(Storm Tracker)
Fri Jun 02 2006 10:13 PM
Re: Is the Georgia coast a dead zone for direct hurricane hits?

Had Charley not come in as soon as it did, Manatee county would have received a lot more weather. Charley would have funneled right up Tampa Bay.

TS Gabrielle, in Sept. of 2001, came ashore right around Venice. Just a sneeze from Manatee county. And she packed a wallop.

I would say Manatee county is as at-risk as any county on the west coast.

The Big Bend area took a huge hit in flooding from the March 13 1993 "No Name" storm that hit. I think it was Horseshoe Beach, around a dozen people were killed there, if I remember correctly. I know 26 people died total. (I lived in Aripeka in Pasco County and we had about 12 feet of storm surge right on the coast.) Crystal River got whomped as well. (Which always leaves me to wonder what if a "Katrina" hit the Crystal River Nuclear Power Plant? Could it withstand it?) But that storm pushed a lot of water up. The geography of the area can create a devastating storm surge even if a storm doesn't directly come on shore in that area because the water has no place to go but inland if it's pushed that way.

Hurricane Elena (1985) nearly hit that area before doing a "u-turn" and skirting the Panhandle, Alabama, and Mississippi.

The bottom line is, it doesn't matter what the odds are of a storm hitting, you have to be prepared for any/all of them. Because people used to swear that our area (Charlotte County, FL) would NEVER get hit with a hurricane. (I wasn't one of those morons) Then Charley hit in 2004 and we're STILL cleaning up from that.

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