Hurricane Irma

Like many Americans, we watched (from New Hampshire) with morbid fascination as Hurricane Irma barreled into our home of Naples, Florida.  While the damage could have been catastrophic for us – and others – we had relatively “minor” damage.

Like Losing a Friend

A good neighbor sent us pictures of: a tree down on top of our pool cage, a tree down across our driveway, and worst of all, our productive and popular avocado tree blown over.  For the many of you who have made “the shot of the day” or just received one of the football-sized green globes to make guacamole with, you can imagine how we feel.

Coming Home

With 90% of Collier County without power (or gasoline), we are still hoping to stay on schedule for The Wachtel Family Traveling Circus to arrive in Naples on September 24th.

How about you?  If you are a Floridian, did you ride it out or ride out of town?  Damage?

We hope all those who suffered across the state (and don’t forget the poor people swamped by Harvey in Texas and Louisiana) can get back to a normal life as soon as possible.

Know someone who should read this?  Send them a link and if you are not on my “new posting alert email list” and want to be (I promise, no other uses of your email address!), just drop me a note at

My Book: if you’d like to get a copy of “Senior Tennis”, just click on the link on the upper right of this web page to go to, look at the list of places under “My Book” on the bar above, or ask me what clubs are carrying it!

13 thoughts on “Hurricane Irma

  1. So sorry about the avocado tree. Looks like it was pretty special. Wasn’t too bad around Savannah, but we could be without power for up to a week.

    Kevin, our son on Dutch Island stayed and is without power (but with generator). good luck, george

  2. Oh no, not the avocado tree!! I might have to play more conservatively knowing there is no reward for making “the shot of the day”!! The email I just got from FPL said total power restoration for the west coast isn’t expected until September 22nd. Many will have power before that, just total restoration. It was not fun being in NJ watching Mike Bettis on the Weather Channel standing on Rt.41 a block south of Pine Ridge enduring torrential rain, wind gusts of 142 mph and experiencing the hurricane eye all within 2 miles of my condo. Luckily only had minor damage. I hope I never see that in Naples again.

    Steve, yes, we watched him lean into the wind like a ski jumper! Two miles south of our house. george

  3. Judy and I stayed in Naples, through Irma, against the advice of many friends.
    Fortunately, we had no damage to ourselves, or our condo, but the community has lost hundreds of large trees. In addition, many pool cages were destroyed by the heavy winds.
    We were without power for two days, so we couldn’t contact anyone, but the power is now back on. Except for losing a few items in the freezer, we escaped relatively unscathed.
    George, I am so sorry for the damage to your property. The avocado tree, which was the source of much guacamole for us, will be sorely missed. More importantly, you are safe and unharmed. We look forward to your return to Naples and more happy times.

    Michael, encouraging that you got power back! tks, george

  4. We are planning to drive back to Florida from Michigan at the end of the month if we have power by then. Hopefully everyone will be back by then. I did suggest that maybe the USTA Fall Season may want to start Oct. 16 as opposed to Oct 9 to give the tennis facilities an extra week to get back to normal and give an extra week to all of our players returning from up North. It is also hard to field 3 courts the first week of play. We shall see. Sorry about you tree loss.

    Ron, drive safely and see you soon. george

  5. Very glad that everyone seems unharmed. Trees are difficult to replace, but not nearly as tough as losing valuable tennis player lives. Stay safe and see you soon.

    Hugh, agree! Thanks, george

  6. I am in Fort Myers. I hope we get power back before 9/22. FPL has 20,000 workers in FL with more arriving. Does anyone know how long it takes for the dreaded “black mold” to grow in a hot and very humid house without a/c?

    Jim, according to Bob Wilkie’s mold expert… 2-3 weeks to fully “bloom.” George

  7. Sorry about the avocado but better the tree than the house. Tough loss though. We were nearing the end of our 3 month road trip and decided to hang out in New Orleans thru the storm. We will slowly head back Thursday as long as there is power. Bonita Bay was spared any flooding but lots and lots of trees are down. We have been drinking hurricanes as revenge!!!!

    Andy, have one (or two) for me! George

  8. Anybody hear about the condition of the World of Tennis in Naples? Very much damage? I have a house rented there for January and am curious how the place fared…..

  9. George, we’re in the middle of 2 month road trip and in Nebraska during Irma. Reports we’ve had is Sanibel got wind & lots of trees & power is out being slowly restored. Haven’t gotten any eyes on reports of our house yet, but heard there was no surge which was major concern. Do know a power line is down in our cul de sac (hope not a tree by our house) but the two canals didn’t surge. Plan to return October 1st, unless need to dead head to repair roof or windows damaged by wind.

    Jeff, I hope all is good at home. George

  10. Susie & I were wondering if you were still in NH or back in Naples. Glad you & DD are safe,& that your home sustained only minor damage. We were in the mountains of NC during the storm, & will return to Vero Beach the beginning of Oct (planned). The guy who checks our house reports that we had no damage, no storm surge, & the power was only out about 24 hrs. We were fortunate.

    Bruce, thanks. hope to see you over the winter. george

  11. Finally got to read this, sitting in a half-mile line to get gas at 5:20am on Thursday. We’ve had no power, ice, gasoline or phone; but little damage to the house. Lucky…a tornado hit the yards and structures of the next two houses! Hope to see you next week!
    P.S. I haven’t seen Wilderness, but hear at least one court is out.

    Spike, been hoping to hear from you! Glad long lines are your only problem. see you soon! george

  12. Went with two buddies zigzagging northeast since one of them was a phone and computer genius. We missed everything, ending up in Fayetville, N.C. at a hotel but the trip back was a nightmare sleeping in the car for a few hours, traffic jams everywhere, but we topped off the gas tank every hundred miles and I am in Ave Maria with a friend with power and have 420 miles left on my tank. We called it the “Magical Mystery Tour” We were in Charleston, S.C. one night staying with a friend when our genius friend said we had to leave immediately and sure enough it was flooded later that day. Glad to be back and alive. Was about to be robbed at a gas station when my friends saw the guys and since my buddies are huge, they left immediately. Crazy experience.

    Dave, wow! george

  13. We stayed through the storm and luckily no structural damage to the house, mostly lost palm trees and roof shingles. We finally went to stay at a friend’s house in Bonita Bay as they have power. It felt great to get a good night sleep, a hot meal at Mel’s Diner, and a cold drink. We are nursing half a tank of gas and will not go back to North Naples till the power comes back. Now Collier is restricting water usage and has threatened to limit or stop water as the sanitation system is at critical mass. The sewage water was coming up in the streets in Boca Palms and they say limit use of showers and toilets. Hopefully all will be back to some form of normal life and maybe even tennis, if there are even courts open with any water.

    Doug, we will be down there in about one week and hope things settle down (and, we can play tennis!). george

Comments are closed.