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Hurricane Charley

Five reasons Charley wasn't worse

By Times staff writers
Published August 17, 2004

Five reasons Hurricane Charley did not cause more death and damage:

IT DID NOT HIT A HEAVILY POPULATED AREA

The Charlotte Harbor area where the hurricane made landfall has fewer residents than the Tampa Bay area, where it initially was expected to hit.

IT WASN'T A SPRAWLING HURRICANE

The size of the storm narrowed significantly, with inner-core winds spread over a 10-mile-wide swath instead of an area more than twice as wide, as once expected.

IT WASN'T SNOWBIRD SEASON

The timing of the storm meant winter residents were still up North; many mobile home parks and other seasonal communities in Southwest Florida had fewer residents.

IT WASN'T CROP SEASON

Row crops such as tomatoes were not yet planted for the second growing season, so there was less crop damage.

IT WASN'T THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT WHEN IT FIRST HIT

It made landfall during the day. While the final course took some by surprise, Floridians watched the hurricane closely throughout the day before it hit in the late afternoon.

[Last modified August 17, 2004, 12:53:27]

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