Vacation after minor hurricane?

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coalcracker
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Vacation after minor hurricane?

Post by coalcracker » Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:19 am

We are scheduled to leave on Saturday for a 10-day trip to Hilton Head, SC. As we stay apprised of the current forecast, we are considering alternative plans short of scrapping the whole trip. Our VRBO hosts have offered to push back the rental so that we arrive on Wednesday rather than Saturday. This would be ~24-36 hours after the storm according to the current forecast.

For those that have been through a hurricane before, what can we expect to encounter after a category 1-2 storm has hit?

We will be traveling with 2 young children and a dog, so I wouldn't be especially excited to deal with flooding, power outages, and empty grocery stores. I know this will happening in Florida for this storm, but will it be different for a "minor" hurricane?

livesoft
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Re: Vacation after minor hurricane?

Post by livesoft » Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:31 am

i think if you are flying, then the airport will not be open on Tues nor Wed. And it will still be raining. Hard.

Swimming pools may be filled with sand, too.
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coalcracker
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Re: Vacation after minor hurricane?

Post by coalcracker » Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:37 am

If we go, we may end up driving instead of flying. Regardless, the current (probably inaccurate) forecast for the Wednesday we would arrive is 83 and sunny.

I have no experience with tropical storms or hurricanes, so I am trying to get a sense of the damage with this kind of storm in a low-lying, coastal area. Our rental house if one block from the beach.

livesoft
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Re: Vacation after minor hurricane?

Post by livesoft » Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:55 am

There is really no way to foretell the situation at this time.

Beachcombing could be great though with new things revealed. And your rental house could be half a block from the beach.
Last edited by livesoft on Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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oldcomputerguy
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Re: Vacation after minor hurricane?

Post by oldcomputerguy » Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:59 am

coalcracker wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:19 am
We are scheduled to leave on Saturday for a 10-day trip to Hilton Head, SC.
For what it's worth, you have my complete sympathy. DW and I are supposed to leave Saturday for a 10-day stay in Jamaica, with flight path directly over the Florida peninsula. I don't think that's gonna happen.
:(
Anybody know why there's a 20-pound frozen turkey up in the light grid?

Rupert
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Re: Vacation after minor hurricane?

Post by Rupert » Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:25 am

There may be no electricity, and there could be flood/surge damage to infrastructure such as roads that make them impassable. A slow-moving Cat 1 or 2 storm can cause more flood damage than a fast-moving major storm. So you can't necessarily judge based on the category of the storm. It's just impossible to say at this time whether you should plan to go on this trip. You'll have to wait and see where the storm goes like the rest of us.

livesoft
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Re: Vacation after minor hurricane?

Post by livesoft » Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:33 am

Harvey had turned into a tropical storm a day or so before heading over to Houston and east Texas, so it wasn't even a minor hurricane at that point.
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jebmke
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Re: Vacation after minor hurricane?

Post by jebmke » Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:20 am

coalcracker wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:37 am
If we go, we may end up driving instead of flying. Regardless, the current (probably inaccurate) forecast for the Wednesday we would arrive is 83 and sunny.

I have no experience with tropical storms or hurricanes, so I am trying to get a sense of the damage with this kind of storm in a low-lying, coastal area. Our rental house if one block from the beach.
IMO forecasts this far out aren't worth the pixels they are printed with. I think they are computer generated based on assumptions about the track as well as other data.

There is almost no way to know what will happen. If the storm for some reason tracks slightly offshore and stays strong, the house on the beach might be somewhere else when you got there.

Colorado is nice this time of year.
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carolinaman
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Re: Vacation after minor hurricane?

