My Personal Account of
Hurricane Jeanne (Sept 25, 2004) - Second Major Hurricane to Hit Southern Florida in 3 Weeks
 
     
 

Hurricane Frances hit landfall just north of Palm Beach County Florida on September 9, 2004.  It was my first hurricane.   Electricity was out for me for 12 days, which meant NO AC, NO COOKING, NO RESTURANTS, NO TV and worst of all, NO COMPUTER.  

I had just removed the shutters from my windows and doors after watching the next seasonal storm, Hurricane Jeanne head north.  I had been watching it, especially after killing more than 800 in Haiti from floods.  Because it was heading north, I decided to take down the storm shutters.  The odds were in my favor.   How could a hurrican hit so close and so soon. 

More than 1.7 million Florida electric customers were without power. 

I was totally wrong.  Hurricane Jeanne had headed north and then looped back around.  It was comfusing to everyone I knew.   To my surprise, it was heading directly at where I live.  

 

 

Storm damage to the Lake Worth Pier.  An entire section was washed away, which was made of reinforced concrete.

 
 
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My first journey to what I called the Land of NO (Access) was to the north end of Palm Beach.  The local jetty pier was nearly washed away.

 
 
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At the local Ritz Carlton Hotel near my home, the entire fasade was ripped away from the high winds.  This hotel had just opened after extensive cleanup, but this storm set them way back.  It will take months for them to reopen, leaving many without their source of income.

 
 
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The two hurricanes, predominately the first, took a very heavy toll on overhead street lights.  Hundreds were ripped down, which totally surprised me that they were not designed for higher wind loads.  Here, a truckload of street lights is ready to be reused after being repaired or replaced.  They're bigger than you think aren't they. 

 
 
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As I enter Hutchenson Island, about 50 miles north of Palm Beach, you begin to see the tree damage as you enter the island.

 
 
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Vero Beach, north of Hutchinsen Beach, was near where the two hurricanes hit landfall, and in fact, both storms hit within 2 miles of each other in a three week period.   That itself went down in the record books.  I parked my truck and walked out to the beach, only to find that it had taken away the boardwalk, a road and the parking lot for almost 400 yards.  A lot of the beach had litterally been washed away.

 
 
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It is pretty amazing that the boardwalk withstood her full rath of distruction.

 
 
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In this picture, workers are attempting to replenish the beach with thousands of truckloads of sand.  This restoration project had just been completed days before this hurricane hit.

 
 
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This resort had much of its beach taken away, not to mention that the resort itself sustained heavy damage too.

 
 
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Watch out for that first step onto the beach.  You could fall and get hurt.  As you can see, there is about 12 feet of beach property that is missing and I'm talking depth, not width of beachfront.. 

 
 
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Same with this condo located next door.  Note that this has most likely happened many times before and previously, they attempted to strenthen the beach with cement laidened sand bags which were later covered with new beach sand.   Mother Nature didn't even listen and took it again. Kind of like pissing in the wind I'd say.

 
 
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This seasonal resort took a hard hit.  It's roof was taken off in the front along the beach.  Take a closer look and you'll see that almost six feet of beach is missing, which was just restored only days earlier from the first storm, i.e. Hurricane Frances.

 
 
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Contractors were busy loading sand from the interior of the state into trucks and hauling it to this beach to replenish the beach itself.  I could imagine thousands of truckloads of sand would be required.  It's a never ending cycle - the trucks unload the sand and the ocean takes it away.  It's hard to compete with Mother Nature. 

 
 
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The exterior of this seasonal resort had it's walls removed, thus exposing the steel studs.

 
 
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View of mobile home gutted..  More on next page.

 
 
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