Dee Light
Logs - 2004 - Summer - Hurricane Charley
Fort Myers Florida

Pine Acres Mobile Home Park - Punta Gorda FL

NOTE .. for a larger version of the photos on this page .. just click on the photo .. NOTE

.. for the Crew of Dee Light our Hurricane Story started on Friday August 06th when Betty’s daughter and her family arrived here at ort Myers on a planed vacation .. we had planed to take a trip with them to Key West Florida for a few days .. sooooo that is where our Story starts ….                                       
Friday – August 06 2004 - Centennial Harbour Marina – Fort Myers, FL - (239) 461-0775 – Mile 136 .. Gabriele and Klaus ( AEOLA – Wilhelmshaven Germany ) decided to relocate inland to weather out the upcoming Hurricane Season .. the day that Klaus took AEOLA up the River to the Port LaBelle Marina Gabriele and Betty headed to Sanibel Island for one last day at the Beach .. after spending about two Months at the Port LaBelle Marina Klaus and Gabriele are planing to head to the Bahamas and Caribbean Islands for the Winter Months .. Betty’s daughter Cheryl and her family made it to Fort Myers for their Summer vacation .. the first few days they stayed at Betty’s place at Fort Myers Beach .. they spent much time at the Pool and walking the Beach at Fort Myers Beach .. the following is our Log of our trip to Key West with them ..

Sunday – August 08 2004 - Centennial Harbour Marina – Fort Myers, FL - (239) 461-0775 – Mile 136 .. the weather in Southwest Florida has been rain with gusty winds .. rain with mild winds .. and just plane more rain .. and on Sunday morning we had more rain but the forecast ahead looks much better .. both the winds and the rains are to start to back off some .. Cheryl’s youngest daughter Aimee was unable to join us until today so we had decided to take Dee Light to Fort Myers Beach for the night thus getting a few miles of our trip under out belt .. after spending their last night Cheryl, Katie and Danny moved their things onto Dee Light .. Marv and the Crew from Indianapolis headed out with Dee Light at about 09:15 am .. at the same time Betty went to the Airport to pick up Aimee at about noon .. she was not able to join us until Sunday due to her Summer Job .. when Dee Light made it to the Marina at Fort Myers Beach the Tied was moving out at a very rapid pace … as we attempted to dock Dee Light at the Matanzas Inn the Tide Current caught us on our Starboard Side and pushed us towards the Concrete Bridge Piers .. it was just at that time that we discovered that the Bow Thruster was not operating and the Current thru Dee Light into one of the Concrete Pier Bases .. Concrete dose not give at all but Dee Lights Port Exhaust Housing right at the Water Line did as we slammed into the Base .. UGH !! .. with Richards help on the Dock on our second attempt we did get Dee Light docked but without the Bow Thruster it was not a pretty docking at all .. it was not long at all and Betty and Aimee joined us at Dee Light .. Marv checked out the Engine Room and quickly determined what was wrong with the Bow Thruster .. one of the Batteries that are hooked together to develop the 24 Volt Electrical System had failed .. it appears that a faulty connection at the Negative Post caused the problem .. anyway Marv was able to replace the Battery after a trip to Moss Marina .. after the Crew spent the afternoon at the Pool we had a great dinner at Matanzas Restaurant that was topped off with .. yes .. a walk to the Ice Cream near the Beach ..

Cheryl Betty Katie - Fort Myers Beach FL  Cheryl Betty Katie Danny - Fort Myers Beach FL  Betty Katie - Fort Myers Beach FL

Monday – August 09 2004 - Matanzas Marina – Fort Myers Beach, FL - (239) 463-3838 .. after checking the weather we headed out of the Marina at 07:15 am .. Richard helped us with the Lines and said to have a great trip .. once out past the last Sea Buoy we set the Auto Pilot at 180 degrees .. by 0:00 am the Skies became clear and the Seas flattened off to only 3 to 4 footers .. the Key West Express passes us on our Starboard Side about 09:30 am and the Ferry out of Marco Island passed us at about 10:45 am .. soooo we knew that we must be heading in the right direction .. our Crew decided to sleep in for the day soooo they did missed most of the trip but Betty got them up as we were approaching Key West and they were able to enjoy seeing Key West as we approached the Islands .. we went past the Carnival Cruse Ship JUBILEE as we approached the Marina .. we had Dee Light docked at The Galleon Beach Resort in Key West by 02:00 pm .. once docked the Crew was quick to get Dee Light hosed down and then headed out to do some exploring on their own .. the Harbormaster pointed out a Snorkeling – Diving Tour Boat operation located right in the Marina Harbour .. Cheryl was quick to check it out and made arrangement for the Crew to head out Tuesday morning .. Danny found two young boys that he teamed up with for the balance of the day .. the gals explored the Streets, Shops, Bars, etc. .. later after watching the sunset at Mallory Square we had dinner at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Restaurant, Bar and Sore .. and yes we did do some shopping and had our Ice Cream ..

Aimee Katie Cheryl - Fort Myers Beach FL  Betty and Cheryl at the Ice Cream Parlor - Fort Myers Beach FL  Key West Ferry - In Route to Key West Florida  Mallory Square - Key West FL

Tuesday – August 10 2004 – The Galleon Beach Resort - Key West FL - (800) 544-3030 .. after a very quick breakfast Cheryl and her three headed out on the ‘Sea Breeze Underwater Adventure’ .. ( ) for a half day of snorkeling and diving .. Cheryl is an avid Diver and has been diving for a number of years .. Betty and Marv took advantage of the time and did some shopping and exploring in the Duval Street area .. Marv ended up with a new p[air of Birkenstock Shoes .. Jon and Sarah arrived about 01:00 pm for the wedding tonight .. after the Dive Boat returned the Gals spent the afternoon at the Pool and Cheryl took a good long nap .. later the Gals headed to Duval Street, Cheryl rested on Dee Light and we went to the wedding with Jon and Sarah .. the Groom ( Ted ) is from Lake City Minnesota but did work here in Key West at Sloppy Joe’s for part of a year .. when he was living here he met Molly ( Bride ) .. thus when they decided to get married Key West was their spot .. the Wedding was on the Beach at the Southernmost Point Hotel .. most everyone there had traveled from Minnesota for the Wedding and they were enjoying Florida to the max .. after the Wedding there was a Reception on a Deck that extended over the water .. right after the Reception we joined the Gals at an Ice Cream Parlor on Duval Street .. Schooners was a must on the way back to the boat

Aimee and Katie - Mallory Square - Key West FL  Aimee and Katie - Key West FL  Aimee Katie Betty Cheryl - Mallory Square - Key West FL  Betty and Cheryl - Key West FL

WEATHER - Bonnie and Charley .. it looks like Bonnie is not going to be a upgraded to a Hurricane on Wednesday and it still appears to be a compact storm .. it will likely bring heavy rain to Northern Florida on Thursday .. Charley still needs to be watched very closely the next few days !! .. Friday night into Saturday morning could be very stormy in the Southwest Florida area as Charley moves by just West of us .. at this time is appears that the Seas on Thursday should be ok for our anticipated return trip to Fort Myers ..

