August 25, 2012

The Impending Wrath of Typhoon Bolaven

One caveat of living on a small sub-tropical island especially in this part of the world is the frequent occurrence of typhoons, aka tropical cyclones, aka hurricanes. Call it what you will, I've never lived through a hurricane. Despite the fact that my husband and I lived on the southern seaboard for 7 years, I've still never seen a hurricane. If an impending hurricane is projected to be bad enough, cities in the path of destruction evacuate. Well, here on Okinawa there is no where to go. So you ride out the storm in your concrete cinder block house and hope for the best!

So far this year there have been several near misses, all for which I am thankful. I knew that luck and nature wouldn't hold. But I never expected this. I suppose I should have! Thus, here we are on the verge of being slammed into by what is being called the worst typhoon Okinawa has seen in 13 years.

I've heard horror stories from friends about water coming through minuscule cracks in the walls, projectiles flying through our "typhoon proof" windows, windows bowing inward, lamp posts and trees demolishing cars, being without power for hours - days. . . and this one is supposed to be worse. The worst. This big bitch is packing sustained winds upwards of 130mph!! - I think I've just soiled myself.

Here is the projected timeline that Bolaven is on.

-- Sustained 35-mph winds and greater, 8 a.m. Saturday.
-- Sustained 40-mph winds and greater, 7 p.m. Saturday.
-- Sustained 58-mph winds and greater, 3 a.m. Sunday.
-- Maximum 138-mph sustained winds and 167-mph gusts, 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday.
-- Winds diminishing below 58 mph, 11 p.m. Sunday.
-- Winds diminishing below 40 mph, 7 a.m. Monday.
-- Winds diminishing below 35 mph, 6 p.m. Monday.

I can't even conceive of what 130mph+ winds are like. Can you? So, we have lots of water, our fridge and freezer are on the coldest setting, a bathtub is filled with water, there's lots of nonperishable food items in the pantry, batteries, flashlights, and we're all set!! 

To stay occupied and sane during what I'm told is the inevitability that we'll be without power at some point, I'm going to do my best to take lots of pictures and videos of this storm. I've got a limited view from where I live, but we've got lots of fun, fun trees in our backyard! Surely one of them will uproot and make for some good footage!!

So here is the start of my "Typhoon Bolaven Diary".

Saturday August 25 3:00 pm.

We woke up this morning to some sunshine and blue sky. Throughout the morning and early afternoon the clouds have been rolling in and moving at a pretty quick clip. Occasionally we can see some patches of blue sky, and there have been some small sprinkle showers. So far the winds on the ground aren't too bad. Breezy, maybe a good day to fly a kite if we didn't know what was coming. Though the sky is getting darker and the winds are starting to pick up.

I've got everything tied down and sandbagged so I hope we're good with that. There are some things I just couldn't bring inside the house. However a few of my neighbors STILL haven't dealt with their garbage cans and recycle stuff. If it comes down to it I just may go put their shit on their doorstep, ring the bell and walk away. If I find their trash all over my yard, I'll walk it all over to their doorway anyway. . . 

According to the radar and websites I check, the outer bands of the storm are just approaching Okinawa now. The winds will pick up over night and we'll see what we see. At the moment it seems it's the calm before the storm.

Stay tuned! And stay safe Okinawa!!

No comments:

Post a Comment