View Full Version : Hurricane Frances

03-09-04, 14:59
I just noticed that there is a new hurricane warning out for Florida. The information on which places are threatened didn't say much to me.

I hope June and Kevin and other forum members won't come to any harm this time.

Does anyone have information for us, the descendants of those who stayed behind?


03-09-04, 15:41
Hi Sune,
Yes, there is yet another hurricane ready to cross the state of Florida. This storm is 3 times the size of Charley. Charley passed through central Florida (Orlando) in about 2 hours. This storm is expected to take 24 hours to pass by!

For my area, they're predicting 75-95 mph winds and up to 20 inches of rain. The storm eye should pass about 20 miles south of us. June will be on the "other" side of the storm from where I live and should have tropical force winds of about 40mph and rain. This storm is larger than the state of Florida. It's about the size of Texas.

Two and a half million people have evacuated the state, the largest evacuation in history. The highways out of Florida are like parking lots.

Yesterday and today, the sky is blue and rather beautiful outside. That's usually the case prior to a hurricane. But the storm is coming and we just have to sit tight and ride it out.

My fear is the damage that will be caused, not by very strong winds, but by strong winds that will blow non-stop for nearly 24 hrs. Then there's the flooding.

Like most others, we're prepared for loss of power and have lots of nonperishable foods. Some people here in central Florida have only had their power back on for about a week. Now it will be out for a very long time with this storm.

03-09-04, 17:25
I sure hope and pray that you all can hold out without any harm.


Karen Norwillo
03-09-04, 17:28
My prayers are with you all. We have many relatives in the storm's path. Most are packing up and leaving for safety this morning. God bless. Karen

03-09-04, 18:34
I am keeping my thumbs again and hope that it all ends well.

Sandy Witt
03-09-04, 19:52
Hej, Finlander Forum members,

Kevin has already provided much of the information that I was planning to provide. It appears that the storm may take a more "northerly" path than originally predicted.

More projections can be found at the following website:

I live inland in the north-central area of Florida in Gainesville, which is in the projected path of Hurricane Frances. My father lives in Sanford, Florida (near Orlando). Charley went right over his house, and I am afraid that Frances may do the same.

Governor Jeb Bush has asked President Bush to declare Florida a "major disaster area" so that post-hurricane assistance can be expedited.

Thanks for your concern, those of you whose ancestors stayed behind!


June Pelo
03-09-04, 21:01
Here we go again! We just finished cleaning up from Charley and now we have to get ready for another storm. I spent all morning moving all our plants, bird bath, etc. into the garage and then did the same at my sister's house. Some of our friends lost their home to Charley and had no place to go, so they are moving into my sister's house and she is staying with me. There are 6 of them and we're happy that we are able to help them.

We are watching the non-stop storm coverage on the weather channel on TV and the situation seems to change by the hour. The storm has slowed down and weakened, which means it will take more time to do its damage. I appear to be on the outer edge of it, so don't expect it to come close, although many people here are boarding up their windows. We aren't going to evacuate and get trapped in all the traffic on the Interstate. Hope Kevin and family are safe.


03-09-04, 22:03
For those interested, here's some more info on Frances.

They've changed the path once again, as Sandy alluded to. It's back on a path to cross directly over south Orlando (right where I live :( ). It's really difficult for the meterologists right now to determine what's going to happen.

As it continues across the Bahamas, it'll pass the Gulf Stream with water temps in the high 80's (F). This serves as fuel for the storm. They're not certain if it will gain strength again from its current 115mph back up to a Cat 4 or 5 (155+mph). They even say there's a slight chance it could stall out over the warm water and start to "bobble" along the coast. It's moving very slowly at only 9 mph.

Because they don't know what is going to happen, it makes it difficult to know what other precautions to the house we should make (boarding windows, etc). We have some very large glass windows that I'm a bit concerned of.

We're prepared for the worst but hope for the best.

June Pelo
04-09-04, 16:43
It's Sat. a.m. and we're waiting for something to happen - the suspense is awful. They keep telling us to stay off the roads and to prepare for high winds and flooding. We've done all we can do - I couldn't find anyone to board my windows, so we'll have to take whatever comes. The sun is shining here but it's raining a few miles from here so we'll probably have rain before long. There's a lot of work I could be doing, but I can't concentrate on anything except the storm. While we still have electricity, I may cook something that we can eat later when the power is off.. :(


04-09-04, 18:17
It is now getting very windy here in Fort Lauderdale. About 31,000 lost utilities here yesterday around 4 pm. Downtown Fort Lauderdale and another area Lauderdale are to boil their water. We are secured inside our home about 10 miles inland and (about 5 miles from the surge line which is I95 highway). As a true Finlander we have fresh coffee ready in the thermos if we should lose electricity. You need to keep your spirits up with all this going on around us! Other than that we have plenty of supplies on hand. The weather updates do sound a little better with the eye larger (they said it would be more difficult for it to gain strength) and a downgrade to a 2. However, there is still major concern about flooding and no utilities for some time after the storm. My major concern is flooding with a canal in my backyard (25 feet) on a slight 5' hill. I will check the site as much as I can in the hours ahead. Shall talk later. Karen

Sandy Witt
04-09-04, 18:33
North-central Florida update:

Like June wrote earlier, the waiting is very stressful. I find that I am not able to do anything that requires thinking - but am just trying to stay "busy" waiting to see what happens.

