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cat 5
Old 08-21-2007, 06:21 AM   #1
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cat 5

andrew was predicted to hit in west palm beach 15 years ago. a friend of mine there came down to lauderdale to spend the night with me. little did she know she'd be driving towards the storm. we made a roast beef (i was eating meat back then) and i prepared an inside closet for us to evacuate to if need be. we'd use the mattress to shield us. and i put some left over roast beef sandwiches in there just in case.

i lived in a condo with full wall to wall & ceiling to floor glass on the south side. i had no idea that stuff could bend. it bent & bowed but didn't break. lucky us.

homestead & south miami wasn't so lucky. i had to drive down the day after and spend the next week there, reporting on damage and helping colleagues salvage what they could from their houses.

i'd never seen destruction like this before. on my first day out i had to take a break because i got literally sick to my stomach. cat fives are so powerful. i happened to be organizing old photos last night when i came across a few i took of andrew which i think illustrates well the strength of a cat 5.

here's what it did to a pine tree

and here's what it did to a reinforced concrete pole

and this just amazed me. this is two i-beams which just held up a little sign for a japanese restaurant.

so strong and so relentless that it bends steel.

"off with their heads"~~dr. joseph-ignace guillotin

"life should begin with age and its privileges and accumulations, and end with youth and its capacity to splendidly enjoy such advantages."~~mark twain - letter to edward kimmitt 1901
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Old 08-21-2007, 08:50 AM   #2
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I just finished reading "Roar of the Heavens" by Stephen Bechtel, which tells the story of Camille. It covers both the Biloxi area, and then Nelson County, Virginia (where I live now) where a few days later the system stalled and unleashed well over 20 inches of rain in a few hours and the resulting mountain mudslides and floods killed 1% of the county's population--about 140 people in this rural area.

Along with some fascinating stories of survivors and victims, it talks about the force of water. Think about how heavy just a bucket of water is, then think about how much water is in a storm surge of 15-20 feet or more. It becomes a bit easier to understand the damage it causes, even to steel.

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Old 08-21-2007, 10:19 AM   #3
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When I was in HS, one of my instructors (a USAF Retired Col.) was living in Biloxi when when Camille hit. He used to tell us the stories about it. He always said that he felt safer in combat situations while on active duty, than he did during Camille.
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Old 08-21-2007, 04:44 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Goonie View Post
When I was in HS, one of my instructors (a USAF Retired Col.) was living in Biloxi when when Camille hit. He used to tell us the stories about it. He always said that he felt safer in combat situations while on active duty, than he did during Camille.
One of my uncle's, a Marine veteran of Korea (including the battle at Chosin Reservoir), lived in Picayune during Camille. Before then he said there was no sense in running from a hurricane if you weren't in the surge/flood zone. He scoffed and made fun of anyone living inland who left for a storm.

The experience of being in his home during Camille really affected him. I know they suffered some structural damage and his daughter still has scars on her head from being struck by debris. After Camille he swore he would never ride out another hurricane in his home because he had never been that afraid before - not even when fighting his way out of Chosin.
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Old 08-21-2007, 05:02 PM   #5
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Changing the subject somewhat....

I took a cruise last February that stopped for a day in Costa Maya Mexico. The wife and I shopped a bit and then took a cab over a couple miles to a charming little fishing village called Majahual where we spent a magic afternoon basking in the scenery/water and charm of the little fishing village. The wife had a massage on the beach while I consumed some of those bottled beverages while I sat on the beach with my toes in the water listening to some music from a nearby bar. It was warm but there was a cool breeze to set the temperture for that perfect ambiance. We walked around the village alittle, bought a T-shirt as a souvenir and then taxied back onto the cruise ship. While the cruise was great, that afternoon in Majahual was one of those memorable highlights.

Well early this morning Hurricane Dean packing category 5 winds and ocean surge came ashore at Mujahual. I suspect there isn't much left of Mujahual or of Costa Maya.

I have my memories though. But what a shame. What a wonderful little spot it was.

(the photos below were not taken by me and were cherry picked from another site. I must say though that the photos don't really capture the charm. The first three photos are of Mujahaul, the last photo is of Costa Maya )

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Gone but Not Forgotten
Old 08-22-2007, 10:25 AM   #6
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Gone but Not Forgotten

Evidently there is nothing left...

Here is a couple more pictures before and one picture after the Dean Hurricane of Majahual.

Also I understand that more than half of the Costa Maya Cruise dock is gone. You can't really tell from the photograph in the post above but that pier was massive. There were four lanes on the pier and it was maybe 15-20 feet thick. You could park two buses end-to-end across that pier. That's what a Cat 5 hurricane does.

So sad.

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Old 08-22-2007, 01:24 PM   #7
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I remember that pier. We could not dock due to wave action but saw dolphins? following the ship as we headed for Key West. Pretty spot and very flat.

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