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PTC SIXTEEN easily named at any time. Interests along NE Gulf-SE US should expect Tropical Storm conditions this weekend
Days since last H. Landfall - US: Any 42 (Dorian) , Major: 372 (Michael) Florida - Any: 372 (Michael) Major: 372 (Michael)
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General Discussion >> Hurricane History

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Re: Hurricane Elena, 1985 [Re: msgatorslayer]
      #28656 - Fri Sep 17 2004 02:31 AM

I'm from Houston, TX, and I've always been fascinated with the weather, especially hurricanes.. We actually took our family vacation to Disneyworld during Elena's erratic trek over the Gulf.. I was only 7 years old at the time, and we were driving back to Houston as Elena was parked off the FL coast.. I can remember our stationwagon being pushed by the driving wind and rain on the highway; We tried to book at a Best Western, but they didn't take us... don't know if they were booked, or were themselves evacuating.. anyway, we made it safely back to Houston. I hope you guys in FL made it through Ivan ok.. Be on the lookout for Jeanne coming your way..
take care,

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Re: Hurricane Elena, 1985 [Re: James88]
      #28863 - Fri Sep 17 2004 04:09 PM

I live in South Alabama now, and just went through Ivan, but my family lived in Pascagoula, MS when Elena hit in 1985. I was a small child, but I distinctly remember how different the experience was from others. As a previous post said, we heard the hurricane was headed to Florida, so we just forgot about it. I remember my father was away from the house the day of the hurricane. When he heard the news that Elena had turned, he called mother to get us ready, and hurried home. We left our house and went to his office near downtown because it was one of the only buildings in the city that had been built to withstand hurricane force winds. We stayed on the 5th floor of the buildings, and I will never forget standing in front of the storm windows and watching the hurricane reak havoc on the city. I watched as the windows in a car in the parking lot below exploded when the pressure dropped outside. And I watched as bushes in the yard of the house across the street spontaneously uprooted and rolled down the street.
Much of the damage after Elena wasn't terribly severe. And a lot of it would have been preventable had there been the advance notice that typically comes with hurricanes. So many people were just so unprepared for Elena to turn.
Like many hurricanes, some of the most severe damage was due to rain. We lived on a culdesac that flooded and we were unable to drive to our house for days. We were forced to park on a different street and walk through the neighbors' yards to get home. This was my first experience with hurricanes, and although I've been through several more since, Elena was probably my most memorable experience.

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Re: Hurricane Elena, 1985 [Re: James88]
      #83704 - Mon Sep 01 2008 05:12 PM

Training mission that weekend with Civil Air Patrol. I think (getting old) we were looking for a simulated crash of a small aircraft stuck in the trees. Anyway -- the storm was forecast to go to Miss. not to head up there and turn around back to Florida. Needless to say we packed up the tents and gear then went to work at the Red Cross shelter.

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brooksville girl

Re: Hurricane Elena, 1985 [Re: James88]
      #83826 - Tue Sep 02 2008 09:25 PM

Tons of rain!!! I did not follow the weather too close back then, like i do now, but it was a rain maker......." a frog strangler" and really windy. The kicker was that it wobbled back and forth off the coast.

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Re: Hurricane Elena, 1985 [Re: James88]
      #83827 - Tue Sep 02 2008 09:27 PM

I was a teenager and my family had just moved to Pensacola from the Midwest. It appeared to be heading toward us initially, and then turned toward St. Pete, where my grandparents, now deceased, lived. They lived right on one of the canals so they were evacauated, which they thought of as a great adventure.

While my grandparents were camping in a high school, we headed out for a fun day at Pensacola Beach. I remember it was very windy and the sand stung when it hit my skin. What a surprise when the authorities came down to the beach with bullhorns and announced that Elena had turned and was once again headed for us.

My parents are Florida natives so they weren't overly concerned, but I was scared out of my mind and stayed up all night listening to news radio. Since it was at night, I don't remember seeing much, but our power never did go out, and there wasn't a lot of debris to pick up in the yard either.

I've lived in Orlando for many years now and I thought Charley was one of the scariest things I've ever experienced, esp. since I had very young children at the time. Oh, and we had huge messes to clean up, incl. many large trees down in our neighborhood after the 2004 hurricanes. Elena in Pensacola was nothing compared to those storms. (By the way, my parents have moved back to the Midwest, where they have to contend with blizzards, not hurricanes!)

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Re: Hurricane Elena, 1985 [Re: Andi]
      #83864 - Wed Sep 03 2008 10:40 AM

Hi, all - I went through Elena while living in Mobile, AL. I remember watching Elena loop around, but knew in my gut that we were going to be hit. At the time, I was the director of 2 ICU's in one of the local hospitals there. We closed down the unit with the most window exposure, to decrease the danger to patients and staff. My office was in that area. I remember being in the hospital that night, hearing the howling of the wind and feeling that prickling sensation as the pressure fell. We had no shutters on the windows, so we could see the blue flashes as the transformers blew all around us. The hospital was right next to a canal, so we nervously watched as the water level rose (during Frederick they had 2 feet of water inside the hospital). Our end stayed dry, but the lower part closer to the front of the hospital started having some flooding and people were reporting snakes in the hallways. After the storm passed, I was in the side of the ICU we had closed, checking that all of the windows were intact. As I went toward my office, I started smelling smoke and noticed some coming out of the A/C vent in the ceiling. First time I ever had to actually activate the fire alarm!! Some wiring had gotten wet and shorted out when the generators kicked the A/C on. If I hadn't been there checking, we might have had a bigger problem on our hands!!

Veteran of: Cleo, Isbell, Betsy (Homestead); Frederick, Elena (Mobile); Irene, Frances, Jeane, Wilma (WPB) among others

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Re: Hurricane Elena, 1985 [Re: James88]
      #84659 - Mon Sep 08 2008 08:55 PM

I remember Hurricane Elena well. It was a Labor Day weekend storm 1985. I live in Navarre, FL and the storm stalled of the coast of Florida so we evacuated. Then the storm went almost due East and stalled of the Coast of Tampa and beat the crap out of Tampa, FL. We came back home. Then the storm went back out into the Gulf and got stronger and kinda stalled again before going thru Biloxi, MS. We evacuated again before it went thru Biloxi. I never evacuated twice for any storm before.

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Posts: 868
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Re: Hurricane Elena, 1985 [Re: Timbo]
      #90425 - Sat Jun 25 2011 07:44 AM

In Pinellas County, I spent 3 days cooped up in the house with my 3 year old daughter while my wife spent 3 days on duty at her hospital. The coastal areas really took the beating from the continuous pounding surf, but it was not much more than a three day thunderstorm for me.

2019 “guess:” 13/7/3
2019 Actual: 13/5/3

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