That was one nasty storm
I lived in northern part of North Fort Myers and was just 19 miles from the center of that storm.
I lived in a mobile home and had little damage, all the houses around me were hit hard and had major
damage. I got used to BLUE TARP roofs every where, trees on top of buildings, car ports gone, roof overs
were ripped off, lots of houses not livable.
In ground BBQ grills gone. Winds of 140 mph + and my trailer was rocking wildly, It was different!
The trees were full of house parts, most roads were hard to travel, but I was able to get gas at La Belle.
No power for 14 days. Thanks I had a converter and had about 800 watts of power from my car so I had a fan. 2 lights, TV, Cable, computer and mini refrigerate working. I was one of very few with power those 14 days.
We were living in a mobile home park in North Naples in August 2004. My husband Jim, our son, Wayne, and I had moved from WNY in February 1998. We were used to all kinds of weather but never had to leave our home. Wayne and I are HOH (hard of hearing), and depend on CC (closed caption) and crawls on television for news and weather. We were glued to the news of the impending storm. Wayne had his vehicle packed with what he didn’t want to have destroyed by some storm. I knew what I would take if we had to evacuate. Jim was indifferent to the situation. When the crawl said “ Mobile home park residents are to evacuate immediately“, Wayne and I panicked. Jim started to move. Our daughter and son-in-law lived in Lehigh Acres and we were to go there. Jim was hesitant because Charley was now close. It was announced that Charley had turned in! Jim thought of all the construction work along 41 and those barricades. Should we take I75 or our “slower” route? We decided the slower route would be safest as we could find shelter easier if needed. We soon learned that those barricades were nothing to worry about. They fell like dominoes with the wind. It was a smooth trip to Lehigh as there was hardly any traffic. Not all signals were working. We arrived at our destination just as it really started to rain. We watched and listened to that storm. Occasionally we would venture out the front door just to “feel” a hurricane. The wind blew rain into the sliders in our family’s home so towels were needed to soak up the water. We were thankful when the wind and rain subsided. No damage at the Lehigh Acres home but what was waiting for us at home in North Naples. We had to carefully plan our trip south because of water, debris, and roadways. Many signals were out now. We arrived to find our home safe and no damage except the corner of a screen on the lanai was pulled out. We were so fortunate and thankful as some others in the park lost their home. We were without electricity but that was no problem except for communication via telephone. We did not have a cell phone. Wayne and I depend on CapTel phones for our calls. Sunday after church some friends came to tell us that our granddaughter had been born at Health Park. What a blessing to have a relay system for communicating during a storm and after. Our granddaughter spent her first few days with her other grandfather in Naples as power was still out in North Naples and Lehigh Acres. We didn’t mind being without power as we still had water. During the Blizzard of 77 in WNY we were without water for four and a half days. Icicles were harvested and thawed in garbage cans for toilet flushing. Neighbors were willing to fill our gallon jugs. Six years ago we moved to our own home in Lehigh Acres, and that is where we will stay if/when there is another hurricane in SWFL.
It was my first hurricane, my husband had been in several. It was scary because we weren't prepared. We had had so many years of false alarms we had become complacent. We put together a hurricane kit.
We had minor damage but many neighbors needed new roofs. Living without electricity in August was an adventure.
It was a life changing day, from then on, we have built hurricane resistant homes!
Hurracane Charlie was the first hurricane we had eve been in. Our son had just moved into Fort Myers .