TAMPA, Fla. — What a welcoming party.
Tom and Georgene Arthur uprooted themselves from Waterloo a week ago to live permanently in their Tampa suburb of Sun City Center.
On Sunday, they were hunkered in their home awaiting the arrival of Hurricane Irma, expected to hit their area Sunday evening.
“We are in a brick home with a tile roof. We’ve prepared the home and we feel very, very confident we will be safe,” said Tom Arthur, a retired Waterloo educator.
They have moved their furniture to the center of the home and have prepared a large interior closet to hide in in case of tornadoes. The closet is fitted with all the supplies they may need.
“This home is made of concrete block construction. In this area there are a lot of mobile home parks and assembled pre-fab homes. They are telling those people to get out and get to shelter,” he said.
The couple has owned the home for six years but decided to make it their permanent home. Their Waterloo home just sold and they have been in Tampa only a week.
The fear among residents there is after the hurricane passes the storm surge will bring the water in from Tampa Bay. Their home is near Crescent Lake, which has a seawall. They expect the water could come over that seawall but only get as far as the middle of their yard.
“Compared to so many people, we are very, very fortunate. We bought this house knowing this could happen. But we bought high and safe,” Arthur said.
Ironically, their daughter, Tracy Arthur Lammers, lives in Houston and only recently experienced her own hurricane in Harvey. But Tom reports, while she lives with her husband on Buffalo Bayou in Houston, she lives on the high side of the bayou and was not affected. Those on the lower side of the bayou suffered flooding.