Hurricane Charley

Friday, August 13, 2004

This deadly hurricane impacted to a certain extent a number
of our NNHS Schoolmates who now reside in Florida.
Please report in and let us all know how you fared.

A waterspout drops from the clouds above the Gulf of Mexico prior to Hurricane Charley’s landfall near Sanibel Island. Island residents were under a mandatory evacuation Friday -- the island drawbridge closed to traffic at 8:00 p.m.
Photo by
A warehouse in Arcadia, FL is seen after being completely destroyed August 14, 2004 after Hurricane Charley swept through the area.
REUTERS/Pierre Ducharme
Trailer homes are destroyed as damage is surveyed after Hurricane Charley blasted through Southwest FL above Punta Gorda, FL, August 15, 2004.
William Lee Sampson stands in front of debris at what used to be his mobile home in Windmill Village, Punta Gorda, FL,
August 16, 2004.
Photo by Marc Serota/Reuters
Angel Sampson (L) hugs her mother-in-law Helen after seeing the damage to their mobile home in Windmill Village in Punta Gorda, FL, August 16, 2004.
Photo by Marc Serota/Reuters
08/13/04 08/14/04 08/15/04 08/16/04 08/16/04

Hurricane Charley struck Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda and Fort Myers
with ferocious 145 mph (233 kph) winds and a flooding 15-foot (4.5-meter) storm surge.



Thousands in Charley's Path Told to Flee

(AP) - Hundreds of thousands of Tampa Bay-area residents were ordered Thursday
to get out of the way of a rapidly strengthening Hurricane Charley, as its weaker
sister, the disorganized Tropical Storm Bonnie, blustered ashore in the Florida
Panhandle. Charley, which had pumped up to nearly 105 mph by early afternoon, was
expected to hit the state's western coast Friday, possibly bringing heavy rain,
swirling tornadoes and a storm surge of up to 12 feet to the Tampa Bay and Fort
Myers areas.

MIAMI (Reuters) - The death toll from Hurricane Charley's destructive rampage in Florida has risen to 22, and about 388,000 people remain without power in the state, government officials said on Thursday.

Charley, the strongest storm to hit Florida in a dozen years, hit the southwest coast last Friday with winds of up to 145 mph, demolishing mobile home parks and damaging tens of thousands of buildings.

The new death toll, which rose by three, was issued by the Florida Division of Emergency Management. In addition to the 22 dead in Florida, the storm killed five people in the Caribbean.

Local officials had initially expected many more dead, particularly because of the widespread damage to many mobile home parks in Charlotte County.

Thousands of people were left homeless by the storm, and officials said 2,626 were still in shelters by Thursday. Many others had found refuge with relatives and friends, or in hotels.

- Yahoo News - 08/12/04 © Reuters 2004. All Rights Reserved - 08/19/04
 08/12/04 08/19/04

Got to run and get ready for a visitor named Charley, expected tomorrow...

Thanks for your message. We are getting ready as one can expect in the face
of this storm. My sister Nancy ('61) moved from Washington, D.C. to Mexico
Beach, Florida this year, and she will be facing the likes of Hurricane Bonnie
this afternoon. It is headed straight for her little village, just west of Apalachicola,
FL.  You all in North Carolina will be receiving some heavy rains from this storm
in short order. Stay dry.

- Joe Madagan ('57) of FL - 08/12/04
Thanks, Joe!  We'll keep y'all in our prayers!

Hi Carol,
I haven't contacted you lately as I was busy moving from Jacksonville
to the metropolis of Hawthorne, a small rural town east of Gainesville.
I bought ten beautiful acres for my eight horses and my wonderful better half, Charyl.
We are in the direct sight of Hurricane Charley so all of you say a prayer for us....
Take care and I have to go get ready for the storm.

- Jim Dick ('65) of Hawthorne, FL - 08/13/04
Thanks, Jimmy!  Our prayers are with you and all of y'all in Florida!
Stay safe!

Hi, Carol:
Tampa Bay was spared the fury of Hurricane Charley, and we only received some wind and a bit of rain, but no damage.
The storm made landfall about 100 miles south of the expected trajectory which spared Tampa Bay
from the horrible surge that would have put Tampa under water.
Lee County caught the brunt of this category 4 hurricane which hit Sanibel with 145 MPH winds.
I just watched a beautiful sunset.

- Joe Madagan ('57) of Wesley Chapel, FL - 08/13/04
WHEW!  What a relief!  Thanks, Joe!

Hi, Carol:
We were spared any ill effects of Charley.
We did dodge the bullet in Tampa Bay, when the storm turned east to make landfall at Fort Myers and Port Charlotte.
The damage and disruption and loss of life is dreadful in Lee County and Port Charlotte area....

- Joe Madagan ('57) of Wesley Chapel, FL - 08/17/04
Thanks again, Joe!  I'm so glad that you and yours were spared!

My wife and I decided to take a long weekend to Disney World's Animal Kingdom Resort with our daughter, Michelle,
and our grandkids. We had a great day Thursday, then got the news:
Charley was turning east earlier than expected, and heading straight for us.