Post by carolinaman » Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:37 am

My daughter has lived in Charleston, SC for 22 years and has experienced many hurricanes during that time. Cat 1 is usually not a big deal and most services are back within 24 hours. Hurricane Matthew last year came ashore just north of Charleston but did little damage there but devastated inland areas of NC with flooding. The other extreme was Hugo, a cat 4 when it hit Charleston area and devastated some areas. According to some meteorologists, this storm reminds some of Hugo. Most storms coming up the Atlantic coast do not have major impact on GA and SC but often hit NC coast because it sticks out farther into the Atlantic. Atmospheric conditions usually push the storms east but that is far from certain.

It is a dicey call to plan on arriving on Wednesday. It may work out but it is risky. It would be best to delay a week or two if possible.

abner kravitz
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Re: Vacation after minor hurricane?

Post by abner kravitz » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:02 am

Hilton Head was grazed by Category 1 Matthew last year and was basically uninhabitable for a week. People were allowed back after 3 or 4 days, only to find many roads impassable and spotty water and sewer service. Cleanup took many months. I don't know where the storm is going, but if it does hit Hilton Head, your chances of a vacation starting Wednesday are miniscule.

Good luck. I am on Hilton Head now, trying to determine whether or not to leave.

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Kenkat
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Re: Vacation after minor hurricane?

Post by Kenkat » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:06 am

I was on vacation in North Myrtle Beach when a tropical storm made landfall. Day 1 was pretty much socked in; indoor activities only. Day 2, all the pools and outside facilities at the resort were closed but we were able to do a few things outside the resort. Day 3, most of the pools and other water features were open and it was pretty much back to normal.

It will partly depend on the strength of Irma when it hits and how close you are to the center of the storm.

noco-hawkeye
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Re: Vacation after minor hurricane?

Post by noco-hawkeye » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:11 am

We took a trip to the Caribbean and it happened to be right after a smaller hurricane. The airpot in San Juan was a mess, we ended up sleeping there one night due to so many flights and travelers being backed up. Once we got to our resort (by hiring a private charter plane with another stranded couple), the resort itself did not have noticeable damage and the beach was a bit churned up.

It was one of our favorite vacations ever, but I'm glad we did not have kids.

If you are adventurous and ok with things not being quite "right" during your trip, I think it could be ok.

My main worry would be to arrive a couple of days after the storm has passed. We arrived a few days after, and it was still a mess. If we arrived any sooner, we would have been very uncomfortable and frustrated. I also would not trust anything an airline or travel company tells you in this situation. We called our airline/travel company before we left and they led us to believe things were in better shape than they were.

Wellfleet
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Re: Vacation after minor hurricane?

Post by Wellfleet » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:22 am

I'd cancel and book elsewhere. I can't imagine that it is relaxing thinking about the scenarios, and planning a vacation is part of the mental benefit.

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Watty
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Re: Vacation after minor hurricane?

Post by Watty » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:30 am

A risk to consider is that the surf could still be high and rip tides could be strong. Drownings are not uncommon at Hilton Head so you will need to be extra careful after a Hurricane. In addition to Hurricane Irma you will also need to keep an eye Hurricane Jose. If Jose is a tropical storm and far out at sea by then it could still cause high surf at Hilton Head.
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphic ... e#contents

If you are on the beach away from the water then you could still get hit by a sneaker wave that is much bigger than all the other waves.

Check to make sure that the water is OK to drink even if it still on.

Take good paper maps since you may need to use them to get around closed roads. Some cell phone "GPS" apps actually use the cell phone towers to calculate your location. If the cell phones are out these will not work well.

If you are driving then one thing to watch out for is that it may be hard to find a hotel room along the way since many people have evacuated the Hurricane areas.

Swampy
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Re: Vacation after minor hurricane?

Post by Swampy » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:33 am

We were on Hilton Head Island in December 2016, two months after it got hammered by Matthew. We stayed at the Marriott Surfwatch, close to Chaplin Park. The park was closed and was a receiving/processing area for all the downed trees on HHI that damaged property and blocked roads. An endless parade of trucks just kept coming throughout our stay there. They still had a lot of work to do when we left.

