Ken Wulfert?

Discussion in 'General' started by TAG1014, Sep 8, 2017.

  1. Sirfoldalot

    Sirfoldalot Supporter Supporter

    Heard from Valerie late this afternoon in N. Ft Myers. Irma's eye went right over her and she said they were all fine, but she lost one of her massive 2+ foot diameter "big" pine trees that thankfully did not fall on her house or the pool enclosure. She has had NO power since noon, but she does have a generator and fuel.
  2. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member Supporter

    How are you and your lovely wife? We want to know how you are doing.
  3. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Reporting back in!
    First of all, thanks for your many expressions of concern and good luck wishes. Caroline and I are both fine, our condo and building did a great job protecting us - very little real damage to speak of, most all of it is to landscaping and plantings, which were significant. Our power and water were knocked off shortly after Irma hit Naples, and we just got them both back about five hours ago. FPL is doing a terrific job getting power back - they have a big challenge. It is estimated that about half of Florida's residents lost power from Irma's journey up our state. In our case, power loss equals water loss as well. We are on the 15th floor, water under city water pressure will make it up to the 5th floor. To get higher, a water pump is needed to pump the stuff up to the roof, where there is a head tank, which then pressurizes the water to supply all the remaining floors. Loss of water up this high makes for some interesting problems.

    Now - to get to Irma. Irma was (still is!) a mean, nasty, powerful, huge, ugly incredible storm. Wow! After totally trashing the Keys, she came to the mainland by hitting Marco square on, totally trashing the place. One of our residents here docked his 30ft cruiser at Marco ... half sunk. Then Irma decided that Naples would be next - she hit us again square on. Huge amounts of damage to downtown Naples, but again mostly superficial and to landscaping and plantings, which were totally trashed. She decided to keep on going right up US-41 (the Tamiami Trail) through North Naples until finally veering slightly to the east at Bonita Springs/Estero/ Ft Myers/Sanibel/Captiva. Our condo is in North Naples, two blocks west of the trail, one half of a mile from the Gulf to our west. I was watching the events of the storm from my office window, which faces east. The winds kept getting faster and faster, louder and louder, with the heavy rain blowing horizontally. Winds still from the north/northeast. After about 30 minutes, we were approached by the eye wall, the area of the hurricane eye where the winds are most violent. We couldn't see more than 25 ft out the window from the heavy sideways wind driven rain, the water spray, etc. Winds were incredible - we had measured gusts of 142 mph, highest recorded from Irma in Florida, leading to about ten/fifteen minutes of total chaos outside. This is when the power went off. Then we entered the eye. In about ten minutes we went from the total chaos, to where we only had a drizzle outside! Still overcast sky, but no wind, no driving rain. Amazing. I don't recall how long we were in the eye, but soon it started up again, but not nearly as violent. High winds, 100 mph gusts, and rain, but not as heavy. And, the winds were in the opposite direction as we now saw the bottom rotation of the storm - winds from the southwest, west. It took a couple of hours to get out of the hurricane's direct formation. All night long, we were buffeted by high winds, but very little rain. I was worried about our storm shutters. That was true for most of yesterday. Today was a beautiful, blue sky 85-90 degree typical Naples day, very little wind, no rain. Amazing change in so little of a time!
    All in all, Irma was fascinating, but ugly, loud, nasty and scary. But, I'm glad we had the experience. I give our building an A+, it took care of all of us who stayed on (18 units out of 178 total, all full timers), our two cars were high and dry in the garage (ground level), no injuries, no damage to speak of. Shows the benefits of modern Florida storm construction codes. Our sliders were perfect, the storm shutters held up, and we only had a minor leak from the office window while we went through the eye.
    Our beautiful, charming city of Naples looks ugly right now. All sorts of trees and other vegetation have been totally trashed, many roads blocked. Trees, small and huge, have been uprooted. There was some flooding from both the heavy rains and the storm surges. But, very little actual damage to buildings, and, importantly, no loss of life yet known. Amazing!
    If any of you feel the obligation, a contribution to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Irma Relief would be welcome. Many, many folks in Florida were not as lucky as we were to be in this fortress of a building, and they suffered major losses to their homes and possessions. I'm going to contribute.
    Thanks. Good to be back on line.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
  4. modeltruckshop

    modeltruckshop Member Supporter

    Thanks Ken. Glad you guys pulled through so lucky. As a boring Ohio Midwesterner we don't have the extremes so many of you do, never super hot or cold. No earthquakes or hurricanes. A little snow and ice is it and 9 days of sunshine per year. I'll take it compared to 142 mph wind.
    Hopefully Naples can start rebuilding soon. Thanks again for keeping us posted on your well being.

