Photos by MJ Klein
I grew up in Florida. When I was a kid, Hurricane Donna scored a direct hit on St. Petersburg, Florida where my family lived. From Wikipedia:
Donna holds the record for retaining “major hurricane” status (category 3 or greater on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale) in the Atlantic Basin for the longest period of time on record. For nine days, September 2 to September 11, Donna consistently had sustained winds of at least 115 mph. From the moment it became a tropical depression to when it dissipated after becoming an extratropical storm, Donna roamed the Atlantic from August 29 to September 14, a total of 17 days. While crossing the Atlantic Donna briefly achieved Category 5 strength. After its voyage across the Atlantic Ocean, Donna moved north of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola before crossing the Bahamas. The storm made its first Florida landfall in the community of Marathon, centered on Key Vaca in the middle Florida Keys. At this time, Donna was a Category 4 hurricane with estimated maximum sustained winds of 140 mph and gusts of up to 180 mph, with a minimum central pressure of 27.46 inHg (930 mbar). A storm surge of 13 feet was also reported. The storm crossed into the Gulf of Mexico and its course shifted northward. Donna paralleled the southwest coast of Florida until it made a second Florida landfall between Naples and Fort Myers, again as a Category 4 hurricane. After crossing the Florida peninsula, it continued and moved back out into the Atlantic Ocean near Daytona Beach. Donna headed up the East Coast, and made another landfall at Topsail Beach, North Carolina. It then finished its trip by heading into New England, with a final landfall across Long Island, New York. Donna, unlike Hurricane Charley which followed a similar track in 2004, was a slow-moving storm. Donna dumped 10 to 12 inches of rain in the southern half of Florida, along with about seven inches in the northern half. The three weeks prior to Donna’s landfall produced a 6-7 inch surplus in rain before the hurricane hit, exacerbating the problem.
Hurricane Donna – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Hurricane Donna’s eye went right over our house. To a 4 year old boy, already interested in sciences, this was a remarkable event. My father left our house to help our neighbors (retirees, mostly) manage their wrecked television antennas and take them down before the winds returned.
Throughout my life I have been through at least 7 hurricane hits in the US. For Taiwanese people, this is a regular occurrence, but for those in the US a hurricane can be a life-changing event.
People in Florida are used to storms. Most homes have a “hurricane drawer” full of things like matches, candles, cooking fuel, tape, rope, batteries, etc. for managing hurricanes. Often we have Hurricane Parties but sometimes people take these to the extreme and ignore the dangers. Some have been killed when the water rose and took their homes.
Yesterday was a great day for sky photographs as the approaching typhoon makes its way up past the Philippines and towards Taiwan.
Of course, Hui-chen and I had to have our own Typhoon Party. But it was too windy up at our rooftop cabana. So we settled on the 4th floor balcony instead.
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