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20.4.11 1928
The 7 - Random - Charley Images Register and log in to post!
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Level: 129

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Since: 11.7.02
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#1 Posted on 13.8.04 1532.43
Reposted on: 13.8.11 1538.08
The images coming from the Port Charlotte area are going to be horrible. But this is the first amazing weather image I have seen, from Orlando...

(image removed)
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Wolfram J. Paulovich
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From: Fat City, Baby

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#2 Posted on 13.8.04 1602.09
Reposted on: 13.8.11 1602.26
I'm just East of Tampa, and clouds rolled in so dark that it was as if the sky was blotted out by the monolith from 2001; it's that kind of slate gray. All the same, we lucked out. We're not getting hit the worst.

I feel terrible for Punta Gorda/Port Charlotte. But I have to admit that I'd feel bad for any western Gulf Coast town. This part of Florida hasn't been hit with a bad hurricane for over 40 years. That means that there are countless trees and buildings that have never been "stress tested" under those conditions. They're going to go flying like madness.

I sat through Opal (another category 4) in 1995, and it wasn't that bad. There was nearly nothing wrong with our yard after that, despite being on the East side of the eye by only about 25 miles. But the reason it wasn't so bad was because Hurricane Erin has come through about a months before. It was only a catgeory 1, but basically it had "stress tested" everything. The trees and junk that couldn't survive a hurricane had already been knocked down. Opal didn't get to play around with nearly as many missiles, projectiles, debris... what have you. The poor folks in Charlotte County don't have that luxury. It's been so long since a real storm that spindly trees are going to be an issue. Apparently the roof just came off a hospital.

All the same, what scares me me most are the people. The yahoos who basically weather a storm by drinking through it. (I know it sounds stupid, but trust me, it happens. There's a guy wandering around St. Pete shirtless; when interviewed, he said he'd go inside, "As soon as the pavement comes up [by the wind].)Worse, at lot of homeowners probably don't remember what it's like and may have gotten complacent. There are going to be a lot of houses pierced by debris left out by neighbors who've forgotten how severe hurricanes can be.

I need to end my sermon.

Now the "investigative journalism" squad of the bimbo and the should-have-been-a-car-salesman guy are on the local news sitting with cell phones and a PHONE BOOK calling people in Arcadia, where the eye is right now. And they look happier than pigs in shit that they BOTH got on the phone with random strangers who had trees crush parts of their houses while on the phone. Then they had this exchange (no, I am not making this up):

Bimbo: ...and the woman said, naturally, that her kids were scared and she'd have to get off the phone because of the trees on her house. That just sounds devastating, doesn't it.
Car-Saleman Guy: That sure does sound devastating, Stacy. But the thing you have to keep in perspective is the devastation.

Every time they mention a potential fresh horror for a citizen, I swear to God that it seems like it's all they can do to keep from touching each other in orgiastic celebration of so many things being broken.

(edited by Jeb Tennyson Lund on 13.8.04 1752)
Eddie Famous
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#3 Posted on 13.8.04 1922.30
Reposted on: 13.8.11 1923.23
Those of you with shortwave sets tune in 14325 USB for the Ham Radio Hurricane Net. Fascinating stuff.
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#4 Posted on 14.8.04 0230.27
Reposted on: 14.8.11 0231.56
That is a cool picture!

I just moved from south Florida to TN, the hurricanes is one thing I do not miss! I was living in Broward when Hurricane Andrew hit, we were supposed to be hit by the eye, but the last minute jump put it in Dade. I drove through Homestead, the heaviest hit part, the next day and understood what the citizens of Japan felt after the bomb fell. Houses were destroyed. People wondered around literally in a daze, it was the most terrible scene I have been witness to.

I hope all the W's in Florida are safe from this storm!

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#5 Posted on 14.8.04 0322.03
Reposted on: 14.8.11 0326.37
    Originally posted by Eddie Famous
    Those of you with shortwave sets tune in 14325 USB for the Ham Radio Hurricane Net. Fascinating stuff.

Finally! A use for that untouched-for-10-years-shortwave in my closet!
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#6 Posted on 14.8.04 1702.32
Reposted on: 14.8.11 1703.49
As Dr. Johnny Fever once said: God must really hate motor homes (paraphrase, not a direct quote). They always seem to get the crap kicked out of them in tornados and hurricanes. However, I have one question: You own a home. It is mobile. A hurricane is forecast. Wouldn't it make sense to take the motor home on a field trip for a day or so in order for it not to get blown to kingdom come?
Wolfram J. Paulovich
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#7 Posted on 14.8.04 1730.11
Reposted on: 14.8.11 1730.30
Well, there are two problems with that:

1. Most motor homes ARE capable of being transported by some sort of motorized vehicle. The problem is, that vehicle is usually a huge flatbed truck with a yellow banner on the back of it that says "Oversize Load." Most motor homes aren't mobile anymore. They get moved once or twice, get hooked up to sewage, water and electrical cables, and stay there forever.

