws.php classifies hurricanes into five categories based on their sustained wind speed at the indicated time. Hurricanes reaching Category 3 and higher are considered major hurricanes because of their potential for significant loss of life and property. Category 1 and 2 storms are still dangerous and require preventive measures.

It is important that you know your hurricane warning and alerts terminology www.youtube.com/watch?v=oE19um4VlGU&cc_load_policy=1&list=PL63A9138A2047B1A4– the difference between watches and alerts:

Tropical Storm Watch: An announcement that tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are possible within the specified coastal area within 48 hours.
Tropical Storm Warning: An announcement that tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are expected somewhere within the specified coastal area within 36 hours.
Hurricane Watch: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible within the specified coastal area. Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.
Hurricane Warning: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are expected somewhere within the specified coastal area. Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

Hurricane wind damage often result in power outages. FEMA works very closely with the Department of Energy who serves as the focal point for response and recovery efforts by monitoring energy infrastructure and coordinates the response across the federal community, state and local governments, and industry.

The Energy Departmen’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE) is the designated Federal Sector-Specific agency directing activities for the Energy Sector. In the event of an emergency, this office maintains teams of responders that specialize in energy infrastructure.

Feedburner If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment below or subscribe to the feed to have future articles delivered to your e-mail and get the latest Amelia Island News, business, tourist activities and videos every morning!

SearchAmelia on TwitterYou can also choose to follow SearchAmelia on Twitter to get your daily updates!

FEMA Partners and the Public Response Capabilities

FEMA Partners and the Public Response CapabilitiesAs National Hurricane Preparedness Week continues, attention is drawn to Hurricane Response: FEMA Partners and the Public Response Capabilities. Below is a good description of what FEMA is and what they do. Since Hurricane Katrina, many people are confused over the mission of FEMA and this week is a great time to discuss FEMA.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

It strikes anytime, anywhere. It takes many forms, a hurricane, an earthquake, a tornado, a flood, a fire or a hazardous spill, an act of nature or an act of terrorism. It builds over days or weeks, or hits suddenly, without warning. Every year, millions of Americans face disaster, and its terrifying consequences.

On March 1, 2003, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

With the approaching hurricane season, FEMA is continuing to aggressively prepare for the upcoming hurricane season, coordinating across the administration while working with state, tribal and local officials to be ready and prepare their communities.

FEMA is part of the emergency management team. That team includes federal partners, state, tribal and local officials, the private sector, non-profits and faith-based groups, and most importantly – the general public.

FEMA encourages all individuals, communities, local, state, tribal governments, private sector, non-governmental and faith-based organizations, congress and senate members to join the National Hurricane Preparedness Week by Making A Pledge, completing your Ready Emergency Preparedness Plan, Updating Your Emergency Kit and sharing your story.

Feedburner If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment below or subscribe to the feed to have future articles delivered to your e-mail and get the latest Amelia Island News, business, tourist activities and videos every morning!

SearchAmelia on TwitterYou can also choose to follow SearchAmelia on Twitter to get your daily updates!

2012 Florida Wildfire Awareness Week

2012 Florida Wildfire Awareness Week

Click to Enlarge Image

Florida Wildfire Awareness Week is April 8th – 14, 2012!

Tallahassee, FL – The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Florida Forest Service has offered five tips to help Floridians protect themselves against the dangers of wildfire. Wildfire Awareness Week, which recognizes the wildfires that raged through Florida in 1998, burning more than 500,000 acres and damaging or destroying 337 homes and other structures, will be held April 8 through14.

“Florida is unique in that it experiences a year-round wildfire season, with heightened wildfire activity during the spring months,” said Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. “Although we may receive sporadic rain, extended drought conditions are forecasted to persist throughout spring and into summer. Over the coming weeks and months, it is likely that Florida will experience very high to extreme wildfire danger due to these dry conditions. It is critical for Floridians to take steps to ensure their own safety.”

The department’s Florida Forest Service manages more than one million acres of public forest land and protects over 26 million acres of homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire.