The damage we saw convince me that HHI is NOT a place to be so soon after a hurricane.

As I write this, we are in the cone of probability to get hit by Irma. We made reservations on 'higher' ground just a few miles from home. The 24 hour media has induced a panicked hysteria and utter fear in people. The highway system is currently gridlocked on I-95 from West Palm to Daytona and on the turnpike to Ocala. Per routine, we fueled up a several days ago and bought some food before the onslaught cleaned out the shelves and caused gas stations to go dry. Some people have gone insane and hoarding like I've never seen before. It wasn't even this bad when Hurricane Charley came calling in 2004 - I guess because the population has continued to increase steadily. Even if we are spared a direct hit by the eyewall, I suspect damage will be extensive within a 50-100 mile radius of the passing eye.

I hope we still have a home to come back to on Monday or Tuesday.
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coalcracker
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Re: Vacation after minor hurricane?

Post by coalcracker » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:43 am

Swampy wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:33 am
We were on Hilton Head Island in December 2016, two months after it got hammered by Matthew. We stayed at the Marriott Surfwatch, close to Chaplin Park. The park was closed and was a receiving/processing area for all the downed trees on HHI that damaged property and blocked roads. An endless parade of trucks just kept coming throughout our stay there. They still had a lot of work to do when we left.

The damage we saw convince me that HHI is NOT a place to be so soon after a hurricane.

As I write this, we are in the cone of probability to get hit by Irma. We made reservations on 'higher' ground just a few miles from home. The 24 hour media has induced a panicked hysteria and utter fear in people. The highway system is currently gridlocked on I-95 from West Palm to Daytona and on the turnpike to Ocala. Per routine, we fueled up a several days ago and bought some food before the onslaught cleaned out the shelves and caused gas stations to go dry. Some people have gone insane and hoarding like I've never seen before. It wasn't even this bad when Hurricane Charley came calling in 2004 - I guess because the population has continued to increase steadily. Even if we are spared a direct hit by the eyewall, I suspect damage will be extensive within a 50-100 mile radius of the passing eye.

I hope we still have a home to come back to on Monday or Tuesday.
Thanks for the firsthand experience, Swampy,and thank you everyone for your comments. It is looking more and more like we will not be going, unless Irma decides to stay well offshore and SC is spared the brunt of the storm.

For the time being, we have rebooked our flights to arrive Wednesday. If a more direct hit is imminent, we should know by early next week and will cancel.

Beach would have been nice, but maybe we will do some leaf peeping instead.

oxothuk
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Re: Vacation after minor hurricane?

Post by oxothuk » Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:07 am

oldcomputerguy wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:59 am
For what it's worth, you have my complete sympathy. DW and I are supposed to leave Saturday for a 10-day stay in Jamaica, with flight path directly over the Florida peninsula. I don't think that's gonna happen.
:(
I wouldn't be so pessimistic. I've been on many flights that took detours of up to 400 miles to avoid severe weather. As long as Jamaica itself stays unaffected, your flight may still be able to operate.

Rupert
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Re: Vacation after minor hurricane?

Post by Rupert » Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:11 am

oxothuk wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:07 am
oldcomputerguy wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:59 am
For what it's worth, you have my complete sympathy. DW and I are supposed to leave Saturday for a 10-day stay in Jamaica, with flight path directly over the Florida peninsula. I don't think that's gonna happen.
:(
I wouldn't be so pessimistic. I've been on many flights that took detours of up to 400 miles to avoid severe weather. As long as Jamaica itself stays unaffected, your flight may still be able to operate.
+1. Commercial airliners just fly around hurricanes. It's not even a big deal. Bigger issue would be conditions in Jamaica.

munemaker
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Re: Vacation after minor hurricane?