.. later Sarah ( 1-800-PAR-TYS-ARAH ) and Jon took Katie to the ‘Bars’ on Duval Street until 03:00 am .. Jon and Sarah spent a very short night in Dee Lights Penthouse Suite ..

da Divers - Key West FL

Wednesday – August 11 2004 – The Galleon Beach Resort - Key West FL - (800) 544-3030 .. we were up at 05:30 am making coffee and checking on the weather .. it is days like today that the Weather Channel becomes your best friend .. Tropical Storm Bonnie is still on the same track that it was last night but Charlie’s course has changed .. it is now heading for the Western End of Cuba and then it is expected to head Northwest to Key West .. from there the anticipated track is right on to Fort Myers .. UGH !! .. with all that YUCK Weather News we decided to head out today instead of our original plan of staying until Thursday .. we did a second look at the weather when we checked out with them .. the Harbormaster said that they had a number of Liveaboards out on the Hook that they were going to move into the Marina today .. including the Harbormasters Boat .. Jon and Sarah left in a hurry as Jon has 50 Boats to take care of back in Fort Myers .. we quickly got Dee Light ready and we were out of the Marina by 08:30 am .. Betty and Cheryl enjoyed the ride on Dee Lights Bow as we pulled out of the Key West area .. they spotted Dolphins and other Sea Life .. Katie joined them when she got up from her short night in the Front Cabin .. and before 11:00 am Aimee also joined them .. Danny took a good long nap as he was also out quite late with some Boy Scouts that he met up with .. there has been a group of High Adventure Boy Scouts aboard a Sailboat harbored in the Marina the last few days .. they will be heading up the East Coast of the Keys today .. once we were out past out last Marker we set our course at due North .. we had Seas from the Southwest of about 3 to 4 feet .. and we had ‘Rollers’ that were from the East of about 4 to 5 feet .. this condition continued until we were just in site of our first land in the Marco Island area .. the Gals on the Front Deck enjoyed the sun and tolerated the Salt Water until about noon when they came in for lunch and a good long nap .. we spotted RoSaKa ( 65 foot Viking ) heading South .. we contacted Captain Sam on our Marine Radio .. he said that they had changed their plans also due to the Hurricanes .. in stead of going to Key West today as planned he is now heading to Miami Beach where he plans to weather out the Hurricanes . at this time it looks like they will be able to make it to Key West on Sunday – Monday of next week .. the Rollers picked up as we headed North and then started to settle down as we approached the Fort Myers Beach area .. the Port Engine started to flutter a little on our final leg of the trip .. with much help on the Dock we had Dee Light docked and all hooked up by 04:00 pm .. Betty and Cheryl hosed down Dee Light, showered up, and then headed to Betty’s place to get a few things done there in preparation for Hurricane Charlie .. and the Gals did a load of laundry .. and got some sun at the Pool when the clothes were in the machines .. Marv had dinner with the Crew from the Centennial Harbour Marina and then joined the Dee Light Crew for dinner at Nino’s Italian Restaurant and a trip to Daddy Dees Ice Cream Parlor …. Once back to Dee Light we checked out the weather one more time .. there dose not seem to be any more changes .. Fort Myers appears to be Hurricane Charlie’s prime target .. UGH !! ..

'Bonny and Clid Show' - Gulf of Mexico

Thursday – August 12 2004 - Centennial Harbour Marina – Fort Myers, FL - (239) 461-0775 – Mile 136 .. we were up before 05:00 am to check the weather out .. the weather in Southwest Florida is the only topic around .. it appears that Hurricane Charley may be tracking further North than projected yesterday .. thus Tampa is now the in the center of the Track and not Fort Myers as was the case yesterday .. but we will still be getting the winds and the Surge .. all the local Schools have closed .. they are having a ‘Hurricane Day’ .. much like a ‘Snow Day’ up North .. about 07:00 am Captain Ron and Brenda ( Bandit ) headed out for the Moore Haven Florida area to find a Hurricane Hole to weather out Charley .. just after 07:00 am Betty, Cheryl, Danny and Katie headed out to the Beach .. they wanted to go to the Beaches on Sanibel but the Bridge to the Island is now shut down to cars going onto the Island sooo they headed to Fort Myers Beach .. Marv worked on getting Dee Light ready for Charley .. Aimee stayed right in the Sack until noon ..

OUR HEADLINES this morning …..

Southwest Florida placed under hurricane watch

Forecasters say Category 1 or 2 storm with winds of 85 to 105 mph .. 3 to 6 inches of rain possible

Published by on August 12, 2004

Southwest Florida's 1 million residents came to grips with a stark possibility Wednesday - the first direct hit from a hurricane since 1960.
"It looks like Lee County is the bull's-eye on the target, and we're going to take a hit," said Booch DeMarchi, spokesman for Lee's Emergency Perations Center.
Hurricane Charley continued to creep closer as a hurricane watch was posted Wednesday along the west coast from the Florida Keys to Anna Maria Island in Manatee County. The storm could make landfall somewhere in Lee County about noon Friday, forecasters said this morning.
A direct hit by a Category 2 hurricane - sustained winds between 96 and 110 mph - could cause more than $700 million in damage to the affected area, according to the American Meteorological Society.
Officials in Lee, Collier and Charlotte counties said they would determine what coastal areas to evacuate and what shelters to open at meetings this morning.
Southwest Florida has been grazed by tropical storms in recent years, but Charley looks different. It was upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane Wednesday with winds of 75 mph. Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami said the storm could reach Category 2 strength of 96 mph by tonight as it approaches Cuba.
Southwest Florida should start seeing weather deteriorate rapidly early Friday morning, forecasters said. Tropical storm force winds in excess of 45 mph extend more than 100 miles from the eye of the storm, which is dumping 3 to 6 inches of rain, said Krislyn Williams, meteorologist at the National Hurricane Center.
Officials are preparing for a storm surge as high as 10 feet along shorelines. Storm surge - a wall of water that accompanies a tropical system - from Charley means the western Caloosahatchee River could rise between the gulf and at least the Edison Bridge linking North Fort Myers and downtown Fort Myers, said Robert Van Winkle, lead meteorologist for NBC-2.
"If you live on water that in any way is connected to the Gulf of Mexico, you will have some storm surge flooding Friday," Van Winkle said. "The surge won't go that far up the river, but it could go to at least Fort Myers."
High tide is 11:32 a.m. Friday at Punta Rassa and at 2:41 p.m. Friday at Edison Bridge. A high tide during a storm can worsen waterfront flooding ...................
All the local Schools have closed .. they are having a 'Hurricane Day' .. much like a 'Snow Day' up North ..

