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WheresCherie.COM Quote
"Our language is funny--a fat chance and a slim chance are the same thing." -- J. Gustav White

331--Florida: Hurricane Wilma
@ CherieSpotting     Oct 31 2005 - 10:13 PST
cherie writes: My friends and I were planning to sail “Scirocco” to Key West to celebrate Fantasy Fest, but Hurricane Wilma changed our plans. I didn’t want to experience my first hurricane on a boat, so Brian, Greg and I weathered Wilma at a friend’s house in Coconut Creek, Florida.

Patrick and Patsy welcomed us into their Broward County home Sunday night. Monday morning the storm hit. Wilma haunted the house like an out-of-control ghost. The windows bulged in and out like they were breathing. Outside the wind shrieked like an insane witch. Palm trees danced like Rasta-guys on acid.

I watched in awe as trees rolled across the lake like tumbleweeds. Fences were battered into splinters. Porches were mangled. Screens were shredded, signs were blown out, and 60-ft trees snapped like match-sticks. Patrick boarded up the windows, but Wilma ripped the boards down as fast as he could drill them into the cement.

Patsy opened the front door to peek out and almost got sucked out. During the most powerful gusts everything just went white. The teeth of the Wilma bit Broward County and most of the residents are still without power. Lifetime Florida residents said they had never seen anything like it.

When a tropical storm reaches sustained winds of 74-mph it is called a hurricane. Hurricane Wilma hit Florida as a Category 3 Hurricane which, according to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, means the sustained storm winds were between 111 and 130 mph.

“Look at the bright side,” said Patrick. “Since we don’t have power that means we have to eat all the ice-cream in the freezer.”

These are the photos I took of Hurricane Wilma's devestation.

Click on each picture to see it full size.

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Cherie's Florida vacation gone wrong.  Cherie weathers Hurricane Wilma in Broward County, Florida.

Cherie's Florida vacation gone wrong. Cherie weathers Hurricane Wilma in Broward County, Florida.

A bird climbs to the roof a few hours before Hurricane Wilma hits.  Something big is coming.

A bird climbs to the roof a few hours before Hurricane Wilma hits. Something big is coming.

Wilma is not welcome here!

Wilma is not welcome here!

The wind comes in.

The wind comes in.

The screens are the first to go.

The screens are the first to go.

The lights go out, but it's not romantic.

The lights go out, but it's not romantic.

Patrick puts the boards up again, after Hurricane Wilma rips them down.

Patrick puts the boards up again, after Hurricane Wilma rips them down.

The fence is down.

The fence is down.

Trees snapped like match-sticks.

Trees snapped like match-sticks.

A tree tumbles across the lake.

A tree tumbles across the lake.

Thar she blows!

Thar she blows!

Brian's going to have to do his hair again.

Brian's going to have to do his hair again.

Stop Wilma!

Stop Wilma!

As the weather dies down, I step outside to feel the strength of the wind.

As the weather dies down, I step outside to feel the strength of the wind.

You can't just let nature run wild. 
--Wally Hickel, former governor of Alaska

You can't just let nature run wild. --Wally Hickel, former governor of Alaska

Patrick on the porch.

Patrick on the porch.

The strongest gusts turn everything white.

The strongest gusts turn everything white.

A tree falls alongside Patsy's house; she peeks outside to check for damage.

A tree falls alongside Patsy's house; she peeks outside to check for damage.

Brian gets blown away.

Brian gets blown away.

My first hurricane was Wilma.

My first hurricane was Wilma.

I hope he said goodbye to his porch.

I hope he said goodbye to his porch.

The neighbor's porch.

The neighbor's porch.

Brian ventures outside.

Brian ventures outside.

Have you ever wore a sarong during a hurricane?

Have you ever wore a sarong during a hurricane?

That's one way to climb a palm tree.

That's one way to climb a palm tree.

No one informed Hurricane Wilma that this is a "No Flood Zone."

No one informed Hurricane Wilma that this is a "No Flood Zone."

The water rises as the storm drains are blocked with fallen debris.

The water rises as the storm drains are blocked with fallen debris.

The trouble with weather forecasting is that it's right too often for us to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it.  ~Patrick Young

The trouble with weather forecasting is that it's right too often for us to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it. ~Patrick Young

Cherie and Patsy.

Cherie and Patsy.

Is that a palm tree knocking on our door?

Is that a palm tree knocking on our door?

Let there be light...later.

Let there be light...later.

The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.--John Muir

The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.--John Muir

Does car insurance cover that?

Does car insurance cover that?

Greg and Patsy.

Greg and Patsy.

Foot-soak by Hurricane Wilma.

Foot-soak by Hurricane Wilma.

I'm glad we weathered the hurricane in a "No Flood" zone.

I'm glad we weathered the hurricane in a "No Flood" zone.

The water keeps rising.

The water keeps rising.

Trees trimmed by Wilma.

Trees trimmed by Wilma.

That might get tangled up in the lawn-mower.

That might get tangled up in the lawn-mower.

Broken windows, broken spirits.

Broken windows, broken spirits.

Watch out for falling palms!

Watch out for falling palms!

The trees take a swim.

The trees take a swim.

Wilma, please stop!

Wilma, please stop!

Cherie and Patsy.

Cherie and Patsy.

Wilma makes a mess.

Wilma makes a mess.

Timber!

Timber!

Foliage road-block.

Foliage road-block.

On the porch.

On the porch.

Which item doesn't belong in the photo?

Which item doesn't belong in the photo?

Street closed until further notice.

