watching the storm
August 13, 2004 11:25 AM   Subscribe

Hurricane Charley bearing down on the Southwest Florida coast right now. Maybe you'll find the next Dan Rather on WBBH or WTSP., with live streaming video. is blogging the hurricane, as are the Weatherbug people. And official information from the National Weather Service here.
posted by calwatch (35 comments total)
Direct link to WBBH coverage is here, since the web site linked above is down.
posted by calwatch at 11:37 AM on August 13, 2004

I've been waiting 24 years, but finally a hurricane is named after me.

Kinda. Why the hell did they use the English spelling?
posted by ChasFile at 11:53 AM on August 13, 2004

CNN field reporter: "All those of you who have been told to evacuate, I'd recommend you evacuate. This storm is a real killer, a real finger of god. It's also a blast of wind from Howard Stern's ass."

Did anyone else hear that? I swear I did, it's not just my dirty mind. And the anchor was acting really awkard after that.
posted by abcde at 11:55 AM on August 13, 2004

Why, oh why, didn't they name this sucker Clyde?

Also, aside from the aforementioned WeatherBug, here are a few other locals blogging away:

Hatcher’s Hack

Nick’s Big Adventure

Side Salad

My Single Mom Life
posted by cedar at 12:01 PM on August 13, 2004

The first time I saw CNN's headline I thought it said "Thousands flee from Cheney."
But I guess that's just me.
posted by ssmith at 12:21 PM on August 13, 2004

Looks like we have a contender for the Dan Rather award, ABC7's Nicole Linsalata excitedly reporting from a fire station in Cape Coral.
posted by calwatch at 12:28 PM on August 13, 2004

I used to live in Sarasota, about an hour below Tampa.

Those people could be in for a world of hurt. The Sarasota streets used to flood -I mean FLOOD -just from a really heavy rain. And at least one of those barrier islands-full of rich people and condos and crap-have no bridge to the mainland, just to two other barrier islands.
posted by konolia at 12:30 PM on August 13, 2004

the media sure are a bunch of blathering buttheads. some guy on AM radio screaming over the wind "The palms are really blowing here, oh! oh! A tree has come down, a tree has come down in the street...!"

frickin' pustulent morans.
posted by quonsar at 12:30 PM on August 13, 2004

the live tv coverage online is amazing.
posted by Stynxno at 1:01 PM on August 13, 2004

Konolia: I used to live in Tampa and the same thing use to happen in the older parts of town. Forest Hills was particularly bad about this.

I'm afraid there are a lot of people that are going to be reminded why barrier islands are usually mostly tree-free.
posted by bshort at 1:10 PM on August 13, 2004

anyone in sarasota now? i'm wondering how my two grandmas are getting along...i'm sure they're having a ball getting ready for the impact.
posted by jacobsee at 1:21 PM on August 13, 2004

Looks like it just made landfall at Sanibel.

Somewhat further south than anticipated (Fort Myers rather than Tampa/St. Pete) but should make for an interesting evening in Orlando.
posted by cedar at 1:23 PM on August 13, 2004

Did anyone else hear that? I swear I did, it's not just my dirty mind. And the anchor was acting really awkard after that.

It happened, but it wasn't a CNN field reporter. It was an idiot, calling in to CNN. Howard Stern encourages his listeners to pull this shit, and every now and then one gets through.
posted by Vidiot at 1:36 PM on August 13, 2004

posted by ChasFile at 1:43 PM on August 13, 2004

just talked to the grandmas (in southern Sarasota I think)....they said they've heard from "everybody"
today. just had chocolate chip cookies and are gearing up for some wine soon. getting lots of rain but so far the wind is not as bad as they expected. the power has flickered a few times but is still on.
posted by jacobsee at 2:06 PM on August 13, 2004

Check out the radar image.
posted by brownpau at 2:32 PM on August 13, 2004

it's going to Disney World.
posted by amberglow at 2:35 PM on August 13, 2004

Posting from just north of Tampa, here.

The winds are starting to pick up, but looks like we're going to luck out compared to Sarasota.

It was looking really bad for a bit there - we were going to catch the brunt of Charley.

My house is well out of the evacuation zones, so I've got several extra people here who were evacuated this morning.

My folks live on Tierra Verde, off of Fort Desoto, and with the storm swells predicted early today (and since changed when the storm jogged to the east), we were sure their house was going to get hit by a wall of water.

While I'm starting to feel relieved, my area is still going to get beat up a bit. I'm sorry for the people south of us who are going to get the full power of this Category 4 hurricane.
posted by tomierna at 2:37 PM on August 13, 2004

Stay safe, tom and everyone else in the way. We'll get your leftovers on Sunday i think.
posted by amberglow at 2:55 PM on August 13, 2004

Our state got tornadoes from Bonnie's leftovers...the rest of this weekend could be more of the same.
posted by konolia at 3:04 PM on August 13, 2004

I have family that was evacuated from one of the evac zones in Pinellas county, they went to Kissimmee.. Fortunately Tampa/Clearwater are pretty much in the clear but Kissimmee/Orlando is going to get smacked now.

to all the florida mefi-ers stay safe
posted by dawna at 3:24 PM on August 13, 2004

We lucked out here in Miami, a band of storms came through after midnight, since then nothing but an occasional stiff breeze and so far very little rain.

