Sunday, August 15, 2004

More on Charley

We now realize how fortunate we were to have only received a glancing blow from hurricane Charley. The damage in the areas surrounding Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte is truly horrific. The death toll stood at 13 this morning, but I'll be surprised if it doesn't go much higher. The local TV stations we get here are all out of Miami, but they've been covering the story at great length, with lots of video from the air and on the ground. The conventional wisdom is that Charley was every bit as devastating as hurricane Andrew was in Homestead 1992. Charley might not have hit here with the same fury as it did on the west coast, but a direct hit, even at Force 2, would have been far more serious than what we got.

We're going to donate something to someone for the relief effort. Publix Supermarkets have teamed up with Channel 10, the ABC affiliate in Miami, to move truckloads of food and other needed supplies like ice, clothing, bedding, etc. to the area as quickly as possible. The relief agencies have swung into action. The Salvation Army (God bless them) sent mobile canteens from all over the state and are moving food into the area continuously. The Red Cross are fund-raising and presumably providing the services they are geared up to provide. State and county agencies are fully mobilized, and counties from outside the area are providing assistance. The National Guard has 1500 personnel already stationed in the area, and other military units are providing help.

Nature can be a powerful and unforgiving force at times. This was surely one of them.

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