.. later Betty and Marv finish up with Dee Light’s Hurricane Lines .. we have every Line and Fender that we have lashed down to Dee Light .. our Water Tank is full of water .. by 04:00 pm we had most everything that we could think of done .. Cheryl took the Crew to a Pet Store that allows people to pickup and pet the animals that they have for sale .. the Staff at the Marina did a great job preparing the Marina and the Boats for Charlie’s arrival .. there was a parade of Boats ( Pleasure Craft .. Shrimp Boats .. Commercial Boats .. US Coast Guard .. etc. ) all day heading up the River to find a safe spot for their Boats above the Franklin Lock .. the Marina has filled up with Boats from all over .. many that we have never seen before .. we have been in contact with a number of boaters that have their Boats in our Marina that are now up North for the Summer .. Brian and Jenny’s Boat (SUMMER SOUL ) asked us to take care of the Canvas on their Boat .. we also used their Anchor Line to re-tie the entire Boat to the Dock .. the Lines and Canvas had to be taken care of on Gene and Kathy ( FRONT PAGE ) Boat ..

WEATHER UPDATE .. at 05:00 Hurricane Charley was upgraded to a Class Two Hurricane ... at about 02:00 pm Friday the center of Hurricane Charley should be about 50 to 100 miles off the Shore Line .. the Surge in the Fort Myers area could reach 10 feet .. this has never happen before .. the entire Islands of Sanibel and Captiva have been evacuated ..
.. Aimee and Katie spent part of the afternoon watching TITANTIC .. they decided to hang in and go down with the Ship .. Jon called and said that he was all done with the 50 Boats that he takes care of and that he was also able to get their Home all ready for the Hurricane .. they even have a sign painted on the outside of their Hose to welcome Charlie .. we walked into town for dinner only t find that the Downtown area was all but evacuated .. we did find a Chinese place open and we had a great Chinese dinner .. Cheryl and her Crew spent the rest of the evening packing up for their trip North tomorrow .. and we all watched Charlie’s progress .. at 10:00 pm Tornadoes were added to our weather concerns .. UGH !! ..

11:00 pm .. all flights in or out of Fort Myers were cancelled .. we spotted a Trawler on the Hook just outside the Marina and just off the ICW Channel ..

11:30 pm .. I took a walk to check out the Lines and ‘stuff’ .. Pete was out doing the same thing .. we talked with the Owner of the Marina ( Mark ) .. he said that there would be Room Keys to three Motel Rooms up in the Boaters Lounge for any of the Boaters ..

11:45 pm .. we drove downtown to checkout the elevated Parking Ramp .. it was closed and locked up ..

Harbour Master at Centennial - Fort Myers FL  Lines on Dee Light - Centennial - Fort Myers FL  Lines on Dee Light - Centennial - Fort Myers FL

Friday – August 13 2004 - Centennial Harbour Marina – Fort Myers, FL - (239) 461-0775 – Mile 136 .. we were up by 04:00 am checking on the weather ..

12:00 am .. the Eye of Charley hit Cuba and both the direction and speed of the Hurricane changed .. the projected Track is now closer to Fort Myers and instead of hitting us about 02:00 pm today it now appears that it will hit us at 08:00 pm .. Charley is still a Class Two Hurricane ..

02:00 am the National Hurricane Center updated the status of Charley .. the heavy rains will now hit us about 02:30 am ..

02:30 am .. the winds picked up and did the Rains .. Thunderstorm .. Lightning hit us hard .. UGH !! .. but then the first wave was over quickly as it came ..

WINK-TV has maintained non-stop live TV coverage of the Hurricane all day yesterday and right thru the night .. Jim Farrell is the Head Meteorologist for WINK .. he has been updating us with the live coverage .. WINK-TV Website is .. ..

03:30 am .. we talked over options again .. the options are getting limited but we do have our Plan A .. Plan B .. etc. …..

04:15 am .. very light rain .. winds now have calmed down .. the ‘Lull’ .. we will now wait for the update at 05:00 am ..

05:00 am .. National Hurricane Center 05:00 am update .. the center of Charley is now about 25 miles North of Cuba traveling at a speed of 18 mph .. thus Charlie is now in the Gulf for the first time .. with the Wind Speed at 110 Charlie remains a Class Two Hurricane ..

HEADLINES – News-Press – Fort Myers FL ..
Eyes on Charley - SW Florida waits, watches as hurricane spins closer
Published by on August 13, 2004
Florida’s West Coast braced for today’s arrival of Hurricane Charley on Friday as more than 1 million people from Key West to Tampa were told to evacuate their homes ahead of the storm, authorities said. Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami predicted Charley to become a Category 3 storm today, packing winds in excess of 110 mph by the time it makes landfall likely sometime late this afternoon near the heavily populated Tampa Bay region ..

05:30 am .. the US Coast Guard has shut down and LOCKED all of the area Draw Bridges ..

07:00 am .. Marv met with Dave ( Harbormaster ) .. we put together an initial Plan and we plan finalize a Plan before Dave leaves .. Dave’s has two children at home and his wife is 8 months pregnant ..

07:30 am .. Marv drove to the elevated Parking Ramp downtown and was able to get his Thunderbird inside on the third level .. if the Surge in the Fort Myers area was predicted to get too high our Plan D is to spell Charley out in the Car at the Third Floor elevation .. Dave and Eric worked the Docks and prepared the Boats the best that they were able ..

07:45 am .. the Airport had all the Airplanes leave the Airport ..

08:00 am .. Cheryl was able to find a one way Rental Mini Van … sooooo her Crew got their luggage to Betty’s car .. they will drive to Avis and leave Betty’s car at the Airport ..

08:45 am .. both Bernie and Pete moved their cars to the open Parking Ramp .. and Dave ( Harbormaster ) headed for his family .. his wife is expecting their third child in about seven weeks ..

