Hurricane Frances

Michael Wales

September 3, 2004

Wow, what a day. Started the day with the new projections hitting West Palm Bch. Wife wanted to stay, but I decided it's better to leave and not have to worry about it changing direction at the last minute (good decesion on my part looking at the track at 5pm which has it nailing our house again).
I reinforced our garage door this morning after I knew I wouldnt' need anythhing more out of it. That's typically the weak point in the house. All my windows and doors are boarded up. Got all packed up and left feeling pretty good. If this bitch comes in our backyard, I've done all I can for the house. I went next door, talked to my neighbor, asked how they were doing. They aren't doing anything, still have all their patio furniture out. Nothing is boarded up, and they have HUGE windows. I don't know what they are thinking. They aren't planning on leaving either.
Gas is gone almost everywhere, and I mean everywhere. Driving from Brevard to Ft. Pierce, and then to Ft Myers, we saw tons of gas stations with no gas. Ft Myers had huge lines. The walmart outside of Arcadia had a line all the way around the entire parking lot. Had to be 100+ cars. Police were there and everything.

Roads are super thick with traffic. It's good to see so many people are getting out of the way of this. Lots of traffic jams, even in the middle of nowhere, you would come to dead stops. But traffic seemed to keep moving the whole time. You will get where you want to go, just gotta be patient.
Drove through the remnants of Charley just as the 5pm update came out and projected the storm to hit Brevard again. Lots of mobile homes destoryed. Trees toppled everwhere. Debris laying on the side of the highways. Saw quite a few houses that looked pretty trashed. And this wasn't even the hardest hit area, just on the outskirts of the damage path.

Highlight of the day was us running over an ....... drum roll ...... ALLIGATOR. Yep. Little baby one, bout 2 feet long. Scared the crapola out of me.
But we made it to Ft Myers. House is secure. Just gonna sit here and wait it out now.

CLIFF NOTES: My house is ready to duke it out with Frances, I hope it can take that bitch. Gas is short ALL OVER THE STATE. I evacuated, traffic sucks, and I hit an alligator. My home looks like it's real close to the landfall.

September 6, 2004

Ft Myers got tons of rain and stuff, some pretty good winds (maybe 60 MPH gusts). Lost a few tree branches. But most of the time the kids swam in the pool outside. Very little lightning which is unusual for Florida.

Drove back from Ft Myers to Palm Bay today. It's crazy. As soon as the Charley damage stops, the Frances damage starts. Looks like Ft. Pierce and surrounding areas took it really hard. Tons of fallen trees on SR70. Hardly anybody has power. I think I saw 1 gas station open the entire drive across the state. Saw one gas station where the overhang over the pumps crashed down. Huge mess.
Saw a few mobile homes without roofs. Most places lost shingles.

As I got into Palm Bay, I have yet to see a working traffic light. They are all out if they are still hanging. Lots and lots of people are gonna need roof repairs. My dad lost a gigantic tree in his front yard. Mother in-laws house was in good shape. Most houses 5+ years older lost shingles.
Finally went down to my own house in grant (south end of brevard county). Passed by many downed lines, pine trees snapped in half, and power poles snapped in half. Right across from my subdivision, 2 power poles were snapped in half. As I enter our subdivision, you can see where a pine tree broke in half and fell in the road, but somebody already cut it up and moved it. It was huge tree too.

Finally got to my house. Woo hoo!!!!! House was in great shape. One oak tree toppled over, a couple of small palms leaning. One spot of fascia hanging down, and one section of soffit hanging. NO SHINGLES LOST!!! Woo Hoo!!!! The best part. Walked inside, power, cable, broadband, and phone all working!!! Talked to neighbor, he said power was out for about 2 days, but it came back on this morning. My neighborhood has underground utilities, and is about 2 blocks away from a substation, so I think thats why it came back on so quickly.

--- Article last updated: December 2, 2005 ---