Since January 1, more than 1,100 wildfires have burned nearly 20,000 acres in Florida. Most of these fires were caused by human carelessness. To prevent wildfires, follow these five simple steps:

    -Check with local authorities for any temporary restrictions on burning yard waste
    -Contain fires to an eight-foot diameter pile or non-combustible barrel at least 25 feet from forests, 25 feet from homes, 50 feet from paved public roads and 150 feet from other occupied buildings
    -Do not burn on windy days or when the humidity is below 30 percent
    -Never leave a fire unattended and make sure it is completely out before leaving
    -Keep a shovel and water hose handy in case a small fire escapes containment

In addition to the tips listed above, Floridians should also report any suspicious fires or fire activity to 911 or their local Florida Forest Service office.

In 2011, the Florida Forest Service responded to more than 4,700 wildfires that burned over 220,000 acres, a 32 percent increase from the previous year. Firefighters saved more than 1,100 homes and business in Florida.

Feedburner If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment below or subscribe to the feed to have future articles delivered to your e-mail and get the latest Amelia Island News, business, tourist activities and videos every morning!

SearchAmelia on TwitterYou can also choose to follow SearchAmelia on Twitter to get your daily updates!

Surviving the Henryville Tornado

Surviving the Henryville TornadoMy daughter and her six year old son were at home in Henryville, Indiana when the devastating tornados nearly flattened their small town.

Less than a week later we are hearing incredible stories of survival, including a mother who lost part of both of her legs while saving her children. And stories of tragedy where a 14 month old girl, found in a field nearly ten miles from her home, lost her battle for life, joining her parents and two siblings that were killed in the storms.

When I first heard the tornados hit Southern Indiana, communications and power had been knocked out, making it a difficult Friday afternoon trying to learn how many of our loved ones came through the storms. Friends and relatives who live in neighboring towns told me text messaging was about the only way to get information. I frantically searched twitter feeds and Facebook looking for reliable information about Henryville. An old friend from high school called me and said, “Judie, Honey, I can’t lie… Henryville was hit bad and it doesn’t look good.” My heart sank! My dear friend even offered to drive to Henryville and find my daughter and grandson for me!

I dropped to my knees and prayed. Trying to stay calm and composed for my teenaged daughter still living at home, I gave her the task of watching for new information on Facebook and watching my phone for any news from the Indiana or Kentucky area codes. This was the Friday of Fernandina Beach’s return of Sounds on Centre. Friends were arriving for us to head downtown, so I grabbed a quick shower with my original intention of slipping into a pirate costume and grabbing my SearchAmelia video camera and heading to the historic district. I wasn’t going anywhere until I heard more about my family. When I stepped out of the shower, I couldn’t even wrap my head around finding a costume. I barely found shorts and a tshirt to put on. My daughter joined me upstairs as a friend shouted, “The Weather Channel is showing Henryville!”

We quickly turned on the television in my bedroom and just stared at the screen. Main stream media had helicopters flying over Henryville and neighboring Marysville showing the devastation. It looked like a war zone! The school had been demolished! Semi trucks and a school bus were lying on their sides. Homes and buildings were flattened. Telephone poles and trees were blown barren, broken and twisted in the rubble. Cars had been tossed onto buildings.

As we later learned the Courier Journal of Louisville, Kentucky reported, “Tornado that tore through Henryville had wind speed of 175 mph.” The article went on to say, “The largest of the two tornadoes that crossed southern Indiana was an EF4, with a wind speed of about 175 mph, the weather service said. Only two percent of all tornadoes are that intense. It caused most of the damage in Henryville.”

My grandson, Jason, had just started a new school in Henryville because the family had moved from Charlestown, Indiana just a few weeks before Friday’s devastation. Living in Florida, I felt completely worthless. At this point in time, I couldn’t reach my daughter. I didn’t know if she was at work or in class that day. I don’t even know where Jason goes for after-school care. All we could do was wait.

