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Monday, September 06, 2004

The ancient cycle begins anew

Hurri-up-and-wait-cane Frances marched up the Bahamas and promptly camped out in a hole near Moore's Island. Then she drifted ever so slowly towards Florida. With no real features in the atmosphere to drive Frances and the failed Hurricane Charley forecast fresh in their minds, officials decided (correctly) to put up hurricane warnings for most of the east coast of Florida. Of course, any time you tell millions of people to evacuate and then nothing happens in their area, you're going to hear the classic refrain of first time hurricane survivors: "I'm never evacuating again."

This is especially true in Miami where the mandatory evacuation begin at 4pm on Thursday and included tourists in hotels that line the Gold Coast. Thursday and Friday in Miami were quite sunny and conditions only started to really deteriorate Saturday afternoon. Tourists unable to find hotels on the mainland (which quickly filled up) had to spend three days trapped at a public school before being released by overanxious officials. However, by Saturday morning it was clear Miami had been spared a hit and cabbies waited outside shelters for people who just couldn't take it anymore. Officials begged evacuees to not "abandon" shelters for the dangerous storm that was heading to a landfall far up the coast.

Hurricane Ivan is on its way. I wonder if less people will move inland for that event.

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