I cooked a lot of perishable food yesterday in case of power outages. I also filled numerous plastic containers with water and froze them so that I will have a supply of ice to hopefully keep food from spoiling.

There is no plywood here in Gainesville to cover the windows, so we can just hope for the best. They predict high winds and a lot of rain (perhaps up to 20"). Like Karen, we have water (a swamp) in the back yard. I found a dead baby snake on the back porch yesterday. Hopefully, no snakes or alligators will attempt to enter the house.

The newspeople are urging people to remain "calm" and stay at their homes (or shelters).

Good luck to Karen, June, Kevin, and any other Finlander Forum members who might be impacted by Hurricane Frances, which is a massive storm that will affect the entire state (and possibly numerous other states in its path):


I will try to find a thermos for coffee - a good idea.


04-09-04, 18:58
Just thought I'd share a tidbit of news from the tv. Where I live we're just beginning to get some of the feeder bands from the storm and winds are about 30-40 mph steady. They pass then the sky turns blue again.

The news just mentioned a police car that was in the midst of one of these feeder bands (squalls) that came through the area just south of us. A tornado was spawned and hit the police car, picked it up off the highway and dropped it in the median. The officer was in the car at the time.

The storm center is supposed to pass us about 8am tomorrow. These 30-40 mph winds have already knocked down trees and power is out in parts of Orlando.

Sounds like Karen, Sandy, June & I have had the same ideas. Coffee in thermos, ice in bags in the freezer, etc, etc. We've all had our showers so we'll be clean for a bit anyway. My teenager daughter just learned she may not be able to take a shower for a few days if we lose power/water. She's traumatized! :)

Trying to maintain our humor amidst the concern,

Karen Norwillo
04-09-04, 20:55
Karen, I see you live in Ft. Lauderdale on the canal. My husband's 80 year old aunt lives on N.E.56th Court and we're worried to death about her. Looking at your updates with particular interest. You are all in our prayers. Be safe. Karen in PA.

Paivi T
05-09-04, 07:49
Hope everyone over there is riding out the hurricane and coming through safe and sound...

Päivi T

Sandy Witt
05-09-04, 15:46
Thanks, Päivi,

The hurricane has finally come ashore, and everyone is being told to remain indoors.

More than 2,000,000 people are without power now. The bands of strong winds and rain (and related tornado warnings) have reached northern Florida. The weather is much worse in southern and central Florida.

We Floridians appreciate your concern!


05-09-04, 20:14
Everything is ok here. Lots of branches are down everywhere.

We lost power for only a minute here and there. It was windy and rainy - but the damage was light considering what this storm could have done.

I have not gone out to venture because it is still too dangerous to drive about.

If you would like me to I could contact your Aunt in person and made sure that she is ok.

Karen Norwillo
05-09-04, 22:28
Thank you so much. We've had contact. Much relieved that damage is light there. Karen

05-09-04, 23:15
Just a few minutes ago I heard on the news that a new hurricane called Ivan MIGHT hit the Caribian and Florida at the end of the week. Is it never going to end?


June Pelo
05-09-04, 23:23
Yes, there's another hurricane named Ivan and it's headed for Florida. They won't know for a few days where it will hit, but it seems to be aimed more toward southern Florida and could go into the Gulf of Mexico. A very active hurricane season is predicted for this summer.

We're having lots of wind and rain here and more is predicted for tomorrow. Wonder if Kevin is safe - I think Orlando may have lost power. Our electricity fluctuates off and on so I'm typing fast before it goes off again. :mad:


06-09-04, 02:21
Well, hasn't this been fun!?! :rolleyes:

All is well here. Never lost power so didn't have to drink thermos coffee! :)

Been glued to the tv since Sat at noon. There's a curfew till tomorrow morning at 6am so still can't get out and see what's happened. Doesn't look as bad as Charley damage-wise which we're very fortunate.

Last I heard 4 million people were without power in Florida. The storm still hasn't crossed over into the Gulf but once it does, it will become a Cat 1 hurricane again and hit the panhandle of Florida.

Then there's Ivan.....

