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Damage slight as storm skirts Pinellas shoreline

By THERESA BLACKWELL
Published September 3, 2006


Sept. 4, 1950

The baby hurricane was wet but not unruly.

Damage was slight in Pinellas County as a result of the small hurricane that swept up the gulf during the early morning from some 30 miles offshore. But the gulf beaches are taking a pounding from a heavy surf.

The center or eye of the storm was opposite St. Petersburg around 7 a.m. when gusting wind reached a maximum of 60 mph. Off the gulf beaches, gusts were recorded as high as 90 mph, according to the coast guard.

At 9:10 a.m., a dead calm was felt in the area of Madeira Beach, continuing for 10 minutes, indicating that the edge of the eye was passing that point.

At 10:30 a.m., the storm was 45 miles west of Tarpon Springs, headed north, northwest at 10 mph.

The low parts of the gulf beaches are feeling the might of the churned up gulf. At Madeira Beach this morning, water on Gulf Boulevard was estimated at 2 feet in places and above the hubcaps of cars in others. Seawalls were taking a beating and in places had given way to the onrushing waves. The coastal road around Indian Rocks was little affected by the storm, but on Clearwater Beach at the south end of the island, one block of pavement was undermined and workmen were attempting to rectify the damage.

Pinellas citrus groves reported little damage, less than 1 percent of fruit knocked to the ground. With the county having one of its heaviest citrus crops in years, a major hurricane could play havoc with the expectations of growers.

Sept. 1, 1936

Dunedin expects boat basin to be popular

DUNEDIN - Port Capt. D.A. Whitaker says that he believes there will be a big demand for slips at the new boat basin this winter, and that it may be necessary to put in new boat slips, which can be easily arranged, according to City Manager W. Lovett Douglas. Dr. H.E. Winchester, vice commodore of the Dunedin boat club, also believes that it will be necessary to increase the number of boat slips during the winter season.

W.H. Phillips, of Dunedin, now has his cabin cruiser at the boat basin. Charles Hazlehurst is keeping "Fiddler," his cabin cruiser, in a slip.

While the city charges a small rental for the boat slips, the protection for his boat and property due to the employment of a port captain has made the rental of slips very popular with local and Clearwater boat owners.

Sept. 3, 1931

Skinner named architect for new post office

CLEARWATER - Col. Theodore H. Skinner, prominent architect of Clearwater, has been selected by the government for architectural services in connection with construction of the new post office building here, according to an announcement received here today from Andrew J. Mellon, secretary of the treasury.

It is understood that Col. Skinner, as local architect for the government project, will probably be called upon to draw most of the plans and prepare the specifications for the structure.

He has had wide experience, having designed several buildings for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, large projects in New York, and was connected with the Muscle Shoals proposition in Alabama during the World war. Col. Skinner was connected with the federal government for several years as an architect.

Sept. 3, 1975

Oldsmar the orphan?

CLEARWATER - As the Pinellas County Commission talked of city and county taxes and benefits Tuesday, Commissioner Charles E. Rainey asked his colleagues to consider "poor little Oldsmar."

Rainey said residents must call long distance to reach the county courthouse, Florida Power Corp.'s large Higgins plant is in their backyards but they get power from Tampa Electric, and they buy license tags in Hillsborough County but "pay taxes to Pinellas County."

Rainey likened the community - in northeastern Pinellas County along the Hillsborough County border - to an "orphan."

A General Telephone Co. operator had one piece of good news about Oldsmar, however. She said it is now a "local call" from Oldsmar to Clearwater.

Theresa Blackwell compiles the history column. You can reach her at 727 445-4170 or tblackwell@sptimes.com.