I have know Greg for about 17 years now. I have never met him, but I have talked to him. We first met at the old *P* boards back in the '90's, we both got our inspectors licenses back then. My cousin also lives on the western side of Fla. and I have a e-mail out to him as well.
I was in North Carolina for Debby but we were OK in my neighborhood. It did rain a lot but I-75 and US 41 creates a good dam that holds the sheet flow back and gets it down to us slow enough so it can run out into the gulf. I bet it was pretty wet East of 75. I haven't really talked to anyone yet since we just got home. The worst of it was up in the pan handle. I am south.
Not to sound crass, but I'd like to make an observation here ....
Back in the 60's, it seemed we had -maybe- one or two 'disaster' stories, worldwide, every year. These were truly catastrophic events- entire municipal areas wiped off the map (Managua Quake), millions starving (India famine), or exceptionally dramatic (Chicago blizzard).
These days every dark cloud is accompanied by hysterical warnings, and every little thing is a 'disaster.' I am personally fond of all the dire quake warnings here atop the New Madrid epicenter - this might have been the scene of America's strongest quake, but the darn thing hasn't hiccuped in 200 years!
We even have towns declaring a 'disaster' when they simply run out of money.
Maybe I'm jaded, but after a century of development I'd expect every Florida home to be on stilts, every California home on springs, and every Chicago home to be darn near fireproof.
Oh, wait .... Chicago DID write a pretty stout code after the city burnt down twice. There hasn't been an inferno since.
And to think we're footing the bill to rebuild New Orleans - in place. It must take one mighty pump to keep up with the Mississippi River.
Even on a lesser scale ... how many power outages do you need to suffer before you decide to get a little generator? How many times will your basement flood before you decide that -maybe- thick carpet and vital records don't belong down there?
The Florida problem was flooding and it was mostly in the pan handle. They did have a perfect storm for a rain event. The eye stalled over water in the crook of the pan handle. Normally the rain would cool the water surface enough to "put the storm out" but where it was, there was a steady stream of hot water coming in from the Gulf stream so the storm was just a pump, taking warm Gulf water up and dumping it on land. Once the weather systems shifted a little east and it got to move over land the pump stopped. They did get several feet of rain in a day or so.
As for the no name storm up north. they simply are not prepared for 80-90 mph wind gusts. All of those old growth trees just split taking out the power lines. We drove through 200 miles of downed trees from the mountains to the shore. The strange thing is those people have more power problems up there than we do down here in hurricane country but it is because the PoCos are not as aggressive about keeping the trees trimmed. I doubt the kind of butchering of trees they do here would fly up there. FPL comes down the street here with a bucket truck and an Asplundh grinder whacking anything that encroaches on the right of way or even looks like it might. The "disaster" thing is just to get access to federal money and to allow the governor to use national guard assets.