Before and During Hurricane Irma

September 4th, 2017 | by seabim |

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Important information for our customers, rental GUESTS and home OWNERS – We will UPDATE regularly. Connect with us on Facebook.

Sept 12, 2017, 1240
Amazing, how fast our City is cleaning everything up. The police is doing a fantastic job. Work crews made sure that the street are free from fallen trees. The electric company ordered crews from all over the country to restore power. The result: Most of the Seabim vacation homes have power back. Coming into Cape Coral now, it already looks beautiful again.
WELCOME back to our guests! Most of them are back already, others are on the road heading to us. (planning on sharing some of their experiences here later).
THIRD Update After Irma from SEABIM (Sep 12, 10.22 am):
Good morning; just a very quick update, writing what comes to mind. We started to organize the damage assessment and cleanup. Again, we only have a few damages. We were very lucky. The whole city looks good and will be back to (almost) normal within a few days. I think most gas stations will open today, as will Publix and Walmart, etc. We assume restaurants will open soon. But even smaller things have their challenges. We thought about listing these many things but then I decided to just give you ONE example of many examples: At one house an outside cable was cut because of a broken tree (otherwise house is perfect). We do not know, if the cable belongs to our vacation home or the neighbor’s house. We have to find out whose cable it is, who to call (Comcast, LCEC, Century Link); they are not easy to reach right now. Renters are coming back soon, what can we tell them now (they called already)? Do we have an alternative for them just in case? Yes, but the shutters there are still up and do we have power there? Will the pool be OK (remember, we have September and 2 days of no electricity will affect the chemicals)? Should we call the pool company? Can we reach them? When will they take care of it? Cleaning? What needs to be done? Who can do it and how can we reach the person? Phone service and internet service are still not ideal (many dropped calls, bad connections). Patio furniture: grill, chairs, table, lounges etc. are still in the garage. Who will put them out (some are so heavy that 2 people have to carry them). Are there any trees at the property that might be removed? Who can do this and when? How to reach? Will the guests like the alternative? If so, we have to send papers and key safe code etc. Accounting needs to be done etc. etc. We do NOT want to complain or find excuses. We just want to ask for patience. We KNOW that our guests also do not know what to do now. It is their yearly vacation and they need to relax. We also understand that every owner wants to know what is going on at his property. We understand all this. But please be patient. Everybody can trust that we work our asses off and do everything to help guests and owners. Right now I want to stress out again: Cape Coral already looks great. There is not even one of our vacation houses with bigger damages. Nothing or only minor damages like broken trees, broken screens. Within a few days almost all our houses should be back to the standard you are used to. Plan for today: Organize the next steps. Finding out which houses are already back to 100%. Prioritizing with considering where do guests come soon, damages, power, internet, shutters, cleaning, repairs etc. etc. IF you have questions please leave comment on our Facebook page. Then I can answer and everybody can see the answer (I will answer ASAP but cannot do it right away). You can also follow the Seabim Facebook Page here: https://www.facebook.com/Sea-Breeze-International-Management-Corp-129585349656/ THANK YOU for your support!
SECOND Update After Irma from SEABIM (Sep 11, 08.47 pm):
That was a really tough day. We checked on almost all 50 Seabim houses, inside and outside. It seems that there is almost no damage. Some houses do not even have a broken screen. If there is a damage it is – as far as we could see – only minor. More and more houses also have power and in the city they cleaned up already. Right now we think that everybody can come down to Cape Coral and enjoy a great vacation. It is important to support the people down here instead of cancelling the vacation. Stay tuned for more news Wednesday.
FIRST UPDATE AFTER IRMA from SEABIM (Sep 11, 11.50):
 
Good morning everybody! We survived IRMA and as far as we could see it looks good. PLEASE DO NOT contact us by email or phone. This does not help! Please read the blog and or Facebook!
 
We do not have power but from time to time internet. However, that is still bad.
 
To all guests and homeowners: It seems that the houses have NO or maybe minor damages. We will check on all houses and get back to you. The Rose Garden looks good. Also the Eight Lakes Area.
 
THIS is all not 100% sure but we saw many of our vacation homes in these areas from the outside already.
 