As a hurricane Andrew survivor, my sympathy goes out to everyone severely affected by Charley. Don't go near any downed power lines.

Now prepare for the nasty post-hurricane scourges: stingy insurance company estimators, and a plague of drunken narco-roofers from North Carolina.
posted by groundhog at 3:49 PM on August 13, 2004

He's not kidding about the drunken narco-roofers.
posted by konolia at 4:32 PM on August 13, 2004

From just south of Sarasota -- we got almost nothing (comparatively speaking). I'd guess our top wind gusts were around 50 mph, and our backyard rain gauge is only reading 1.5" if you can believe that. A few towns south, however, they were not so lucky -- I heard a reporter driving through North Port on one of out local stations, and she said that a surprisingly large area was *demolished* -- and we're talking actual buildings, not just mobile homes and lean-tos. But the vast majority of Sarasota County has managed to dodge it. I'm sure a lot of streets have some flooding, but it hasn't been significant enough to warrant many mentions on the local news...

We got so, so lucky here. Twenty miles difference in the track and Venice and Sarasota would've been in a world of hurt.
posted by logovisual at 4:35 PM on August 13, 2004

Been monitoring it with directory searches over on LiveJournal, where there are about 1700 LJers in the Fort Myers / Port Charlotte / Sanibel / Cape Coral / Naples region. There were a ton of posts this morning, but there have been practically none since then, so it appears that power is out practically everywhere.

It appears that Sanibel and Cape Coral got slammed the hardest, with flooding in Sanibel and tornadoes in Cape Coral.

Two good journals to read for this are those of vixi and florida_phoenix. Vixi's journal is particularly worrisome, as she lives in one of the worst areas and was chatting on IRC until she vanished. She's still logged on, though, and several online friends are waiting for her return.
posted by insomnia_lj at 5:09 PM on August 13, 2004

I'm an editor in the area....rumor in the newsroom is that the tower at Bok Sanctuary in Lake Wales just blew down. Hope it's just a rumor.
posted by mtevis at 5:26 PM on August 13, 2004

Camped out with friends and coworkers in a white zone in the middle of St. Petersburg. All day long, we're preparing for the worst. Family members are calling my cell phone, imploring me to come to Orlando where they are, while I'm telling them no, it's too late, the roads will be crowded, I don't want to be trapped in the middle of the storm. Of course, now they're calling me, saying, "Boy, it's a good thing you didn't come."

The news media here was big on hype, little on information, constantly slinging around buzzwords like "storm surge" and displaying meaningless infographics with no lucid explanations. Today's St. Petersburg Times (lede headline--"Target: Tampa Bay") featured a giant pullout map of the evacuation areas in all sorts of pretty colors; only the colors didn't apparently mean anything (I defy you to find explanation for the colors in this map; what exactly makes level A any different from level E??).

I'm very happy the hurricane missed us. Not so happy it's heading for my parents; but by the time it makes it over the 100+ miles of land to their house, it'll be lucky if we're still calling it a tropical depression. Nevertheless, I'm sure the Orlando media is hyping the storm as scarily as possible, because this is probably the best ratings day they'll have in months.
posted by grrarrgh00 at 8:27 PM on August 13, 2004

Last I checked it was heading straight for my college town. It's going to be awesome flying home past the leftovers on Sunday.
posted by casarkos at 8:30 PM on August 13, 2004

So it's all over by now, right? How'd you all do?
posted by five fresh fish at 9:40 AM on August 14, 2004

nah, it's right on top of SC now, losing strength and becoming a tropical storm again.
posted by amberglow at 9:46 AM on August 14, 2004

Hundreds of thousands of homes are still without power, and it's not expected to be restored until Saturday for most. I feel so lucky; all I lost was cable TV and Internet. While we toiled through Friday night in downtown Orlando, some co-workers' cars were crushed by falling trees in the parking lot. The wind howled, the ceiling leaked, the computers went down and came back up as we switched to generator power.
Saddest of all is that many people are being hospitalized because of carbon-monoxide poisoning from using generators in the house.
posted by mtevis at 8:38 PM on August 15, 2004

Of course, not as sad as the 16 reported deaths.
posted by mtevis at 8:39 PM on August 15, 2004

We didn't do that well in Oviedo (northeast of Orlando). We just got power back on, and there are huge trees down everywhere. One took out my back fence and just missed my screenporch.

People in my neighborhood lost siding, shingles and paper. Lots of roofs are down to bare plywood. Gas is minimally available, everything perishable in the grocery stores is gone, and lots of the non-perishable things are going. According to my nearest store (Publix) they should be restocking on Tuesday.

People are beginning to be a bit testy. I work at Valencia Community College (Orlando East) and we're even open today. The students will no doubt be testy as well.

On an up note, people are being really helpful and friendly in our neighboorhood...even people who never talked before.
posted by Beansidhe at 5:36 AM on August 16, 2004

lets just say i picked the wrong weekend to go home to orlando. : (
posted by c at 11:13 AM on August 16, 2004

many people are being hospitalized because of carbon-monoxide poisoning from using generators in the house

Sad, but Darwinian. Running the generator in your enclosed living area is a remarkably stupid act. I think a person has to make an actual effort to do such an obviously wrong thing.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:22 AM on August 16, 2004

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