Hurricane Charley



Hurricane Charley hit central Florida with a vengeance on Friday evening, August 13th, 2004.  Some people died.  Hundreds of thousands of homes lost power--nearly a half millions homes powerless! Trees too numerous to count are down. It's a mess.  Here are a few of my pictures. Click on the image to see the full size picture. 

A few "Charley facts," at least as I see them:

  • The final path of Charley
  • 8.2 inches of rain on Friday, August 13th.
  • Another 3.5 inches on Sunday, just what we need!
  • Barometric pressure was at 29.08 here when I lost power, about 20 minutes before the worst of it.  That's about 985 milibars of Hg.  And it was plummeting dramatically at that time, I could almost watch it go down by the minute.  When the worst came, checking the weather station was about the furthest thing from my mind.
  • Orlando Airport recorded a wind gust of 105 mph!
  • Biggest gust here was 39 mph, again, about 20 minutes or so before the worst of the storm.
  • As of Sunday evening, still a million people without power.
  • As of Sunday evening, long lines for gas, and ice is nearly non-existent.
  • As of Sunday evening, friends are helping friends, neighbors helping neighbors, just as it should be.
  • President Bush visited Florida on Sunday. Nice to know he cares and the federal government will help those hurt the most.
  • Hurricane Food: See  Kimiye's Hurricane Cuisine: Shrimp Pasta on the Grill for a glimpse of what creative Floridians are eating these days when they don't have power, refrigeration, hot water, or TV!
  • Hurricane Preparedness:  Here's the last word on Florida Hurricane Preparedness by Florida's own, Dave Barry!
  • See some hurricane Charley pictures here. These are not my photos, but from a web site of someone who lives close to me.  Hope you enjoy!

This used to be a nice Drake Elm in the Front of my house. It's not standing so tall any more.

The remnants of the Drake Elm. All chopped up and ready to be haulded away. Only the stump left to deal with.

This is what things used to look like WITH the tree in front!

Radar at 7 PM. Sure was scary to see what's coming. I live right below and between the "a" and the "n" in "Sanford."

The last radar picture I got before I lost power. The center is only about 20 minutes away at this time.

Animated Radar from about 4:30 to 9:30 when I lost power... pretty impressive stuff!

The 7 PM position and forecast for Charley. The center arrived here around 9:45 PM

A radar image of the storm, about 1 hour before the center passed by me

And finally......

Kimiye's Hurricane Cuisine: Shrimp Pasta on the Grill:

  • 5 cloves not very fresh garlic, peeled with the little brown spots trimmed off, then chopped finely
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • Dashes of salt and white pepper to taste
  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 lb. bag half thawed, freezer burned medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  •  1 very large fresh tomato, which El Gordo inexplicably bought during his hurricane run instead of an extra bag of ice
  • 1 handful of fresh spinach, culled by hand from a 10 oz bag that's half wilted
  • 1 large bag defrosted penne pasta, also freezer burned
  • 2 filled-to-the-top cause we ain't in a hoity-toity restaurant glasses of red wine

Get a very large frying pan and dump in the oil, garlic and the spices, crushed between fingertips. Fire up the Weber grill (a very good investment by the way) and send a little toast up to the gods that there's enough propane in the tank. Did I mention you don't have to refrigerate red wine? Which is why I don't have any white wine to add to this dish. Sauté the garlic and spices until they smell good. Drag the grill back a little further under the garage door since it's raining again and rain in hot oil is not a good thing.

Bring the ingredients out from the kitchen and curse the fact that there is no counter space on a grill. Set the various bowls on the carport and gently nudge the cat away. Repeatedly. Dump the shrimp in with the garlic and sauté until they start turning pink. Then dump in the spinach and the chopped tomato. Sauté till the spinach wilts.

Dump in the penne pasta, toss, then put a lid on the skillet and close the grill, keeping an eye on the temp cause that sucker will bump right up to 500 degrees in no time. Keep a cup of water ready in case the dish isn't wet enough from the rain. Have another swig of wine. Wave at the neighbors but try to look real busy so they won't come over to see if we have cold beer.

When all is heated through, scream for someone to bring a couple of pot holders so the now very heavy pan can be brought to the table. Cross fingers that this will be edible and that E. coli is not a dinner guest tonight. Go back out to the garage and figure out where you left your wine glass.

Serve on paper plates by candlelight to family, who says that this is better food than we get most days and wants to write down the recipe. Finish with Godiva Belgian dark chocolate ice cream in plastic cups for dessert. No spoons necessary since the ice cream is drinkable. Toast Charley with the rest of the wine and give thanks that the roof is still water tight and we're all okay.

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