A growing collection of facts, thoughts and events from a 80-year-old man and his family, friends, and the characters that he has met along the way . . .

HURRICANE TRIOLOGYA HURRICANE TRIOLOGY

HURRICANE WILMA struck Florida 9 years ago on October 24, 2005.  It was the final blow to occur in the destruction of the Flamingo Marina and Outpost Resort.  The Outpost Resort consisted of 3 one-story and 2 two-story concrete buildings (a total of 103 guest rooms plus the administrative offices) and 26 free-standing cottages (13 wooden duplexes).  These facilities were completely destroyed; wiped off the face of the earth, along with almost everything in the area, including two restaurants, a gift shop, a marina, maintenance shops and the employee housing area.  The concessionaire for this operation, Xanterra Parks and Resorts, usually housed a skeleton staff of about 45 or 50 employees during the slow season and up to about 150 during the peak of the winter season.  Housing consisted of 4 wooden dormitories, 2 newer concrete dorms, a fantastic fishing pier, a recreational building, several company owned old mobile homes, and parking for about 25 employee-owned RV’s.  All that remained after WILMA was the two-story concrete visitor’s center and the Marina Store and two buildings in the maintenance area (although theses building were severely damaged).  Fortunately all employees on sight were successfully evacuated prior to the arrival of the storm and no lives were lost. On June 6, 2010, I wrote “An Epitaph to the Flamingo Marina and Outpost Resort” which can still be found on this blog (thesumofme2.wordpress.com).  HOWEVER, the actual destruction of the resort began with Hurricane KATRINA in August of 2005.  It was the 5th deadliest hurricane in US history – and the 7th most intense Atlantic hurricane ever recorded with winds up to 175mph.  Although Flamingo did not receive a direct hit from Katrina the resort did incur considerable damage.  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Katrina).   Katrina struck the Flamingo Resort on August 28, 2005 (see below photos)

Katrina Photos HOUSING 9 Marina 5 MARINA 47 MARINA 50 REC HALL 6 VIEW BACK OF 252 TO 240

  Then Katrina moved into the Gulf of Mexico, and came ashore again around Punta Gorda, Florida.  It then marched up the Peace River to Arcadia, Florida, destroying almost everything in its path.  I lived in Palm Harbor, Florida, then.  As I began the 98 mile drive to Arcadia after the storm, everything seemed normal for a while.  Then, as I turned off of US19 onto US70 and headed SW toward Arcadia the country side revealed the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina.  Mile after mile I drove by telephone poles that had been snapped in half and shredded like toothpicks.  Beautiful old Live Oak Trees had been uprooted and tossed aside like toys.  As I approached the city of Arcadia, clean-up was already in progress, and torn and shredded aluminum siding from the vast number of mobile homes that made up a great part of this  communities residences was already piled about 20’ high in one storage lot.  (Pictures from the Cross Creek RV Park in Arcadia, Florida – where my cousin kept a 5-wheel RV, and of the children’s playground at the Myakka River State Park appear below).

Arcadia after Katrina 567 OVERTURNED RV2 CROSS CREEK UNK VICTIM2 CROSS CREEK UNK VICTIM4 CROSS CREEK UNK VICTIM5 CROSS CREEK UNK VICTIM6 CROSS CREEK UNKNOWN VICTIM Myaka River Park FL 70 Myaka River Park Pavillion FL 70 Myaka River Park Playground FL 70

Katrina was followed by Rita.  With winds up to 177mpg, Rita was the 4th most intensive Atlantic hurricane to ever hit the United States (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Rita).  Rita passed through the Florida Straights on September 26, 2005, on its way to Texas.  Since Rita did not pass directly over Flamingo the resort was spared any noticeable damage.  However, torrential rains continued to weaken the already damaged resort. Rita was followed by Wilma, the most intense Tropical Cyclone to ever be recorded in the Atlantic Basin, with winds up to 185mpg.  Although the eye of Wilma did not pass directly over the Flamingo resort, it passed over nearby Cape Romano with 120mph winds.  That was all it would take to complete the destruction of one of my favorite places on earth; a place that I fished with my family in 1947 and where I lived and worked from May of 1996 to September 2002.