Finally, I received a text message from my daughter. It read, “It literally jumped over us… our house is (insert major cussword here) and my car is done, but we are ok. We have no town. I think Jason pee’d his pants. LOL”

We started letting family know we had heard from them, but other family members were still unaccounted for. With communication channels barely working, I didn’t hear from her again until later that evening when she drove to her Dad’s house, a few towns away, and finally had cell service again.

Henryville High School, which shares its campus with the elementary and junior high school, is out until March 9th at least. Officials are supposed to meet on Thursday to determine where, if, and how students will finish out the school year.

The massive tornado outbreak was well predicted by forecasters. As I turned on FOX News after lunch I saw the tornado watches and heard comments that Louisville, Kentucky was in the bulls-eye. Both sets of my grandparents are from that area, fondly referred to as Kentuckiana. Louisville is the closest big city of reference, so I knew these storms were heading to my old stomping grounds. Emergency meetings were held and many school districts chose to dismiss school early. In an article in the online version of the Wall Street Journal written by Jack Nicas, Mike Esterl and Douglas Belkin, they reported Joe Sullivan of the National Weather Service said, “I can’t emphasize how fortunate it was that the school had let everyone out beforehand, there would have been many, many fatalities in that school.”

When you look at the images in the gallery, notice the size of the hail. Reported as baseball and softball sized, it is still remarkably large when my daughter, Amanda Watts, captured these images.

To add insult to injury, Mother Nature dumped about four inches of snow on the devastation and homeless in both Henryville and Marysville on Monday.

I have since learned the rest of my extended family has been accounted for and folks are coming out of the woodwork from surrounding communities to help those in need. Essential supplies and hot meals are being handed out by the local VFW and crews of volunteers are working tirelessly to help clean up the devastation.

If you would like to help, here are a few organizations that are helping these folks put their lives back together:

    Clark County Emergency Operations Center said, “Greatest needs are for money, non-perishable food items, diapers, wipes, shampoo, soaps, cleaning supplies, buckets, brooms, plastic storage totes and plastic garbage bags.”
    Goodwill of Southern Indiana is taking gently used donations. Please state the donation is for tornado relief. Call (812) 283-7908 for more information or to organize a donation drive.
    Kentucky Cattlemen’s Foundation is accepting monetary donations to rebuild fences and facilities. Learn more at www.kycattle.org.
    U.S. Equine Disaster Relief Fund is collecting donations to provide feed and supples for horses affected by the tornadoes.
    Community Foundation of Southern Indiana is accepting donations online and through the mail. Visit www.cfsouthernindiana.com for more information.
    The American Red Cross is partnering with the Seventh Day Adventist Community Services collecting donations in Charlestown, Indiana. Call (812) 287-0090 for more information. They do not have voicemail at this time.
    United Way Volunteer Service in Jeffersonville, Indiana can be reached online or you can call (812) 287-0519.
    The J.B. Ogle Animal Shelter is taking dog and cat food donations. The donations should be delivered to the shelter located at 201 Willinger Lane in Jeffersonville or to PetSmart on Veterans Parkway.
    -The Shamrock Pet Foundation is taking donations for animals in the affected areas. Those interested in making donations can call 502-585-3220 and arrange drop off.

While my daughter and her small family were uninjured and they will recover, as of the time I am writing this they are still pretty shaken up. The First Baptist Church brought them groceries this afternoon and power has been restored to their home and she’ll find out tomorrow if the insurance company will total her car rather than fix it. Tarps are covering the roof that was pulled away from the frame of their home. It is missing plenty of shingles and needs to be re-attached to the house. She called me on her cell phone today, but half of our conversation was, “Can you hear me now?” One of the biggest unknowns is what will happen with the school aged children who witnessed this devastation. They have been traumatized. My grandson is building “Henryville” with his blocks and other toys. Then he demolishes the town and his toy helicopter flies overhead and reports on the damage. I advised my daughter to keep him away from the television reports if she could.

Thank you all for the good wishes and prayers that have gone out to those in the paths of the storms.

Feedburner If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment below or subscribe to the feed to have future articles delivered to your e-mail and get the latest Amelia Island News, business, tourist activities and videos every morning!

