We want to thank you for your prayers and concerns for both our home and our office. Our office held up just fine. A few small trees down in the parking lot is all we experienced here. We closed the office at about 11:30 on 8-13-04 and were reopened will all as normal on Monday 8-16-04 at about 6:30 AM. Below are a few images we took from our home. If we get any aerial coverage of problem areas we will post it with permission of the photographic company that took the images. To see the path through FL take a look at the bottom of the page. To open a higher resolution file of the path click on the photo. For a DeLorme Street Atlas file of the path click here. The image below shows the path of the hurricanes that have attacked the state of Florida in 2004. The Blue Line is Charley from Labor Day Weekend, the Red Line is Frances that hit September 4th to the 6th in the peninsula. The Black is Ivan which at the time of writing this is still to the south of the image. If you wish to see a larger image please click on the photo.
By the early evening on 8-13-04 Charley had sustained winds of 140-145. Making it a category #4. When it made landfall in south wet FL it had nearly reached category 5 status! I was shocked to find out that the plan was for category #2 status to still be current when it hit our home in Deltona (165 miles from landfall) and then a category #1 status in Daytona Beach (190 miles from landfall) where our lab resides.
Our room prepared for our girls and potentially our entire family ready by about 5:00 PM:
Then as the evening approaches the bands began to hit and the winds picked up. We still had power at this time and were keeping a close watch as the storm approaches. The rain was hitting like buckets and we are on a high point in our town but still our backyard filled with water.
At 9:45 we were getting the full effects of a hurricane at our home. The wind was beating the trees, you could here things flying around, things hitting the house etc. At this time we lost power. That evening after everything had cooled down we took a look around. We found power lines down in the neighbors yards. Our trees and all the trees around the area all broken up.
Here are some photos from the following morning. This first one is taken just after the sun started coming up.
A little later in the day as the sun was up we took additional photos. The tree seen here against the power lines was the tree I was most worried about. It was leaning toward our home and had been for sometime. I resided myself to knowing that we would loose the corner of our home so that portion we stayed clear of completely. Needless to say we were shocked to find out that the storm had managed to take the tree down the other way. WHAT A MIRACLE! It not only did not hit our home but our greenhouse to the right and the neighbors shed just put in a week ago was missed as well. There is also another shed that is on the back neighbors lot that the power lines kept it from hitting!
Here is a closer shot of the above:
Inside our greenhouse we only had two plants fall over and one broke a spike, that was it even with the front side starting to flap in the wind because it was no match for the storm. I have to hand it to Pralig. The plastic did not even tear.
This is a shot from our front yard after the sun was up. I started on the tree after sundown Saturday night for about an hour. Then started again after making breakfast and by noon on Sunday the tree was all cleaned up as well as the shingles in the back and the tree limbs that fell in the back of the house too. After all the clean up I cut the grass to get any remaining leaves and sticks. When I was down you could tell a storm hit because of the roof and the condition of what WAS a beautiful maple tree but other then that it was all in huge piles along the road.
This is one of the large oak trees in the back yard. We are going to have to get all the branches cut off because all of the top of the tree is still sitting there hanging by the other branches.
And with ALL of the stuff we found driving around, cleaning up trees and limbs this was the bulk of the damage to our home. I am so glad I removed three trees a few weeks ago that were right next to our house on the south side. In looking at all the other homes in our neighborhood there is no doubt they would have taken the corner out of our home.
Again thank you for your prayers. God is gracious and protected our family well. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people in the path of the storm especially were landfall was made.
As of 8-16-04 we still do not have phone or power at our home (though we do have water). All is normal at our lab in Daytona. We should have power and phones operational again by this weekend (8-21-04) we are told. There are so many power lines down that alone would be a miracle too! We have heard up to two weeks on power as well so for now we are making things work as best we can. Unfortunately MOST of the neighbors have bought generators and placed them where they can not hear them which just happens to be on our side of their house so we can not sleep with the windows open.................... I think this is the worst thing we are dealing with here so no real complaints but boy has it made me realize I depend on electric power WAY too much!
Path of the hurricane in FL
The path is the line in blue.