When my brother enticed my mother to move down to Florida, he told her that Cape Canaveral was chosen as the NASA launch site because this section of Florida was hit by the fewest hurricanes. That was his selling point. He worked at NASA, and thought it a nifty factoid.
Mom moved down, and for many years the worst we had to cope with was the occasional tropical storm, and we had already weathered many of them (pardon the pun) when we lived in the Virgin Islands.
In 1999, Hurricane Floyd scared us. It was heading straight for us, prompting the government to issue evacuation orders for the coastal areas, and even though we’re 20 minutes from the coast, we thought it best to leave. So did everyone else. We sat in traffic for hours and hours, trying to get to my brother’s house in Kissimmee. The 1.5 hour trip took nearly 5, and then Floyd veered north, so it was a lot of hullabaloo for nothing.
Then in 2004, Hurricane Charley threatened. We watched as it made landfall on the other side of the state, at Cayo Costa, with winds of 150 mph, then hours later hit the mainland portion of the state at Punta Gorda. Continue reading