RELAX and read the posts here.
 
Thank you,
 
The Seabim Team

Sept 10, 2017, 03.00 PM: We are waiting for Irma. We do not know if and what kind of damage we will have incl. our vacation homes. We will loose power soon. As soon as power is back on again and internet works we will send updates. Please do not cancel anything right now, keep calm and wait for the outcome the next 2-3 days. Anything can happen, bad or good. If you want to help and support us, please stay tuned. We understand the situation of our guests and home owners. It is difficult. But maybe it will not as bas as we think right now. We do not know yet. THANK you.

Another thing: We already talked to our contractors. As soon as possible we will check on all houses to see what the damage is. Then we will organize repairs immerdiately. We do not know yet how fast all this can be done but you can be sure we will do it in Seabim speed. All updates will be here or on our Seabim Blog (if we have internet and power). Irma is close to Naples now. It is already very very windy.

PLEASE STAY TUNED!

Sept 9, 2017, 1900

No significant change (just slightly more west), possibly a direct hit for us. We just received mandatory evacuation for more areas in Cape Coral. Winds can be dangerous, but storm surge / flooding could be a bigger concern. We have to watch the track projection development.

Seabim Guests are the best! They are updating us about their odysseys out of town. For example, we received messages from Atlanta (Georgia), Ocala (Florida), Birmingham (Alabama) and, the record distance, New Albany (Mississippi). We will let you know, when it is safe to come back.

However, we WILL lose power before the storm arrives (and likely phone and internet service as well). LCEC (Lee County Electric) already announced that they will shut down power as soon as the wind gets stronger. We do not expect it to happen today (Saturday), though. As soon as we can, we will continue to update you. Please understand that we will NOT be able to communicate until power and internet service is restored.

Today, almost no cars on the streets, all gas stations we saw were closed. Breezy conditions, light rain; and we found a very unorthodox way to tie a sailboat in our canal:

IMG_1480

Sept 9, 2017, 0805

Still looks like Irma is heading right for us. Now ALL seabim guests left their houses. Good. It is already cloudy and some wind.

Sept 8, 2017, 2350

The current forecast track does not look good for us. According to forecasters, a storm surge seems likely. The latest we heard in a local news outlet was a possible 3 feet of water above street level in south Cape Coral. However, there is still a lot of uncertainty regarding the actual path Irma will take. It would be very good, if Irma decided to turn north a little later, passing us by altogether.

Almost all Seabim-guests have left, driving to safer areas. We hope they can come back soon. As long as we have the chance to communicate we will keep you posted.

As planned, tonight we completed the Irma-Preparation-Project for all Seabim homes. A big THANK YOU! to all members of our team, who made this possible. Now is the time for all of us to finalize the preparation of our own homes and families.

Sept 8, 2017, 1950

Fire Trucks driving through our streets, informing about mandatory evacuation and telling people to leave.

Feedback from family that left a few hours ago: They are close to Tampa already and took 41. They told us that about every second gas station had gas.

Sept 8, 2017, 1845

In addition to our online information, we informed all Seabim guests and owners who are still here about the mandatory evacuation. Most of the remaining guests are now leaving.

Make sure to have a FULL tank of GAS!! We heard reports of gas shortage along I-75. Seemingly, Florida Governor Rick Scott ordered fuel tank, protected by police cars, to cover as many stations as possible.

In addition, do not leave your preparation items in the house, take them with you!! (WATER, FOOD, flashlights, etc.)

Sept 8, 2017, 1720

IMPORTANT:
We received a mandatory EVACUATION order for Cape Coral, including most Seabim Vacation Homes!

The evacuation order relevant for Seabim Guests and Owners is currently for the area: South of Cape Coral Parkway, east of Del Prado Boulevard to Viscaya Parkway. This means that Lee County orders EVERYBODY to LEAVE the area.

Here is the LINK to Lee County Emergency Management. If you cannot get out of the City in time, this link gives information about the open shelters as well.

Please continue to follow local news and emergency information.

The projected track moved further west, which puts us in danger of significant impact with high wind, flooding and storm surge.

