As I’m assembling this week’s magazine, I’m also watching the forecast for Hurricane Dorian. By the time you read this, we’ll both know how that situation went down — but for me, at this moment (specifically, about noon on Aug. 30), there are a lot of possibilities.

My coworkers at the newspaper are all abuzz with the latest forecasts, discussing the merits of the Euro model versus the GFS ensembles and looking at rainfall predictions while telling stories about how long they had to wait to get gas. It’s a little surreal watching all these folks, from the ad sales staff and reporters to our customer service team, suddenly become meteorologists.

Hurricanes are part of the price we pay for living in Florida. There are no ice storms, no blizzards, no earthquakes, no volcanoes, and very few “real” tornadoes (as an acquaintance from Oklahoma calls them). The good thing about hurricanes is that we usually get lots of advance notice they’re coming. Of course, that’s also one of the worst things about them: You have plenty of time to gnaw your nails to nubs while watching the cone track north, then south, then north, then south. Being in the path of a hurricane is like being stalked by a turtle.

Seeing as the storm’s effects, for better or worse, have already happened, there’s no value to me making suggestions about how to protect your boat or other investments. If it missed us, consider this to have been a dress rehearsal. How well were you prepared? Did you have a plan and put it into place? If there are any soft spots in your planning, you have a better idea where they are now. Be grateful for that opportunity, and do better next time.

On the other hand, we may have taken a strong punch. If we did, I hope your (and my) preparations were sufficient. If not, then I hope you’re sufficiently insured.

If Dorian follows its currently predicted path up the center of the state, our wind situation would be moderate and storm surge basically a nonissue. But the rain is another thing. While our predicted local rainfall is 2 to 6 inches, central Florida is looking at much more — 10 to 15 inches. With the ground already saturated from recent rains, a lot of that will end up in the rivers. Currently, the Peace River at Arcadia is just a foot below flood stage.

Anyway, I hope it missed us. Really, I hope it missed everyone and just spun out to sea (as at least two model tracks currently suggest). If it thumped us, I hope you’re doing OK.

And one more thing: I understand the panic buying of water and batteries and flashlights and coolers and generators and all the other stuff that are good to have when the electricity goes out. Really, you should have gotten those things months ago, but that’s alright. However, now that you’ve bought them, they’re yours. If the storm isn’t as bad as we thought it might be, great — now put that stuff in your hurricane prep stash for next time. If I see you taking that stuff back to the store, I’ll be giving you a hard stinkeye because you deserve it.

Contact Capt. Josh Olive at 941-276-9657 or

Contact Capt. Josh Olive at 941-276-9657 or Publisher@


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