09:00 am .. Cheryl and her Crew left the Marina .. they are going to head for Cheryl’s friends place North of Lake Okeechobee .. .. Betty cleaned up the interior of Dee Light and Marv buttoned down the Hatches ..

09:30 am .. the Trawler that had spent the night on the Hook right in front of our Marina relocated just below our Marina .. I do not know why he did this as there is room for him inside our Marina .. if the boat comes loose it will smash into A Dock .. UGH !! ..

10:20 am .. Eric and his Mother-in-law moved their Dinghy to Erick’s House .. he is planing to have it there as his House can only take an 8 foot Surge ..

10:30 .. the Skies are not looking good at all .. and the Radar is showing that Charlie is North of Key West moving our direction at 18 mph ..

Plan A .. ride out the Hurricane on Dee Light ..
Plan B .. relocate to the Boaters Lounge at the Marina .. it is a concrete building but has a framed roof .. the area will take a 22 foot Surge ..
Plan C .. relocate to the Restrooms behind in the Marina Office .. all concrete walls and it has both a structural concrete elevated floor and roof .. it is well built but it is lower but will take a 15 foot Surge ..
Plan D .. relocate to our Car at the third Floor Level of the Parking Structure .. this is only a back up plan to Plan C .. i.e. If there are too many people or if the Surge gets over 15 feet ..

'Bonny and Clid Show' - Gulf of Mexico

11:00 am .. WINK said that now the Surge could be up to 18 feet .. UGH .. the Marina will not exists once the Surge gets above 11 feet and High Tied for the day is 02:00 pm today .. this is real bad news .. we may be looking at our Plan D ..

11:45 am .. Charlie’s Track just changed .. Charlie is now going right at Fort Myers .. this is real bad news .. and they are still forecasting a Surge of 18 feet and with an 18 foot Surge it would go over the Franklin Lock .. this dose not make sense to me .. I do not think that the Surge will be that high based on the direction of the of the Eye and based on the land mass that it is now tracking relatively close to ..

Weather Bug at 11:50 am

12:00 pm .. Jon called .. they abandoned their Home in Cape Coral as the forecasted Surge will devastate their Home .. their Home is within sight of a deep water Cannel that leads directly into the Gulf Waters .. he said that they were going to head East to our run the Hurricane .. this was a most WISE decision ..

(( .. the balance of our Log for today is from Marv’s hand written notes .. i.e. this is when we packed up the PC and our other stuff in preparation for Plan B .. ))

12:30 pm .. after having some of Marv’s homemade Vegetable Soup we relocated to the Boaters Lounge .. we took enough supplies for two days .. the Boaters Lounge is located above the Marina’s Office and it overlooks the Marina .. we spent much time during the Storm on the open Balcony that faces the Marina .. from where we were standing we could see right down B Dock to the Port Side of Dee Light ..

12:35 pm .. there were a total of 14 people .. 7 dogs .. and 1 cat that took relocated to either the Boaters Lounge or to one of the three Motel Rooms that Mark had given us Room Keys to ..

12:40 pm .. Cheryl called and said that they made it to Jim’s parents place and would be spending the night there .. if Charlie’s Track dose not change they will get there share of winds from Charlie .. but the speeds should be way down by then ..

01:00 pm .. the Hurricane has now been classed as a Category Four as the winds are now over 145 mph .. the owner of the Trawler left his Boat by Dinghy ..

01:15 pm .. Marv helped Eric turn the Power and the Water off to all the Docks ..

01:45 pm .. we talked with Jon again .. they are headed to Fort Lauderdale .. and are now well out of the Hurricane’s range ..

02:00 pm .. we heard an Electrical Transformer exploded .. it was the first of many explosions that we heard in the next hours ..

02:15 pm .. the first real heavy winds picked up .. the wind direction was from the Shore Line right straight across the River .. i.e. from the Southeast right at the Port Side of Dee Light .. this will be a real test of our Line preparation .. it will work or we will have a real mess ..

02:16 pm .. all the Power in the downtown area of Fort Myers terminated .. yet the Power at the Boaters Lounge remained on .. it did flicker quite a lot but it always came back ..

02:20 pm .. the Trawler below A Dock is starting to move .. the winds are pushing it Southeast across the River ..

02:30 pm .. Eric moved his family to the Apartment behind the Boaters Lounge .. his House can only take an 8 foot Surge .. I talked over my ‘Surge’ thoughts with Pete and he agreed with my thoughts .. if I’m correct we should have a Surge of only about 5 to 6 feet ..

02:45 pm .. WINK-TVs Radar image started to bounce around on the TV in the Boaters Lounge .. the winds must be affecting their Radar equipment ..
Jon and Sarahs Home - Cape Coral FL 

….. Jon and Sarah took this photo of their Home just minutes before they fled by car to the East Coast ...

03:00 pm .. a Sailboat broke loose from its Slip on D Dock and was pushed up to a Finger on D Dock .. the Finger saved it from hitting into other Boats and also saved it from being taken out into the open Waters ..

03:15 .. the winds are now making a ROARING sound .. much like a very loud Freight Train at a high rate of speed .. I have been told that this occurs when the wind speed is at about 100 Knots ( 120 mph ) .. leaves and other ‘stuff’ was flying thru the air right out into the River .. the Exterior TV Antenna must have ripped off but we could see a fuzzy picture of WINK on the TV in the Boaters Lounge .. but we still have electrical power ..

03:45 pm .. the wind direction has now changed .. it is coming right up the River from the Southwest .. the winds picked up the River Water right out of the River to an elevation of about 30 to 40 feet off the River .. with the River Water flying thru the air it was difficult to see at all .. Dee Light disappeared from our sight .. many Boaters called us during the Storm to check up on their Boats ..

04:00 pm .. Marv started to move our supplies to our Plan C location .. we never did have to go there but we were ready .. it was really starting to get out of control .. we could no longer stand outside on the Balcony as we thought that we were going to get blown off .. the Trawler is now dragging its Anchor up the River towards the Bridge ..

04:15 pm .. the Boats n A Dock really took a beating .. many times we could see the underside of some of the Boats .. the Fly Bridge ripped off Sharon’s Boat on A Dock ..

04:50 pm .. the boat A GIVEN ( 53 foot Hatters ) broke loose from A Dock .. the boat stayed in the Marina but drifted up River with the winds pushing it .. it came to a rest at the Tie-Along area of B Dock .. Eric headed up a group of Boaters including Bernie ( SITTING DUCK ) that were able to get the Hatters tied off .. if they were unsuccessful the Boat would have caused damage to a number of Boats on B Dock ..

