Sunday, September 26, 2004

Video of Hurricane Jeanne

Thanks once again to my wonderful neighbor, here is a link to a video of Hurricane Jeanne. It will open in Windows Media Player:

Click here to see Hurricane Jeanne's visit to Celebration

The wind looks pretty vicious, but amazingly enough, the poor little tree in front of my house is still standing. It was knocked down in both Charley and Frances. After Charley, it looked like it might actually survive, but I think that Frances was too much of a shock. It's pretty much a bare stick with a few intrepid yellow leaves still clinging to its skeletal branches. But of course now that it's probably dead, it has managed to stay upright.

The trees of Celebration have taken the major brunt of the damage every time. That's certainly much better than the houses, although we've had some fall down on homes, driveways, garages, and vehicles. We'll see the effects of this disasterous year for a long, long time because the old growth that has been destroyed is not replacable.

It makes me sad to bike along the street between our house and the entrance to Artisan Park. There are reserve areas with lakes and a thick, green curtain that used to fully mask the new construction that lies just beyond East Village. Even though new homes were going up practically within spitting distance, the reserveland gave the illusion of isolation. Now, with many of the large trees destroyed, you can look right through and see the close proximity of Artisan.

I wonder how the other areas of Orlando/Kissimmee are faring. So many had just started recovering, and now here's another setback. Last time we drove down east 192, we noticed that come of the hotels with severely damaged roofs were in the midst of repairs. That far down, they are mostly mom and pop operations rather than big chain properties. I imagine that, for some people, they are their sole livelihood. It's bad enough that the hurricanes are turning Florida's reputation from the Sunshine State to the Storm State, scaring off the tourists. Now the new and partially repaired roofs are being battered with more wind and rain, compounding the damage.

When you move to Florida, you accept the danger of hurricanes just as Californians willingly risk earthquakes and Midwesterners put themselves in the path of tornados. You can make a change by moving, although nowhere is ever safe from everything, unless you tunnel underground and live with the Mole People. But this year has truly been an anomaly; if Celebration can survive this, then our usual worries will be nothing. After this Hurricane Trio, trivial things like parking congestion and hordes of tourists on Fourth of July or kids skateboarding downtown or dogs jumping on outdoor restuarant patrons will be a piece of cake.

You can email me with questions or comments at

My Celebration website, which has a link to the Celebration webcam, can be found at

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