One of the biggest hurricanes in recent memory is heading for the state of Florida and it prompted me to actually evacuate from the state because…. I mean just look at the picture this thing is massive! It covers the whole state almost from top to bottom and right now its not even on top of Florida yet, its still making trouble for Cuba.
Normally I wouldn’t have evacuated for a hurricane but when they said its going to be a category 4 or 5 and directly hitting South Florida, I took my wife’s advice and decided to button up the house as best we could and make for Atlanta. Now when this was decided I had actually been in California for work so that meant I flew coast to coast twice in 2 days (essentially only a day trip) in order to get back home to evacuate. My wife was awesome by doing almost all of the prep work for us to get going on the road, I only had to close up the shutters and pack up my clothes and put them all in the car.
Our road trip consisted of following the Florida Turnpike to I-75 all the way up to Atlanta GA. Now based on Apple Maps, Waze, and Google Maps, that journey should only have taken us 9 hours to complete. Now that definitely wasn’t the case because just about everyone was trying to run away from the hurricane. The entire drive end to end was really closer to 22 hours. Now in that amount of time and with normal and not “holy shit we’re gonna die if we don’t leave FL” traffic I could have made it all the way to CT in the same amount of time. The average speed going up to Atlanta was about 30MPH. Thats slow by any standard and it was really painful. Luckily my wife was kind enough to share the driving but unfortunately my daughter had to stay strapped into her seat for almost the entire way except for breaks.
The strategy that we decided on was to drive until we reached half a tank in the van and then refill the gas tank and keep on going. The reason for this was that it is 676 miles to Atlanta and there was no way I would be able to get there on a single tank but I also didn’t want to run out of gas and get stranded. In most of the gas stations on the turnpike was gas and the attendants were very good at guiding people to pumps. There was only one station near Gainsville where I had to wait because the pumps were being refilled by a tanker truck. As soon as I made it to my destination in Atlanta, I decided to fill the van up again just to be sure we had gas. Since we were going so slow almost the entire way, I wouldn’t be surprised if I have to replace the brake pads on the van soon even though I just had that service done a few months ago. I’ve never been in such crazy stop and go traffic in my life.
Now me and the family are just waiting it out in Atlanta to see what happens with Irma. Right now its heading towards the west coast but thats only the eye. I’ve been getting email updates from Broward County of curfews and tornado warnings. I’m hoping theres not a lot if any damage so that we can go home this coming week. The biggest challenge will not be having any gas, food, water, and power at home. Also there might be gas shortages heading back south so we might not even be able to make it all the way to South Florida in a day. Since we’re here in Atlanta, might as well take advantage of being here by hitting up some attractions and taking the family to some spots I’ve eaten at while I’ve been here for work. And the first attraction for us was….. Georgia Aquarium! But thats for another post.