Hurricane Irma closing in on Florida coast

I was meaning to provide daily updates on the storm but found myself too busy yesterday to provide an update. My day was spent boarding up windows and making final preparations for the storm. It is vital that everyone in the path of this hurricane be stocked up on water, batteries, fuel, and non perishable foods. At this point mandatory evacuations have been issued for most of the coastal areas. Storm surge flooding from this large hurricane should be catastrophic. We expect to be without power for weeks. At this point everyone just needs to stay safe if you are riding this out like me.

At this point over 5 million people have been told to evacuate. Anyone in a low lying area, mobile home, or in a flood prone zone should get out. Governor Rick Scott advises that action needs to be taken by 12 PM today. Traffic is like I have never seen so it will take time to get anywhere. For those evacuating stay patient and safe. If you are unsure if you are in an evacuation zone check here or on the official Florida disaster site here. In case that site gets flooded here is one more link with evacuation zones.  In the event you can not evacuate, and you are not in a well built home please find a shelter. 

Airports will likely be shutting down tonight, currently Orlando International plans on stopping flights at 5 PM today. Not surprisingly the area theme parks are also closing. Full details on the parks plans can be found here. Most local grocery stores will be closing either 8 PM tonight or by noon tomorrow local news is reporting. You should already have your supplies but if you do not go now and hope you find something. I can confirm that bottled water and bread as well as canned goods are hard to find. This is a serious storm and people have heeded the warning. 

Now for the storm itself, the path has moved further west. This is not really a good thing for Florida. The west coast is low lying and highly dense as far as population. I may fare a bit better inland but it is way to early to tell. Right now we are waiting for the storm to make its predicted turn north. Once that occurs we should have a better idea where this will hit. Considering the size of this hurricane it won’t matter much, its going to be a wild ride regardless. I will post the latest track and models as well as the most recent discussion about Irma from the National Hurricane Center. For after the storm here is the link to FEMA’s website for those that will need assistance. Stay safe everyone, I may make another post time permitting before weather deteriorates.

The latest computer models, showing it pushing to Florida’s west coast.

And here is the forecast path from Weather Underground.

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Irma continues collision course with Florida

It is time for my daily update on  hurricane Irma. Chances are good this will dominate the content on this blog until it runs it’s course. Living in Florida and having most of my friends and family here has made this a top priority. I am going to post updates as they become available. Please stay tuned.

For those tracking the storm the latest from weather underground is here. I do wish to state that there is no need to panic. I am already seeing reports of I-75 and I-95 backing up. Even worse are reports of disabled vehicles being left on the roads complicating matters for highway patrol. It seems that out of market news stations are pushing the evacuate agenda. Though it sounds nice the fact remains that there are only two interstate highways that leave the state to the north. We need to keep the roadways open for those that have to evacuate. I have even seen a story showing that Jet Blue is offering $99 flights. If you are not in an evacuation zone and really want out I suggest that. 

I plan to stay put myself, I am inland so storm surge is not a concern. Not living in a mobile home or in a low lying area makes this possible. Those seeking storm supplies should do so now, stores are already picked over when it comes to the essentials. Water, batteries, and non perishable foods should be a top concern. I will post this list of supplies you should have ready. This is not my first rodeo, I know what to get. I have seen reports of local hotels offering discounted rates for evacuees. I must say I am impressed, I hate to speak poorly of hotels but my experience is they raise the rates at the fist sign of demand. Kudos to them for not using this to line their coffers. I mentioned flights earlier, as of now OIA is undecided on their weekend course of action.

I don’t have many other updates, here is a listing of the latest school closings. For those in areas that will need to evacuate shelters are not open yet. I will provide a few links I found with shelter information. Those in central Florida check here and here. For a statewide listing check the official Florida disaster site here. That is all I have for now, below is the latest storm track from NOAA as well as the latest computer models. The shift east is promising, but it is too early to say for sure where this storm will go.

Here is the latest computer models.

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Hurricane Irma threatens Florida

I wish I had something more positive to write about. Believe me I would much rather be making a post about Linux or even one of my hobbies or adventures. Times are more serious however with hurricane Irma on a collision course with my home state. If you have not figured out by know I am in central Florida. Looking at the latest storm tracks from NOAA here and the weather underground track and computer models here it looks to be a safe bet Florida is impacted. I will post more here as the situation develops. Knowing from experience these things change course, stay tuned for more updates. Hopefully Irma misses the state or has minimal impact. Forecasts make that seem unlikely. This is a serious Category 5 storm that can not be ignored. 

Florida governor Rick Scott has already placed all 67 counties under a state of emergency. The only mandatory evacuations have been for Monroe county and the keys, more are likely to come. I would suggest that anyone living on the coast, in a low lying area, or a mobile home have a plan in order. Those staying can already get sandbags to protect your property. If you need more information on that check CF news 13 here or WFTV’s link here.  Local schools are already making decisions about closures, for those closer to Tampa this link has the latest closures. Those living in the Orlando area be sure to check here

Be sure to have your local emergency management contact information handy. For those in Seminole county that is found here. In Orange county you can check here for information. Central Florida shelters are not open yet but as that information becomes available I will post it. For the entire states emergency management check here, though I must report at the time of this posting they were already receiving more traffic than they could handle. Though I encourage you to call only in case of emergency here is the Orange county sheriff’s office number (407-254-7000). For those in Seminole county that number is (407-655-1450). If you are in Lake use (352-343-2101), and for my family down in Highlands county use (863-402-7200). Again only use these if needed but I wanted to get the information out now. More sites will probably suffer outages due to traffic load as this beast approaches.

Here is the most recent track from NOAA.

Because you can’t take things too seriously a bit of comic relief.

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Welcome to The Wasteland v4

It seems like this has become a recurring theme here. I promise this is the last time and will explain a bit further. For those that are returning I welcome you back to The Wasteland. The content is gone for now but I will be bringing it all back online soon. Why did I start over yet again you might ask? Quite simply put I made a few choices I was not happy with. I went with PHP 5.6 with the last version, and quickly discovered that software I wished to run required PHP 7. The most important of those being NextCloud 12.  

Quickly I discovered that this would not be a simple upgrade. I was also aware that I would never be happy unless I started over. Anything worth doing is worth doing right has always been my motto. The Wasteland is still powered by CentOS 7 so there is no change there. New is the migration to PHP version 7 as well as upgrading MariaDB to version 10. Welcome the upgrades were considering that The Wasteland relies heavily on both. I was also having issues with conflicting repositories, and found this link useful in helping me avoid that mistake again. For those interested I am using the EPEL repository as well as REMI and nux-desktop and enabling the CentOS Plus packages. Why a desktop repository for a server lacking a GUI? I desired support for ffmpeg so I could encode audio and video. 

If this is your first visit then welcome. The Wasteland is going to be my personal blog and testing environment. Originally from Chicago I moved to central Florida when I was still young. An IT professional in my middle thirties my career took me into Telecommunications but my passion has always been with Linux. These days I find myself with a bit more spare time and look to spend it getting back into the world of GNU/Linux.  Though I do have an extensive knowledge in the realms of routing and Cisco/Juniper too. If anyone is interested in Linux or setting up a server of your own feel free to comment on this post. If you would rather email me then do it Here

That is all I have for now. Be on the lookout for the return of the image gallery as well as The Last Frontier forums. Plans are also in the works to install the latest Nextcloud and I may even bring YouPHPTube back in the mix as well as set up my own Icecast server. This is after all my testing platform, stay tuned and I hope you enjoy the journey.

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