05:00 pm .. the Trawler that was drifting up the River has now disappeared into the winds and River Waters .. UGH .. (( .. we later were told that it collided with the Bridge just above the Marina .. the Bridge ripped off everything above the Deck of the Trawler )) ..

05:30 pm .. Jon called and said that after they have dinner at a Sports Bar in Fort Lauderdale they were going to return to Fort Myers ..

07:00 pm .. the Surge crested at about 6 feet .. as it went down it left black marks on the Concrete Pilings that support the Marina’s Docks ..

09:00 pm .. we relocated back to Dee Light for the night .. with our Generator we had Power and we had filled our Water Tank .. we made some adjustments to some of the Lines on Dee Light as the winds had really stretched them out ..

10:00 pm .. from our Fly Bridge we could see that there was not a light on anyplace in the area ..

11:00 pm .. Jon and Sarah stopped by Dee Light to let us know that they made it back .. they then headed to their place to find minimal damage to their Home but no Power and no Water ..

11:30 pm .. we went to bed .. it felt good to be back in our own bed .. there were many others that did not fare as well .. in the morning we will have to start our preparations for Danielle that is now heading our way ..

11:59 pm ... we heard later that the winds were clocked at speeds up to 161 mph .. and it should be noted that our Green Bay Packer Flag was still flying proudly above Dee Light after Charley raced thru .. the Pack ‘Survived Charley’ .. lets hope that the Pack dose as well this upcoming Football Season this Fall ..

.. the entire Staff at the Centennial Harbour Marina did a fantastic job !! .. both the preparation work that they did ahead of Charley as well as everything that they did the day Charley made his visit up the River were above the ‘call of duty’ .. the efforts of the Staff working with the Boaters saved many of the Boats in our Marina .. OUR HATS ARE OFF TO THE STAFF AT OUR MARINA !! ….

Dee Light - 80 to 110 mph winds - Centennial - Fort Myers FL  Charley hitting the Punta Gorda Florida area at 03:47 pm

.. the photo above is of Dee Light when the winds were from the Southeast at about 90 mph .. later the winds shifted to the Southwest and increased up to over 140 mph .. later we had to adjust our Dock Lines ..

da Trawler - Off A Dock - Centennial Harbour Marina   North Captiva Islands FL  Upper Cativa Island FL  Upper Cativa Island FL  Upper Cativa Island FL  Punta Gorda FL

Saturday – August 14 2004 - Centennial Harbour Marina – Fort Myers, FL - (239) 461-0775 – Mile 136 … woke up at 06:00 am we had mostly sunny skies .. we walked thru the rubble to the Parking Ramp and retrieved our Thunderbird .. we headed to Betty’s place .. Betty’s address is Fort Myers Beach but her place is located North of the Bridge that goes to the Island where Fort Myers Beach is Located .. on our way to Betty’s place we drove thru what looked much like a WAR ZONE .. that area did not take the hit that much of the other areas have had .. Betty’s place was not harmed at all .. nothing .. see photo .. around Betty’s house many of the trees, etc. were wind damaged .. but all in all her place is in good shape .. we emptied our the Refrigerator and headed to where Cheryl left her car on their way out of town yesterday .. when we returned to Dee Light we re-rigged our lines and put things back to order .. we will leave our Hurricane Lines attached as Danielle is not too far off ..
HEADLINES .. too many for us to choose from .. check out .. .. they did a great job ..
.. Cheryl called and said that they made it back to Indianapolis safe and sound .. the Trawler that hit the Bridge .. was towed by our Marina on its way down the River .. Jon and Sarah relocated to their Boat in our Marina as they do not have any power or water at their place .. Betty’s son Randy that lives at Betty’s place on the weekends moved in with us on Dee Light for the night .. Betty heard from Gabriele and Klaus ( AEOLA – Wilhelmshaven Germany ) .. they had to relocate their Boat twice before Charlie hit .. they are ok and are getting ready for the next one .. after having dinner with a number of the other Boaters from our Dock at Pinchers we went to bed ..

.... Punta Gorda FL  South Seas - Cativa Island FL  Florida National Guard


Southwest Florida residents face reality of Charley’s wrath
From staff and wire reports - Published by on August 14, 2004
Fort Myers FL - Jeb Bush said it all: “Our worst fears have come true.” .. As dawn broke Saturday, the misery, destruction and death that Hurricane Charley rained on Southwest Florida became a nightmarish reality .. at least 13 dead across the state, including four in Charlotte County and one man in Lee .. Hundreds of people missing. Scores injured, thousands homeless and economic damage in the billions of dollars ..
Salvation Army - Pine Island FL  Punta Gorda FL  Burnt Store Marina FL  Burnt Store Marina FL  Burnt Store Marina FLPine Island Sound FL


Floridians Return to Storm-Ravaged Homes
By BRENDAN FARRINGTON - Associated Press Writer
PUNTA GORDA, Fla. (AP) -- The eye of the worst hurricane to hit Florida in a dozen years passed directly over Punta Gorda, a town of 15,000, which took a devastating hit Friday. On Sunday, the Rev. Leroy Martin set up two dozen chairs and laid Bibles on them outside his small Punta Gorda church, unsure whether the darkened building was safe for services .. after getting a first look at the widespread damage left behind by Hurricane Charley, Florida residents were faced with the arduous task of sorting through the wreckage, and for some, starting over again ..

Pine Island Sound FL  Pine Island Sound FL  Punta Gorda FL  Mobile homes in this Punta Gorda FL  Mobile homes in this Punta Gorda FL  Punta Gorda FL


Kerry Won’t Tour Charley Damage
The Associated Press - Published by on August 14, 2004
HOOD RIVER, Ore. — Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry does not plan to visit Florida in the aftermath of Hurricane Charley because he is concerned his campaign entourage could distract from recovery efforts, he said Saturday ..

Post Office - Down Town - Fort Myers FL  Fort Myers Beach FL  Betty's Condo After Charlie - Fort Myers Beach FL  Sharons Boat - After Charlie - Fort Myers Beach FL  Hurricane Harry's - Open For Business - North Fort Myers FL  Dock at Pintchers - North Fort Myers FL


Officials - Charley Will Cost Up to $11B
Sunday, August 15, 2004
AP - PUNTA GORDA, Fla. — As Florida residents began sweeping up the wreckage left behind by Hurricane Charley (search), officials on Sunday estimated damages as high as $11 billion for insured homes alone.