Sept 8, 2017, 1405

Almost no changes in latest track projection. It is getting quieter in town. Many people left. Banks are closed.

Sept 8, 2017, 1210

The latest forecast models show another slight shift to the west. This would bring the storm even closer to us. We spoke to all of our guests (that are still here) personally this morning again. All of them are aware of the risks of staying here. Some of them decided to leave now. Some decided to stay because they feel that it is also risky to be on the road. In addition, the storm seems to go north over Florida; but it will weaken over land. All of the guest that are still here confirmed that they are fully prepared!

Again, to make sure to be out of harms way, you CANNOT WAIT any longer, but you have to leave NOW.

The Seabim Team will stay. As long as communication is possible, we will help our guests and owners as well as we can. Remember to check the corded landline phones that work without power.

Sept 7, 2017, 2310

If you did not leave yet, NOW is the time to make the decision.

Today the forecast track moved west, which is not a good development for us. If IRMA would actually follow this path, we could experience significant impact in our area; even more so, if the projected track would be adjusted further west. This morning, we had hoped that the track would move further east, but instead, the opposite happened. If the storm approaches over land (landfall in south Florida), it is still much better for us than if it was over water. Storms usually slow down over land. However, flooding and storm surges are a risk as well.

In light of the latest developments, if you do not want to take any chances, we think it would be best to leave the area now to be safe. Some areas nearby (including Sanibel and Captiva) received mandatory evacuation orders today, which could happen here, too. Please follow the local news and act accordingly. If we receive a mandatory evacuation order, you HAVE to leave!

IMPORTANT: Guests, who consider leaving should NOT WAIT any longer.

If you still plan on staying, please make SURE to be prepared with at least all necessary items described in our posts (see below) and in the links we provided (see below). Be prepared that you might not be able to communicate shortly before the storm, during the storm and after the storm as power, phone and internet services will likely have outages. Many Seabim homes feature phones  that can operate without power as long as the phone service is up and running. Look for the corded (!) phone units. The handhelds will not work without power.

Today, our team continued with the Seabim-Irma-Preparation-Project. This includes putting shutters up in the homes that have them or need them. We expect to complete the project tomorrow, Saturday at the latest. If you decide to stay, please understand it will be dark inside the homes. We leave openings for our guests to let in some light and to allow access. Please make sure to close these openings when Irma gets close.

Storm shutters protect against flying debris, but not against flooding or a storm surge.

If you have questions, please contact us. We will help as soon as we can.

Sept 7, 2017, 1104

The official track did not change much, maybe even a little further east (good). If it remains like this, we can feel quite safe in the “Seabim-Area”. In that case, we only expect some bad weather: Windy conditions and lots of rain. Of course, we still have to be prepared for power outages. Keep your water, flashlights, etc. ready.

We are continuing the shutter project as we cannot be 100% certain yet, that the projected track will remain on the east side of Florida.

Only in one of the different forecast models our areas would be seriously impacted. See below:

models_storm1

Sept 6, 2017, 2335

Irma’s latest projected track update further supports our hope that the storm will not come too close to our area and our Seabim vacation homes. As expected in our previous post, hotels in our area are filling up, because people from the east coast (Keys, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, etc.) are coming here to ride out the storm.

Most of the Seabim guests decided to stay in Cape Coral. At this point, it seems that they can be very happy with their decision. Today, they could enjoy another beautiful day at the pool or on the water instead of going very slow on I-75 north.

Now we all hope that the storm projections will continue to place the track further east, thereby also reducing the risk for significant damage on our east coast.

P.S.
Today guests asked us, whether they would get their money back, if a Seabim house would be inhabitable because of a storm. They are scheduled to arrive by the end of next week. OF COURSE they would! 100%! And all rental payments paid to us are SAFE in our Trust (escrow) Accounts. Nobody gets a dollar before our guests moved in safely and until they are satisfied! Looking forward to hopefully see them next week.