SearchAmelia on TwitterYou can also choose to follow SearchAmelia on Twitter to get your daily updates!

In Like a Lamb

In Like a LambThe saying goes: If March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb. Is there any truth to this saying?

Weather sayings are as colorful as our imagination. While many are based on careful observations and turn out to be accurate, others are merely rhymes or beliefs of the people who came before us.

With March being such a changeable month, in which we can see warm spring-like temperatures or late-season snowstorms (in other parts of the country), you can understand how this saying might hold true in some instances. We can only hope that if March starts off cold and stormy it will end warm and sunny, but the key word is hope. However, this saying seems be to more of a rhyme rather than a true weather predictor.

Some other March related lore includes:

    -A dry March and a wet May? Fill barns and bays with corn and hay.
    -As it rains in March so it rains in June.
    -March winds and April showers? Bring forth May flowers.

What will the weather be like on Amelia Island in March? With the month starting out in the high 70’s and low 80’s, it seems more like March is coming in like a lamb.

Feedburner If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment below or subscribe to the feed to have future articles delivered to your e-mail and get the latest Amelia Island News, business, tourist activities and videos every morning!

SearchAmelia on TwitterYou can also choose to follow SearchAmelia on Twitter to get your daily updates!

Hard Freeze Should Not be in Florida’s Dictionary

searchamelia.com pelicans on amelia island

Pelicans screen the cold waters for food

Momma Mackie and husband Lawrence had to take a sad and unexpected trip up to Atlanta GA after they received the news that Lawrence’s best friend in College had suddenly past away, so the weather today comes from this expat who in recent years learned that the expression the Sunshine State is an occasional misnomer.

The words “hard freeze” however represent a reality for the early morning hours here on Amelia Island when temperatures may go down as far as 27°F. Daytime will move into the mid 50s and in general we’re back in the upward move with temperate winds between 5-10 mph from the west.

And guess what, it looks like the temperatures by the weekend are going to be back up into the low 70s during the day and mid 50s at night. Still beats the cold harsh winters up north by a mile or more.

Hurricane Preparedness Safety Tips

Hurricane Preparedness Safety TipsWhile experiencing a direct hit from a hurricane is unlikely, many areas of the country are affected by significant tropical weather during hurricane season. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration the Atlantic hurricane season runs from June until November. During this time, it is important that your policyholders’ families and homes are prepared.

Paul Davis publicizes to homeowners in their local area the following tips on how they can keep their family and property safe during hurricane season.

• Have an evacuation plan in place for your family. Know where the nearest emergency shelter is located.
• Assemble a hurricane survival kit to include water, nonperishable food, can opener, flashlight, weather radio, batteries, first aid kit, sunscreen, prescription medications and toiletries
• Be prepared to secure your property. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8″ plywood, cut to fit and ready to install.
• Install hurricane straps or clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure of your home
• Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed
• Clear debris from rain gutters and downspouts
• If evacuating, secure or put away lawn furniture, grills, garbage cans, etc.
• For additional tips and information, visit www.nhc.noaa.gov.

Damage from hurricanes can run into the billions of dollars every year. Paul Davis understands the importance of hurricane preparedness and takes the lead in educating consumers both as a public service and to help reduce insurance claims.

Locally owned and operated, we have a highly experienced staff to help you with every aspect of your Water Damage Restoration, Mold Remediation and Structural Drying needs.

Paul Davis Emergency Services of Camden
300 Osborne St.
St. Marys, GA 31558

On a Mission in New Orleans

Doug Ganyo resting in front of 'Our' Project in New OrleansHelmut Albrecht reports on The Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Team from Fernandina Beach that is putting their effort in rebuilding New Orleans.

Day One Monday: Day one of our mission is over and we are all tired. But lets go in sequence: the night was hard since the bunk beds have only a thin layer of foam mattress, which makes it to a 150 setting on the sleep number scale.

The morning started with a briefing by Project Homecoming and the information that they just have received a grant to rebuild 11 homes as energy efficient homes. Project Homecoming is getting more and more involved in community projects that also include parks and playgrounds (and not only the construction and reconstruction of homes).

