September 25, 2004


I'm watching the radar and looking at Jeanne coming ashore.
Almost exactly where we used to live.
We once lived a little south of downtown Stuart, in a neighborhood called Port Salerno. It's just north of Hobe Sound. Hobe Sound is a small fishing village is where my son used to play tee ball as a Little Leaguer.
And now Hobe Sound is where the eyewall is coming ashore.
This is the state's fourth hurricane of the season - an ordeal no state has had to face since Texas in 1886.
When they say ordeal, there could be no truer word. Everyone in Florida is punch drunk and cranky. We're so over it. I went out tonight to fill my three coolers up with ice, just like I've done before for Frances and Charley. This time there was an abundance of ice.
Gas pumps that had bags on them prior to Ivan were flowing freely. There were plenty of people gassing up, but the whiff of panic was not evident. There are homes that still have their windows boarded. I can't imaging how depressing that must be. Not only do you not get light, you don't have any idea when you'll feel safe enough to take the bastards down.
We've filled the bathtubs, not out of fear but out of probability. How many times can this happen to us without suffering major damage, or any damage for that matter? Eventually, the odds get you. They've gotten Stuart twice now, each with Category 3 hurricanes.
Already there are terrible stories associated with this storm:
* Three adults were stuck in a minivan under an Interstate 95 overpass during some of Hurricane Jeanne's most ferocious winds around 9 p.m. Saturday.
Martin County fire-rescue workers reported the van had been traveling north to reach a shelter at Hidden Oaks Middle School in Palm City, but weather worsened en route.
The group called 9-1-1 and was advised to stay under the I-95 overpass at the Hobe Sound exit until winds calmed.

* The Ernest Lyons drawbridge from Stuart to Hutchinson Island sprung open in high winds Saturday afternoon, and it probably won't be repaired or blocked off until after Hurricane Jeanne passes.

"Yes, it is a dangerous condition, but there's nothing we can do about it," Martin County Engineering Director Don Donaldson said.

Florida Department of Transportation won't be able to inspect the damage until winds die down, Donaldson said. The drawbridge was reportedly elevated about a foot from the stationery part of the bridge.

County Commissioner Michael DiTerlizzi, who was out with a media crew inspecting the island, drove over the bridge without knowing it was down.

"We didn't realize it was sprung until we went over it," he said. He also reported damage to the causeway itself, which was severely eroded.

* Remember these shots?

Take a gander at this shot.

Posted by Jeff at September 25, 2004 11:02 PM | TrackBack