Hurricane Charley made landfall 2 hours south of here 8 years ago today. $13B in damage.
At the time, the strongest hurricane to hit the US since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
I remember flying back from vacation in New England just in time to put some boards up over my windows and becoming very concerned. The original projected path was up the West coast of Florida headed right at the mouth of Tampa Bay.
Charlie instead took a right turn and came ashore in Punta Gorda, Florida down in Charlotte County. It devastated that community and to this day, is still recovering.
The storm packed 140 MPH winds and was only about six miles wide. We just had some relatively light rain and wind here in Tampa Bay.
Two outcomes for me personally from Charlie:
1. I started this blog (in the form of emails to family & friends).
2. I began to believe it's better to be in the projected path of the storm (the cone of uncertainty) ahead of landfall, than not. It seems to me that these storms act erratically as they get closer to land (such as Charley's right turn)
Frances and Jeanne followed that year making for the most active storm season we've seen in our 20+ years here in Florida.
Let's keep it that way!!