We were fortunate. Being on the west side of the storm meant we didn't get nearly the damage those towns to the east got. Our electricity came back on in less than a day. While the power companies did a fantastic job, some places were without power or water for days. The keys were devastated.
|It all looks good from 1500'.|
On Tuesday, I drove north on Dover Road and found a few spots where water was rushing over the street about 10" deep. The traffic lights in Dover and Seffner on MLK were out. (Treat as a 4x stop and the guy on the right has priority) Lots of minor debris and a few mighty oaks were chain sawed out of the way. Lots of standing water on the side of the road. The road back to the airport is "rustic" and I was pleasantly surprised to find it clear. The airport was still in "lockdown mode" due to loss of electrical power. (Generators for essentials only. Hangar doors and security gates were down.) They assured me that no damage or flooding occurred on site. I'll feel better once I see Sally, but am comforted by the fact that the hangar was still there. The FBO promised me they would notify me when the power came back on.
I got the phone message Friday morning. This time all of the traffic lights worked on my trip to the airport. The major debris was piled on the side of the road and traffic was moving along normally. It was quiet at the airport as I pulled up in front of the hangar. I held my breath as I opened the door and turned on the lights. All was well. I did a thorough preflight in the hangar and then pulled her out into the sunlight to get a better look. We were indeed fortunate.
There wasn't much traffic today. I heard nothing on the radios while I taxied out to RWY23. All ground operations were normal. After takeoff I headed southeast to overfly my house and planned to take pictures of the surrounding neighborhood. As I leveled at 1500' I saw a red lined running horizontally across the 696GPS. A pop up TFR? It ran right along Rt60 going out toward Lakeland. I hadn't seen this during my preflight planning. When I scrolled over the area the text said from surface to 18,000'. No neighborhood video today. I flew north instead.
I ran through a systems check and found that the autopilot wasn't capturing the GPS track. A few more checks found the GPS was intermittent on the HSI as well. I did a DSAB configuration check but it didn't clear the fault. Switching source to VOR did work correctly. I suspect a loose cable. A gripe to check during my next "Hangar Day"
The areas I flew over didn't look to be impacted by the storm. The view from 1500' can mask a lot of problems. I knew that there were some folks down there sweltering in hot homes without water. We were indeed fortunate this time.