Like many others, the former NHL coach and general manager and P.E.I. native, MacLean is following the progression of hurricane Irma as it barrels towards Florida.
Not only does MacLean own a home in Delray Beach, Fla., his daughter does, too. MacLean is in P.E.I. now, but his daughter just got out.
“I’m up here right now, but we’re watching it extremely close but, more important, my daughter lives in Delray . . . and she left (Wednesday) night and went up to friends in Ohio,’’ MacLean said Thursday. “She got out of there.
“She was supposed to fly (out) on Friday, but she drove last night and so she’s out of Florida which was a big issue for us (as parents).’’
The fate of Florida, as of Thursday, depends on when and how hurricane Irma makes a right turn. If it’s an early, sharp turn, Irma is more likely to keep closer to the peninsula’s eastern shore or even over water as it churns north. But, if it turns later and more widely, the centre of Irma and its maximum destructive capacity would move inland.
MacLean said he doesn’t usually head down to his Florida home until late September and has never had to pick up and leave due to an impending storm. He certainly hopes his home is OK once Irma passes.
“I am nervous, no doubt about that, I am nervous. This one jumps out. They all scare you, but this one is making you just a little more nervous. I’m just glad (our daughter) is out of there.’’
Help on way
- 20 linemen from H Line Enterprises and a couple of crews from Atlantic Reach are on their way to the U.S. to await Irma’s impending landfall and help with restoration efforts
- The Canadian Red Cross has launched an emergency appeal for financial donations, estimating 31 million people will be impacted along Irma’s path
At least one P.E.I. native who lives in Florida plans to ride out the storm.
Darlene Kempton, who lives and sells real estate in St. Petersburg, said people are scared.
“The mood is apprehensive, (and) the stores are busy,’’ Kempton said. “All the drug stores are busy, all the Costcos and the Walmarts are quite full . . . Home Depot is sold out of lumber. There have been issues of people stealing things out of people’s cars. People are nervous.’’
She said traffic on I-75, the main highway that cuts through Florida is bumper to bumper, and gas stations are running empty.
So, she plans to stay put.
“I have glass skylights in my house that I’ve boarded up because they are directly under two massive oak trees. I have water, we have coolers, lots of canned goods, the barbecue is good to go, extra blankets, things like that; extra pieces of wood from my garage that I’ve cut just in case I need to reinforce doors. I made sure everything that needs to be charged is charged (and) I have extra cases of water . . . and always the obligatory trip to the liquor store,’’ she laughed.
Kempton also has a dog and a cat that she wouldn’t dream of leaving behind.
“I’m definitely riding it out.’’
Charlottetown restaurant owner Liam Dolan is also keeping an eye on things. He has a condo in Orlando.
“I hope the roof doesn’t blow off, that’s the only thing,’’ Dolan said. “It’s in Orlando, so at least it’s up the middle (of the state). It just depends on where this hits. It’s going to affect all of Florida but how badly is the question.’’