Finally we were assigned to “our site for the week”, which is located on 4th Street close to the Garden District. Driving through the neighborhood, we see a hodgepodge of homes. Some of them very nicely renovated, many of them still in various stages of dilapidation. “Our home” is a duplex and the site supervisor told us that the tub they had recently pulled out was build 90 years ago. The home was not damaged by the flood but strong winds had taken the roof off, which caused all the water damage inside. With all the windows taken out, the house is pretty much gutted.

We have not met the owner yet, but are looking forward to get introduced to her at the neighbor evening on Thursday. It is always very gratifying when you can put a face on your work.

Our task today was to scrape the windows and to get them ready for a primer coat. To reduce the cost for the renovation, many of the windows of the original home can be reused after treatment. It was a very healthy exercise in patience and quite possibly therapeutic (at least for somebody like me who does only little physical work).

The temperature ran up into the 90th and with the famous New Orleans humidity clamping around us, we were sure to test the truth of the label on our PDA t-shirts being “sweat free”. I am disappointed to have to report that the t-shirts failed miserably.

After a day of hard work and almost all windows completed (site supervisor inspected), we retreated to the Olive Tree Village and a SHOWER; a well deserved treat.

Dinner was prepared by one of the FPC teams and since Gene was involved (who’s cooking genius I could already experience last year in Houma) it was delicious: the best red beans and rice dish I ever had. Actually it’s the cooking that keeps drawing me back to New Orleans.
The evening concluded with sharing our experiences of the day and scripture.

Everybody is tired and we will all go to bed soon. Another long and hot day tomorrow. We have to finish the windows and start with the siding. My group is also in charge of dinner tomorrow evening and I have my doubts if we can match Gene’s benchmark.

Recover, rebuild, rejoice, it promises to be a good summary for this week.

Tuesday: Letter from New Orleans – Day 2

A moment of rest in Louisiana Humidity

Han, first of all to your question from yesterday: the reason that the guys sleep upstairs in our camp is that Presbyterian guys are polite. We came home from the worksite very tired and so we did not want the girls to head up the stairs to the second floor.

This morning we left the Olive Tree Village earlier and took a different way through the Garden District. Going along St. Charles we went through an area of richness with beautifully appointed and well-repaired southern villas. Turning into 4th street, where our site is, was like driving into another world.

As we had some time before our site supervisor arrived, we decided to take a walk trough the neighborhood. The next-door neighbor, whom we greeted yesterday, greeted us friendly this morning and seemed to be glad (relieved?) that we were back to continue our job. Many of the homes in the area had been repaired and renovated, but some are just beyond repair. We passed a place that was once a greenery. The truck with fertilizer was still parked in the fenced and locked yard, overgrown with all kinds of flowers and bushes. The roof was like a meadow. Not the garden paradise it once was as Mother Nature is claiming its future. Next door was the “Turning Point” bar, that just had opened for business; a reflective name for a bar in this city and neighborhood.

Back to our home site; we continued to work on the windows and finished the scraping as well as most of the sanding. The windows are now ready for a coat of primer and we are looking forward to our new assignment tomorrow. We have not met our client, the owner of “our” house, yet, but all in our team felt that she is entitled to an excellent job with the highest quality of workmanship (not always so easy in 90+ Fahrenheit, high humidity and little experience in what we are doing).

We left the jobsite earlier this afternoon since we had to prep dinner for all 32 volunteers in our camp. Tuesday is chicken day and so we stopped at Winn Dixie to get some additional ingredients to fix “Mimi’s chicken” (which is chicken done in the oven with tomatoes, mushrooms and onion soup) as well as barbecued chicken. The menu also included a fresh salad, green beans, mashed potatoes and brownies. Reviews were pretty good and we did receive a “well done” from Gene, the chef from yesterday evening.

