Nicole is not a hurricane yet, but looks to become one in the Bahamas, and come on shore around Ft. Pierce in the early hours of tomorrow morning, aka the middle of the night tonight. I fully expect to be awakened at least once by our ear-splitting weather radio, hopefully for nothing more serious than that for which it awakened us during Hurricane Ian, and again two days ago.
We were briefly out of "the cone" but are currently back in it, as the predicted path shifts. Of course, the area of strong winds is a lot broader than the cone, and we've been feeling its rain for days. They are still predicting peak sustained winds of 45-60 mph with gusts to 75 mph, which is a "strong tropical storm." Nicole should be off our west coast by 1 p.m. tomorrow, and I'll give an update when I can.
There's a reason we hadn't packed the generator up from the last storm. I hope we don't need it, but with the storm coming straight at us, the ground once again completely saturated, and rivers and lakes still at flood level or very close....
We're still pretty much prepared from last time, though we're waiting till tomorrow to bring things in from outside. My concern when I awoke this morning was for an appointment I had this afternoon at 3 o'clock. Based on today's weather, there was no reason I shouldn't have been able to take it: there's almost no wind yet, and the rain has been steady but not heavy. However, when it was clear that many businesses were deciding to close early, I chose to go in the morning as a "walk-in." I say I chose, but really, I didn't feel I had much choice. Call it a nudge from God, call it hyperactive anxiety—but I couldn't rest about it, and decided I might as well wait for hours there than be unproductive at home. As it turned out, they were able to fit me in quickly and I even made it to the library to pick up The Bellmaker, before it closed at noon. It was definitely the right decision.
Now we wait, hoping that our decision to wait till morning to batten the final hatches turns out to be a good one, too.
By the time I finished writing this, Nicole had achieved category 1 hurricane status in the Bahamas. We trust that our family members who live on a boat there have long since found safe harbor.