Post by munemaker » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:27 am

oldcomputerguy wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:59 am
coalcracker wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:19 am
We are scheduled to leave on Saturday for a 10-day trip to Hilton Head, SC.
For what it's worth, you have my complete sympathy. DW and I are supposed to leave Saturday for a 10-day stay in Jamaica, with flight path directly over the Florida peninsula. I don't think that's gonna happen.
:(
We are scheduled to stay at a resort in Orlando from 9/11 through 9/15. Orlando International Airport is closing Saturday at 5 pm and who knows when it will reopen. I just cancelled the resort. Still have to deal with the (prepaid) rental car and (normally) not-cancellable airline tickets.

I would not want to be there after the storm, even if I could get there. The roads could be impassable, stores may be out of supplies, gas stations may have no gas, attractions and restaurants could be closed...(or maybe everything would be just fine). I would not want to take a chance on a vacation under the circumstances.

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Re: Vacation after minor hurricane?

Post by lostdog » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:52 am

We were ready to drive down to Clearwater Beach for vacation but we changed plans due to the hurricane. We were advised to stay away. We decided to go fishing, biking and kayaking in northern Wisconsin.
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tigermilk
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Re: Vacation after minor hurricane?

Post by tigermilk » Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:32 am

Best case - everything is great

Worst case - no power, gas and food shortages, debris everywhere

All current projections put Hilton Head on the dirty side, meaning if it comes anywhere close you'll have a storm surge to deal with. A significant storm surge will result in flooding.

I'm in the Houston area and recently went through Harvey. Been through hurricanes Ike and Rita as well as tropical storm Allison. Even though Rita missed Houston by quite a bit, the damage was done - great weather but everything was closed waiting for people to return. Food/gas shortages until the supply chains got back to normal.

There are many downsides, and the only upside would be if the predictions are WAY off. But at this stage, I wouldn't put much faith in those projections being that far off.

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Re: Vacation after minor hurricane?

Post by RDB » Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:02 pm

We had a vacation planned last year, arriving 6 days after Matthew hit. We did not know until two days before that we would not be able to go. I am sure that was naive of us to think there was any chance, but nobody was allowed on the island to assess from my understanding. As others have said, HHI is not a good spot after a hurricane. We have another week planned there in October and I am already a little nervous with the hurricane season so far. Good luck to you and anyone in the storms path.

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oldcomputerguy
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Re: Vacation after minor hurricane?

Post by oldcomputerguy » Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:48 pm

oxothuk wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:07 am
oldcomputerguy wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:59 am
For what it's worth, you have my complete sympathy. DW and I are supposed to leave Saturday for a 10-day stay in Jamaica, with flight path directly over the Florida peninsula. I don't think that's gonna happen.
:(
I wouldn't be so pessimistic. I've been on many flights that took detours of up to 400 miles to avoid severe weather. As long as Jamaica itself stays unaffected, your flight may still be able to operate.
Well, from what I've seen of predicted tracks of Hurricane Irma, looks like Jamaica itself might dodge a bullet. Irma's track predicts that it will pass about as close to Jamaica as it is to Port-au-Prince right now, and current winds at Port-au-Prince are reported as 16 mph, which airlines can fly in with no problem. We'll see.

BTW, forgot to add before, good luck to OP on the Hilton Head trip. Stay out of danger.
Anybody know why there's a 20-pound frozen turkey up in the light grid?

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oldcomputerguy
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Re: Vacation after minor hurricane?

Post by oldcomputerguy » Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:47 am

oldcomputerguy wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:48 pm
oxothuk wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:07 am
oldcomputerguy wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:59 am
For what it's worth, you have my complete sympathy. DW and I are supposed to leave Saturday for a 10-day stay in Jamaica, with flight path directly over the Florida peninsula. I don't think that's gonna happen.
:(
I wouldn't be so pessimistic. I've been on many flights that took detours of up to 400 miles to avoid severe weather. As long as Jamaica itself stays unaffected, your flight may still be able to operate.
Well, from what I've seen of predicted tracks of Hurricane Irma, looks like Jamaica itself might dodge a bullet. Irma's track predicts that it will pass about as close to Jamaica as it is to Port-au-Prince right now, and current winds at Port-au-Prince are reported as 16 mph, which airlines can fly in with no problem. We'll see.

