I got lucky with Hurricane Charley. It was probably luck I did not deserve.
On August 13, 2004, I did not evacuate the apartment I was living in over in Largo. I should have, but I stayed put to the last minute.
You see, I lived here all my life, and I’ve seen a few hurricane threats come and go. Elena in 1985, Georges in 1998. I just had a hard time believing we would get a hurricane here in Tampa Bay.
What usually happens is that hurricanes either go to the Panhandle or to southwest or southeast Florida. If a hurricane hits here, it’s usually either very early or late in the year, because either end of the state works as a shield for us.
Sure enough, the media on the morning of 8/13/2004 began looking at their radar loops and noticed that the storm wasn’t going to get to Tampa Bay at all. It instead went in around the Port Charlotte/Punta Gorda area, still a category two hurricane by the time Orlando got it.
One day, Tampa Bay will not be so lucky. Just hope I am not around when that day comes.