    Ozarktraveler and gjslsffan like this.
  5. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member Supporter

    Glad you did so well Ken. So true that most didnt fair as good as you did.

    How many stories is that building your in?

    I wonder if they will install a back up generator one day for the building.
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  6. qaprr

    qaprr Member Supporter

    Glad you survived! Your narration is incredible!
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  7. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Steve -
    Being from St Louis, we are used to the threat of tornados. Though on a smaller scale, they are equal in threat and danger as are tornados. Fortunately, we never s were in a tornado, but I've heard recordings of them, and Kurt had one go close to his place at KU in Kansas.
    Winds like we saw from Irma, gusts of 142 mph, are equal to internal tornado winds. It is true that a tornado sounds a bit like a diesel freight climbing a hill with a long drag train. I was curious if a hurricane wind sounds like that. It does not. Irma was just a constant roar, with the sounds of rain water hitting the window added. When there was a high velocity wind gust, it all just sounded that much louder.
  8. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Tom -
    Our building in Pelican Bay, Naples is 19 stories tall. Beautiful building. We are on 15th floor, Naples/N. Naples view to the east, Gulf view to the west. We have a 1/3 mile mangrove forest between us and the Gulf on the west side.

    We definitely do have a diesel back-up generator, a big one. I've not seen it up close yet, it is in its own room down at the garage level (ground level). I want to get in to see it - don't know what diesel engine they have on it, or how big it is, or what the capacity is. I do know it makes quite a racket when running. They test it once per month for about 15 minutes. I was told the fuel tank lasts ten days of constant running.

    The back-up unit does not supply a/c or water pump demands. We have 178 units, and the a/c load, like during the season when we are full, is just too much. It does supply building lighting in halls, stairs, lobby, garage, pool, and exterior, plus elevators and several lobby level wall outlets - for phone charging, and for a microwave, a large refrigerator, etc, that are available and set up for emergency use. I understand why no a/c is hooked up - but why not the water pump for the upper floors is beyond me.

    If you are on 15 during one of these events, you have no water pressure (after the roof head tank drains). So, how do you get drinking water, how do you wash up, and how do you flush a toilet? The answer is, given that a hurricane at least gives you a few day's warning, you fill up the bathtub and put a hose on the water heater drain, and use that water for washing and toilets. Plus the toilets in the lobby work, as do the pool showers. We also stocked up on bottled drinking water several days in advance (I had a strange feeling about Irma, that it would impact us, so I watered up and gassed up the cars well ahead), and put a bag of ice in the freezer. We were in pretty good shape.
  9. Sirfoldalot

    Sirfoldalot Supporter Supporter

    That "constant roar" and wind must have given you a few moments of. "Why did we do this?" Glad you are in good shape - from the news, the state has really taken a beating. Your narritive of the event is outstanding!
    Thank you, but after many abodes all over - I think I will be happy with a "earthquake jiggle" every now and then. Now, if we could just do something about the State government which is trying to destroy us all?
  10. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett Member

    Ken, we're glad you made it thru the hurricane ok!!!

    Joe and Cynthia
    Ozarktraveler and gjslsffan like this.
  11. pbender

    pbender Member Supporter

    Having seen the aftermath of tornadoes in Springfield growing up, and the aftermath of hurricanes while I was In Lake Charles,LA, the difference I note is that tornatoes tend to uproot trees while hurricanes shatter them, and not always near the ground.

    I made that observation when I made my second driving trip to Lake Charles while moving in 2008 after Huricaine Gustov hit near Baton Rouge.

    Ozarktraveler and gjslsffan like this.
  12. William Jackson

    William Jackson Bill Jackson Supporter

    Sure glad you are ok, Ken and glad I'm not in Florida any more 10 years was enough. It's even better to be retired and in Missouri. Good Luck, and don't get too windy.
  13. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Paul -
    Irma was my first experience with a hurricane (hope I don't have any more such experiences, but odds are we will over time). Your comment on trees being destroyed by a hurricane are very true. I have noticed, and commented to several, that most of the breaks in the trees from Irma, including very large ones, that have been knocked over show a break in the wood that not only is a break to the length of the trunk or branch, like if you broke it over your knee, but also shows a twisting shattering from a twist to the branch or trunk. The breaks are horrible looking - the wood is just plain shattered in all directions, and the break is generally several diameters long and quite sharp.

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