Post Hurricane Irma Update

Yesterday was my first day off since last Friday and most of those were 12-hour shifts, as a result I wasn’t able to turn on any amateur radio gear or scanners so I have no idea what went on as far as amateur radio response to Hurricane Irma or government/military response communications go. All I can reliably report is that I heard helicopters from the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade at Hunter AAF going to Lawson AAF in flights of three to four on the Thursday before the storm; undoubtedly they moved somewhere else when the storm’s track moved to the west but I don’t know know were they went from there. As far as I know, the SEGARRN system and other public safety radio systems in the coastal Georgia area stayed up and working throughout the hurricane, I haven’t heard of any system failures.

The coastal Georgia area has taken a hit from storm surge. A 12.4 foot tide was recorded at Fort Pulaski; they say the water wasn’t as high as it was during Matthew but they still had flooding and apparently some roofing on the fort was taken off by wind. The Savannah NWR has a lot of water damage including areas of roadway and dikes that were washed away. There was a lot of storm surge flooding along coastal and riverside areas. A lot of docks were damaged and boats displaced (two of them turned up on top of US 80 between Wilmington Island and Tybee Island). All in all, it seems that there were not as many downed trees to deal with after Irma because Matthew seemed to cull the weaker growth last year. There were still, however, a lot of power outages but most power has been restored.

I’m thankful that it wasn’t worse than what it was for coastal Georgia, when I left home on the Thursday before the storm, the forecast had the hurricane aimed right at Savannah. I didn’t expect to come home to much. The storm moved to west after causing widespread destruction in the Caribbean, sparing the Georgia coast the worst of the damage. My prayers go out to those in the Caribbean and Florida who took the full brunt of one of the worst storms in my memory.

Please keep an eye on Tropical Storm Maria, as it is forecast to become another major Hurricane and could be threatening us next week.

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