Wilma, The Final BLow HU94D8~1 HU94E6~1 HURRICANE WILMA 001 HURRICANE WILMA 002 HURRICANE WILMA 003 HURRICANE WILMA 004 HURRICANE WILMA 005 HURRICANE WILMA 006 HURRICANE WILMA 007 HURRICANE WILMA 008 HURRICANE WILMA 009 HURRICANE WILMA 010 HURRICANE WILMA 011 HURRICANE WILMA 012 HURRICANE WILMA 013 HURRICANE WILMA 014 HURRICANE WILMA 015 HURRICANE WILMA 016 HURRICANE WILMA 017 HURRICANE WILMA 018 HURRICANE WILMA 019 HURRICANE WILMA 020 HURRICANE WILMA 021 HURRICANE WILMA 022 HURRICANE WILMA 023 HURRICANE WILMA 024 HURRICANE WILMA 025 HURRICANE WILMA 026 HURRICANE WILMA 027 HURRICANE WILMA 028 HURRICANE WILMA 029 HURRICANE WILMA 030 HURRICANE WILMA 031 HURRICANE WILMA 032 HURRICANE WILMA 033 HURRICANE WILMA 034 HURRICANE WILMA 035 HURRICANE WILMA 036 HURRICANE WILMA 037 HURRICANE WILMA 038 HURRICANE WILMA 039 HURRICANE WILMA 040 HURRICANE WILMA 041 HURRICANE WILMA 042 HURRICANE WILMA 043 HURRICANE WILMA 044 HURRICANE WILMA 048 HURRICANE WILMA 049 HURRICANE WILMA 050 HURRICANE WILMA 053 HURRICANE WILMA 054 HURRICANE WILMA 055 HURRICANE WILMA 056 HURRICANE WILMA 057 HURRICANE WILMA 058 HURRICANE WILMA 059 HURRICANE WILMA 060 HURRICANE WILMA 061 HURRICANE WILMA 062 HURRICANE WILMA 063 HURRICANE WILMA 064 HURRICANE WILMA 065 HURRICANE WILMA 066 HURRICANE WILMA 067 HURRICANE WILMA 068 HURRICANE WILMA 069 HURRICANE WILMA 070 HURRICANE WILMA 071 HURRICANE WILMA 072 HURRICANE WILMA 073 HURRICANE WILMA 074 HURRICANE WILMA 075 HURRICANE WILMA 076 HURRICANE WILMA 077 HURRICANE WILMA 078 HURRICANE WILMA 079 HURRICANE WILMA 080 HURRICANE WILMA 081 HURRICANE WILMA 082 HURRICANE WILMA 083 HURRICANE WILMA 084 HURRICANE WILMA 085 HURRICANE WILMA 086 HURRICANE WILMA 087 HURRICANE WILMA 088 HURRICANE WILMA 089 HURRICANE WILMA 090 HURRICANE WILMA 091 HURRICANE WILMA 092 HURRICANE WILMA 093 HURRICANE WILMA 094 HURRICANE WILMA 095 HURRICANE WILMA 096 HURRICANE WILMA 097 HURRICANE WILMA 098 HURRICANE WILMA 099 HURRICANE WILMA 100 HURRICANE WILMA 101 HURRICANE WILMA 102 HURRICANE WILMA 103 HURRICANE WILMA 104 HURRICANE WILMA 105 HURRICANE WILMA 106 HURRICANE WILMA 107 HURRICANE WILMA 108 HURRICANE WILMA 109 HURRICANE WILMA 110 HURRICANE WILMA 111 HURRICANE WILMA 112 HURRICANE WILMA 113 HURRICANE WILMA 114 HURRICANE WILMA 115 HURRICANE WILMA 116 HURRICANE WILMA 117 HURRICANE WILMA 118 HURRICANE WILMA 119 HURRICANE WILMA 120 HURRICANE WILMA 121 HURRICANE WILMA 122 HURRICANE WILMA 123

With great sorrow and regret, THE END!

(To the best of my knowledge, all of the photographs of Flamingo that are included in this blog were taken by the then General Manager  and late Peter Hulse * and forwarded to me by Jennifer Huber) except for those taken in Arcadia (by me).

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