Captiva Island FL  Florida National Guard  Palmetto Mobile Park - Port Charlotte FL  Home in Port Charlotte FL  Airplain - Punta Gorda FL

Sunday – August 15 2004 - Centennial Harbour Marina – Fort Myers, FL - (239) 461-0775 – Mile 136 … we got up to mostly clear skies with a forecast of 92 degrees and a chance of Afternoon showers .. Betty and Randy headed out to Betty’s place to do some cleaning and landscape repairs .. by noon they had most everything taken care of and Randy headed off to Miami ..

09:15 am .. President arrived at the Fort Myers Airport on Air Force One ..


President Bush Tours Charley's Destruction
By DEB RIECHMANN - Published by on August 15, 2004
PUNTA GORDA, Fla. (AP) — Marine One flew low over destroyed homes, downed power lines and uprooted trees Sunday, giving President Bush a bird’s eye view of the destruction caused by Hurricane Charley .. Bush visited the state to assess the damage two days after declaring Florida a major disaster area. Charley killed at least 13 people and left thousands homeless. State officials said early estimates of the hurricane’s residential property damage ranged from $5 billion to $11 billion.
“A lot of people’s lives are turned upside down,” Bush said after walking through some neighborhood streets of Punta Gorda, one of the hardest hit areas. Bush said the state is providing security “so people can have peace of mind that their neighborhoods will be safe.”
As Bush toured the area, some people shouted “Four more years.” Florida was pivotal for Bush in the 2000 election, and it retains its political importance four years later ….


.. the time that the two Bush brothers spent in Southwest Florida had really helped many .. many people that are in very rough shape .. as they now know that the ‘outside’ world cares and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel ..

President George W. Bush - Aboard Marine One - Surveys Hurricane damage over Fort Myers FL

.. the photo above is President George W. Bush aboard Marine One over Fort Myers Florida as he surveyed the Hurricane damage in Southwest Florida ..


Residents can be off island for days
By LEE MELSEK - Published by on August 15, 2004
Fort Myers Beach residents may not be allowed back to their homes for days and the island’s brisk tourist trade is shut down until further notice.
The island has no water, the sewers aren’t working and 80 percent of its structures were damaged by Hurricane Charley, town officials said Saturday.
Even when residents are allowed back on the island they may not be able to turn on their lights and televisions for days after their return. Town officials said they were told the island’s power may be out for up to a week ..

Monday – August 16 2004 - Centennial Harbour Marina – Fort Myers, FL - (239) 461-0775 – Mile 136 … another sunny day with a light breeze .. and it’s a day to help out others .. after getting some parts off Dee Light we got power hooked up to Sharon’s Boat on A Dock .. she and her two Dogs have been without power since Friday ..

09:00 am PRESS CONFRENCE .. most all Schools are still experiencing ‘Snow Days’ .. the Charlotte County Schools will be closed for the next two weeks .. there were 2 million people without power now it is down to about 890,000 people .. 25 of Florida’s 67 Counties are now experiencing a National Disaster .. anyone that gets in a Car accident ( fender bender ) are to just exchange Insurance information and are not to call 911 .. price gouging dose not seem to be happening very much ( 400 cases reported ) .. instead people, store owners, etc. are giving ‘stuff’ away to anyone that needs it .. shipments of water, etc are arriving every hour from all over the Country ..
    Power Trucks heading South   Our Flag - Port Orange FL  Port Charlotte FL  Boats - Punta Gorda FL
Snowbirds Check Up On Houses
Monday brought anxious snowbirds flying into the blue skies over Southwest Florida International Airport to check on how their vacation homes and condos fared in Hurricane Charley.
Some already had an inkling of how their properties had survived the Category 4 storm from neighbors or relatives. Others hadn’t a clue ..

The Bush Brothers - Arcadia FL  President George W. Bush walks with FEMA  Esther Villasana - Arcadia FL - Gov. Jeb BushAnne M. Loehnert with friend, Jane McCallum - Wind Mill Village in Punta Gorda F  Cleats After Charlie - Centennial Harbour Marina - Fort Myers FL  Fort Myers Beach FL
Groups Work to Assist Elderly
Many frail and elderly residents in Southwest Florida faced additional challenges besides loss of electricity, especially those on oxygen machines and with medications that require refrigeration.
Senior Solutions of Southwest Florida is busy tracking down about 7,000 registered clients in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry, Glades and DeSoto counties who require assistance, including with meals, personal care and transportation.
Most of Lee and Collier’s frail elderly were accounted for Monday, but at least 1,200 residents in Charlotte County required help, Executive Director Leigh Wade said ..

.. the warm temperatures in Southwest are a real concern .. daily highs are 90 to 95 degrees and there are many people working outside that are having a hard time dealing with the heat .. Boat US arrived at the Marina to help the Boaters out that will have some type of damage claim .. .. when we were sure that we would NOT hamper the rescue, etc. Crews progress we have been driving thru much of this area i.e. Fort Myers Beach area to the Charlotte County area .. the damage really varies from area .. with Charlotte County being the worse that we saw .. we did not make it to Arcadia yet .. the weather here is now back to the 'normal' Summer weather with the sunny skies and highs of 90 to 95 .. not good for people working outside or for people without air ... our drive did take us to Daddy D’s for our Ice Cream ..

Port Charlotte FL  David J. Migneault cleans out his law office in The Professional Building in downtown Punta Gorda, Fla  Linda Molitor pulls wet and soiled clothing from the rubble of her destroyed mobile home in Punta Gorda FLSanibel Lighthouse  Home on Sanibel Island FL  2004-08-16 - Florida National Guard patrol a damaged neighborhood in Port

Tuesday – August 17 2004 - Centennial Harbour Marina – Fort Myers, FL - (239) 461-0775 – Mile 136 …

09:00 am .... GOOD news of today is that the residents, merchants, etc. will be able to get on the Islands of Sanibel and Fort Myers Beach Wednesday at 09:00 am ..

