My son lives in Port Charlotte - watching all the damage reports this morning and the entire area around Punta Gorda & Port Charlotte just looks horrific, and the loss of many lives is heartbreaking, especially the reports from the trailer parks.
What I want to know is: WHERE is Jim Cantori of the Weather Channel this morning?? He said last night he would show us damage this morning when the sun comes back up. There is NO SIGN of Jim, and the Weather Channel is pretty conspicuous about leaping from Key West then up to the Carolinas, leaving out a great deal of reporting about the devastated areas between those two points. We watched the progress of Charley very closely on the WC up to the point and after landfall - prior to landfall, all the WC was yacking about and showing pretty graphics on was the Tampa/St. Pete area - like it was a CERTAINTY that this was where the storm was going. This is upsetting because many people took this as "gospel" and, consequently, got caught with little or no time to evacuate when it became apparent a few hours before landfall that the Ft. Myers area was going to be ground zero. Those elderly folks that were killed in those mobile home parks had little chance to get out...many of them have physical problems and needed assistance to evacuate...not just a knock on their door. They needed some time, and I think would have HAD the time if the storm track hadn't been reported with so much absolute assurance from the WC that Tampa/St. Pete was the target of this storm. Prior to Charley making the N/NE turn, Dr. Lyons on WC used very FEW "qualifying" words when indicating the storm track, so sure he was that Tampa/St. Pete was THE spot. I think the WC knows today how they messed up, and have stopped Jim Cantori from reporting this morning, in an effort to "change the subject" to the Carolinas and Dr. Lyons is choosing his words much more carefully this morning.
Sorry to vent, but am upset about all these elderly folks losing their lives due to preconceived and self-assured forecasting on the part of the WC. Sure do miss Dr. John Hope, bless his soul...he really knew hurricanes and how to prepare people for ANY eventuality and never "carved in stone" his forecasts. So very thankful to hear that most everyone else in the storm's later path was informed and able to weather the storm and are alive this morning.
Hope that we are spared these next storms on their way...and that some lessons have been learned.
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