New poster here, but a long-time lurker. Over the years I have enjoyed the eye-witness messages posted by members living through a hurricane. Now I'm in a position to contribute. Although I don't live on the coast, we here in Central Florida are expecting significant activity from Charley. I am planning to post my visual observations Friday throughout the day -- or at least as long as I have power. I don't have any weather equipment other than my eyes, so don't expect anything sophisticated. I'll do my best to answer any questions.
Right now it's a beautiful evening. Virtually calm and partly cloudy with the sun setting behind the trees outside my office window. Looks like we'll be treated to a beautiful sunset. Tomorrow night will be a whole 'nother story.
We're watching the Tampa TV stations on the Dish Network. Several counties in the metro Tampa area are ordering evacuations. The Tampa bridges have suspended tolls, but the traffic is very heavy leaving the coastal areas. I found it interesting that EOC officials are urging evacuees to consider storm shelters as an option of last resort. They'd prefer folks to stay with relatives or friends in a nonevacuation area.
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