Hurricane Survivors Doing Without
Hundreds of Thousands Lack Electricity; Phone, Water Outages Also Widespread
PUNTA GORDA, Fla. (Aug. 17) -- About 790,000 people remain without power in Florida in the aftermath of Hurricane Charley, and officials estimate it could take weeks to get electricity fully restored. At least 150,000 are without local phone service. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge will visit today to study the damage in the Ft. Myers area .. Some 2,300 people stayed in shelters, and Federal Emergency Management Agency director Michael Brown said 11,000 have already applied for disaster aid. Federal officials received 20,000 catastrophic housing requests - 10,000 on Monday alone.
Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte were among the hardest-hit areas Friday, and 25 of Florida's 67 counties were designated federal disaster areas. Officials estimate Charley caused as much as $11 billion in damage to insured homes alone …

Fort Myers Beach FL  Fort Myers Beach FL  Damage from Hurricane Charley is seen at a mobile home park in Punta Gorda


Wednesday – August 18 2004 - Centennial Harbour Marina – Fort Myers, FL - (239) 461-0775 – Mile 136 …


Public safety director says it will take three to five years for Lee to recover …
Massive cleanup and recovery efforts continued Tuesday in Southwest Florida, and officials said it will be a long, long haul .. But for thousands, today is a new beginning .. They get to go home .. About 112 hours after Charley first touched land on Captiva last Friday, island residents were to head back to Sanibel, Captiva and Fort Myers Beach .. At 7 a.m. the first cars were to be waved across the Sanibel Causeway, bringing an end to a gut-wrenching wait .. Then two hours later, Fort Myers Beach residents were expected to be allowed to return ..

06:00 am .. Opening Ceremonies for Sanibel Islands were shown over WINK-TV ..

07:00 am .. the Islands of Sanibel and Captiva were opened up to Residents only .. at about 07:20 am the Sanibel Draw Bridge blocked the flow of Cars as it was opened for a US Coast Guard Boat ( they have a higher priority than the Cars ) .. the opening held up those going onto the Islands for a few minutes ..

09:00 am .. the two access points to Fort Myers Beach were opened up to Residents and Merchants .. much like Sanibel it was well organized and very orderly .... the Town Manager of Fort Myers Beach ( Marsha ) said yesterday that she will be wearing a Bullet-Proof Vest as she has received many death threats .. it was NOT required at the residents drove onto the Island in a very orderly fashion and they thanked the Officials for all that they had done .. and as the residents approached the Island they had their ‘Thumbs Up’ to the TV Camera Crews ..

11:00 am .. the Island of Fort Myers Beach was opened to the local Merchants and Business Owners ..

.. NOTE – the photos below were taken on Fort Myers Beach Florida the day after Charley .. the night before we headed to Key West Florida Dee Light was docked at the Matanazas Inn – Marina where some of the photos were taken .. we were docked to the right of the Houseboat that is now all but sunk due to Charley .. NOTE – just the Flybridge is shown in the photo .. the Harbour Master ( ‘Barnacle Dick’ ) at Matanzas lives on his Cruiser ( 32 foot Carver – OTHER WOMAN ) in the photo below .. both the Harbour Master and the Live Aboard on the sunk Houseboat helped us dock Dee Light when we arrived at Matanzas ..

Fort Myers Beach FL  Fort Myers Beach FL  Fort Myers Beach FL  Fort Myers Beach FL    Local residents console each other Saturday, Aug. 14, 2004 in Punta Gorda FL

Thursday – August 19 2004 - Centennial Harbour Marina – Fort Myers, FL - (239) 461-0775 – Mile 136 …


Groups Try to Aid Elderly Charley Victims
By MIKE SCHNEIDER - Associated Press Writer
SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) -- The devastation brought on by Hurricane Charley has been especially painful for an elderly population that is among the largest in the nation ..State officials fear that many frail and aging residents have been left susceptible to illness and are going without important medication because of the hurricane, while others have been too stubborn to leave their damaged homes .. the situation has government and private agencies scrambling to get the elderly to air-conditioned places where they can receive their medicine, oxygen and even entertainment ..

Fumes From Generators Kill 3
Carbon monoxide poisons hundreds
Carbon monoxide poisoning from emergency generators has killed three people statewide — including a Pine Island man — and injured hundreds more as people inhale deadly fumes. .. Stacee Young, 24, woke up dizzy and befuddled in her Cape Coral home at 4 a.m. Saturday and knew something was wrong .. she woke up her roommate, Susan Crawford, 27, and they stumbled their way toward the generator, humming loudly inside the women’s garage ..

Overturned car sits next to the remains of a Mobile Home at Crystal Lake Mobile Home Trailer Park in Punta Gorda FL  House on Captiva FL  Boat on Captiva FL  Blossom Florist Shop are scattered across the sidewalk and Marion Avenue in downtown Punta Gorda F  Fort Myers Beach Florida  Car on Hoist - Punta Gorda FL

Friday – August 20 2004 - Centennial Harbour Marina – Fort Myers, FL - (239) 461-0775 – Mile 136 … one week after Charley hit Southwest Florida ..



Now that Lee County marina operators have assessed Southwest Florida’s damage from Charley, it appears most destruction happened at Pineland Marina and Four Winds Marina on Pine Island and at Captiva’s South Seas Plantation .. That means boaters who use other marinas are likely to find their facilities up and running this weekend, with many of them selling gas and offering repair services “There was more damage to people’s boats in back yards than at marinas,” said Ken Stead, executive director of the Southwest Florida Marine Industries Association …


Kerry walks, talks with storm survivors
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry toured storm-ravaged areas of Charlotte County on Friday, talking with dozens of residents but leaving overt campaigning behind.
Kerry repeatedly dispensed handshakes and hugs, asking everyone what they needed and how federal disaster relief efforts are going ..

.. here are a few statistics from last Friday August 13 2004 …

11:00 am 114 miles southwest of Fort Myers Category 2 Hurricane .. Wind: 110 mph
01:00 pm 77 miles southwest of Fort Myers Category 3 Hurricane .. Wind: 125 mph

Eye passes over the following points :

03:46 pm Upper Captiva Category 4 Hurricane .. Max Wind: 150 mph. Estimate gusts: 170mph
04:02 pm Bokeelia Category 4 Hurricane .. Max Wind 140 mph.
04:38 pm Punta Gorda Category 4 Hurricane .. Max Wind 140 mph. Estimate gusts: 170 mph
05:15 pm 6 miles west of Arcadia Category 3 Hurricane .. Estimate Max Wind 125 mph.

Fort Myers Beach Florida  Fort Myers Beach Florida  Fort Myers Beach Florida

August 21 thru Current 2004 - Centennial Harbour Marina – Fort Myers, FL - (239) 461-0775 – Mile 136 ..we drove to Betty’s place and found that the power is now on in her area .. we then drove to the Beach on Fort Myers Beach and took a few photos .. after walking on ‘our Beach’ we had lunch on the Beach ..


08-21-2004 .. Lee County School will re-open on Monday August 23rd .. and the School in Charlotte County will open on Monday August 30th .. we build two ‘Snow Days’ into our Annual Schedule soooo ?? .. ‘I Survived Charley’ T Shirts are coming out all over the area ..

08-22-2004 – Statewide there are 438,000 residents without power ..