June Pelo
06-09-04, 16:59
We're still being battered by almost hurricane-force winds and torrential rain since 9 p.m. last night. We're beginning to think it will never end. My yard is flooded almost to the back door and I hope we don't have to evacuate. The nearby town of Punta Gorda is under 2 feet of water and the weather bureau said we'll have more wind and rain today and into tomorrow even if Frances moves further north. This is because we're on the southwest coast of Florida and we're getting the rain bands the hurricane is spewing out as it moves. We just got word on the radio that another storm is headed this way and we should take cover. Luckily our power is still on, but we have no TV service and my internet server is still offline. We definitely have cabin fever here..:rolleyes:


Paivi T
06-09-04, 21:36
How long does the hurricane season last over there?

06-09-04, 21:38
The hurricane season runs from June 1st until November 30th. This next week is considered the peak week of the season. Not good considering Hurricane Ivan is already breaking records of its own.

I think we Floridians should just line up on the beach and blow really hard. Maybe the storm will pass by and head out into the Atlantic.

06-09-04, 21:39
Technically, the hurricane has passed us but we're still getting "feeder bands" from the backside of the storm.

We're wathcing tornado warnings being issued left and right. Central Florida has already had 5 tornadoes reported on the ground so far today.

June Pelo
07-09-04, 02:46
The hurricane is also making news in Finland - got a call from a relative wanting to know if we were OK. And all day I've been getting phone calls from friends and relatives around the country, asking how we are.

Tomorrow we'll venture out to see if any stores are open - there's a big clean-up effort going on around here: fallen trees and wind-blown objects. After Charley passed through, we saw people wearing T-shirts saying: I survived Hurricane Charley. Now they'll be adding Hurricane Frances to the shirt and if they wait a while, maybe they can add Hurricane Ivan! Of course, the T-shirt will have to be a big one in order to include all those names..:D


Paivi T
07-09-04, 07:17
Yes, both hurricanes have crossed the news threshold here in Finland. They've featured daily in newspapers and on television.

Golly, I never knew that the hurricane season is so long -- half a year! This time it must feel at least twice as long, being so active. We living here in calm and moderate climes will certainly keep thinking positive thoughts for you folks...

Päivi T, writing in a calm and crisp (+7 degrees Centigrade) early-autumn morning in Järvenpää

Tracy Boeldt
07-09-04, 11:15
I'm hoping that all the members come out ok from the storms, but what I have read on the posts so far, is what we call "sisu" and Just by reading your posts--I know that you have it and I admire you! Love to all and hope that you come through ok!


June Pelo
07-09-04, 22:09
Good news - my power is on and my internet server is back online after the building was destroyed. So I am now able to receive and send e-mail from my own computer. We are still getting lots of rain but the wind has slowed and it isn't howling like a banshee. Now we have to contend with Ivan the Terrible which is brewing somewhere in the ocean and once he is gone, hopefully we can try to get back to a normal life. :p


Sandy Witt
08-09-04, 04:31
Hej Finlanders,

It appears that Frances has exited Florida, although there are still thunderstorms in the area.

Although I assumed that north Florida would be fairly safe, the first two hurricane-related deaths were here in Gainesville - an automobile accident and a tree falling through the roof of a house.

The power is finally restored; it has been out since Saturday. I grew up in Miami, where I experienced several hurricanes as a teenager. Hurricane Frances was different than any hurricane I have ever experienced - so big and so slow. Here in Gainesville, we have had terrible rain and wind for four days - with no power and MANY trees down. It has been scary. The yard is flooded, several trees are down, and it will take days to clean up all of the debris.

And another hurricane - Ivan - is evidently headed this way.

I hope that all of the Florida Finlanders are fine.


June Pelo
08-09-04, 19:01

Glad you're OK. Staffan was wondering about you, so your letter will reassure him. Frances just added to the big mess we still have fron Charley - it's going to be a long difficult period before we can feel normal again. Each storm just takes more of my roof away. The power company had just restored power here and then Frances came along and undid a lot of their work - so they have to start over again.


Sören Ahinko
15-09-04, 18:45
I see in the newspaper today that it looks like that Frances is on the way to Sweden.
But it is not so much left of the hurricane. Maybe the wind is gone be 15 metre per second. To compare with 44 metre per second in Florida.
I think here in Sweden and Finland we really dont understand how big and nasty a hurricane can be. We have some storms in autumn but it is nothing.....

I hope that Ivan is gone be as harmless in USA like Frances is gone be in Sweden.


Sandy Witt
15-09-04, 20:50

Thank you for your wishes about Ivan - we are already seeing some effects from it here in North Central Florida (although nothing like the Gulf coast will receive in the next few hours).

There is more information about preparations at Weather.com:

I had no idea that Frances was on the way to Sweden.

This has been an unbelievable year for hurricanes here - and another possible storm named Jeanne may be headed toward Florida.