Sept 6, 2017, 1706

Regarding Irma, it still looks better on our west coast than on the east coast. Irma could be in the Miami area on Sunday afternoon and then move north. This is very concerning for the east coast. For our coast it is better, though. At this time, it might be better to stay here than leaving by car. People from the east coast are also starting to evacuate. Many of them (especially from Miami and Fort Lauderdale area) head for our coast, because it seems to be safer. This leads to even more traffic on I-75. The interstate is very busy and cars seem to get forward only slowly.  In addition, we do not know, whether there will be enough fuel along the way, if the cars run out of gas. Therefore, staying safe in your seabim vacation home could be the best decision to make.

In Cape Coral, it is difficult to find water. I just got another photo of an empty Walmart shelf. Someone just found a store with water, but the store is selling only a limited amount per person. Fortunately, most of our guests followed our advice to prepare early.

The fact that more people from the east coast come here, will not help the situation in regards to supplies. Gas is a big issue, too. Gas stations are either out of gas or there are very long lines. Make sure to check your fuel tank before leaving your home. Our teams do their best to preserve fuel in order to get their jobs done for our guests and owners.

The seabim preparation project will continue tomorrow. We are right on schedule.

Sept 6, 2017, 1130

Projected track even further east. Probability of catastrophic hit for southwest Florida decreases. Instead, increased risk for Florida’s east coast. Seabim-Irma-Preparations continue as planned.

Sept 6, 2017, 0830

The newest update to Irma’s projected track is positive for our area. The storm would turn north sooner. In this scenario, the storm could still hit us, but it would not do so coming from the Gulf but from South Florida. Movement over land usually weakens the storm significantly. Even if the storm makes landfall as a category 5 storm, a much lower category could be expected in the Cape Coral, Sanibel/Captiva, Fort Myers area. Therefore, we consider the latest prediction update very good news for us.

Obviously, it is a different story for South Florida and Florida’s east coast. We hope that future forecasts will move the track even further east, away from our east coast as well.

The Seabim-Irma-Preparation-Project is going according to plan. It should be completed by Friday. There are different teams in place to install shutters, remove furniture and lose items from pool areas and boat docks. Other preparations are done inside the houses to make sure that power outages cause as little damage as possible. In the next days, we will address specific procedures with our vacation guests.

Sept 5, 2017, 1715

According to the latest models, Irma could be headed right to us (Lee County). That does not mean yet, that Irma will eventually hit us directly in the end. In our experience, the exact location of final impact will be adjusted several times, even in the last days. However, we have to take this storm very seriously. We advise our guests and owners to follow the official and local information closely and to make plans to leave the area. Obviously, if you are not here, you do not have to make hurricane preparations. Watch the forecast closely. Do not wait until the last day, if you want to leave!

Here is the link to Lee County Emergency Management: www.leeeoc.com.

They set up 211 Help Line for people who have questions or need information. To access the Help  Line, dial 211 or +12394333900. The 211  Help Line is operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

It seems, Lee County will determine evacuation recommendations in the next one or two days.

Sept 5, 2017, 1020

The updated track confirms threat to SW Florida. We hope that it will pass by, but that is way too early to know.

Cape Coral is in preparation mode. Yesterday, stores did not have water anymore; today more is coming. DO NOT WAIT to get your supplies (see our previous posts). We are in the process of planning our property preparations. Outside furniture needs to be brought in. Shutters have to be put on. Houses that currently do not have guests will be first.

Sept 4, 2017, 1900

At this time, it seems that Hurricane Irma could affect Florida. Especially, if it enters the Gulf of Mexico, it could endanger Southwest Florida.

Please follow Irma’s projected track and make yourself familiar with the necessary preparations NOW. Starting preparations one or two days before a possible impact will be too late.

Here is a link to follow hurricane Irma’s projected track. Moreover, follow local media information and observe evacuation recommendations.

Here is a link to further information and hurricane preparedness.

In case of a hurricane, expect power outages. It could be difficult to buy fuel, groceries, flashlightbatteries, etc. In addition, make sure to have enough cash available. Credit card payments and ATMs might not work. Phone service and internet service might be interrupted.

FOR CURRENT GUESTS: As always, please contact your Seabim Guest Consultant with all of your questions.

Track Irma

 

Your SEABIM-TEAM

Sea Breeze International Management Corp.
Real Estate Brokerage and Seabim-Vacation-Portfolio

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