2. Hurricanes are crazy. A bunch of my friends from Tampa left town yesterday morning to avoid the hurricane. Guess where they went...? Orlando. Twelve hours after they left, Charley had completely missed Tampa, and one of my friends was in a leaking Orlando hotel room, wondering if the storm was going to kick the crap out of the city, and completely unawares that a branch had just flown through one of the back windows of his car. Still, he was pretty lucky. Think of all those poor bastards who took a bad route or left a little too close to the wire and were stuck on a road somewhere while the hurricane passed over.

So if you have a mobile home/trailer, chances are you can't move your home on your own. And even if you could, you might just move to some place where the hurricane is actually going to hit and away from relative safety. Worse, you could be on the road with your home when the hurricane passes over: in that case, your home is less anchored, because it's just on a truck, not partially stuck in the ground. All in all, your best bet is to gather your important papers and maybe one or two irreplaceable mementoes, jam them in a backpack, and go wait it out in a shelter.

(Sorry if I'm answering too seriously. But I've actually been asked that question a lot by my California relatives, many of whom don't understand hurricanes/Florida. It's fair. Many of my Florida friends don't understand earthquakes/California. And, no, I don't live in a motor home. I have a cinderblock house built along the Hitler's-Bunker-Meets-Florida-Palms theory of charming Florida architecture.)
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#8 Posted on 17.8.04 1924.47
Reposted on: 17.8.11 1925.58
Greetings from Highlands County, Florida, where we got hit hard by Charley - though not nearly as bad as Hardee, Charlotte, Polk, Orange, and Osceola Counties...

I was actually up in Gainesville all last week for a seminar which was supposed to end Friday at noon. Fortunately, the people running the seminar got smart and decided to end it early at Thursday by 5:00 p.m., since we had a lot of people from Tampa and Pinellas County. I picked up some Nutragrain bars, jugs of water, peanut butter, jam, and bread before I left... made a brief pit stop in Orlando before making it home.

Highlands County had about 20 minutes of hell-poppin' rain around noon-time. Then, other than some high winds, things died down until about 4 p.m., when it hit us hard for about three-to-four straight hours. Amazingly, my power was still working until about 6 p.m. I had been fighting a nasty toothache from about three teeth that desperately need dental work, and I was in so much pain that I couldn't sleep - and maximum strength Tylenol and Ambesol weren't helping, nor were icepacks. So, around 12:30 Friday night/Saturday morning, as much as I hated to do so, I drove myself to the E.R., where they gave me some Percocet and an antibiotic, and a prescription for more.

Law enforcement was doing their best around town. However, they really should've organized some civilian volunteers to help out with traffic control. A lot of people were just whipping through intersections with traffic lights that were out (and the rule is, if the light's out, you treat it like a four-way stop). There's a curfew in county from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m.

The local watering hole where I often go did a really smart thing - looking at lots of perishable food that was going to go bad anyway, they started giving away food for free. If you were utilities or law enforcement, no questions asked. If you were a civilian, it was still free, but they were asking for donations (which I gladly gave - it was the first hot meal I'd had since my power went out).

I ended up driving about 70 miles south on US Highway 27 to Clewiston on Sunday to get my prescription filled at the first open Eckerd's, because I was still in a lot of pain, and really needed some painkillers. Fortunately, unlike a lot of people I knew, I had enough gas in my car to make the trip. By that point, lots of gas stations were back up and running, but had lines literally around the corner. Waits for refueling were easily two-to-three hours.

Court here in county has been/will be closed at least through Wednesday. I spent Monday at a co-worker's, partially because they have a pool (ah, I needed that). Because they were nice enough to do that, I figured it was only fair to loan them the car to go get some gas cans filled to refuel their car. Also, my father (who, God bless him, has too much time on his hands since being laid off almost two years ago) found someone online who couldn't reach her father here in town, so I went over to his place to make sure he was okay. He wasn't home - a neighbor said he was tooling around on his golf cart, which I took to be a sign that he was okay. In a show of good karma, power was finally restored by 5:45 p.m. on Monday evening - and not a moment too soon, after three days with no air conditioning in 90+ degree weather.

Most of the power has been restored to the county, with a few exceptions. A lot of wind damage - falled limbs, downed lines, signs blown over, a few destroyed sheds - but nothing too serious - compared to next-door Hardee County, which apparently looks like the H-bomb dropped on it. So, all in all, we got off lucky with this one, methinks.
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