Charlotte County statistics
Storm-related deaths – 4
Number of FPL customers that lost power in Charlotte County ( after storm according to FPL ) - 90,000
Number of customers still without power - 53,500

08-23-2004 - Primary On Time Despite Charley - State won’t delay Aug. 31 elections due to hurricane’s devastation across Southwest Florida .. TALLAHASSEE — Voters in hurricane-torn Southwest Florida will cast ballots in next week’s primary election right along with the rest of the state ..

08-24-2004 – North Fort Myers, Fla. ( August 24, 2004 ) LCEC is making progress in rebuilding the electric system on Sanibel, Captiva and Pine Islands .. more than 500 Line Crews will be working on rebuilding those areas today .. power has already been restored to approximately 50 percent of Pine Island and 45 percent of Sanibel residents .. over 8,000 Lee County residents still without power ..

08-25-2004 – Florida’s Governor Jeb Bush will not be attending the Republican National Convention in New York city .. his top priority are the people in Florida that need his help due to Hurricane Charley ..

Fort Myers Beach Florida  Fort Myers Beach Florida  Fort Myers Beach Florida

08-26-2004 - Storm Toll Climbs To 26 .. The death toll from Hurricane Charley rose to 26 after a Fort Myers man died from head injuries he suffered while trimming a tree after the storm.

08-27-2004 – Monday will be ‘Back To School’ for all area Schools .. no more ‘Snow Days’ .. the Islands of both Sanibel and Captive are only open to Residents only .. about 50 percent of the Islands have power at this time ..

08-28-2004 – FORT MYERS BEACH - Some Say Beach Town Manager Should Step Down - Residents have list of storm grievances - By PAMELA SMITH HAYFORD, - Published by - A group of 50 Fort Myers Beach residents is demanding the resignation of the town manager for failing her duties in the wake of Hurricane Charley ...

08-29-2004 - Sanibel Island FL - Sanibel Residents Wait for Power - By Talhia Tuck - Karen Gorz is President of her condominium association at Spanish Cay on Sanibel Island .. "I'm already seeing mold in the homes and I'm worried that without air conditioning it's going to get worse." Gorz also misses the luxuries that electricity affords, such as vacuuming, washing dishes, and laundry. "I never knew how much of a big deal laundry would be," she says as she lays clothes out on her balcony to dry. "They're telling us it could be another week and a half--it's just unimaginable to me that it could go that long." .. Lee Thacker is a lineman for Pike Electric. He's been in the business for 26 years, "This is one of the most devastating scenes I've seen since [Hurricane] Hugo," he told WINK News. For three days, he and his crew from Tennessee have been climbing poles, hauling materials, and stringing wires, "It's been pretty major trying to get things back up, trees on the lines, getting equipment in, it's been a real pain." ..

08-30-2004 – USEPPA ISLAND FL - Useppa Island Pulls Through Cleanup - Call it 'the little island that could' - Battered and bruised by Hurricane Charley, Useppa Island is on the mend .. winds as high as 176 mph whipped across the 100-acre island, tucked behind Cayo Costa State Park in Pine Island Sound .. more than 80 percent of the 110 private island homes were damaged. The marina and its 45,000 square feet of commercial dock were destroyed .. as of Friday, Aug. 27 just 14 days .. two weeks after Hurricane Charley tried to destroy us .. we won! Electricity, water & sewer, and some telephones have been restored .. we are moving from crisis mode to cleanup mode .. a lot still remains to be done but we are seeing amazing progress every day ..

08-31-2004 – FORT MYERS BEACH FL - Beach Residents Threaten To Recall Elected Leaders - Crowd fills meeting and demands change - A group of Fort Myers Beach residents who already demanded the resignation of the town manager without result say recalling their elected leaders may be their next option ...

.. NOTE .. CLICK on one of the Charts below for a Video of Charley .. NOTE ..
.. it may take a few minutes to load the Video ..

Charley - VIDEO - Black and White     Charley - VIDEO - Color
.. NOTE .. CLICK on one of the Charts above for a Video of Charley .. NOTE ..
.. it may take a few minutes to load the Video ..

Deadliest Hurricanes

1. Galveston, Texas - September 1900 - Death toll: 8,000-12,000 estimated
2. Lake Okeechobee, Florida - September 1928 - Death toll: 1,836
3. Florida Keys and Corpus Christi, Texas - September 1919 - Death toll: 600 to 900

Most Expensive Hurricanes

1. Hurricane Andrew - Southeast Florida and Louisiana - August 1992 - Cost: $26.5 billion
2. Hurricane Hugo - Charleston, South Carolina - September 1989 - Cost: $7 billion
3. Hurricane Floyd - Mid-Atlantic and Northeast - September 1999 - Cost: $4.5 billion

.. for more information on Hurricanes go to ..
.. ..

Hurricane Andrew vs. Hurricane Charley
TALLAHASSEE— Twelve years ago, Florida residents were just beginning to reconstruct their lives after Hurricane Andrew. State officials say they learned a lot from Andrew, and those lessons left Florida in much better shape to meet the challenges of Hurricane Charley.
Hurricane Andrew caught Florida’s insurance industry totally off-guard. But spokesman Sam Miller says the brutal wake-up call forced changes that made insurers much better prepared this time around.
"We’re not expecting rate increases, significant rate increases because of Hurricane Charley. You won’t have hundreds of thousands of people losing their insurance, you won’t have companies pulling out of Florida," said Miller of the Florida Insurance Council.
Florida created its hurricane catastrophe, or "CAT" Fund after Andrew, to make sure losses would be covered. The state also created the Citizens Property Insurance Corporation for coastal properties. End result - state Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher says you won’t’ see a flood of insurance bankruptcies.
"I think there’s the potential where we had 22 before, to maybe have one this time, so all things considered, I think we’re in a lot better shape than we were after Hurricane Andrew," said Gallagher.
Florida’s price-gouging law also came out of Hurricane Andrew, giving the state Attorney General more tools to prosecute rip-off artists.
Phones have been ringing off the hook at a special hotline set up to take complaints.
"The fact that we had the price-gouging hotline up before the storm hit, for those people who had to buy products in anticipation of the storm, like plywood and stuff like that, it really helped us a lot," said Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist.
Utility companies put their experience to work too. Andrew left some Floridians in the dark for nine months. But just two weeks after Charley, lights are back on for 98 percent of its victims.
Hurricane Andrew was the most expensive natural disaster in US history. Hurricane Charley is the second-most costly, with insured losses of more than $7 billion.

  Track of Hurricane Charlie   Track of Hurricane Charlie

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