After dinner reflection. We talked about our experiences on the job site, about what it means for us to serve. Jody, from the Illinois group, shared her story with us. Jody moved to New Orleans short before Katrina to take a well-paid job with a university. She was able to evacuate on time. When she was allowed to come back, most of her belongings were not usable anymore and she could not move back to her home. She found a new “home” up north. After she had developed a distance to the disaster, she was able to have her “Katrina” days and to come back to the city. Being here to give back to the city she still cares a lot for is for her like keeping New Orleans as one of her personal anchor points.

When we received our assignment sheet for the week it said for our site “repair time” and we joked about how this should work. By now we know that it was a typo and that it should have been “repair trim”; however, when I hear Jody’s story and when I reflect on our experience over the past 2 days, maybe we are here to “repair time” for the people we serve.

Hurricane Safety Tips From Paul Davis Emergency Services

Hurricane Safety Tips St. Marys, GA – June is National Hurricane Preparedness Month and marks the beginning of hurricane season. According to forecasters, the Atlantic basin is facing a busy hurricane season with an estimated 12 to 18 named storms this year including six to 10 that will become hurricanes. As a public service, Paul Davis Emergency Services, a leading provider of fire and water damage clean up and restoration services for residential and commercial properties, is offering these tips for hurricane season to help keep families safe.

According to Rana Killough, Paul Davis office owner, hurricane preparedness includes:

Pre-hurricane season preparation:

•Put together a plan for your family and go over it with them.
•Know your evacuation routes.
•Put together an “Emergency Ready Kit” to include proper tools, supplies and first aid kit.
•Have plenty of batteries and flashlights and at least a 3-day supply of water and non-perishable foods.

When a hurricane watch or warning is issued:

•Leave low lying areas.
•Protect windows with plywood boards or storm shutters.
•Secure outside objects.
•Make sure you have plenty of fuel and water for several days.
•Evacuate if instructed to leave.
•Be ready to put your plan and preparation to action.
•Pay attention to local weather reports on radio, TV or the Internet.
•Make sure all your tools, supplies, first aid, food, fuel and personal items are ready for use.

What to do during the storm:

•Stay in a secure room and away from windows.
•Don’t use the telephone or candles.
•Monitor weather and civic service bulletins on regular or NOAA weather radio.
•Have supplies on hand.
•Remain indoors when the eye of the hurricane moves over your area, the storm will resume shortly.

What to do after the storm:

•Make sure everyone is safe and accounted for.
•Monitor the radio for information from emergency management.
•Before venturing outside, ensure the storm has completely passed.
•Report downed power lines and stay away from them.

If you experience property damage after a storm or hurricane, Killough recommends contacting a restoration professional that specializes in water damage clean up and restoration with technicians who are certified from the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification. Call (912) 342-2220 or visit the website at www.pdescamden.com.

I am Ready for a Lazy Florida Weekend

Lazy Florida Sunday

Off the deck at the Sanddollar

April 23, 2011: I captured this picture last weekend where we enjoyed a Lazy Florida Sunday on the deck of the Sanddollar near the north ramp to the St. John’s River Ferry. Saturday should be a wonderful day with highs in the mid 80s and winds from the SE at 10 to 15 mph.
Tonight: A few clouds will float by over our Florida coastline overnight with lows in the mid 60s and a mild SE breeze.
Easter Sunday: Sunny on Easter Sunday in Fernandina Beach with highs in the mid 80s and winds from the SE at 10 to 15 mph. After enjoying Sunrise Service and a family luncheon, I may find myself enjoying another lazy Florida Sunday afternoon.
Monday: The weekend departs leaving us with mostly sunny skies to start our work week. Highs will be in the mid 80s with lows in the mid 60s.
Tuesday: Tuesday you will enjoy partly cloudy skies, highs again in the mid 80s and lows in the upper 60s.

