Tropical Storm Elsa Nearing St Petersburg

By Published On: July 7th, 2021

Hoping Elsa passes us by and thinking back to Hurricane Andrew

Published on 07/07/21: Less posts recently. A few days for a family vacation, then some additional time to keep the focus on ol’ Tropical Storm Elsa (please pass us by without issue)

Are all followers safe and sound? Any issues/damage so far? Less or more damage than you expected?

Hurricane Andrew

While storm prepping today, I thought back to preparing for Hurricane Andrew (South Florida) in 1992. This is the Cat 5 that barreled directly over our house, taking a portion of our home & avocado farm with it. With all signs indicating the storm would ruin the avocado season, we picked fruit from sunrise until sunset that day. Then we finally began hurricane prep. After watching a small farm shed blow past like a tumbleweed, we headed inside at midnight. We had done all we could do. Boards on windows, patio furniture, farm equipment & pets moved inside. The usual Florida drill.

No Power and Phones

On our way inside we noted purple & green lights ‘exploding’ to the east, as either tornados or Andrew’s winds blew transformers. Our power then flickered and succumbed, not to be restored until 30 days later. Telephones for nearly 60 days. While we had one emergency “cell phone”, it was the size of a loaf of bread 😊 and useless w/ all cell towers demolished.

Doors Blew In During Andrew

We lost the front double doors, which subsequently blew out the sliding glass doors. ProTip, never try to fight against a Cat 5. 😂 We held the doors, stacked boxes of books and we were working to position a huge player piano against them. However we were then blown back like rag dolls. With a 27.23 inHg pressure & 200+ mph gusts, I suppose something had to give.

As the calm eye passed eerily over us, we used the opportunity to rescue photo albums & other keepsakes. All just before the 165mph winds returned a few minutes later from the other direction. We rode out the storm in our hallway w/ an elderly friend.

Avocado Farm Life

We visited the farm a few weeks ago to see dad (my amazing mom passed away in 2018), as I love reliving my childhood through Colt’s eyes. For a look at life on the avocado farm (a cure for your insomnia tonight?), view the ‘highlight story’ on Instagram…

I’m a St Petersburg Realtor, with over 25K people following my LovingStPete Guide on social media! You’ll receive up to $10K at closing when you use my LovingStPete Team to buy or sell a property! My past includes developing a vacation rental advertising business that I ran for more than a decade, then sold to HomeAway/VRBO. I’d love to help you buy or sell a property, simply contact me.

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Written by : St Petersburg Realtor, Mike Braswell

Mike Braswell is a Tampa Bay Realtor, serving St Petersburg, Clearwater, all nearby beaches and more. Mike started LovingStPete in October of 2020 after a difficult year took its toll on local businesses. After being cooped up for portions of 2020 (lockdown) Mike and his son decided to get out and explore, helping spread the good word about the local area he loves so much. Often even doing gift card giveaways to support local. LovingStPete is now followed by over 48 thousand people on social media! The majority of posts are informative on fun parks, activities, day trips, great restaurants, and in general provide a comprehensive tour of the area!

Soon after receiving his bachelors in Management Information Systems, Mike developed and then operated a vacation rental advertising business for 10+ years as CEO/Owner. The business was eventually acquired by VRBO. Mike has earned the trust of many large clients over the years. Such as NFL, Wynn Resorts, Blue Cross Blue Shield, VISA, Genuine Parts Company (NAPA Auto Parts), AT&T, and other Fortune 500 companies.

When not spending time with his beautiful wife and energetic son, Mike enjoys boating and is also an avid tennis player. An interesting fact about Mike is that he grew up on an avocado farm with over 15 varieties, some of which you can find in our local Publix/Winn Dixie as his dad still farms the same farm at 87 years old!

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