September was ushered in with some blustery weather produced by the recent Hurricane Hermine that dumped copious amounts of rainfall along Florida's west coast. Rainfall amounts ranged from 8 inches to better than 17 inches. The storm seemed to have a vendetta with the Tampa area as band after band of rain fell. There was localized flooding, but the wind effects were not really an issue other than creating debris cleanup. As I checked with superintendents along the west coast, most everyone that I heard back from reported debris issues with heavy rainfall.
I was able to visit with two superintendents in the Tallahassee area that experienced the most impact from the sustained 45-50 mph winds with gusts exceeding 75 mph. The trees with their heavy canopies in this area were susceptible to the winds. There were a number of trees that were downed, causing widespread power outages in the area.
Later, I stopped into to see Eddie Snipes, CGCS, and 35-year GCSAA member at Southwood Golf Club. Eddie was also gracious with his time and showed me around the facility. He had a number of trees that were downed and a lot of debris that needed to be removed. As David reported at Capital City, Eddie mentioned that he was very fortunate to have excellent drainage on the golf course so the rainfall amounts were manageable. The debris which was mostly isolated to out of play areas after several very long days will take probably until the middle of October to be removed. Again, thanks to the diligent efforts of Eddie and his staff, the course was open for play in less than a week.
As I reached out to the superintendents along the west coast that were impacted by Hermine either by the wind or rain it was evident that the impacts of the storm were not too much for them to handle. I realize the magnitude of impacts were not as severe as the flooding in Texas, West Virginia, or Louisiana, however, the same mentality of perseverance in the aftermath of nature’s destructive force seems to be a constant among those who choose the profession of golf course superintendent as their livelihood. It is an honor to work for and represent the men and women who serve as shining examples of hard work and dedication in the face of such challenges!