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Checking on Friends in Florida

Monday, October 24, 2005, 21:02 EDT Leave a comment Go to comments

Hurricane Wilma made landfall over southwest Florida early this morning.

The center of Wilma came ashore near Cape Romano at 6:30 a.m. as a strong Category 3 storm with winds of 125 mph with higher gusts.

Cape Romano is about 20 miles west of Everglades City, and about 30 miles south of the Marco Island, the National Hurricane Center’s projected landfall site.

By my map, Cape Romano isn’t any 30 miles from Marco Island. It’s more like 5 miles south of the southern tip of Marco, and about 7 miles from the particular place where I stay during my annual Spring Training vacation. My friend Patty’s condo is about 400 yards from the beach on the west side of the island, and west of that beach is nothing but Gulf until you hit either the southern tip of Texas or the Mexican coast. But at least the city isn’t built below sea level like a certain other recent hurricane target. I haven’t heard any reports of damage on Marco Island, but I presume the screens on Patty’s lanai are in shreds and that her neighbors downstairs have some water damage. Good thing she is up here in New England this time of year.

Meanwhile, about 40 miles up the coast in the Fort Myers, reports are that Susan lost power this morning before dawn. The winds were really raging and she lost a several roofing tiles, causing some leaks. She is much closer to where Hurricane Charley made landfall last year, and even then her property took minimal damage. I anxiously anticipate hearing from her online once she gets electricity back.

Mary is way up in Tampa, and my aunt and uncle are in Sebring, so I’m not the least bit worried about them. Another aunt and uncle just bought a place somewhere down there, and I have no idea if they were in the storm’s path or not.

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