Fortunately, Charley degraded to a Class 2 Hurricane, and the eye missed us, in Disney World, by about 15 miles.
We got 60 to 70 mph, sustained, for about 45 minutes. The parks all opened back up Saturday - -
a few trees/signs down, nothing too big.

Then, on Sunday afternoon, we headed south, back to south Florida.
We drove through Kissimmee, about 10 miles south of "Mickey-land".
What a shock!  It was a real disaster area!  Thank God it missed us by a few miles.

Here's the lesson we learned: never underestimate the Power of a "Class 2" hurricane.
The "Class 4" that hit the coast at Punta Gorda was a "killer" hurricane.
When in doubt, bail out! Evacuate to a safe haven if you live in a coastal area, or, especially, if you live in a mobile home!
100 to 150 mph winds are incredibly destructive. Don't take chances with deadly forces.

- Craig Miller ('63) of Boca Raton, FL - 08/17/04
WOW!  Thanks for letting us hear from you, Craig!

We were very lucky and Charley turned in toward the coast about one hundred miles south of where originally expected.
I feel sorry for those poor folks in Punta Gorda but am thankful that we in North Central Florida got through unscathed.
My company is sending trucks down there all week for cleanup, they need all the help they can get.
Say a prayer for the folks in Southwest Florida.
And I certainly enjoy the newsletters.

- Jim Dick ('65) of Hawthorne, FL - 08/18/04
Thanks, Jimmy!

We were directly in the path.  It went right overhead.   Winds 115 mph.  We were very lucky. 
Had some tiles blown off the roof, all trees down, torn screens water came in under the doors
and windows.  Our neighbors weren't so lucky.  Most had their steel framed screened pool
enclosures twisted like they were made out of pipe cleaners and worse damage to the roof. 
Got our power and phone back Monday afternoon. We have counted our blessings, 
Thanks for your thoughts.

- Jean Pittman Priest ('64) of Kissimmee, FL - 08/19/04
YOW!  Thanks for reporting, Jean!  We're so relieved to hear that you're okay!




I'm only 15 and don't know much but I hope this story can help someone like it did for me.

I just got back from vacationing in Florida last night. I was staying in a rented house in Clermont for about a week,
and I was there during Hurricane Charley. Luckily, no one I knew was killed or injured, but I am sorry for those who were.

I remember the next morning, going outside and seeing everything the hurricane had destroyed.
There were trees that had been torn out from the ground; some even were turned upside down.

Some cars, houses, and trailers had been dented and smashed.

Even billboards and signs were laying in the middle of the road.

But there was one thing that I thought was weird.

Almost everyone in Florida has a pool, with a screen-like thing around it, to keep out bugs I'm guessing.
These screens look pretty flimsy and like they would fall down in an instant, yet none of them were messed up at all.

I thought it was weird how this level four hurricane could destroy huge things like trees,
cars, and houses, yet these little screens around the pool could stay up.

I later asked my dad how could they stand the hurricane while the big things couldn't,
and he said it was because they basically let the air through them, since there are many holes.

I had what people sending these emails usually call a "MountainWings Moment".

What my dad told me also relates in the real world too.

If people won't budge at all (like the cars and trees), then they'll get blown away and destroyed.
But if people would act more like the pool-screens, they could survive the "hurricane" of life.

Instead of always having it your way, compromise with the wind.

That way you'll stay standing.

~A MountainWings Original ~ by Angela Potter, Woodbridge, VA

- Courtesy of my Niece, Shari, of VA - 08/19/04
Thanks, Shari!

Hi, Carol:
Just before Hurricane Charley struck Florida I had set out this bougainvillea in my side yard.
After Charley and three more of her brother and sister Hurricanes hit this area,
I thought this plant was sure enough a goner. I watched it being tossed about by severe winds
and had all but given up on it ever growing. Boy, was I wrong.
She is in full bloom right now, and looking beautiful and strong.
She is a real "Plugger" and a fighter!!!
The promise of the new year 2005 is exciting and I hope we all do as well as this bougainvillea
in overcoming the storms that will surely strike at us.
I do not want to place flowers on anyone's casket when it is too late,
rather let me share the beauty of this plant with everyone while we can all enjoy it.
Happy New Year!

- Joe Madagan ('57) of Wesley Chapel, FL - 12/23/04
OHHH - how lovely!  Thanks, Adonis!

The Doors

Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Into this house we're born
Into this world we're thrown
Like a dog without a bone
An actor out alone
Riders on the storm
There's a killer on the road
His brain is squirmin' like a toad
Take a long holiday
Let your children play
If ya give this man a ride
Sweet memory will die
Killer on the road, yeah
Girl, ya gotta love your man
Girl, ya gotta love your man
Take him by the hand
Make him understand
The world on you depends
Our life will never end
Gotta love your man, yeah
Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Into this house we're born
Into this world we're thrown
Like a dog without a bone
An actor out alone
Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm

(Page Created 08/17/04)

"Riders on the Storm" midi courtesy of
at the suggestion of Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 09/23/03.
Thanks, Dave!

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