HURRICANE CHARLIE beat up ON FL 16 YEARS AGO!!
I thought I would give you two personal stories,
both about Shufflers, to remind you to take
THE IMPACT OF “CHARLIE” ON THE O’NEAL FAMILY AS TOLD BY
MARGARET O’NEAL on August 26th, 2004!! Margaret has since
passed on. When you read her article below, I think all
will agree that she was a capable writer.
As I read Margaret’s story, it became increasingly
evident to me that “Charlie” was a Storm With a Difference!!
Why don’t I let Margaret tell it?? Margaret speaking in
Hi Stan and Lois: We’ve been through quite a week. I had got
used to thunderstorms but this was something else!! There
was no thunder or lightning just this loud wind blowing the rain sideways. Ed and I sat in our family room watching it
was like no other storm I had ever seen. We saw our fence
around the hot tub go down and then back up. Then I heard
this loud noise and I said to Ed “what was that?” He
answered: “we just lost our porch.” It went straight up and
over our roof. We found out Sat. that our neighbors across
the street had seen it coming towards them but it went over their roof also, and landed two blocks down in a ditch. Thank heavens no one or no building was hurt. About this time we lost electricity and telephone. We had no communication with the outside world for the next 48 hours except for the radio station in Orlando which never gave any highland county news. Saturday morning Ed went to Home Depot to see if he could buy us a generator there
was already a line around the store so he gave up. We
survived Saturday with no air conditioning, no stove etc. If
we’d only had the little motor home we’d have been fine but surly the electric would come on by tomorrow??? Sunday a.m., and still no electricity so we went to the local grocery store to buy a local paper so we could at least see what was going on. The grocery store was working on a generator but there were no gas stations open and of course no ATM’s to get cash. By Sunday evening when we heard it could be a week before we got electricity, we decided to leave!! We had a 1/2 tank of gas in the little truck and about 4 gallons in our lawnmower tank enough
we hoped, to get us to Lake county where they had gas. I
knew I had to throw out everything from the freezer so we
packed freezer contents into garbage bags and placed the
bags in the truck. Now the need to find a dumpster as we
head for GA!! We drove up Hwy 27, witnessing so much
destruction. As we drove by Camp Inn they were not letting
anyone in (everyone there had been ordered to evacuate.)
There were no traffic lights operating so highway patrol was
manning each intersection. We arrived at FL turnpike where
the gas stations were open. Still no dumpster!! Our
priority became a motel so we began our search. It was now
well after dark so we found a motel checked in had a most
welcome shower and good nights sleep, with air conditioning
yet!!! But we still had all our garbage in the truck!!!
Mon. a.m. up early and off to dump our garbage it had to really stink by now!! And then off to GA where hopefully our cell phone would work and we could let our family know we were okay…. Arrived at our daughter’s home and finally had communication but were still concerned about
how things were at our FL residence. We still couldn’t get hold of anyone in the Avon Park-Sebring area. Funny thing!! We
finally got hold of Ralph Day on his cell phone and so
pleased ~~ only to discover he was in Detroit. We arrived
home in Sebring Sat to see all the damage at Avon Park
Shuffle Board courts. Our beautiful covered courts 6 were
not usable. Margaret (O’Neal)
THE SHUFFLER thanks Margaret for this great story!!
I apologize for the lines through some of the sentences. > Stan writing in 2020??????
Stan and Alf 2004 08 26.