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Hurricane Jeanne

Service goes on despite Jeanne

After Charley and Ivan caused delays, the Greek Orthodox Church ignored the raging storm to acknowledge a higher power.

By NORA KOCH
Published September 27, 2004

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Monday, Sept. 27: cleanup begins Sunday, Sept. 26: Tampa Bay photos Sunday, Sept. 26: North Suncoast

THE STORM
Enough already
Storm leaves region weary, in the dark
The effects of Jeanne graphic
Historic hurricane season graphic
FROM TAMPA BAY'S 10 NEWS

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Handling damage
Insurers scurry to help again
Use common sense, caution with repairs
Third blow to Polk is the hardest
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HILLSBOROUGH
Jeanne blew in a sense of deja vu

PINELLAS
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PASCO
Jeanne strikes homes, fills rivers
Life after Jeanne
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HERNANDO
Another blow to a slow recovery
Shelters fill with impatient refugees
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CITRUS
Defiance, discretion and demand for tacos
Citrus county information
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Flow of news quickly reaches Citrus
residents

ONLINE EXTRAS
Projected path
Message board: Write a message or leave some news on Jeanne
Interactive: Storm Watcher
Computer models
2004 hurricane guide
Tide charts
Official county evacuation and shelter maps for Tampa Bay area
National Hurricane Center
Hurricanes Explained
Interactive: Damage and Danger
Hurricane preparedness tips
Complete Hurricane Jeanne coverage

TARPON SPRINGS - The first time His Eminence, Metropolitan Alexios of the Greek Orthodox Diocese of Atlanta, planned to deliver a divine liturgy here, Charley intervened.

Then Ivan swept down, and Metropolitan Alexios again canceled. He rescheduled for Sunday.

Just in time for Jeanne.

But this time, Metropolitan Alexios decided not to let an act of God prevent him from installing a new dean at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral.

"Because it's beautiful; it's the nature," Metropolitan Alexios said Sunday evening as the storm subsided. "Every day we hear the noise from the cars and today we can hear the noise from the trees."

Despite bullet-like rain, bellowing winds and a scant and soggy congregation, Metropolitan Alexios went on with a 21/2- hour service to install the Rev. Sebastian Skordallos, archimandrite, as the cathedral dean. Skordallos replaced Father Tryfon Theophilopoulos, the longtime church pillar who was elevated to dean emeritus.

Fewer than 100 church members braved the elements to attend the service - far less than the anticipated 700 to 1,000.

When Jeanne's threat became known, rescheduling was not an option, said Father John Bociu.

"We thought, what can we do, besides pray?"

The bishop had not been keen on rescheduling the first or second time.

"Other times, with Ivan, for instance, it was a sunny day," the metropolitan said.

His moxie means he'll spend an extra night in Tarpon Springs, and take the first flight out when the airports reopen.

He said he planned to spend Sunday night relaxing with St. Nicholas priests and church members "and not talking about the weather."

[Last modified September 26, 2004, 20:56:17]


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