with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

Tropical Storm Arlene Flood

The weather radio has been going off a lot for the past two days, and it will be ringing its bells even more over the next two days as Tropical Storm Arlene approaches the Gulf Coast of the United States.

Do you even need to ask where we are in regards to the path of the storm? No, I didn’t think so. If you know us, you already know that we are smack in the middle of the predicted path. Where else would we be?

As of right now, Friday at noon, the storm is still estimated to be a tropical storm and not a hurricane. It has picked up speed, moving from 8 mph to about 40 mph, but it hasn’t formed a good “center”, which is needed to really get this thing moving and doing damage. It is estimated to hit the Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida Gulf Coast tomorrow, and bring with it LOTS of water.

Weather forecasters are predicting 3 to 10 inches of water, with the highest concentrations in Florida, which doesn’t need any more rain. So flood alerts are out everywhere.

Shady Acres Campground, here in Mobile, Alabama, is on the Dog River, but according to the owner, who grew up here with his great grandfather, grandfather, and parents, the water has never even come up high enough to reach the campground area, though it has come close to their house with is waterfront property. The sewer and run off for the torrential rains I’ve experienced here so far seem to do okay, and what water remains isn’t enough to cause a problem. The ground we are standing on is like a sieve. A giant collander and the water doesn’t stay for long before the ground absorbs it, coming back to bite us with humity later.

I spent the morning hours sweating like a leaky faucet outside, cleaning up and putting things away, with the intend to evacuate if we have to, but mostly to keep things from flying around in the wind gusts. All the boxes of tools and odds and ends parts and pieces we have stored under the front of the trailer from our recent and on-going trailer repairs have all been put away inside the storage compartments of the trailer or in the back of the truck. I’ve put our bicycles under the fifth wheel overhang, better protected from the wind and rain.

The bird feeders are still out for now, but I’ve got plastic crates ready to toss them in when the winds start coming. Everything else is fairly protected, secured, and tied down. I hope.

So far, they are predicting winds of 30 mph with gusts up to 40, so I’m not very worried…much. We’ve been through worse. We’re just not going to go through worser.

This is good preparation for the hurricane season. I’m really clear that the moment a hurricane is spotted coming this way, we are out of here. Brent has said that he will stay behind and keep working, staying with friends, unless it is a bad one, and then we are both out of here. But I’m moving the trailer out of the path.

People keep asking me if I have a destination in mind if we have to evacuate. “Where will you go?”

I have a destination, and a preference. Alaska is my preference. “Away” is my destination. Out of the path. Out of the way. Away. As far away as I can get, as fast as our old truck will pull this trailer.

When I have gotten to “away”, I will then look for “far enough”. “Far enough” is located “away” from high winds, tornados, and rock size hail. “Far enough” is when I’m sure the weather is “over there” and I’m tired of driving, and there is a big enough space to camp out until the storm passes and the traffic dies down.

Just thought you should know.

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