Snowmen Spotted at First Federal Bank

Snowmen Spotted at First Federal Bank

Snowmen Spotted at First Federal Bank

Writing different titles for the weather report every single day is difficult, not to mention finding original images to use, so when I spotted snowmen at First Federal Bank, I thought, “Why not?”
December 10, 2010: Partly cloudy skies and warmer temperatures won’t melt these adorable snowmen at the bank with our Amelia Island highs expected to be in the mid 60s.
Tonight: Before it gets cold this evening, you should make a Mad Dash to Peterbrooke Chocolatier on Amelia Island. From 4:30 to 6:00 PM they are offering 20% off all items in the store except popcorn. This is a great opportunity to pick up something sweet to take to any holiday party you may be attending this weekend! With lows in the mid 40s, there is no fear of your chocolate delight melting!
Tomorrow: Saturday will bring partly cloudy skies for the surf contest in the morning. The Yulee Parade and Festival will see highs in the upper 60s with a nice breeze from the North. Don’t forget the Fernandina Beach Lighted Christmas Parade begins in our historic district at 6:00 PM!
Sunday: Variable skies enter our air space with highs in the upper 60s; often that means higher humidity. Lows will be in the low 50s overnight.
Monday: You may hear some thunder on Amelia Island with highs in the mid 60s and low in the low 30s. Rumor has it there will be some brutally cold weather moving over Amelia Island by Tuesday… check SearchAmelia.com for your daily local weather report to stay on top of our changing weather forecasts.

CLICK HERE for Fernandina Beach tide predictions.

Out of Sight is Out of Mind

Experts are disecting Unusual Hurricane Season

How easy is it to forget storms and the hot days of summer when hurricanes and tropical storms stay far away from us. The 2010 Hurricane Season came to an end as the third most active season in history, yet for us it came and went almost unnoticed.

The active 2010 Atlantic hurricane season ended Tuesday, and although the U.S. was spared any direct hits of destruction, other destinations didn’t fare as well, including St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Barbados.
Remarkable as this season produced 19 named storms (tied for third with 1995 and 1887), 12 of which became hurricanes. Only 1933 (21 storms) and 2005 (a record 28 storms) were more active seasons.

And it actually took until the last hurricane of the season, Hurricane Tomas in late October, that we took notice as it killed 41 in the Caribbean and Central America and caused more than $500 million in damage. St. Lucia Prime Minister Stephenson King described Tomas as the island’s “worst natural disaster.” Floods and landslides closed roads leading to the airports, bringing tourism to a standstill for a week. St. Vincent and Barbados also were hit hard by Tomas. But bringing tourism to a standstill for a full week, is almost a riot for people like me who faced, Gilbert 1988, Hugo 1989, Luis 1995, Mitch 1998, Lenny and company in 1999 and half a dozen other ones in that crazy year, when names ran out twice (2005). Each of those mentioned forced tourism on its knees for the better art of a year if not longer.

In 2010 Jamaica, Haiti and the Dominican Republic got hit with heavy rains several times during the six-month season, wiping out roads and bridges. Nicaragua and Honduras got pummeled…again. Hurricanes Karl and Paula caused damage in Mexico.
Guess what … even Canada took a hit. Newfoundland reported about $100 million in damage and one death from Hurricane Igor in September.

In the U.S. Virgin Islands, Gov. John de Jongh requested disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency three times due to flood damage from named tropical storms. FEMA has become reluctant to give in to financial requests from the US Virgins, considering the many fraudulent activities in the past hurricane hits.

Hurricanes caused $1.6 billion in damage and killed hundreds, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The 2010 season started with Alex, the first Atlantic hurricane to form in June since 1966, and ended with Tomas on Halloween weekend.
Before the season began, forecasters predicted an active season, and they turned out to be right. In May, the National Hurricane Center predicted 14 to 23 named storms and 8 to 14 hurricanes.

Imagine the level of destruction if only one category 3 hurricane would have gotten hold of the Oil Leak in the Gulf!!

Florida got spared and up here on Amelia Island, we are wondering why insurance premiums for us still include the excessive wind damage rates. As a former Caribbean Islander I celebrated Hurricane Thanksgiving quietly.

The 10 Costliest Hurricanes to Hit the U.S.

One of many ways Nature gets revenge

With the height of the Hurricane Season staring us in the face and 3 storms brewing in the Atlantic (Earl, Fiona and Gaston), it should be just a reminder to check your insurance policies (if you were lucky enough to get coverage) and make some intense preparations.

