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WAITING FOR FRANCES - SEP 04, 2004

 

Update: 20:00 hrs. While Frances is busy rampaging Central Florida's east coast, lets shift focus and take a quick look at Ivan. Check out National Hurricane Center's projected path for Tropical Storm Ivan! If all doesn't go well, I will be spending my next weekend indoors as well!

 

Update: 19:30 hrs. The weather men seem to now have a pretty good idea of what might happen in the next 18 to 24 hours. The eye of hurricane Frances will make land fall in the wee hours of Sunday, Sept. 5th ... that is tomorrow. Orlando will continue to be pounded with bursts of heavy rain fall all night tonight. The first really serious winds will move in at 7am. Consistent wind speeds of over 60 mph will hit Orlando and will worsen till noon and possibly beyond. 

 

A curfew will come in to effect at 9pm tonight in Orange County and will continue through 5am tomorrow. There is flash-flood warning across the whole of Central Florida.

 

Update: 18:00 hrs. Frances is still out in the ocean, trying to strengthen itself and redefine its eye. Its eye, by the way, is more than 70 miles in diameter! Orange county, which is not even along the coast, has reported a power loss for about twenty thousand customers. Mine is still on. At least two tornadoes have formed. Tornado warning is in place.

 

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This is going to be a very annoying waiting game. Technically speaking, the effects of Frances have been around since Friday afternoon. The first set of the outer bands came ashore earlier today just before noon. They were merely a "teaser trailer" to the real thing, the eye itself won't make land fall till tomorrow morning. These outer bands brought no more than storm force winds, with sustained speeds of a mere 30mph (relative to what is in store in the visible future). Yet, there was a decent bit of damage! Debris, fallen trees, power outages ... the whole nine yards! 

 

Orlando has experienced brief squalls of rain. No serious, continuous pounding yet. But that will change very soon. Wind speeds of up to 80 mph are expected. The rainfall is expected to measure around 20 inches. The real pounding is expected to start at 8am tomorrow and last the whole day.

 

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I clicked this photo last afternoon, at a local Target store. The Flashlight/Battery rack has been wiped clean, much like at every other store in the entire state of Florida. The only flashlight available is a Maglite that takes one AAA cell and powers a single LED! No wonder people did not rush to grab it. If you look carefully, this particular model is called "Solitaire". Talk about irony!

 

 

 

 

 

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