Wow, Florida, Whew!

We may be living in Panama, but after living in Florida for 17 years before moving here, events in Florida have been very much on my mind. I still have many friends there and I’ve been following their Facebook posts. There was a crazy amount of fear and stress before the hurricane hit. I don’t know if it was whipped up by the media, or people between each other, or panicked friends and family from afar, but it sure made things harder for people in Florida.

Today though I have been very happy to hear the news that is now coming from Florida. Everyone I know is safe. Most are without electricity and have debris everywhere, some have damage to their homes, but I can sense the relief that it is over and the aftermath is only cleanup and repair.

Panama does not have hurricanes. There was a very rare event last year when one came close but all it did was stall north of us and dump tons of rain. Panama really doesn’t have much of anything in the way of weather related problems. It’s hot, the sun is strong, it rained, it’s going to rain…. that is the extent of the weather related conversation around here. If you really want to spice things up – earthquake! That gives everyone something to talk about for a few days but it’s rare they do any damage. They just shake the ground a bit.

I love Panama for many reasons, and freedom from worry about weather related disasters is definitely one of them! I really feel for the people in Florida and Texas, in the Pacific Northwest who are battling fires, the Mexican people trying to recover from the earthquake, not to mention Cuba and the islands in the Caribbean who were so hard hit by Irma. It’s been a really tough time for so many people. Many people are helping though. Even Panama is sending tons of relief supplies to Cuba and Caribbean islands. There are so many good people in this world.

About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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8 Responses to Wow, Florida, Whew!

  1. Robert & Helen says:

    The next hurricane will be financial. The Dollar lost since last December 15% against the Euro a.o. It does not look bright as many countries are selling more and more of their goods in other currencies. More and more country are getting fed up with the USA international policies and wars.
    The clown show in Washington does not help either.


  2. James Sullivan says:

    Living in Sarasota for 24 years, I too have seen some bad weather conditions. I worked for the Sheriff’s Office and after Hurricane Charlie was a near miss I invested in the clear hurricane shutters and screens to protect my home and family since we are not allowed to leave like everyone else except emergency services and medical staff at the hospitals. I don’t know where in SRQ you lived but I’m in eastern county near the Oakford golf club. Believe it or not we never lost power. The reason I am bringing this up is because all during the storm channel 40 (WWSB) was saying they are on apple TV, roku. If you have access to these platforms, you might be able to catch up with the old homestead. As for Panama, I am ready to look but my better half is not ready.


    • I remember where that is. A good friend of my husband lived out there. We were in Southgate near Siesta drive. I remember Charlie. What a mess! I had friends down there and also helped with many displaced nursing home residents who ended up in Sarasota. All this brought back memories of hurricane preparedness, worry for my caseload of elderly patients, etc. and I’m sorry for all of you going through this. Thank you for your work and helping keep people safe.
      As for Panama, it takes a leap of faith and saying goodbye to the familiar, and often makes for distance from people important in your life. Maybe you can be sunbirds, kind of like snowbirds but come here when it’s too hot in Florida. She might find she likes it, or if she doesn’t that’s good to know too so you won’t make a major change you might regret. Here’s wishing you peaceful weather for the rest of the season.


  3. jim and nena says:

    Hola Kris,
    I thought the same thing about the media attention on Irma. Had the storm passed through the center of Florida, everything would have been much different. The record setting damages in Houston from Harvey quickly took a back page in the news even though the clean up in Florida will be done long before the Houston area has recovered. It is the nature of the media to chase the latest “shiny” object.
    Panama’s location is a big help in avoiding weather disasters. The biggest impact to the most folks are the periodic floods that seem to happen every 5 to 10 years, mostly in the mountains. My first view of this was 1970 in Boquete from the April flood. Since then, Chiriqui has had various flooding events and loss of life and property. Many of the floods are the result of upstream river channels being blocked with nature’s debris until a record rainfall bursts through the blockage sending a Noah sized wall of water down the mountain.
    The dry season has its own threats. The droughts have brought inconvenience to those in the larger cities mainly due to electrical shortages from hydroelectric plants that restrict air conditioning use.A few years back, a cane field being burned off damaged a cross country electrical tower that turned out the lights in most of Chiriqui. Other wild fires have burned people’s property when the bomberos didn’t have the equipment to control them.

    On average, Panama is tranquil for weather events and losses don’t make the news.


    • I remember that flood in the link you shared, and heard about another in Boquete I think before we arrived. As much as it rains here at times it’s no surprise there can be problems. I know no one is allowed to build near the river below us for exactly that reason. Yes we also have fires in the dry season. Houses are of cement block though and people are diligent about keeping debris cleaned up so that helps a lot. No place is totally without problems but I’m very happy to be without hurricanes and just as bad, the worry and stress that comes before. Before FL we lived in the Midwest with the threats of tornadoes. It’s much calmer here.


  4. tour panama says:

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