These are the ten costliest hurricanes that made US landfall so far as measured by cost (all figures are in inflation adjusted dollars).

1. Hurricane Katrina August 2005
Louisiana and Mississippi
The most destructive hurricane in US History caused an estimated $200 billion in damage.

2. Hurricane Andrew
August 24 – 28, 1992
South Florida and Louisiana
A Category 4 when it hit Florida, Hurricane Andrew hit Louisiana as a Category 3. Andrew caused an approximated $43.672 billion in damages.

3. Hurricane Charley
August 13 – 14, 2004
Although a relatively small hurricane, Charley was very intense, causing $15 billion in damage.

4. Hurricane Ivan
September 16 – 24, 2004
It killed the Southern Caribbean Island of Grenanda and then hit the Southeastern United States.
Hurricane Ivan hit Gulf Shores, Alabama on September 16, producing more than 100 tornados and flooding across the American southeast. The remnants of the storm hit the Delmarva Peninsula on the 18th, where it picked up speed, passed back down the coast, became a tropical storm again in the Gulf and then hit Louisiana as a tropical depression. Ivan left $14.2 billion in damage in its wake.

5. Hurricane Hugo
September 22, 1989
St.Croix, Puerto Rico andCharleston, South Carolina
A Category 5, Hurricane Hugo caused $12.25 billion in damages.

6. Hurricane Agnes

June 19 – 25, 1972
South and North Eastern United States
Although a Category 1, and at other times not even a hurricane at all, Agnes carved an $11.2 billion path of destruction from the Florida Panhandle to New York, New York. Most of the damage came from heavy rains.

7. Hurricane Betsy
September 7 – 9, 1965
Southeast Florida, Southeast Louisiana
Falling just short of being classified as a Category 5, Betsy struck the Florida Keys on the 7th, and New Orleans on the 9th. Flooding from the storm breached the levees in New Orleans, leaving the city flooded for ten days. Betsy is also called “Billion Dollar Betsy” because it was the first to cause a billion dollars in damage. In today’s dollars, the total would be $10.79 billion.

8. Hurricane Frances
September 5, 2004
Frances was a Category 2 that caused $8.9 billion in damage primarily as a result of rain and flooding in heavy populated areas.

9. Hurricane Camille
August 17 – 22, 1969
Mississippi, SE Louisiana, Virginia

Camille, a Category 5, was the second most intense Hurricane ever to hit the United States. The final windspeed will never be known because all measuring devices were destroyed. Storm tides, winds, and flash flooding caused by the storm on its track to West Virginia and Virginia caused $8.8 billion in damages.

10. Hurricane Diane

August 17 – 19, 1955
Northeast coast from Virginia to New York

Diane, along with her sister storm, Connie, which hit the same areas just five days earlier, caused $6.9 billion in damage. Most of the damage was caused by flooding.

Publisher’s Note:

Allow me the observation of the following hypothetical scenario.
My house carries a mortgage of $500,000; it is insured for this amount against storm and flooding.(Mortgage requirement). The recent economic downturn has caused the appraised value to be lowered to $300,000. A hurricane renders my property a total loss. Is that loss calculated at $300,000 or $500,000? Does my mortgage company get $300,000 pay out and do I still owe them $200,000 because the insurance adjuster signs off on replacement value and not the insured value?
You think about it. I have been there on several occasions in my life. I know who gets the short end of the stick. How about you?




Northeast Florida sees its share of fog, especially in the winter. Mist and fog are defined by visibility, and are usually caused by the cooling of moist air that is close to the ground, and the water vapor condenses into droplets.

The dew point is the temperature where this condensation occurs. If the air is cooler, it holds less moisture permitting condensation. When the Sun heats up the air, more moisture is held by the air and the sun “burns off” the fog.

There are a few different types of fog, and fog is really a cloud that forms close to the ground.

Photo found at www.washington.edu/cambots/archive.html

If you have news or information about our community that you would like to share, please send it to us by clicking here.

[sc name=”coupons”]