Oh No Nicole!

Several years ago I stopped watching the news and until recently the only impact on my life was lower irritation and more happiness. Flash forward and we roll into Flagler Beach, Florida. Well, Actually Beverly Beach, Florida. We are enjoying sunshine and beach at Beverly Beach Camptown. The world is our oyster and then someone asks. “Are you leaving or riding it out?”

The night we rolled into Camptown

At this point I had to admit ignorance and ask why I would leave when I just got here. That’s when I hear the words “because of Nicole”. Of course I’m wondering what a woman named Nicole has to do with me leaving my campsite. The gears slowly turning in my brain finally land on the proper reason I should be worried about Nicole.

Yes, I’m sure you have figured out that there was a tropical storm….In November! Even I know that tropical storms don’t happen to November. Well, not usually. So we have been in Flagler for a day and we are facing a tropical storm in two days.

So I spent the next day researching things like storm surge and wind tolerances of our 5th wheel. So you might want to know that a gust of 30+ mph can flip a 5th wheel when towing. 5th wheel setup can withstand between category 1 or 2 Hurricane force winds ie. 75 to 95 mph winds without flipping. That doesn’t mean that it’s safe from flying debris.

Before the storm

So we are now watching the weather channel. Something I haven’t done in probably 20 years and trying to figure out what do. Well by the time I decided that we might need to leave the sustained winds we in the 25 mph range with gusts of 35+ mph. Really, it was more dangerous to move the camper than to leave it parked.

The storm surge was my concern, not the wind. We came to Flagler partly because we have friends that live nearby and we decided to close up all the slides and spend the night with them as Nicole came ashore and the storm surge potential was at it’s highest threat level.

I have to admit that driving back over the next morning I was nervous about what I was going to find. There were multiple sections of A1A that the storm surge had washed the road away and left an 8 ft crater. We were parked across the A1A from the ocean with two rows of campsites between the ocean and A1A. So I felt pretty good about things but couldn’t help but be nervous.

We had no damage but the sustained winds were still 41 mph with gusts up to 58 mph so we couldn’t open the slides yet. We piled up in our king size bed. Whipped out our laptops and worked for several hours. Then the power went out. We worked until we had no more battery and then drove into Flagler Beach and found place with power to sit and work the last 2 hours of my workday. So I ended my workday and we hung out at Johnny D’s with the locals until about 8:30 pm. There were power company trucks still parked under the bad transformer as we pulled in. We got home. let the slides out and just as I opened the refrigerator door the power popped back on. It took a second for my brain to process that the light had come on.

Where we found power!

It’s interesting to be inside a camper, even a big one during almost 60 mph wind gusts. It’s also good to know that we can do it if we need to. As fast as Nicole arrived she left just as quickly. Dump trucks were running by early the morning after hauling sand to fill in the holes. They had A1A patched up and reopened in less than a week.

Now we are enjoying the snowbird life and a weekend with our dear friends. But that’s a topic for other posts.

The evening after Nicole passed

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