BTW, forgot to add before, good luck to OP on the Hilton Head trip. Stay out of danger.
Well, life throws you lemons sometimes. Got out of bed at Oh-Dark-thirty to make our departing flight to Charlotte then on to MBJ. Airline web site showed departing and connecting flights both running on time, airline app notification an hour before boarding showed all well, so we went to the airport and boarded, at which point (AFTER we had boarded) the airline app alerted us that our flight from Charlotte to Jamaica had been cancelled; no alternate flights available for days. Sitting in Charlotte now waiting to board a flight back home.

Interestingly, when we asked, they said the cancellation was not due directly to the weather, rather a side effect of the weather, specifically airspace congestion due to flight re-routing around the storm had caused some flights to be outright cancelled.
Anybody know why there's a 20-pound frozen turkey up in the light grid?

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oldcomputerguy
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Re: Vacation after minor hurricane?

Post by oldcomputerguy » Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:46 am

oldcomputerguy wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:47 am
Well, life throws you lemons sometimes. Got out of bed at Oh-Dark-thirty to make our departing flight to Charlotte then on to MBJ. Airline web site showed departing and connecting flights both running on time, airline app notification an hour before boarding showed all well, so we went to the airport and boarded, at which point (AFTER we had boarded) the airline app alerted us that our flight from Charlotte to Jamaica had been cancelled; no alternate flights available for days. Sitting in Charlotte now waiting to board a flight back home.
Just an update (out of a desire to do justice to American Airlines)... our flight back home went without incident, except for the fact that (unsurprisingly) our bags did not get routed back home with us. To American's credit, we put in a lost-bags alert at our home airport, and our bags showed up and were delivered to our home that night.

The next day I turned in a request to American for a refund of the unused portion of the trip. A day or two later DW and I each received an email with a voucher number for AA travel vouchers for the full price of our tickets (apparently including even the portion from home to CLT). While I would have preferred a cash refund, I expected to receive nothing, so I'll take it.
:happy
Anybody know why there's a 20-pound frozen turkey up in the light grid?

munemaker
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Re: Vacation after minor hurricane?

Post by munemaker » Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:04 am

munemaker wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:27 am

We are scheduled to stay at a resort in Orlando from 9/11 through 9/15. Orlando International Airport is closing Saturday at 5 pm and who knows when it will reopen. I just cancelled the resort. Still have to deal with the (prepaid) rental car and (normally) not-cancellable airline tickets.

I would not want to be there after the storm, even if I could get there. The roads could be impassable, stores may be out of supplies, gas stations may have no gas, attractions and restaurants could be closed...(or maybe everything would be just fine). I would not want to take a chance on a vacation under the circumstances.
Update on this: Rescheduled the resort which waived their normal fee for rescheduling within 30 days. Cancelled the prepaid rental car; fees waived and received a full refund. Not so simple with the airline. They would not refund and would only reschedule for free within 7 days. Who wants to be in Orlando a few days after a hurricane? They wanted a $92 fee to reschedule us out beyond 7 days. We told them we were going to report them to the FL Attorney General for price gouging! After that, they reduced their reschedule fee to $4.00. I don't think we should have had to pay anything, but I wasn't going to argue over $4 at that point.

We tried to change airline the tickets (for a Monday am flight) on Friday and were told the flight still showed "on time," even though the airport announced it was closing on Saturday at 5 pm. Got the same response on Saturday, and that's when we convinced them to change our tickets for $4. Sunday afternoon, flight still showed "on time." It was not until Sunday night they cancelled our flight which was Monday at 7:45 am (we had already rescheduled). Hard to have a flight when the airport is closed due to a hurricane. The games they play.

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