Street closed until further notice.

Patsy is as tall as this root-system.

Patsy is as tall as this root-system.

Another porch-less couple.

Another porch-less couple.

The pool has a new access route!

The pool has a new access route!

That's not the way you are supposed to stack lawn-chairs.

That's not the way you are supposed to stack lawn-chairs.

Tree down.

Tree down.

Flooded streets.

Flooded streets.

Exposed earth.

Exposed earth.

Cherie and Patsy.

Cherie and Patsy.

Watch your step!

Watch your step!

The Floridians may be devestated, but they are still patriotic.

The Floridians may be devestated, but they are still patriotic.

Signs blown out.

Signs blown out.

Where?

Where?

The Golden Arches.

The Golden Arches.

In the western Pacific hurricanes are called "typhoons," in the Indian Ocean the same storms are called "cyclones."

In the western Pacific hurricanes are called "typhoons," in the Indian Ocean the same storms are called "cyclones."

A storm is called a "hurricane" when the sustained winds reach 74 mph (64 knots) or higher.

A storm is called a "hurricane" when the sustained winds reach 74 mph (64 knots) or higher.

On average there are 10 tropical storms every year--6 usually become hurricane strengh.

On average there are 10 tropical storms every year--6 usually become hurricane strengh.

Watch out for the falling porch!

Watch out for the falling porch!

Big trees are no match for Wilma's big winds.

Big trees are no match for Wilma's big winds.

Natural road-block.

Natural road-block.

Residents begin the process of cleaning up immediately.

Residents begin the process of cleaning up immediately.

A category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale means the sustained winds were between 111 and 130 mph.

A category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale means the sustained winds were between 111 and 130 mph.

According to USA Today, Florida, the state where hurricanes are the most frequent, leads the USA in new residents.

According to USA Today, Florida, the state where hurricanes are the most frequent, leads the USA in new residents.

A hurricane's storm surge typically causes more loss of life and property damage than the extreme winds.

A hurricane's storm surge typically causes more loss of life and property damage than the extreme winds.

Hurricane "season" starts in June and officially ends in November.

Hurricane "season" starts in June and officially ends in November.

The power of the wind.

The power of the wind.

Hurricanes can cause tornadoes.

Hurricanes can cause tornadoes.

"The wonder is always new that any sane man can be a sailor."--Ralph Waldo Emerson

"The wonder is always new that any sane man can be a sailor."--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sailboats just don't look the same without masts.

Sailboats just don't look the same without masts.

Over 20 yachts from Miami Yacht Club were ripped off their moorings and smashed against the rocks during Hurricane Wilma.

Over 20 yachts from Miami Yacht Club were ripped off their moorings and smashed against the rocks during Hurricane Wilma.

Masses of boats at Miami Yacht Club were dismasted by Wilma.

Masses of boats at Miami Yacht Club were dismasted by Wilma.

The sea-wall punches holes in the hull.

The sea-wall punches holes in the hull.

Docking compliments of Wilma.

Docking compliments of Wilma.

Normally you're not allowed to dock there.

Normally you're not allowed to dock there.

No sailor ever walks into a bar and orders a "boat on the rocks."

No sailor ever walks into a bar and orders a "boat on the rocks."

Each of these yachts is one sailor's dream; one captain's love.

Each of these yachts is one sailor's dream; one captain's love.

Wilma tossed yachts across Miami's harbor like they were plastic toys.

Wilma tossed yachts across Miami's harbor like they were plastic toys.

Nature is a mother.

Nature is a mother.

"Every act of creation is first of all an act of destruction."--Pablo Picasso

"Every act of creation is first of all an act of destruction."--Pablo Picasso

Scirocco was torn from her mooring by a 140-knot gust of wind.  We found her nosed into this spot with 3-inches of salt-water over her floorboards.

Scirocco was torn from her mooring by a 140-knot gust of wind. We found her nosed into this spot with 3-inches of salt-water over her floorboards.

My favorite newspaper frontpage showed Wilma Flintstone on the cover with a single word: Bitch!

My favorite newspaper frontpage showed Wilma Flintstone on the cover with a single word: Bitch!

Hurricane Wilma survivors wake up to a clear blue sky the next day.

Hurricane Wilma survivors wake up to a clear blue sky the next day.

Brian and Cherie inspect the damage around our friend's home in Broward County by canoe.

Brian and Cherie inspect the damage around our friend's home in Broward County by canoe.

There is so much water, but none of it drinkable.

There is so much water, but none of it drinkable.

Broken trees.

Broken trees.

Palm down.

Palm down.

Damaged glass.

Damaged glass.

Gas lines stretch for 8 miles, as customers wait over 20 hours to fill their tanks.

Gas lines stretch for 8 miles, as customers wait over 20 hours to fill their tanks.

The waiting begins.  Wait for gas.  Wait for water.  Wait for help.

The waiting begins. Wait for gas. Wait for water. Wait for help.

At a grocery store, the shelves are bare.

At a grocery store, the shelves are bare.

There is nothing to buy.

There is nothing to buy.

Row after row after row of empty shelves.

Row after row after row of empty shelves.

Where's all the food?

Where's all the food?

Bare and empty.

Bare and empty.

Nothing left to sell.

Nothing left to sell.

Sign-makers will be busy soon.

Sign-makers will be busy soon.

Wilma winds blow out signs.

Wilma winds blow out signs.

Damaged signs line every highway.

Damaged signs line every highway.

Never underestimate the power of the wind.

Never underestimate the power of the wind.